IBM’s Certification Offerings—A Full Plate
Five years ago, your training choices were limited. If you wanted to become an MCSE or a CNE, you attended a Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Center (ATEC) (now known as a Certified Technical Education Center—CTEC) or a Novell Authorized Education Center (NAEC). If you were seeking some other certification, your choices were generally limited to the educational services that the certification vendors provided. Today, the number of choices available is mind-boggling.

The certification industry's growth has apparently not gone unnoticed by IBM. Big Blue has developed a unique delivery plan to make its training readily available to you on a 24 × 7 × 365 basis. Think about it—you can now regard any unproductive time as an opportunity to take an advanced applications development class in IBM DB2 for Windows NT.

We know IBM for doing things in a big way, and with certification, the company has exceeded its reputation. IBM's current offerings include a whopping 103 certifications, with more probably buried in its Web site. For a full list of IBM certifications, see the IBM Web site. Certifications that relate to NT include

  • IBM Certified Associate Professional Server Expert— Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server
  • IBM Certified Professional Server Expert— Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server
  • IBM Certified Solutions Expert— SecureWay Firewall for Windows NT
  • IBM Certified Specialist— SecureWay Communications Server for Windows NT

If you want to pursue one of these certifications, consult the IBM Web site for answers to any questions you might have about the process. For example, are there any prerequisites for the Certified Professional Server Expert certification? Yes—you must be either an MCSE or a CNE. Do you need to take a certification exam? Yes—you are required to pass Exam 371: Netfinity and PC Server Architecture Technical Training and Exam 375: Netfinity and PC Server/Windows NT Server Installation and Performance. You can prepare for these exams by taking the following IBM Course TNWO2: IBM Netfinity Server Technical Overview and either Course V5072: IBM Netfinity Technical Training or Course V5075: IBM Netfinity/NOS Installation and Performance Training.

With more than 100 certifications, you’re probably wondering how IBM can possibly offer such a variety of classes. IBM's solution was to partner with etNetworks to develop the IBM Learning Services Network, which provides satellite-based services and course offerings. The partnership operates on the premise that because traditional training methods are expensive and typically require employees to be away from work, an opportunity exists for a direct-to-customer, affordable, satellite-delivered, Internet-enhanced learning service. According to IBM and etNetworks, the partnership provides year-round, around-the-clock "technology and business training your employees/customers need. And \[they\] deliver it to you, in your own office, and around your schedule."

Together, IBM and etNetworks offer a variety of classes on video at scheduled times, repeating them often. You can view course offerings at the etNetworks Web site. You can also download the broadcast schedule to an Excel spreadsheet from the site. The current schedule, which outlines the 3-week period from April 16 to May 7, lists 4706 course offerings.

Pricing for this training source is reasonable. For example, if you want an entire year of training from your home, you can purchase an annual residential subscription for $1800. The price includes installation of the equipment you'll need to receive the satellite transmissions.

Windows 2000 Certification Exams—What Can We Expect
We've removed the content that originally appeared in this section because the information included comments that were taken without permission from a private forum under NDA with Microsoft. We sincerely apologize to the MCT and MCSE community and to our readers for publishing this information.

-Windows 2000 Magazine