Q & A
CompTIA: Being the head tech person at a tech association is a big deal. How do you keep up with industry trends? GROSS: Our staff is remarkably well- informed and always challenging me. I have peers at some of the vendors we work with and they are some of the best folks to talk through industry issues with. And our members—I talk with the board of directors regularly—they're always bringing ideas to the table. It's learning by committee, and we're always trying to figure out what the next big thing is going to be for the industry. CompTIA: Speaking of the next big thing, what do you think that’s going to be for CompTIA, the industry and tech consumers? GROSS: AI is going to assist us in creating customized experiences for everything we do. It’s hard to imagine, but it's going to be here much quicker than we realize. Remote proctoring is just one example of this. We’re also not far off from our website incorporating chatbots or virtual assistants and being able to make very personalized recommendations based on user behavior. Eventually, we’ll be able to create individual training paths for every single person who wants to pursue a career in tech. Moreover, our certification candidates and those who work in the tech industry are well-positioned to not only take advantage of the changes, but also drive progress. They will be able to leverage the technology that’s here and that’s coming. CompTIA: In other words, CompTIA is providing a path for workers to reskill and upskill and to be ready for the future. GROSS: The workforce development component of our business is a huge way that we're helping change people's lives. People are getting jobs and then those jobs are changing people's families and they're changing people's communities. At CompTIA, we’re making those career paths as accessible as possible. To me, that's massive. i
CompTIA: Can you talk a little more about how exam delivery is changing?
GROSS: Exam delivery is a legacy brick-and-mortar business. It's built on technology that's decades old, which was never designed to have real-time statistics or real-time sales information. Now, exams and certifications are competing against micro courses and online degree programs. They're competing with a lot of things that have a good user experience. Going to a testing center, sitting down and having someone watch you take a test for two hours is not something most people want to do. But they do it because they have to pass the test to get a job or keep their job, right? The part we had to solve is there are reasons why all of that exists—testing has to happen in a secure, controlled and consistent environment. Remote proctoring technology has to not only make sure the security is there and the It seemed like an obvious solution even 10 years ago, but it’s taken quite a while. Now we are at the point where most people's computers are good enough and Internet connections are fast enough. It's a natural evolution in terms of testing. All those components allow us to optimize the testing conditions and make sure it’s as comfortable as possible for the test taker while still being secure. The technology will allow us to treat exams as a service. At CompTIA, as we look at what's possible for the entire market, we see it as a place that's ready to be disrupted. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the technology is a means to an end. Sometimes I think people in the technology business get caught up in the technology itself. But for me, I see it as the means to solving a problem. The business problem is that we want as many people as possible to be able to take our exams and we figured out that this is the best way to do it. equipment works, but it also has to monitor someone during the test.
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CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019www.comptia.org
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