IT-Professionals_TÜV Rheinland Academy

What are the top-paying certifications among IT professionals?

IT professionals urgently needed – and well paid! This statistic shows the 15 highest-paying provider certifications among IT professionals worldwide as of 2019. The average salary of an IT professional who was certified as a cloud architect on the Google Cloud Platform is currently around 140 thousand U.S. dollars worldwide.
What are you waiting for? Book your training as an IT professional now at www.tuv.com/academy.

 

Top 10 top-paying certifications among IT professionals worldwide as of 2019 (in U.S. dollars)*

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OTSecurityProfessional; TÜV Rheinland

New certification initiative to increase safety of industrial plants

Hackers are increasingly attacking operational technology systems in industrial plants. These systems detect physical effects or control motors, pumps or valves in industrial system. These systems are increasingly connected to the Internet in order to improve efficiency or help gain a competitive edge. These systems or  components may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyber-attacks. As  cybersecurity knowledge and skills in this domain are lacking TÜV Rheinland has developed the “Certified Operational Technology Cybersecurity Professional (TÜV)” certification program, which supports companies in identifying and improving team skills and thus increasing the overall cybersecurity of industrial and operational technology facilities.

The Triton malware attack reported in December 2017 was the first publicly documented cyber-attack on an industrial control infrastructure (ICS) designed to interfere with the operation of a Safety Instrumented System (SIS) used to protect an industrial plant as a fail safe against fire or explosion. According to experts, this incident was an urgent warning that attackers with geopolitical motives are now targeting security-critical systems.

The aim of attacks is usually to obtain intellectual property, trade secrets and technical information but many companies are unaware of the dangers cyber-attacks pose to their plants. In addition, their controls for cybersecurity are usually not tailored to the protection of OT systems. According to the new study “Industrial Security in 2019: A TÜV Rheinland Perspective“, 40 percent of respondents say they have never investigated the risks posed by cyber-attacks on industrial plants. A further 34 percent do not know whether their own company has ever investigated these risks. In addition, only one in five companies has tailored its cybersecurity measures specifically to industrial or OT facilities. This is alarming, as attacks from the network can shut down entire plants. This leads to production losses with high consequential costs and, in the case of critical infrastructures, can also have an impact on the overall security of supply and the smooth operation of modern society.

If production facilities or critical infrastructures – such as those of energy suppliers – are networked, this offers additional targets for cyber-attacks. Almost 70 percent of the respondents to the survey came from the manufacturing industry; in addition, the automotive industry, logistics companies, the oil and gas industry, public institutions as well as the telecommunications, energy and chemical industries were represented. The aim of the study was to better understand how companies detect and take protective measures against cyber-attacks. Because traditional knowledge in the field of cybersecurity is often not sufficient to meet the complex requirements of the industrial, networked world, TÜV Rheinland has developed this new certification for experts in the field of industrial cybersecurity.

More quality for the industry

With the new personal certification, TÜV Rheinland is responding to the increasing demand from specialists. In such a complex area as cybersecurity, a certification program from a neutral third party such as TÜV Rheinland can help to align companies’ expertise with the requirements of industrial cybersecurity and further professionalize industrial companies in this area.

The certification program actively evaluates candidates through a combination of professional career review, interview and technical review. Participants must have at least ten years’ experience in cybersecurity, including five years in a leadership role. The candidates prepare a case study as part of the examination. After a critical review by TÜV Rheinland experts, they will be invited to an online presentation and technical question and answer session. Experts who meet the standard receive a certificate from TÜV Rheinland and can use the title “Certified Operational Technology Cybersecurity Professional (TÜV)”. Re-certification by TÜV Rheinland is required every three years. Further information on the program can be found at:
www.tuv.com/en/otcybersecurityprofessional.

