Training without Certifications

TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,000 ■■■■■■■■□□
Do you find that many of your co-workers take training courses, but do not bother to go though the effort to obtain certifications? Where I work, several people who attended company paid training were offered free certifications (the company paid for the exam) and didn't take advantage of the opportunity. Is it laziness or just stupidity?

Generally if you pass a certification exam, the company will reimburse you for the cost of the exam/voucher, but in this case the company was offering to pay for an exam, you didn't even have to pass. Yet several coworkers failed to pursue them.
Still searching for the corner in a round room.

Comments

  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    LOL probably both. I'm looking at the learning tree book I have in front of me right now and all I can think about is how one of my coworkers got training for the Network+ got a voucher included and never took the exam. Meanwhile, I wanted to take the CISSP or CEH training and got shot down because "it is not relevant to my job duties" So I am sticking it to our IT Director that denied my training (after it got approved I might add) I paid for the CEH and trained myself and I will do so for the CISSP later on this year too. Then I am planning to leave my current job.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Member Posts: 1,027 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Attending training gets you out of work for a few dfays and might be interesting. Actually taking the test requires effort and can be demoralizing if you fail. Why make the effort?
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I gotta to assume they are just missing the value of holding that certification for their future career. They just look at it as they are learning a new skill they can use at the current job.

    Most people I've worked with don't bother with certs at all though, always thought it was weird.
  • 636-555-3226636-555-3226 Member Posts: 976 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yeah it bothers me. My guess is they just goofed off during the actual training part, didn't pay attention, don't really feel like reviewing the materials on their own, and generally overall just used it as an excuse to get out of a regular workday for (insert time length here). Unless those guys bring up training again in the future, I don't ask them to go through more since they don't seem to want to get much value out of it.
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've found that many people don't find a lot of value in certs. There are many of us who learn and use certs to "prove" we know stuff and there are people who **** to get by and just stay there. I've had discussions with former co-workers that essentially boil down to "I haven't been told I have to get this cert or lose my job so why should I bother?" It's a short sighted view but some people are bad at anticipating and planning for future problems.

    Training can be parts of a person's performance goals or just some bonus time off. I have noticed that the people who have the "why should I bother" attitude also tend to be 5+ years in their role and complain that people get promoted around them.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,000 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Maybe they never had to find a job in a tough job market. In my last experience with unemployment I thought I have 20 years experience, I shouldn't have any trouble finding a new job. It was a real eye opener for me. I want every certification i can get my hands on now, especially since it's on the companies dime, I just need to put in the effort. I had one co-worker out of work for 17 months, he said unemployment was great he gets to take the Whole summer off with his son and get paid for it.... he didn't get paid to take the next summer off that's for sure.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,229 Mod
    Some people just don't care. Or put it another way, some people just want to do their job, get paid, and go back to their lives/families/hobbies. So they go through the training, learn something (or nothing at all), and use at work (or not)....

    I understand where they're coming from, not everyone want to progress their career...but YMMV
  • FadakartelFadakartel Member Posts: 144
    Well it depends if your co workers are not happy/ burnt out. Not everyone cares about their careers they just want to get paid and move on.

    Me personally I had plenty of opportunities to obtain SDH/DWDM fiber certs but in reality I just don`t care to pursue that kind of technology
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    True story: In 2014 i started standing for my CISSP, and while doing that I tried to involve my co-workers so they can study with me and we can take the test as a group. I was not successful in changing their mind, even for more beginner certs or simple exams like ITIL, nothing could persuade these guys. Thing is, the company was not only paying for the 1 week long bootcamp but also reimbursement if you passed the exam. In early 2015 I passed the exam and almost 1 year to this day I left and got another job. I still maintain connections with the old co-workers and about 5 months ago they told me the operation center is being outsourced somewhere else and they have until March to either get a package, transfer to a Helpdesk role or transfer to another unrelated IT role.

    People just dont think of the future and how they should be ready and prepare. Things would have been so much easier for them if they had even 1 cert now.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, (ISC)², Microsoft USAMember Posts: 880 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I am our group's training coordinator. I have had exactly ZERO of our staff test out of any of the 20+ classes I've sent them to over the past couple years. Consensus is that they will only take the test if they are guaranteed to pass. It's frustrating. UnixGuy nailed it.
  • Sheiko37Sheiko37 Member Posts: 214 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree with the sentiment in the thread so far.

    I had this attitude until about 3 years ago when the threat of redundancy swept through the company. I realized I would have almost no chance of finding a similar job since most of my knowledge and experience was specific to the company I'm working for.

