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An Introduction to Apple Certification

ACTC CertificateI spent three days in a class last week learning about Leopard. It probably sounds a little strange that a guy who works day in and day out on "nothin' but Macs" would be taking a class to learn more about the Mac operating system, but I did it for a reason - I am an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) and I need to keep my certification current. Within a few weeks, I'll be taking a certification exam to prove that my brain absorbed some of the course content and my years of Mac experience really have turned me into a Mac guru.

Not many people know about the certifications available to Apple professionals. Certification has a number of benefits to independent consultants and wage slaves alike, including recognition of professional competency, credibility with clients and employers, and the ability to publicize your certifications on Apple's website. For those of us who are Apple Consultant Network members, we can have clients referred to us by the Apple Stores.

Over the next few weeks, I'll post several articles about the different types of certifications available to you, how to become certified, and why you might want to consider getting certified. Read more after the break.

Apple certifications currently come in four delectable flavors:
  • Pro Applications
  • Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server
  • Hardware
  • Apple Certified Trainer
Pro Applications are Apple's big, expensive non-iLife applications - Aperture, Final Cut (Express, Pro, and Studio), DVD Studio Pro, Logic Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, and Shake. The Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server certifications are focused mainly on Apple consultants, help desk personnel, and system administrators.

If you're the type who likes to fix or tear apart Macs, become a Apple Certified Macintosh Technician and you can work for Apple Authorized Service Providers. Finally, if you have a training background and would like to teach others about Pro Apps, Mac OS X, and / or hardware, the Apple Certified Trainer certification gives you the necessary credentials to train and test other candidates.

I'm of the personal opinion that eventually Apple will have an iPhone certfication path as well for those techies who need to deploy large numbers of these devices in enterprise surroundings. After all, Exchange and MobileMe synchronization, remote administration and "killing" of iPhones, and administration of hardware and software on thousands of widely deployed handheld workstations isn't easy!

That's the background for you - in future posts, you'll get the details on each one of the types of certifications available, the training and tests necessary to achieve the certification, and what you can do with that certification to advance or create your career.

I spent three days in a class last week learning about Leopard. It probably sounds a little strange that a guy who works day in and day out...