Monday, 24 November 2014

10 Toughest IT Certifications Ever!

Do you think IT certifications are boring or it is not tough to get an IT certification? Well, you have come to the right place. We bring to you 10 toughest IT certifications ever to break and redo the myths. These programmes have been listed on the basis of 3 basic criteria, 1. difficulty level of basic requirements to sit in the exam, 2. difficulty level of exam preparations, 3. difficulty level of the final examination.

IT, it certifications, Wireless, Networking, Linux, Virtualization, Security, Database, IT Management, Windows, top 10 certifications




So here we go:

10. Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE)

Specialization: Wireless

It’s the highest vendor-neutral wireless certification. 109 people have this title.

To become a CWNE, you must have valid CWSP, CWAP, CWDP and CWNA certifications; three years of documented enterprise Wi-Fi implementation experience; three professional endorsements; two other valid networking certifications and documentation of three enterprise Wi-Fi projects, in which you participated or led. Well that sounds too overloaded, although preparation process and the exam itself is easy as compared to other exams on this page. Only one exam is required after completing all the requirements.

Requirements: 4/5
Hard to Prepare: 1/5
Hard to Pass: 1/5

9. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center

Specialization: Networking

The CCIE Data Center certification was introduced last year. At this moment only one person have achieved this title. Many engineers including Iwan Hoogendoorn and Rick Mur are preparing for this certification. There are no requirements for the CCIE Data Center certification. You need only to pass one written, qualification exam.

Although the preparation is what is the biggest challenge in here. If you don’t work for Cisco or a big Cisco’s partner, you must spend a lot of money on that. According to FryGuy’s blog the equipment costs more that $1,100,000. On the Iwan’s blog you can find a list of equipment for the lab. The exam costs $1500. It’s a 8-hour long lab. During that time you must configure required tasks from the exam guide.

Requirements: 1/5
Hard to Prepare: 4/5
Hard to Pass: 2/5

8. Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)

Specialization: Linux

This is probably the toughest Linux certifications to get in the world. Exams require a lot of skills and a lot of money. One need to pass the RHCE certification. During the preparation process one need to master their Linux skills in network management, system management, storage management, system monitoring, performance tuning and virtualization.

But the passing is the most difficult part here, you need to pass 5 lab exams which lasts from 2 to 8 hours. There are no courses and preparation materials, cost almost $5000.

Requirements: 1/5
Hard to Prepare: 2/5
Hard to Pass: 4/5

7. VMware Certified Design Expert – Datacenter Virtualization (VCDX)

Specialization: Virtualization

Only 105-115 people hold the VCDX certification. Most of them work for VMware. You must hold three VMware certifications VCP-DV, VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD. The preparation process isn’t too easy, because VMWare doesn’t provide any self-study materials or detailed requirements for the exam.

For the exam you must submit your VCDX5-DV application. After an acceptance you must successfully present and defend a VMware vSphere based virtual infrastructure design and implementation plan to the board (people with the VCDX certification).

Requirements: 3/5
Hard to Prepare: 2/5
Hard to Pass: 3/5

6. Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)

Specialization: Security

It’s one of the coolest certifications to achieve. There are no big requirements for this certification. Only one training is required. For preparation you need to sharpen your security skills which includes penetration testing, reverse engineering and coding.

But the exam is a real nightmare. You have 48 hours to research the network (information gathering), identify any vulnerabilities, and execute their attacks with the goal of compromising the systems to gain administrative access. 48 hours of problems, impossible tasks and working without sleeping.

Requirements: 1/5
Hard to Prepare: 2/5
Hard to Pass: 5/5

5. Oracle Certified Master (OCM) DBA 11g

Specialization: Database

The OCM DBA exam is a real nightmare, but the certification itself has many benefits on the job market. To become OCM from zero you must pass three normal exams for OCA and OCP, take three official trainings ($2000 – $3000 each). In these days you can prepare to all the topics without physical machines (hint: virtualization). Although, still some subjects (FC and InfiniBand) require from you access to the “real” stuff. The exam is 2-day long practical lab.

Requirements: 4/5
Hard to Prepare: 1/5
Hard to Pass: 3/5

4. GIAC Security Expert (GSE)

Specialization: Security

Only around 60 people right now have the GSE certification. You must pass at least 5 GIAC certifications, including GSEC, GCIH and GCIA. You do not need any special equipment or training, but you need to understand theoretical and practical almost every aspect of security. The GSE exam has two parts. The first is a multiple choice exam which may be taken at a proctored location just like any other GIAC exam. The second consists of a rigorous battery of hands-on exercises drawn from all the security domains. The full exam costs $1600.

Requirements: 3/5
Hard to Prepare: 4/5
Hard to Pass: 3/5

3. Cisco Certified Architect – CCAr

Specialization: Networking

Only 10-15 people achieved the Cisco Certified Architect title. To become a CCAr you must first achieve the CCDE certification (CCDE was introduced in 2007 and only 85 people achieved this title). You won’t find any preparation materials for this certification. The scope of the exam is extremely wide: from high-level business requirements analyze to low-level routing protocols’ configuration. The total cost of the exam is $15000. You first need too submit an application summarizing your project experience and other qualifications. Once approved, you will be given an architecture challenge and will meet live with Board members (other Cisco Certified Architects and Cisco Distinguished Engineers) to answer questions and defend your design. After that you will receive the score: Pass or Fail.

Requirements: 4/5
Hard to Prepare: 5/5
Hard to Pass:5/5

2. ITIL v3 Master

Specialization: IT Management

At this moment only 33 people successfully finished the certification process. To become ITIL v3 Master, you must first become ITIL v3 Expert. You must pass at least 5 ITIL certifications and additionally, you must have present your experience before taking the final ITIL v3 Master board exam (at least five years in leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory levels). As for the preparations most of the knowledge is gained during a preparation process to the ITIL v3 Expert and your experience with the ITIL framework.

The examination process is very complexed. One need to complete the application process, submit a proposal outlining the real life situation and the elements of ITIL to be applied to the situation, submit the Work Package and after all this you will be invited to an interview. The whole process takes 30 weeks.

Requirements: 5/5
Hard to Prepare: 3/5
Hard to Pass: 5/5

1. Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) Windows Server: Directory

Specialization: Windows

Only 4 people have the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) Windows Server: Directory certification. Today Microsoft offers 4 different MCA certifications: MCA: Microsoft Exchange Server, MCA: Microsoft SharePoint Server, MCA: Microsoft SQL Server and MCA: Windows Server: Directory. Please keep in mind that each of these is on the same level.

To become MCA you must first become a Microsoft Certified Master. You will require two other certifications for this process, you will also need 5-year of documented experience and need to pass two additional exams: a written and a 6-hour long lab. There are no trainings and preparation materials for the exam. You must be prepared to resolve the most complex scenarios and design the biggest Active Directory domains. After registering, acceptance and payment ($7500) you must prepare you work history and a few high-level case study design documents. Next you must attend a few-hour review with the other MCAs.

Requirements: 5/5
Hard to Prepare: 4/5
Hard to Pass: 4/5
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