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A number of companies, such as Brainbench (www.brainbench.com), offer a Web-based certification and testing solution that allows employers, recruiters and job seekers alike to measure technical competence. "Brainbench certifications offer job seekers an instant assessment of true skill among their peers and a valuable summary of individual strengths and weaknesses," said Rob McGovern, president and CEO of CareerBuilder, Inc. (www.careerbuilder.com), an interactive recruiting company based in Reston, Virginia.
"We've had over 400,000 network administrators take our tests this year for a variety of career development reasons," said Mike Littman, VP of Content and cofounder of Brainbench. "For example, late last year we worked jointly with Microsoft Corp. to build a Windows 2000 Readiness Assessment that helps Microsoft Windows NT users determine if they need further training to transition to Windows 2000."
After completing a Brainbench test, results are immediate. "A prospective employer asked me to take a Brainbench exam," said Michel de Greef, a Brainbench user in Australia. "I took the exam in the morning, was invited to interview the next day, and was offered the job an hour later!" Brainbench also offers the opportunity for Brainbench users to join a searchable database of pre-certified candidates available to employers.
Network professionals seeking to validate their competencies are discovering that online testing and certification is fast, convenient, and less expensive than vendor testing-to assess their own training needs as well as for career advancement.
----------------- Linda Gail Christie, M.A., is a contributing editor based in Tulsa, OK.