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14 mobile certifications that meet IT demands

Kim Lindros and Ed Tittel | March 27, 2014
Mobile technologies are increasingly important to organizations of all sizes, but how can you best prepare your workforce? Find out which of these 14 vendor-specific and vendor-neutral mobile IT certifications -- from app development to security -- are the most valuable to your employees.

Now that mobility has become critically important to IT, helping employees achieve one or more certifications is a win-win for both employers and employees alike. Managers need a well-developed and skilled workforce to tackle today's omnipresent mobile issues, while employees feel more confident in supporting business and IT functions if they receive proper training and experience. Certification, then, is a great way to determine the effectiveness of an employee's ability to meet business demands and expectations.

This article looks at several types of mobile certifications - app development, networking, security and a mixed bag of mobile workforce and digital forensics offerings. Most of the featured companies and cert programs provide training courses, which are typically not required, along with self-study materials, sample exam questions, candidate forums and other certification prep resources. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Mobile Development Certifications: Microsoft, MDI, Oracle and SAP
Microsoft offers several entry-level certifications through its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) program, originally designed for high school and college students. However, because of the cachet a Microsoft certification brings to any resume or portfolio, MTA certifications also appeal to workers looking to segue into another career or to enhance their current skillset.

The MTA Mobile Development Fundamentals certification tests a candidate's ability to work with Windows Phone mobile devices, networked data and data stores, evaluate mobile programming code in XNA, Visual Basic .NET, HTML5, XAML and C# .NET and, finally, develop mobile apps. At only $69 for the exam, it's a highly affordable credential. Students take the exam through Certiport; nonstudents can sign up at Prometric. The exam was last updated in 2011, so we believe that a refresh must be in the works.

Meanwhile, the Mobile Development Institute (MDI) is a nonprofit organization with three entry-level MDI Certified Developer certifications for Apple iOS, Google Android and BlackBerry. (These certs are similar to the MTA mobile credential.) To qualify for an MDI certification exam, candidates must have published at least one app on one of the platforms. The exam itself is performance-based. An MDI proctor conducts a remote viewing session into the test-taker's computer; the testee must answer questions posed by the proctor and successfully modify example code upon request. Each certification requires one exam, which costs $375.

For its part, the Oracle Certification Program (OCP) is one of the largest in the world, with more than 200 individual certifications. Its Java certs include the Java ME Mobile Application Developer, formerly called the Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer (SCMAD). The credential recognizes developers of mobile apps for smartphones and other mobile devices who are proficient in using Java technologies and are well-versed on the Java Technology for Wireless Industry (JTWI) specification. Candidates must have an OCP Java Programmer or Sun Certified Java Programmer certificate as a prerequisite and pass a single exam, which costs $245. Oracle exams are delivered through Pearson VUE.


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