Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exam Builder (Beta) Tool Becomes Final with Release of LabSim 4.0

You may have heard that a new version of TestOut's LabSim—LabSim 4.0—is scheduled for release on December 28th. LabSim 4.0 will bring a new look and added functionality to your LabSim interface, including the official Exam Builder tool.

After several months of testing and gathering feedback about the Exam Builder (Beta) tool, TestOut has improved the tool and its functionality. The beta period of the Exam Builder will officially end with the release of LabSim 4.0 on December 28th. Using the Exam Builder (Beta) tool, instructors created more than 1,300 exams. TestOut has incorporated many improvements to the tool during the beta period, and we thank all those who provided us with feedback.

The new design of LabSim 4.0 will update only in the browser version of the product. Along with it will be highlights of new TestOut tools and products, including the Exam Builder tool and TestOut certification exams, both designed exclusively for LabSim in a browser.

The LabSim interface has also been redesigned to coordinate with the recently redesigned TestOut website. With new graphics and colors, the interface has a cleaner, simpler appearance and is more user-friendly, including:
  • Streamlined workflow
  • Easier navigation
  • Improved step-by-step instructions
  • Updated reporting features

Below are two images that give you a preview of LabSim 4.0:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

IT Professionals Agree: Certifications Bring Jobs and Better Pay

Students who may be wondering the value of IT certifications in terms of pay or job success, a recent article published by Network World should help you know that certifications are worth your effort.

From a survey of 700 IT professionals, Network World reports:
  • 60% said a certification led to a new job
  • 50% said they earned more pay after getting certified
  • 40% said their pay increased by more than 10% directly because of a certification
  • 29% said a certification led to a promotion

Since the survey was conducted of network professionals, it makes sense that the certifications most respondents said they value most are networking certifications, especially CCNA, Microsoft certifications, and Network+.

Certifications are not the only factor in helping improve a candidate’s job situation, position, and pay. Clearly, it is only one part of the total picture, which may include education, experience, timing, and other factors. Still, the vast majority of survey respondents agreed that certifications are a huge help in building and advancing a career.

Network World quoted Craig Norborg, a network engineer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as recommending a combination of certification and experience as much as possible. “I do think networking certifications are the most valuable when coupled with some real-world experience. I wouldn't have gotten my last two positions without them,” he said.

TestOut has introduced a new line of certifications—TestOut Pro Certifications—that are designed to prove the practical experience students have gained through the hands-on LabSim training. The experience and proficiency proven through TestOut PC Pro or TestOut Network Pro Certification will help open doors to your greater job success.

Friday, December 9, 2011

How to Prove You Know Networking? TestOut’s Network Pro Certification Exam (Beta)

Instructors and students using TestOut’s LabSim training for Network+, have you heard about the newest TestOut Pro Certification? TestOut Network Pro Certification can now be achieved while the certification exam is in its beta period.

TestOut Network Pro Certification Exam (Beta) is the second in TestOut’s new line of certification exams. The first to be released was TestOut PC Pro Certification, which has been available to instructors and students since earlier this year. Now the Network Pro Certification is being offered with the same approach: authentically assessing what the test-taker can do, not just what he or she knows. The Network Pro Certification Exam (Beta) includes hands-on lab activities that require test-takers to prove their networking skills.

Students and instructors who have completed the LabSim Network+ course have until December 31, 2011, to take the TestOut Network Pro Certification Exam (Beta). As you do, you are a key player in the exam’s development, and TestOut will use your performance on the exam to evaluate the exam’s questions, simulations, and format before the release of the official Network Pro Certification exam in 2012.

Instructors, this is a great opportunity to measure your students’ understanding of networking by administering the exam during the beta period. We also invite you to gauge your own expertise in networking and gain TestOut Network Pro Certification by taking the beta exam yourself.

Learn more about the TestOut Network Pro Certification Exam (Beta), how to schedule the exam for your classes, and how the beta exam will be scored by visiting TestOut’s Network Pro Certification page.

For more specific details about the content in the LabSim Network+ course, please refer to the LabSim Network+ page.

As always, your TestOut representative is happy to answer questions by email, chat, or phone (800-877-4889).