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Business Certification for IT

I'd like to see the creation of an independent group that would certify techies in common business practices.

Some of the people in the group were less confident than others about financial matters. For them, the No. 1 item on their wish lists was a way to gain a working knowledge of "business stuff" without having to sweat out an MBA.

We all know what TCO and ROI stand for (if you don't, pop on over to www.nwc.com/core/core9.html for a primer). We've heard of new models, popular with several consulting firms and your finance-buff colleagues, that are being used to build the financial basis for IT projects. But how many of you are truly budget-literate? Do you know, for example, the difference between finance and accounting? How about the difference between financial and managerial accounting? Do you have a working knowledge of statistics?

One business-savvy IT pro I know said that more IT folks need an appreciation for depreciation. Is yours accelerated or straight-line? The model your business office uses can help you decide when to make purchases.

For a few years now we've been preaching the need for techies to get as smart about business as they are about bandwidth. So why is it that there are umpteen courses for certifications in security, Microsoft products, Cisco products, Linux products, Novell products--the list goes on--but to become proficient in the business side of IT you need to enter a full-blown degree program?

Don't get us wrong--plenty of excellent colleges teach technology from a business standpoint, and a sheepskin in this area can be invaluable. But what if you lack the time, the cash or the inclination to go back to school?

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