The Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) education program was created by a community of Web designers and developers in the late 1990s. The company that currently owns CIW, Certification Partners, offers books, on-line learning and high-stakes exams. Third-party companies also sell CIW preparation material.
The CIW program claims that each of their certifications are created from objectives suggested by experts who participate in an advisory council. These objectives are said to outline specific job skills, with the accompanying training that profiles both proprietary and free and open source software.
The owners of CIW state that the education they provide is “vendor neutral,” because no one specific vendor is profiled. The idea is that instead of teaching specific applications, the program teaches more important skills. However, CIW’s relevance has come under question in some circles. Because CIW was created during the “dot com” period, it and other certifications like it have fallen under criticism that they were created to simply cash in on IT certification.
Of the several CIW certification paths, the most popular is Master CIW Designer, largely because it is updated the most often. This credential is given to anyone who passes the following three separate exams:
- Foundations (which makes an individual a “CIW Associate”)
- Site Designer
- E-Commerce Designer
- Associate Design Specialist
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