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Virtual Class Room

Learning Trends 2019: Learning Apps and Extended Reality Increase

In 2019, digital media and methods in professional training, in particular, will continue to gain ground. This is reflected in the current “Learning Delphi,” a yearly trend monitor of the German mmb institute, think tank and driving force for innovation in education and learning. While Extended Reality (XR) is rapidly gaining in importance, wikis are slowly moving into the background over the years. According to experts in this study, web-based training is also losing its previously high position. It is clear that new digital technologies could slowly replace the old ones. The Trend Monitor is based on a survey of 65 education experts from companies, educational institutions and universities in Germany, according to which learning apps, explanatory videos, and digital learning assistants are top-rated.

The future of professional training is becoming even more digital, with social learning also gaining in relevance for 72 percent of the experts surveyed. Immersive learning applications are significant increasing: Extended Reality continues to grow. The term immersive is known from the gaming scene and means “deepening.” A recent study by the Turkish Gazi University in Ankara confirmed that XR has a positive influence on learning success. To teach their students how to assemble computer motherboards, Professor Dr. Ebru Kılıç Çakmak of the Faculty of Education used an immersive learning application. The marker-based XR application of educational researcher Çakmak, called “HardwareAR,” provided students with information about the properties of hardware components, ports, and assemblies. A control group acquired the theoretical and applied information about main board assembly from textbooks. The other students used the “HardwareAR” application. As a result, they were able to complete the assembly process in a shorter time and required less support. The AR students were significantly more successful than the textbook control group.

Blended learning, explanatory videos and learning apps clearly at the center
While training and further education in the craft trades can benefit from XR, other digital learning aids are on the advance in classically oriented professional training topics. Around 60 percent of the respondents to the “Learning Delphi” survey assume that “intelligent learning assistants” will establish themselves as an innovative form of learning over the next three years. Intended are systems that accompany learners through a learning process in dialogue form and remind them of deadlines and learning workloads. 97 percent of the experts regard Blended Learning and 89 percent Learning Apps as an increasingly important form of learning. The evergreen “Explanation Videos” is in second place with 94 percent. The importance of simulations has increased significantly from 36 to 53 percent. However, these findings may differ depending on age and generation and on the global average, as the following study shows:

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Where do most artificial intelligence professionals work?

In general, Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the attempt to reproduce certain human decision-making structures, e.g. by building and programming a computer in such a way that it can work on problems relatively independently. Often, however, this also refers to imitated intelligence, whereby “intelligent behavior” is to be simulated using mostly simple algorithms, for example in computer games. The understanding of the term artificial intelligence often reflects the enlightenment idea of “man as machine”, the imitation of which is aimed at the so-called strong AI: to create an intelligence that is to mechanize human thinking,[1] or to construct and build a machine that reacts intelligently or behaves like a human being. (Source: Wikipedia) But even artificial intelligence cannot get far without humans. According to a survey on LinkedIn, the USA has the highest number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts in the world.

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Elderly care competence in Poland for the need in Germany

As one of the fastest-growing societies in Europe, the demand for services for seniors in various sectors is increasing in Poland, but also in Germany. Due to market needs for professionally trained, qualified and certified employees in Poland, TÜV Rheinland Academy has started developing different programs for elderly care, oriented to the requirements of the German market.

Many employment agencies in Poland employ their teams in the elderly care sector, particularly in Germany. In 2011, one of the most significant association of employment agencies was interested in training for the staff who take care of seniors and working abroad especially in Germany as the elderly care assistant. Even though they already have many years of experience, the association wanted to train the staff and increased their competencies with certified qualifications also recognized on the German market. Therefore, TÜV Rheinland Academy Poland developed a customized project for the employment agencies and their customers.

Due to restrictive regulations of the German market, German employers increasingly demand the qualifications and competencies of employees in the elderly care industry. These regulations define the scope of requirements for people performing care and care activities. The Polish training meets these requirements — divided into two modules the training offers one self-learning part (in the form of scripts) as a preparation for the second module which covers 80 hours of intensive workshops.