    I'm still with the same company, in a better paying role with very slim chance of redundancy, but my attitude has switched. I have a lingering feeling that no matter the salary or amount of certifications, someone can still call bullshit on my ability, therefore the study never ends.

    If you think your job is stable, and your career aspirations are low, and you don't spend any time away from work learning about your field, it would make no sense to put effort into certification unless there was an immediate reward offered by your employer.
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Pure laziness

    If I do training, its to acheive two things
    1. Get a piece of paper prooving i know it
    2. Get better at my job/get a better job
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    I see this a lot as well and I think it is a very strange way to go about things. I think a lot of people really over estimate what they know and what they are able to retain and they refuse to demonstrate their competency. Thus in their eyes (and foolishly, sometimes that includes managers) that simply going through a bootcamp or fast track course is valuable that the certificate does not need to be pursued because the knowledge has already been obtained. I'm not sure about any of you, but most people are simply unable to retain large quantities of information after briefly reviewing for the first time, thus the CISSP example, most people tend to zone out after a few hours on the first day, let alone at the end of the week. Constant review of the material leading up to the exam is where things start to stick. SANS, same thing. The course is helpful, but making an index and really pouring over every, freaking, page, is where the knowledge is absorbed.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I have one co-worker that got his CISSP and is transitioning to a InfoSec role, and one who braindumped some Microsoft certs and is generally regarded as a moron. No one else is remotely interested in certifications. It was like that at most of my previous companies.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,767 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Doesn't have to be laziness or stupidity. I worked with people in the SOC/NOC that made equal money with their ventures outside of work and primarily stayed with the company for the benefits. They enjoyed the work, but didn't place any value on certs. They only went to training because it was mandatory. I take advantage of all paid training and reimbursable exams, but maybe only because this is my only source of income. :)
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, GDSA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, Azure Fundamentals, Azure Security Engineer Associate, ITIL 4 Foundation, and more.

    2020 goals: AZ-900, AZ-500, GDSA, ITILv4

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,229 Mod
    E Double U wrote: »
    ... I worked with people in the SOC/NOC that made equal money with their ventures outside of work and primarily stayed with the company for the benefits. ...


    off topic I know, but just curious as to what sort of ventures outside of full time work that can generate equal or more money than full time work, specially that those ventures have to be worked on after working hours?
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Member Posts: 114
    I can think of several reasons people attend training without taking certifications:

    1) One intelligent and productive co-worker told me she just didn't like exams and had decided to avoid them if at all possible after leaving school. I have some sympathy with this viewpoint, exams (and the preparation) can be hard work and stressful.

    2) Most training courses award a fancy attendance certificate just for sitting in a chair in the training room for a few days. A surpising nuimber of employers and employees seem to think those are pretty much equivalent to exam-based certifications.

    3) One of my colleagues is an incompetent moron, who avoids any situation where he might have to think for himself. He wouldn't have a hope in an exam unless he used brain-****.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    This probably isn't the best forum to ask this question on, since nearly all people here would see the value of certifications and jump at a "free" training and exam.

    But, yeah, I've come across this, too. I think probably UnixGuy is right, and some people just don't care that much to do them. Probably what EagerDinosaur is saying, too. Some people really don't like exams.

    I know a few people that have done things like Cisco Net Academy, and not sat the Cisco Certification exams. They know their stuff, but for whatever reason don't see the point to do the certifications. I think they think that the "Attended Net Academy training" is good enough - and they might be right. A lot of smaller employers (and probably some larger ones, too) aren't across all the nuances of certification.

    Maybe also on this forum, since we are mostly of like mind that certification has value, might be out of step with the broader IT community. Maybe it's more normal to do training and not get certifications - after all, if you know your stuff and have a job, who are you trying to impress? And your work experience is generally more valuable than certifications.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,229 Mod
    OctalDump wrote: »
    ... Maybe it's more normal to do training and not get certifications - after all, if you know your stuff and have a job, who are you trying to impress? ...

    This might be very true. I've seen a lot of highly paid professionals, with years of experience, and a lot of knowledge but no certifications.

    Let's say there is a job opening for someone with F5, Cisco, and Checkpoint experience, and someone with 10 yrs of experience with these technologies doing installation/design/migration/troubleshooting, and that person attended few vendor training courses...Would passing the certification exam for those technologies add anything to that person's arsenal or employability? I don't think so.
  • bertiebbertieb Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Would passing the certification exam for those technologies add anything to that person's arsenal or employability? I don't think so.

    Me either. But it may help them to get past a HR filter somewhere if the current role evaporates.
    I always view certs as another tool in the armory to help with new opportunities and to get past HR filters or screening calls. You really can't beat experience, reputation and good connections though.
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Would passing the certification exam for those technologies add anything to that person's arsenal or employability? I don't think so.

