It was my main priority for this site to be completed as quickly as possible since many of us are either working remotely or displaced from work altogether as a response to COVID-19. I am remaining hopeful that these circumstances will not continue for very long but this time can be utilized to gain new skills, set new goals and come out as a better version of ourselves. Below you’ll find information for free, discounted or modified for courses for opportunities leading to certification.
AWS CLOUD PRACTITIONER
The Cloud Practitioner is a foundational certification that tests your overall knowledge of Amazon Web Services. The exam can be taken from home and AWS offers a free, 6-hr online course to assist with exam preparation.
For other AWS exams such as Solutions Architect and Developer Associate, A Cloud Guru and Linux Academy are widely renowned for their courses with a significant number of their customers obtaining certification. These sites normally require a monthly or annual subscription but do feature a number of free courses.
A fellow female technologist (I want to give her credit but need to ask first, lol) told me about the Microsoft Events site. Prior to the chaos caused by COVID-19, Microsoft hosted many events for their products and services with some events such as their “Microsoft Azure Training Day: Fundamentals” sending attendees home with a free voucher for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals examination. Again, because of COVID-19, their in-person events are being postponed, but, in the meantime take advantage of their other online/on-demand courses which are also free.
CompTIA – In response to COVID-19, CompTIA has introduced a few modifications to assist candidates in meeting their certification goals. Starting April 15th, CompTIA will be offering online, proctored examinations allowing candidates to test from their home 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! You can find more updates on CompTIA.org.
Salesforce – Salesforce has a coupon code for $100 0ff 0f any $200 exam (you’re able to use the code up to 3 times) using code SFAMERCERTDAYS0420200. The coupon is set to expire July 31,2020 and you must also sit the exam by that date. Head over to TrailHead for free courses to help you sit examination for Salesforce Administrator, Developer, Technical Architect and more!
If you’re here because of my personal social media sites, you would know as an IT Service Management System Administrator, this platform is dear to my heart! ServiceNow launched a campaign for free training for their ServiceNow Certified System Administrator. Upon completion of the course, you are given a free voucher to sit the examination for ServiceNow CSA. Due to COVID-19, the campaign has been extended til June 2020. This exam voucher is good for one year to the date you received it.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) & Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)
Though this course is a bit costly but I have decided to mention it because the course has been modified due to Covid-19. The Certified ScrumMaster Certification is normally received only after attending a 2-day, in-person training but it is now offered virtually from the comfort of your home! Visit the Scrum Alliance site at www.scrumalliance.org to find a course for this lucrative and high demand certification.
Just a little tip, the further in advance you schedule your Certified ScrumMaster Certification, the deeper the discounts. Most test providers provide an "Early Bird" discount. I've personally seen courses as low as $595 but book in advance...at least 2 weeks out or more to take advantage of savings.
VMware & 3rd Party Lab Environment to Study
Whenever I complete my existing certification goals and skill building,
I certainly plan to revisit VMware as I've been told countless times by my peers to become certified in this lucrative skill. VMware is a cloud computing and virtualization software giving users the ability to install virtual operating systems (OS). I will include a link that allows you to practice in a lab environment. VMware's site also has a few free courses for their foundational level certifications.
Unlike other certifications requiring renewal, VMware has removed this clause allowing its certified candidates the option to renew as they see fit.
Pega, I honestly don't know much about this company. I stumbled across it on Indeed and it seems to be very popular in IT environments and its here because like the others I've discussed, it's a very lucrative and high-earning skill to know...and the courses leading to certification are FREE! Pega is a Business Process Management tool allowing its specialists to build applications quickly and add value to end-users and customers. Pega's goal is to "eliminate software coding" and "automate manual work".
Certifications offered by Pega include:
Pega Certified Data Scientist
Pega Certified Business Architect
Pega Certified System Architect (seems to be the most popular of the Pega certifications per my Indeed search)
Pega Certified Robotics System Architect
Pega Certified Decisioning Consultant
Pega Certified Marketing Architect & more...
As mentioned the courses are free, however, examination at all levels will cost $175.
Start your research on Pega to see if it is worth you learning and then head over to Pega Academy to start building your skills with Pega!
Project Management Professional (PMP)
As the name states, the PMP is the Holy Grail of Project Management certifications and pretty much guarantees a lucrative career. The 4-hr exam is composed of 200 multiple choice questions with 61% being the passing mark (exam only scores 175 questions). But it does have some pretty heavy prerequisites depending on educational level, demonstrating that you have worked on a project extensively and attending a course that the PMI has approved...then once you submit these things as part of your application you have to hope and pray you aren't audited (not a super long process, but any audit can be annoying ).
To cut to the chase and explain why I've included this certification...it's now joined many other certification vendors in allowing virtual/online examination! I am working on adding this cert to my goals list because I'd hate to miss the opportunity. For more information and to see if you would be eligible visit the Project Management Institute's site, PMI.org.
Pluralsight's Microsoft Offering
Pluralsight is a cool website that I actually found out from a fellow techie (thanks for sharing on Twitter Ethan!) and their site is super impressive. One of their favorite tools is their Role IQ page which tests your knowledge of 50 roles and then allows you to build your skillset to the role you've selected. These are very lucrative cloud, dev and database roles might I add, making it a great motivational tool to see where you currently rank and where you aspire to end up!
I haven't fully explored all of this site's functionality but I plan to over the weekend. Lets get to why we are here!!
Pluralsight has partnered up with Microsoft and the companies are offering FREE TRAINING (free is my favorite word), on many Microsoft Azure topics including Administration, Networking, Database functionalities, Powershell scripting, Engineering and more to get you geared up for examination or simply gaining knowledge of Microsoft's cloud.
As with Oracle I am planning to knock out most of these lessons and certifications because...free. Why not?!?!?