Research In Motion (RIM) , maker of the popular BlackBerry handheld, on Thursday announced a new certification program aimed at corporate BlackBerry administrators, support technicians, consultants and enterprise application developers.
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To receive the certifications, interested parties will need to pass computer-based examinations meant to gauge their knowledge of the BlackBerry platform and its associated components, including the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and individual RIM smartphones.
"Mobile technology is becoming increasingly important in everyday life, so there will continue to be a constant and critical need to have a base of people who understand the intricacies of this technology," says Ray Kelly, Senior VP of Sales and Client Services with Prometric, a provider of testing and assessment services, and the company selected by RIM to develop, manage and administer the examinations.
The findings of a recent Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) survey of 3,578 IT managers mirror Kelly's sentiments. During the next five years, technical proficiency in supporting and maintaining wireless infrastructure and mobile devices, and related expertise, will be among the most sought after IT skills, according to CompTIA.
The following certifications will be added to RIM's existing list of qualifications in the fall of 2009:
BlackBerry Certified Systems Administrator, for tech support representatives who deploy and manage BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions
BlackBerry Certified Server Support Specialist, which is meant to gauge IT professionals' skills in BES upkeep and maintenance and related tasks
BlackBerry Certified Support Specialist, for IT staffers who work with end users in BES or BlackBerry Internet Service environments
- BlackBerry Certified Solution Designer, for consultants who provide services to organizations planning BlackBerry Enterprise Solution deployments or additional post-deployment support.
Certifications for developers, trainers, sales reps and device experts will become available during 2009, according to RIM.
The new certifications will be offered to RIM employees at four corporate locations and to the general public starting this fall at 4,700 Prometric test centers located throughout the 135 countries where carriers offer RIM products and services.
A select few attendees of RIM's upcoming Wireless Enterprise Symposium, to be held in Orlando, Fla., from May 12 to May 15, will also have a chance to earn the new BlackBerry Certified Systems Administrator qualification by taking the exam at the event. (Interested parties can register for the WES certifications online.)
For additional information on the new BlackBerry certification program, see RIM's website.