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CompTIA Announces New IT Professional Organization

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Lynn HaberAs CompTIA, founded in 1982, moves into its 35th year, the tech industry association on Monday announced the acquisition of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and unveiled plans to build a new organization called CompTIA Association of IT Professionals. Expect to see the official rollout by early May.

Discussions to formalize CompTIA’s relationship with IT professionals began last year with the idea of forming the new association as a sister organization to its existing legacy channel organization, with both arms sitting under the CompTIA umbrella. CompTIA’s ultimate mission is to have a positive impact on the IT workforce.

CompTIA's Nancy HammervikNancy Hammervik, executive vice president of industry relations at the organization, called this development a natural progression given CompTIA’s relationship with IT pros and its commitment to being the stewards and advocates for the IT workforce.

“We realized over that year, especially, that we’re getting to a very critical area with the IT workforce with widening skills gaps and a diminishing desire on the part of the next generation to pursue careers in IT — and how critical that is to both our society and our economy,” she told us.

CompTIA’s longtime relationship with IT professionals is visible via its certification arm, which certifies 200,000 IT pros annually and has about 1.2 million U.S.-based certification alumni on its roster. CompTIA certification includes: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+, to name a few.{ad}

In the works is an updated CompTIA website and new online digital offerings. First in line among member benefits is a new career or job portal, done in partnership with Burning Glass Technologies, a company that delivers job market analytics. The portal will include a resume builder that customizes a member’s resume for each job application.

“This is to make sure that we’re matching their skills and experiences to the job needs which will help the job applicant meet the requirements of the job,” said Hammervik.

Burning Glass will aggregate almost all of the open IT positions in the market and push out to members any relevant career opportunities that they might consider — or a member can scan the job board by city, salary, job criteria, etc.

CompTIA’s legacy channel members aren’t immune from IT skills shortages and their No. 1 challenge is finding talent. “Everybody in the next gen wants to go work for Google or Facebook, but not a small MSP in town. It’s very hard for [partners],” said Hammervik.

To help channel-partner members, CompTIA will allow them to post open positions on the job portal and make them a priority when pushing out job opportunities to IT pros, to educate them about opportunities outside of the big vendor firms and perhaps, even find work in their own hometown.

The career portal will also offer a career path road map laying out the skills needed, positions that should be pursued, and the time it should take to get IT pros along their career path from IT job A to B to C, etc. Membership renewal will automatically trigger a …

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… resume update, offer a salary comparison of their current job to the broader market, as well as offer other jobs opportunities to make sure they’re staying relevant.

Other member benefits will come from CompTIA’s partnership with Skillsoft, and the availability of the entire Skillsoft digital content library. This marries technical skills to much needed soft skills, such as management, networking, and communication for IT professionals.

With the new, combined CompTIA AITP organization, members will be able to take advantage of AITP’s student and professional chapters network for mentoring, meeting other IT pros and learning about IT job and career opportunities.

Membership dues for the new CompTIA AITP will be $99 annually per individual member, with an early bird price of $79 prior to formal launch.

According to Hammervik, CompTIA will encourage connection between the two sister organizations. So, for example, CompTIA research will be available to members of both organizations and, CompTIA will increase the amount of research it does on end-user workforce. Additionally, CompTIA’s Future Leaders Community, now two years old, will open to the AITP community. Other communities may follow over time.

More About AITP

AITP was founded in 1951, when Harry S. Truman was president. Merging the two organizations made more sense than competing or bumping into each other in the field, according to Hammervik. “It made more sense to figure out how we could help each other out,” she said.

“AITP is a wonderful organization with deep roots and much like CompTIA has a very strong volunteer base — AITP, in fact was 100 percent volunteer run. But it’s getting harder for any association to stay relevant and be competitive without the resources and staff. They were definitely feeling the struggle and appreciated the opportunity to join CompTIA,” she explained.

AITP is the foundation of CompTIA’s new professional organization. It has more than 400 volunteer leaders and is committed to bringing in the next generation of IT professionals, being mentors, and giving back to the industry that they built career in, Hammervik noted.

Both CompTIA and AITP have a history of partnering with other industry associations and serving many, and plans on continuing to do so. So for example, on the channel side, CompTIA has relationships with ASCII, HTG and Channel Partners. Through these partnerships there’s been a sharing of content, education, event promotion and resources. On the IT pro side, AITP has been a longtime partner.

CompTIA has relationships with about 2,500 U.S. academic institutions, i.e. high schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and four-year universities, that have IT training and are testing them, at the university level, in CompTIA certifications.

AITP also has relationships with many of the same colleges and universities, and have organization chapters at these institutions.

CompTIA will hire a new director for CompTIA AITP who will report to Hammervik, as well as other job slots, and has a dedicated CompTIA AITP budget for 2017.


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