    I would argue that it does add value. It showa that you have been tested againts those technologies and that you do know at least the fundamentals.

    People should take certifications the same way they approach a college degree. The process is the same really. Would you attend college classes but in the end not sit for the exam? Would you spend time on those college courses but not go for a final test to get your degree?

    What would you say in that case? "Yeah I took college classes for 4 years, but I don't have a college degree for it. I know my stuff though, I qualify for the job" I don't think you could pull that off.

    Times are a changing, advances are happening very rapidly now, schooling has become easier and will become easier and jobs will become harder to get. You need every advantage you can get to be relevant and prepared.

    Look at the older generations, the further back you look in terms of age, the fewer bachelor's or master or certification holders you have. Whereas now, everyone completes their bachelor's and a master degree is being obtained by younger and younger people, some even have multiple ones. Education is what advances your chances, and you do need a paper tl validate your education.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, (ISC)², Microsoft USAMember Posts: 880 ■■■■■■□□□□
    2) Most training courses award a fancy attendance certificate just for sitting in a chair in the training room for a few days. A surpising nuimber of employers and employees seem to think those are pretty much equivalent to exam-based certifications
    This drives me nuts. I don't hang my credentials up, but I have coworkers who put up their class certificates of completion. It's weird and I don't know if I'll ever be able to understand.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,827 Mod
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Some people just don't care. Or put it another way, some people just want to do their job, get paid, and go back to their lives/families/hobbies. So they go through the training, learn something (or nothing at all), and use at work (or not)....

    I understand where they're coming from, not everyone want to progress their career...but YMMV

    This seems to be the #1 reason in my experience, albeit with a bit of laziness thrown in for good measure. In the past 10 years of working in IT/InfoSec and having co workers, up until last year at the job I just left, I have been the only one that has pursued certifications. Even with a large global bank I worked at for 8 years, I was the ONLY one on a team of like 14 that ever pursued certs. Since leaving there and in the past 2 years, I've made 3 moves and doubled my salary. Meanwhile I still see them post on FB complaining about their job, and being stuck at that same place.
    TechGromit wrote: »
    Maybe they never had to find a job in a tough job market.
    E Double U wrote: »
    I take advantage of all paid training and reimbursable exams, but maybe only because this is my only source of income. :)

    Aside from wanting to make the move out of the job I spoke of above and hit six figures, these are the biggest drivers of why I pursue certs. Just with the ones I have now, my phone/email stay blown up for jobs. Even after marking my LinkedIn that I'm not looking for new opportunities, I still get hit up almost daily for jobs. I've been the sole income for a family of 5, and I worked for a global bank during the market crash of 08/09 and saw people all around getting laid off, so since then I got serious and started knocking out certs. Aside from the knowledge gained, the certs is what keep me blown up for jobs and getting the interviews. All I need is for those certs to get past HR filters and land me the interviews, I'll handle the rest from there icon_thumright.gif
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Agree with a lot of the reasons already posted. I have coworkers who jump at the chance of off site training. They are gone for a week, they've told me it's like a vacation. They get free lunch, they start later, casual dress, but as for learning, nah.

    One manager at work wanted to get the CISSP, 3 others, including myself all said we were interested. I passed it a few months ago on my own, the others all have the book on their desk that hasn't even been cracked open yet. They thought I was crazy for actually studying, then as soon as I passed they were like, "oh, damn, congrats, so now where are you going to go for more money?"
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,000 ■■■■■■■■□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Let's say there is a job opening for someone with F5, Cisco, and Checkpoint experience, and someone with 10 yrs of experience with these technologies doing installation/design/migration/troubleshooting, and that person attended few vendor training courses...Would passing the certification exam for those technologies add anything to that person's arsenal or employability? I don't think so.

    Can't say I agree. If your transferring within your company and managers know your work, then yes certifications probably are not going to get any more leverage in getting that new job. But when your on the outside, applying for positions, Certs get a lot of attention from HR. The guy who is a complete moron that is good at passing exams with a lot of certs on his resume is going to get a chance to interview. The guy who is a computer genius with years experience and no certifications probably isn't going to get past HR filters to interview at all.

    Unless you have a contact within a company your applying to or you have a strong industry network, the simple fact is your resume to destined for the circular file cabinet without certifications nine times out of ten positions you apply for. Of course people get hired everyday for IT jobs without certifications, but it's an uphill battle. Just having Five letters on your resume CISSP, is going to get you past every HR filter and at least a look see by management.
    Sheiko37 wrote: »
    If you think your job is stable, and your career aspirations are low, and you don't spend any time away from work learning about your field, it would make no sense to put effort into certification unless there was an immediate reward offered by your employer.

