I have been planning to write this post for a long while. It was on my to-do list for ages and just kept getting putting off. Well I am finally getting around to it.
This blog deals mostly with Microsoft certifications primarily because it is the certification group I am familiar with and also because I have take quite a few exams with Microsoft. I like to think I have a good understanding of the IT certification process at this time
I have met quite a few people who criticise certification and in some cases I agree with them and in others I believe they are entitled to their opinion. I have heard arguments from people that are on both sides of the certified fence. I have heard the same things about university degrees as well again from both sides. Some will argue that a degree with stifle creative thinking, others will say it shows a willingness to learn. Both have merits in their points of view.
For what its worth, I believe that certifications prove one thing. That you knew enough at one time or another to pass them. That’s about it. It is the same as a university degree in that regard. You passed your exams that your lecturers set for you and that garnered you enough credits to obtain your degree.
It does not mean that you everything there is to know about the subject you are certified in but at least it does prove that you knew something at one time to pass it.
So a couple of pros for IT certification
- Encourages you to learn some material about the subject matter that you may not have know and/or possibly should have known.
- Gives people a quick and relative marker to your knowledge level in the subject.
- Shows commitment to getting the certification
- Shows you can at least learn
- Adds to the resources of the holder, may not know the answer but will know where to look.
- Vendor benefits from having certified people on staff.
And the flip side of the coin, the cons
- You knew enough at one point to pass the exam which doesn’t mean you know it now
- Certifications are not as strong unless backed up by experience (the paper MCSE scenario)
- Brain dumps, did you get your certification on your merit or with a little help of insider knowledge
- Certification is sometimes used as the end all and be all of recruitment.
- The testing process is sometimes not inline with real world situations
- Cost and does not always guarantee a job
So its like anything really, there are good and bad sides to it. If you think differently or have more to add please leave a comment