On the first day of the workshop, there is a written exam from the self-learning part. With the final personnel certification the Polish attendant of elderly care now stands out in the market, especially in contrast to non-qualified people in this branch. The competence of the staff is essential in assessing the quality of care services provided. Careers, apart from detailed theoretical and practical preparation, must also have appropriate interpersonal skills. In this industry, high sensitivity to the needs of older people is of paramount importance, where the basis is the knowledge and understanding of those under care.

E-learning Module “Dementia diseases”

Initially, the training for the customized project for employment agencies was based on the German “Nursing Assistant” (Pflegehelfer) program with the exam and the final personnel certification. After three years of experience with this target group, TÜV Rheinland Poland gained the know-how to develop other trainings specified for the local market needs. One of the developed training contains a three day short workshop plus an e-learning module about the topic “Dementia diseases”, to fulfill the training content. This training was developed under an EU project dedicated mostly for the employees who already work with seniors in daily houses or nursing homes.

TÜV Rheinland Academy Poland pays particular attention to the quality of the training programs. An essential factor during the workshops is the ability of the students to use rehabilitation beds, wheelchairs, blood pressure monitors and small care devices properly. However, the ability to communicate with seniors and activate them again and again as well as the soft skills of the accompanying staff also play a major role. To date, our colleagues in Poland have trained more than 200 participants in various courses.  Although there is a great need for training in the elderly care sector, the main focus of investment has long been on infrastructure or equipment. Fortunately, it is becoming apparent that awareness of the qualification needs of the personnel is also slowly increasing in nursing care for the elderly. TÜV Rheinland Academy Poland is prepared to make its contribution to ensuring that the level of competence within the sector rises as quickly as possible in favour of the elderly.

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Why personnel certifications are more important than ever today

A highly engineered and networked society requires the actors to continuously acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills. Fewer and fewer people today are still in a position to survey the current key competencies within an industry, let alone across industries. This is a situation that everyone knows who decides to buy a car or a more complex electrical appliance. More and more consumers are turning to the test reports of TÜV or test portals before buying in order to orient themselves and evaluate the differences between manufacturers. In the field of professional training, the certification of individuals plays a similar role. What it can do and what to look out for when selecting providers.

The professional training market is characterized by a hardly manageable diversity of more or less well-known or unknown training providers and certifiers. They all issue certificates about the success of their participants in their advanced training courses, which are called certificates, diploma, attendance certificates, etc.. Independent personnel certification bodies such as PersCert TÜV use standardized and transparent test procedures based on internationally stringent standards to determine whether people possess specific knowledge and skills. If these can be objectively established, the personnel certification body shall issue a final certificate. These final certificates do not have unlimited validity, but are renewed after a recertification procedure. The prerequisite for recertification is that the certified person keeps his or her knowledge up to date.

Why personnel certification is worthwhile for both employees and companies

Various occupational groups can be tested and certified. TÜV Rheinland, for example, offers certified qualifications in the areas of production and technology, quality, sustainability, occupational safety and environmental protection, energy, IT and data protection, health services, security, services and sales. With success: Every year, around 30,000 people make use of the more than 750 certification programs of the independent and accredited certification body PersCert TÜV. For a good reason. Employees benefit in many ways:

  • Opportunities for specialization: Personnel certificates make it possible to specialize in a targeted manner, to design one’s own career path to fit precisely and to get step by step closer to one’s dream job.
  • Door opener for attractive jobs: Personnel certificates are a seal of quality.
  • Improved career prospects: Personnel certificates not only illustrate the skills and competencies that a person possesses, they also demonstrate commitment and thus provide important arguments for the next step on the career ladder.

