How Do We Select Which Certifications to Build?

	✤	How Do We Select Which Certifications to Build?We’ve received many questions that basically ask, “How do you choose which certifications to build?” We think it’s a great question, and thought it would be good to share the answer with you here.

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.

DEFINITION
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.

DEMAND
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.

DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES
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.

Paul Sorensen

Paul Sorensen,
Director, Oracle Certification

 

Comments:

Working since 2000 in the BI products, first with Brio Products, next with Hyperion Performance Suite products and now with Oracle BI (as OBIEE products) I'm very interesting in a certification in the administration and architecture OBIEE products that is the core of any BI projects. Expertise is always requested to setup an existing project or a new one so get a certification is a stamp of quality in the work. I will be interesting to participate to the beta testing program on OBIEE when it will be done. With regards. Francis

Posted by Francis LAUNE on May 18, 2009 at 11:56 PM PDT #

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