Apple Scales Back IT Certifications with Lion Launch

AppleAlong with the release of OS X Lion on Wednesday, Apple also revamped its IT certification program with a couple updates and a few cutbacks. The company is limiting where certification tests can be administered, too, cutting down the number of locations where users can take the exams.

Apple’s 101 Support Essentials and 201 Server Essentials courses are getting updated for Lion, which means the only certifications available will be Certified Support Professional 10.7 for client systems, and Certified Technical Coordinator 10.7 for client and server systems. The Snow Leopard 301 Directory Services, 302 Deployment, and 303 Security & Mobility courses will end on December 31, 2011, which means the Mac OSX 10.6 ACSA certification they support will go away, too.

Along with the slimmer certification options Apple will be offering for OS X 10.7, the company is also limiting test locations to Apple Authorized Training Centers (AATC) and cutting Prometric Training Centers. The change will no doubt disappoint many potential test takers since in many cases Prometric’s locations are much closer.

Losing several of Snow Leopard’s certification options is bad news for IT pros since they can be a great tool for improving their Mac tech skills. That doesn’t, however, mean there won’t be any training options available.

“A number of AATC owners and trainers are banding together to develop replacement courseware for some of the higher level courses,” MacTEK Training’s Doug Hanley told The Mac Observer. “We feel there is still great value in understanding and integrating Directory Services and how to mass deploy Mac OS X systems.”

Training options that pick up where Apple is leaving off should be in place by the end of the year, although they won’t include the Cupertino company’s official seal of approval.

Apple hasn’t said yet what its new certification courses will cover, so there’s a chance that the classes will include the topics that were previously addressed in the Snow Leopard training events. For now, however, it looks like Apple’s own certification training options for Lion will be slimmer than they were for Snow Leopard.