But it is also worthwhile for companies to invest in the personnel certification of their own employees. For the following reasons, among others:

  • Uniform service and production standards
    Personnel certifications help to establish uniform standards throughout the company. In production as well as in quality management.
  • Improved competitive opportunities
    Personnel certifications contribute to improved competitiveness. Customers and partners know that they can rely on the expertise of the employees.
  • International Recognition
    Personnel certification procedures based on DIN EN ISO/IEC 17024 are recognized worldwide. This makes certificates globally comprehensible and comparable. You can make it clear to business partners and customers that your employees are well trained in terms of their competencies. Because personnel certifications by PersCert TÜV are subject to the quality standards “Made in Germany”.
  • Targeted personnel development
    Personnel certifications are a first-class tool in the fight against the increasing shortage of skilled workers.
  • Motivated employees
    With personnel certificates you enable your employees to sharpen their own professional profile in a targeted manner. This contributes to their motivation and increases employee loyalty.

What should be considered when selecting a personnel certification body?

(1) The status of a participant’s certification should be publicly documented and should be available to interested parties for consultation at any time. In this way, doubts about the authenticity of a certificate or its content can be dispelled at any time. At PersCert TÜV, for example, the personnel certificates are documented and available for inspection at www.certipedia.com.

(2) The personnel certification should be carried out according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17024, as is the case with PersCert TÜV. The DIN EN ISO/IEC 17024 standard specifies internationally recognized requirements for a certification body. It is thus the basis for the high recognition of the certificates in business and administration.

Conclusion: In order to master the rapid progress in an ever more complex world, professional competencies are required. It is essential to know what knowledge and skills these qualifications actually comprise. Ultimately, this scope is decisive for the quality of results of services or products that customers of companies and organizations expect from individuals. Personnel certification makes the scope and timeliness of knowledge measurable. Learn more.

Efficient Driving: Fight against the Heavy Foot

In Chile, the transport and traffic sector is one of the country’s largest energy consumers with 33 percent. Transports in the mining and industrial sectors alone account for 82 percent. Energy consumption is mainly based on fossil fuels, with all the associated economic and environmental impacts. Against this background, TÜV Rheinland Academy Chile has developed a driving training course for “Efficient Driving” for the public sector. To date, more than 1,000 drivers from the Chilean government have undergone these training.

Through public elicitation in 2015, TÜV Rheinland Academy Chile was awarded the contract to give theoretical and practical driving courses for government staff in the whole country. Because of the team work and good results, it was such a success that, to date, more than 1,000 drivers, all belonging to the government staff, have been trained at a national level. “Efficient driving” in Chile can be considered as an unknown or unfamiliar concept; however, in simple words it means performing with a type of driving and attitude while in front of the steering wheel that allows one to obtain a higher performance and to prolong the life of the vehicle. The benefits associated with this practice are

  • energy benefits: lower fuel consumption
  • environmental benefits: reducing the gases of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere
  • economic benefits: less maintenance and operation costs
  • social benefits: performing safe driving on all roads.

With the clear objective of making government`s resources more efficient, the Ministry of Energy entrusted TÜV Rheinland Academy to train public transport drivers. During the 3 years of the program, more than 1000 drivers were trained. A key factor for the success in this activity is the working team, the experience, the professionalism, and the management of the participants by the tutors. The trainers have more than ten years of experience in professional and non-professional drivers’ education, others are graduates in pedagogy with experience in drivers’ schools and transport companies. According to one of the participants, Marcelo Ramìrez, Regional Manager of the Professional Energy Efficiency Program, Energy Efficiency Division of the Atacama Region, this project had a good reception during its initial putting into action, stating that “the course was a complete success in view of its contents, the competence of the trainers and the work methodology”.
The team in Chile felt very proud to fulfill the main objective of the project: the significant reduction of fuel consumption, reductions that are easily quantifiable, tangible and valued. The average annual consumption is about 2 million liters of fuel. Applying efficient driving techniques, the projected savings would be nearly 142,000 liters per year; money savings would be around 139,000 Euro. For TÜV Rheinland Academy Chile, the training program has been a great challenge, because it places the company as the responsible entity for providing new competence and tools to the members of the different areas of the Chilean government. This makes TÜV Rheinland Academy Chile a facilitator of the government’s plan for the reduction of energy consumption which seeks to educate and generate awareness through good practices, where the government must always be an example to follow.

