Utility of Comptia Exams?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by ewillmon, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    Hate to break it to you, but most certification holders have used brain dump web sites and taken vendor-approved courses that essentially teach to the test since the early 1990s. This practice has, as you've observed first-hand, led to a dilution in the value of many certifications.

    Don't feel too bad though. The organization which currently employs me insists on hiring people with little or no real world technical skills to support large-scale financial market regulatory and compliance systems written primarily for a UNIX environment. "How do I find the log file for the process that just failed? I have the path and file name." is heard all too frequently.
  2. FLA Expatriate

    FLA Expatriate New Member

    Braindumps are widespread. Such abuse certainly devalues IT certifications in many ways. But as a former tech supervisor, I can usually feel who knows what during interviews and walk-throughs.

    Perhaps the only course I took that attempted to mirror a certification exam was an undergrad, for-credit networking course. We used a Network+ prep book as the required text. I sat for Network+ 2.5 years later.

    I like pre-employment tests. Prior to obtaining my current position, I took an exam at a major Telco for a Tier-II, DSL remote support position. The manager giving the exam -- also retired military -- seemed initially cold. After grading my paper, he began acting quite a bit warmer.
  3. FLA Expatriate

    FLA Expatriate New Member

    Gail, I view this profession as one demanding ever-continuing education and passion. We make our own luck in life, and IT is an integral part of mine.

    In my opinion, part of the problem with new techs isn't so much technical competency, but also a lack of key soft-skills. The reasons I've received so many awards are due to servant leadership, (mostly) aggressive problem resolution, and maintaining internal customer satisfaction. Many techs fail to perceive internal stakeholders for what they really represent -- valued customers.

    Basic x86 hardware concepts have changed little over the past 15 years. SIMMs gave way to DIMMs, yet still function as RAM. IDE has almost been displaced by SATA, although not quite. We enjoy a couple new ways of connecting (USB, eSATA) beyond serial and parallel. RJ-11 and RJ-45 crimp to exactly the same spec as back in the early 90s and even much earlier. 802.11, Bluetooth, and BlackBerry extend us a little more. The fundamental task of submitting jobs for processing is unchanged since the 1940s. Despite the latest, greatest linux distros, ls and grep work just fine for me.

    At any rate, I agree that some method is necessary for objectively measuring competence, although I'm unsure if costly CompTIA recertification provides a reasonable assessment.
  4. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    Pre-employment tests are for lazy hiring managers and even lazier human resources personnel.

    As a student I had to write a pre-employment test to obtain a summer student position, but that was only one time out of 3 years in summer student positions. Interviewing is the only way to truly know whether someone has the skills and experience for the position.
  5. Gail

    Gail New Member

    Thanks for the insult, sentinel, but we do extensive interviewing before the skills assessment test is given. I didn't realize my post would ruffle feathers here. I've been in IT for 20+ years as well and was simply passing on my experiences over the past few years. Sorry if I offended anyone.

    I couldn't agree with this more. I'm on call 24/7 and love every minute of it.
  6. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    I was not trying to insult anyone; just making an observation based on the types of people most HR staff and/or hiring managers seem to hire. Perhaps it is a symptom of the available pool of candidates.

    The past few years are consistent with your observations; the types of people getting into IT since the dot-com boom has certainly demonstrated that even technical fields are not immune. I completely agree with you on the need to hire qualified staff. My primary objection to pre-employment testing has to do with some people being good test takers but poor performers on the job, and some people simply focus on delivering effective solutions that save the organization money and time.
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I have seen a lot of ignorant statements on this board but I think we have a winner:D

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