How Important Are Certifications?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by jimnagrom, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    WGU Degree combo and Certs

    Home > Information Technology

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  2. lspahn

    lspahn New Member

    Im checking them out abit more. I was not aware of what they had to offer. Has anyone gone to WGU and had any issues with going on for there MS ? I am planning on going to capitol college for mine and wouldnt want to waste too much time. Thanks
  3. scubasteveiu

    scubasteveiu New Member

    How are things going?

    Are you a CEH yet?

    The CEH book from Exam Prep / Que publishing is very good. I have learned a fair amount just going through the practice labs.

    ISBN: 0789735318

    I still have to schedule / take my test.

    Also, I have been thinking about the GSEC from SANS - the only issue - they don't have a date for Indianapolis AND I would be paying 100% of the costs. I am going to try to find someone local to split the costs with. . . and travel to Chicago or Cincinnati.

  4. stock

    stock New Member

    Certifications are important PROVIDED you have to maintain them. Eg. As a PMP you have to "study" to maintain them.
  5. jimnagrom

    jimnagrom New Member

    And that's quite true - you nor only have to set aside the time and resources to obtain them, but to maintain them.

    For example, my Cisco Wireless cert has to be retaken every two years, the CCNA every three, MCSE, MCT, etc., etc.
  6. Gail

    Gail New Member

    Unfortunately, I give very little importance to certifications. The number of braindump sites makes it quite easy for someone with some skills to buy these "practice" exams and become certified.

    I have a number of (maintained) certifications myself so the above doesn't make me happy but it's a fact. I test all incoming candidates for competency and there are some who cannot pass what we consider a very basic skills assessment yet their resume indicates they are MCSE or some such.
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Many of us have to maintain our certifications and also as a part of maintenance to re certify.

    What is the value TODAY of MSCSE on Windows NT 3.5 :)?

    In my field every year there is major release of the software and some releases of products have very significant changes in structure, architecture and terminology.

    New features become available and also new packaging and product names.

    So this is absolutely essential to have continues development and maintenance. At times when I deploy the latest and greatest I get to learn by reading and hands on, other times classes are required as well.

    The reward is that I'm able to provide for my family .
  8. jimnagrom

    jimnagrom New Member

    Hard to put a price on that ;)
  9. lspahn

    lspahn New Member

    Amen to that...The only reason I play the game.
  10. spmoran

    spmoran Member

    I think it depends. I am a lead software developer and I don't give certifications one little bit of credence when I hire other developers. I don't want to know if you have been brainwashed by MSFT. I want to know if you can think.

    But if I were in charge of, lets say, a networking infrastructure (or any other area in which I have no real expertise) then I might be comforted in knowing that someone that I am already leaning to based on work history and education also has some independent certifications to indicate that they might know what they are doing. It would be kind of like the third leg on a stool.
  11. jimnagrom

    jimnagrom New Member

    And in fact, there really aren't any "programming" certifications - OTOH - in data communications/networking there are quite a few, so your observation fits neatly into reported trends.
  12. B.N.

    B.N. Member

    That isn't exactly true. Microsoft has several certificates which are pointed toward programmers/developers. There are also several Java certificates too.

  13. spmoran

    spmoran Member

    Yes, these are what I was referring to when I said that I didn't want to know if someone were brainwashed by MSFT; rather I want to know if they can think.
  14. scubasteveiu

    scubasteveiu New Member

    I think this sums it up nicely;

    "While a certification won't guarantee you a new job or promotion, earning one can be a smart career move.... pursuing a certification will allow you to earn new skills or bolster existing abilities in a structured environment, leading to personal satisfaction and personal growth."

    I have always enjoyed learning new things. In some cases, studying for a new certification provides a structured way of learning that I would not have otherwise. I only have three certs, but I am studying for several others - mainly in security. Even though I have finished 33 hours in security, studying for a cert allows for a re-cap of my courseware and experience. As the article states, it does add to personal satisfaction. I enjoy it.
  15. B.N.

    B.N. Member

    If I had two applicants with pretty much the same qualifications, experience etc. One was successfully brainwashed by MSFT (aka certified) and the other wasn't, I would pick the one that was certified. Why? Obviously both applicants "can think." But the one that is certified still had to put forth the time, expense etc to get certified.

    I wouldn't hire someone solely based on a certification ... those days are over ... thankfully!

    I agree with scubasteveiu, nice way to put it.

    p.s. - spmoran, I knew that is what you were referring to... But really, in general, I think that most vendor specific certificates involve some brainwashing. It doesn't matter if it's Cisco or M$ or Java or Checkpoint or whatever, the answer is going to relate to whatever technology or product that you're testing ... not to what you would use or do in real life.
  16. spmoran

    spmoran Member

    Good point and probably very true.
  17. mrbean72

    mrbean72 New Member

    Value of Certifications

    Based on my own experience, I believe that certifications can be very valuable, in terms of personal satisfaction, professional development and career progression. While I don't have any IT certifications, I have earned the Chartered Accountant designation, which was definitely a highlight of my life and has given me plenty of opportunities.

    Generally speaking, I have observed that the most valuable degrees/certifications (regardless of field) are ones where demand exceeds supply (good old economics) and that are difficult to get. The prestige factor is very important to prospective employers, not to mention if the certification meets a need that they are eager to fill.

    Michael Weedon, CA
  18. lspahn

    lspahn New Member

    For me it has always boiled done to one thing..

    With everything basicly even(Skills Base & Technical Experience) Certification simply tip the scale. I have always assumed myself that the cert at best may get you the interview, but thats it. If you hire someone cause they hold a certification only, you need a new HR person. Now in the modern world of compliance, certifications are morphing into a "Due Diligence" issue, at least in the world of finances and insurance. I work with alot of big banks this comes up, particullarly the security certs.

    The main problem i have is the cost. I have people that I work with that have excellent linux skills, and have no business world experience. Anyone who gave him the time to show it would hire him in a minute, but his experince in business is limited to helpdesk work. If he grabbed a Novell/SuSe or Redhat cert, he would have a better chance, but there is a cost invovled and when you are low on the totem pole, 500 bucks is a lot of money.
  19. mrbean72

    mrbean72 New Member

    Certifications as an Investment

    I agree that the hiring process should not only take certifications into account. However, it can be very difficult to verify a person's experience or work history. On the other hand, it is relatively easy for a HR professional or hiring manager to verify an applicant's degree(s) or certification(s). If the certification requires a certain level of work experience, then this is further proof that the applicant is qualified, both in terms of knowledge and experience. There are also many intangibles that can be shown by earning a certification, such as the willingness to work hard and ability to deal with adversity.

    I agree that the cost of certifications can be very high. Earning my CA designation cost a lot more than $500! However, the cost was well worth it, as the designation will result in additional income and opportunities far beyond the cost. It is important to note that education is an investment and that the return on investment can be much higher than most stocks, bonds or real estate, especially over the long term. However, like any other investment decision, the choice to pursue a certification should be considered very carefully, in order to ensure that the ends (increased earning potential, more career opportunities) justify the means (cost, time and effort).

    Michael Weedon, CA
  20. jimnagrom

    jimnagrom New Member

    Re: Certifications as an Investment

    And that's the key - the value of certifications is the tendency for people to do things "the easy way".

    You don't have to like it - but it is no more going away than the weather. ;)

    A related value - but distinct - is the value of perception - in the employers eyes (studies been done about that), the customer's eyes, and in the students eyes. ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2006

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