How Do We Select Which Certifications to Build?
By Harold Green on Apr 29, 2009
Obviously – given the sheer number of Oracle products – we are not able to build a certification for every Oracle product. But there are several major parameters that we use when considering new certification offerings.
In order to build a certification, we first define that certification with (a) a clearly identifiable job role and (b) a reasonable level and scope of difficulty – based upon training and experience – that fits exactly how the product is administered, developed, deployed, etc. This is a large task that can be much more difficult than it may sound. Oracle University takes great care to avoid defining a certification that is too broad (making it inaccessible to most) or is too narrow (and hence, diluting its value).
Another key consideration is that the nature of some products may either be too diverse, or are packaged in such a manner that a certification would not be warranted.
An additional factor that we consider in defining the certification model is the actual product’s roadmap and revision cycles.
Based upon the certification’s definition, we then begin an assessment to determine how many people will actually certify once the certification is built, and compare this to the forecast cost of building the certification. Industry estimates currently put the cost of developing a single certification exam between $30,000 and $50,000.
The decision to build a certification therefore requires that we have a minimum number of people to participate – not only to justify the financial cost, but also to participate in the beta testing period, which is key to ensuring sound, statistical data for strong psychometric exam validity.
A large number of people are required to develop the exam, including SMEs (subject matter experts), project managers to manage the development, and psychometricians to guide the exam’s item selection, passing score determination and other analysis requirements. With each exam typically being a multiple-month project, the time and effort required of these development resources can be significant.
Although there are other minor factors as well, these considerations above are some of the key initial issues that we account for when making the decision whether to create a new Oracle certification. Ignoring or deviating from these decision points can result in disappointing results in the certification track. Consequently, we at Oracle University take great care to ensure that sound assessment principles are employed before making the decision to launch a new certification.
Director, Oracle Certification