More about TÜV Rheinland Academy Chile.

Tips for efficient driving in moving pictures.

Looking outside the box: How do other countries or companies handle the topic?

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How XR boosts technical competence

So-called XR technologies are enjoying great popularity in education. After all, Extended Reality (XR) can be used to convey a wide variety of learning content in an extremely practice-oriented way. But how does this actually work? An overview.

Try it. It’s about studying: That’s why flight simulators have been around for almost as long as the aircraft itself. The first were built more than a hundred years ago and consisted of mobile platforms that could be used to simulate the most important flight movements. A seat, a joystick, a few ball joints: these were the beginnings of pilot training.

Immerse yourself in virtual learning worlds
Today, on the other hand, the first dry runs for young pilots feel much more realistic – not least because airlines are increasingly relying on so-called XR technologies for pilot training. XR stands for Extended Reality and combines different virtual technologies under one roof. In modern flight simulators, for example, virtual reality tools play a major role. This allows challenging situations such as storms or engine failures to be simulated realistically. The advantage: Those who have already familiarized themselves with the imponderables of airspace in a flight simulator will be much more familiar with the first real cross-country flights. To make such realistic experiences possible on the ground, you only need two things: VR glasses and a computer program that generates the desired environment. When the user puts on the VR glasses, he can immerse himself in this artificially generated environment and move freely in it virtually. In contrast to a film or video game, it is no longer an observer, but part of the scenery.

Augmented Reality (AR): adding information to the real world
While VR technologies enable immersion in virtual worlds, augmented reality (AR) enriches reality with artificial elements. In concrete terms, this means that users remain in the real world, where they can perceive not only real information, but also computer-generated information or content. In other words: VR technologies put the user in a virtual environment. AR, on the other hand, brings virtual objects into the real world.

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AR technologies are also used for training purposes. For example, trainees with special glasses can safely work on virtual welding objects, as it is already the case with the training at TÜV Rheinland Academy. With the help of TÜV Rheinland, RWE Power has also simplified training for maintenance work on bucket wheel excavators and other heavy equipment using XR technologies – and can thus relieve operators of large equipment. To this end, maintenance personnel are trained via data goggles so that they can perform their tasks safely for people and the environment and effectively – even if their last assignment was a few months ago. Different levers and switches are visualized through the glasses in the form of holograms, functions of the switching elements in the driver’s cab are explained in detail, work processes are explained step by step. The application is not faded in statically in the image field, but blends seamlessly into the real environment. In the case of RWE, this means that the training of maintenance personnel not only takes place in the “classroom”, but also on the heavy equipment itself. The application, developed by TÜV Rheinland’s Digital Learning team, detects the shovel excavator’s driver’s cab and positions the hologram of each control element exactly where it should be. This enables maintenance personnel to find all the necessary levers and switches in no time at all and to apply the practical knowledge acquired by AR in practice without any problems.

XR – an important trend in the teaching of technical skills
It is not for nothing that XR technologies are regarded as an important future trend in the education sector. They pave the way for location-independent and thus cost-effective training courses, are much more fun than conventional training courses and – most importantly – ensure that the practical transfer of theoretical learning content is successful. Accordingly, TÜV Rheinland Academy is currently consistently expanding its range of XR training solutions, for example in the area of forklift driving licenses or in the area of mobility and engineering. As the Chinese philosopher Confucius says: “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand

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In 48 hours to more employee health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. It can hit anyone and cause massive mental and physical problems. For this reason alone, employers should find the right way to deal with stress in the workplace early on and consistently, and support employees as needed. Find out how well this works.

