The Microsoft Vista exam has been out for some time now and many people have decided to take the plunge (or exam I guess). The exam, for the most part, has proven to be manageable. In many cases too education is starting to make the change to this operating system, and IMO this is probably the right move. However the funny trend here (in our IT Industry) is that education is far ahead of the real world. Thats backwards from what happens in almost any other higher learning institution (colleges and universities mainly).
IT Training Schools are making the jump to Microsoft Vista and then in probably another 7-12 months from now the switch in the Microsoft Training classrooms will be made the Server 2008 product. However, lets examine the real world. Gosh, the truth here is that there is still a fairly large portion of government agencies and businesses that are running on Microsoft Server 2000. Obviously, the majority of organizations and agencies in today’s world are using 2003 and they darn well should. Overall it’s a great product and relatively inexpensive and painless to deploy. However, that is NOT (at this time) the case for 2008. 2008 will require 64 bit network hardware which is expensive and definitely not complete commonplace yet. Also, much buzz has it that the transition to 2008, is from many accounts a nightmare.
So of course in time 90% of the working world will run Server 2008 as their enterprise (we have no choice – and I’m fine with that) but that time is still a fairly long ways away. I guess those that are still running 2000 will (logically) jump to 2008, but much of the comfortable 2003 crew will stick with what they have for quite some time, and that means that the 2003 certification for MCSE is still going to be the main one in the workforce. I would have to say that for the next two years MCSE 03 is really what most will need in their support staff. The schools will be ahead of this, by 1.5 to 2 years. Funny how this works.
A college’s business school (as an example) learns of new trends in adveritising. Keeps their eye on the trend, has it’s professors study and research the trends and then 2-3 years later includes the trend in their business course offerings. Look at web marketing, only a handful of schools have it in their offerings and the ones that do dont likely to this day have classes that offer the depth of knowledge needed to be completely cutting edge in that field. Is Harvard offering a class on growing websites by building organic traffic, or search engine algorithim change analysis and is Wharton showing people the most effective ways to build valid inbound links?? Heck no.
So why is the IT training industry so far ahead of the IT Workforce demand? Well, my guess is that since the IT industry has a history (and some could argue that this is no longer the case) of changing more frequently and much more quickly than other industries, that in order to be deemed as technologically up-to-date (and one MUST be seen as up-to-date in IT) that you must actually have the certification and training before the product has really taken hold in the industry.
And back to that point about the evolution of the industry, it probably has slowed a good bit. Computers change, but our enterprises and networking concepts and hardware definitely arent moving they way they were back in the old days.