    Ah, but I know my job isn't stable, I was told the day I was hired the plant is closing at the end of 2019 (sooner if something fails that too expensive to fix). I have no choice but to do everything I can to maintain my standard of living. I could stick my head in the sand and ignore my situation, than prepare for my new career as a Walmart greeter. (I think there may be a slight pay cut involved).
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,163 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It depends. I am definitely pursuing some certifications that I think are relevant to my career. But sometimes, I just want the knowledge and skills that the training gives. I worked really hard to earn Security+ and SSCP (on my own time and my own dime) and will work even harder to earn CISSP, CEH, and perhaps others. I felt I was lacking in PC tech skills, so I took Mike Meyers' A+ training (online through Udemy) and learned a hell of a lot. Seriously, it was one of the best courses I've ever taken. But I have no need for an A+ certification. I've taken some cloud training for the knowledge (helped with SSCP), but I'm not going to pursue the certification. I'm 51 and have been out of college for a long time, but as far as education is concerned, I can't get enough. Security is my second career (after many years as a technical writer/web developer), and I aim to make a solid go of it.

    It really bugs me when people don't take advantage of opportunities presented to them and don't care about growing.
  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    There is one thing not covered so far that is the main cause of people not taking the exams and it is a combination of laziness and entitlement.

    People are happy to take the time away from their work to be trained but to get to the point where they can pass the exam they normally need to put in quite a bit of study in their free time. People are typically loathe to surrender their own time for free, especially when it involves a lot of mental effort - they would sooner be watching TV, surfing, drinking, bowling or whatever, so they just don't bother.

    These sort so people will expect the company to give them more study time in working hours to get ready for the exam on the basis that if the company expects them to have a certificate then they need to give me everything required, including extra study time.

    Just my observations.
    Iain
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    TechGromit wrote: »
    Just having Five letters on your resume CISSP, is going to get you past every HR filter and at least a look see by management.

    So true. CISSP is the key to many doors. My hit rate before CISSP was about 25%, easily 95% afterwards.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,229 Mod
    I think my comments were not 100% understood; let me clarify further...


    Example #1: a person works as a network engineer and wants to move to InfoSec, would passing the CISSP and some SANS exams help to move to InfoSec position: YES FOR SURE.

    Example #2
    : person is network engineer, has some CCNA or CCNP, worked for 5-10 yrs in service provider/Bank/whatever big environment, has connections...ACTUALLY DID implementation of f5, routers, proxies, firewalls .etc. etc. Worked on many projects, DELIVERED. Then the employer send them to a new cisco router administration 5 days training course, would passing the exam make any difference? NO, zero, NADA.


    We all like to poop on HR, but honestly, I haven't seen THAT many stupid HR. They filter for keywords like WAF, Cisco UCS, f5, CheckPoint....not necessarily for (certified administrator of 5 days training course).

    YES there are some who filter for words like CCNP. But I'm talking about an already experienced established professional who happened to be sent to training course and who is not planning to move side ways (to InfoSec for example).


    Do I support certifications? YES, I'm a member of this forum.

    Do I think InfoSec professionals tend to have more certs? Yes, Infosec positions seem to filter for CISSP, SANS and others...so they're crucially important, more than backend server/network work where you can put the keywords in the experience section of your CV.

    My observation of the real world? Most IT professionals (both successful and lazy bums) Don't seem to care about certifications.

    If you want to be a winner in the IT industry? Self-study, LAB, degrees, certifications, training, experience, changing jobs, staying in the same jobs, DO IT ALL.

    If you want to be a winner in life? Be born rich and be born smart.
  • it2bit2b Member Posts: 117
    I've taken a number of classes because I wanted to perform better at my job. Not because I wanted to become certified on those products. For example, I took Exchange 2010/2013 classes prior to rolling out that version of Exchange in our environment. I took Dell Compellent training to know how to better administer our SAN.

    I try to keep my MCSA up to date because I consider Active Directory my core skill set. Also because MCSA/MCSE are the certs you will usually see asked for on a Systems Admin/Engineer positions. Those same job postings might ask for experience with Exchange or SAN, but not require a certification in them. I am also working on my first VCP.

    Pursuing certs takes a lot of time and commitment. Quite often the classes only cover a fraction of what is needed on the exams. If I tried to become certified on every technology I work with, there wouldn't be much time left for a family life. IT keeps your working enough after hours as it is!
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