Open Group develops IT specialist certification

* Open Group wants newest certification to help develop "well-rounded" IT pros

The Open Group is adding an IT Specialist Certification level to its vendor- and technology-neutral certification programs. The IT Specialist Certification follows the launch of the Open Group's advanced level IT Architect Certification (ITAC), in July 2005. The Open Group claims there are 2,000 ITAC-certified individuals in the world.

The newest certification is expected to be available to IT specialists around the world during the first half of next year. It is being launched with Open Group members Capgemini, EDS and IBM to determine the skills, experience and knowledge of professional specialists in a number of streams within two technical focus areas: development and operations. For pros working in high-tech organizations, the certification will also focus in areas including services, technical sales, technical support and technical training, explains the Open Group, which declined to give further detailed information about the program that is still in development.

Similar to the process that candidates go through for the ITAC certification, specialists candidates have to undergo a peer interview and review process to validate that their skills and experience meet the Open Group's documented standards related to technical as well as "professional skills," such as oral and written communications, and project management.

Phil Stauskas, worldwide IT specialist profession executive and distinguished engineer at IBM, said: "This is not a certification of what an individual knows but of their competency. You need to prove that you've applied your knowledge and to demonstrate your experience." The program aims to certify "fully developed and well-rounded individuals," Stauskas added.

The certification is expected to be available as a "Master's level" for candidates with three years of senior-level experience, and a lower level for individuals with three to four years experience working with a mentor.

In addition to developing the certification, the Open Group will also work to promote the program to employers with the hope that this certification will be sought after by hiring managers.

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