Psychological stress at the workplace is increasing. As a result, the health insurance funds in Germany alone have been recording a steady increase in stress-related sick leave for years. Of about 15 days of absence per capita and year, an average of 2.5 days are currently spent on psychological complaints. According to a recent survey, one in five workers across Europe is under stress every day and one in three is thinking about moving to a less stressful job.

Stress costs the economy billions

Mental illnesses also cost the economy dearly. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic costs of mental illness in the European Union (EU) alone amount to around 600 billion Euros annually. Especially since many countries now even prescribe the risk assessment of psychological stress at the workplace by law. Workplace health management therefore pays off for companies in every respect. But not every professional requirement is detrimental to health. Thus, stress in moderation can also encourage higher performance, promote personal development and give positive impulses for the quality of life and work. It is therefore crucial for companies to recognize at an early stage what strains have negative impacts on the workforce and its motivation.

Facts decide

But how can well-founded insights be gained beyond the subjective statements of employees? With the Resilience Check, TÜV Rheinland for the first time offers a program that objectifies the subjectively felt physical and mental stress of employees on the basis of reliable measured values – from heart health to sleep quality and recovery to general fitness. The resilience check provides companies with an instrument for realistically assessing the physical effects of stress on the workforce – and initiating long-term, needs-based preventive measures. This makes it a useful addition to risk assessment and becomes a valuable element of occupational health and safety and health management.

Determine individual stress factors

On the one hand, the individual employee benefits. After the online questionnaire on the physical condition (e.g. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep quality) and psychological condition (work-related behavior and experience pattern) in the context of their work has been completed, a chest strap measurement is carried out. On two ideal working days, different vital data on heart health, sleep quality, stress and physical activity are measured using a sensor that is attached to the skin like a plaster under the breast. A personal health report is automatically delivered at the end of the measurement. On the other hand, the company receives an anonymous company report for the targeted planning of company prevention measures: With simple anonymized comparison values across e.g. departments or locations, focal points for action are prioritized.

A classic win-win situation: employees learn which stress factors particularly motivate or burden them, employers get a holistic picture of the state of health of their own workforce – and can then focus on health prevention. For example, by realigning work processes, planning additional resources or designing offers for occupational health prevention in a target-group-specific manner, whether health advice, planning measures or introducing a holistic occupational health management system. Learn more about how you can optimize your workplace health management:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1667794604145327885 (German only)

 

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MDR Transition Period – All Clear at Half Time?

Slowly but surely, the end of the transition period for the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR) of 25 May 2020 is approaching. In the meantime, half of the three-year transition period has elapsed and it is foreseeable that implementation of the MDR in companies in the medical device industry will only progress slowly and that pressure will increase.

This is underlined by the results of a recent survey conducted by RAPS and KPMG. Many of the medical device manufacturers surveyed lack long-term planning to meet the requirements of the new MDR. Only 22% of the respondents confirm a comprehensive understanding and strategy for the MDR impact; 41% have little to no knowledge of the regulations. It is very critical that almost 80% of the respondents currently lack the necessary knowledge and understanding of MDR. Nevertheless, technical experts and the industry associations recommend continuing to work at full speed on the rapid implementation of the MDR requirements. All stakeholders are waiting for detailed information that will make the implementation of the MDR livable. In the meantime, the European Commission has issued a step-by-step guide and a fact sheet for the implementation of the Medical Devices Ordinance. In 2018, the MDCG (Medical Device Coordination Group) also published the first MDR guidelines. But there are still too many ambiguities, such as the term “sufficient clinical data”.

The 4th Spring update Medical Device Conference of TÜV Rheinland Akademie addresses questions and problems in the interpretation and implementation of Medical Device Regulation. The conference also provides a platform for information and exchange on current focal topics for medical device manufacturers. The conference program and registration information can be found at:

https://akademie.tuv.com/shop/product/4-spring-update-medizinproduktekonferenz-2019-5865