Skill Up on Voice and Data: CompTIA Offers Converged IT Certification

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

IT vendors everywhere are talking about converged infrastructure, and now CompTIA is offering a certification to help IT professionals and IT solution providers gain the skills they need in this growing area.

With a growing need for IT professionals with experience and skills related to converged voice and data solutions, CompTIA is launching a new convergence technology professional certification in collaboration with Certification Partners.

The adoption of converged communications technology is creating a skills gap that makes it difficult to find skilled converged technology specialists, and the new CompTIA Convergence Technology Professional + (CTP+) certification was designed to validate the skills connected to the deployment and maintenance of converged infrastructures. It will help employers and channel partners’ clients to identify the skills necessary to handling converged infrastructures.

"Converged technologies are huge. We’re seeing very, very rapid adoption now," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president of skills certification at CompTIA. "We use it ourselves. We use voice over IP. We have all of our communications and networking stuff completed merged. The challenge is you have to get it working well, and if one piece goes down, you’re feeling it all over the place."

Converged technology certifications are the most requested along with security and CompTIA A+ certifications, Erdle said. The proliferation of edge devices along with the adoption of VoIP and video on IP networks is creating a more complex computing environment that needs skilled IT professionals to manage and maintain them. That’s where the CTP+ certification comes in.

"It’s really pointed at people who are working in small, medium or even large businesses. This isn’t the kind of certification you get to hang around your house and work on VoIP in the study. It’s really aimed at people who are focused on integrating the various IP-based services in a business," Erdle said.

This isn’t the first time CompTIA has offered a converged technology certification. Its Convergence+ certification has been available for the past few years and was only discontinued in October 2010. Erdle said Convergence+ wasn’t one of CompTIA’s hottest-selling certifications, so when the association looked into updating it, the team came into contact with Certification Partners’ CTP certification, which he described as a "leading converged technology credential."

Working with Certification Partners, CompTIA is updating the credential to CTP+ and will be offering it to the association’s membership.

"Our whole purpose is to help define for the industry the appropriate career path for the workforce to follow. That’s not just for the individuals, but for the companies that hire those individuals and for the government entities that specify these career paths," Erdle said.

CompTIA expects the new CTP+ certification to be very popular, he noted. There’s a need for people who are skilled at designing and optimizing converged technology infrastructures.

"It’s just computing in the 21st Century. It’s totally integrated, it’s global, it’s highly integrated with various functionalities and customized functionalities that different groups want," Erdle said.

The CTP+ exam will cover the planning of IP networks, wireless networking, and voice and telephony services, functions and technologies. Although not a prerequisite, CompTIA recommends that IT professionals first attain the CompTIA Network+ certification or have 18 to 24 months of experience in data networking, telephony and other convergence technologies before pursuing CTP+.