When do certs not help your career?

PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
I see folks with many certs listed in their signature. If I money was no issue, I'd take as many as I could. How you decide which ones NOT to take? Kind of a spin on the question of which ones TO take.

Offhand, I'm planning on Win10 certs instead of Win7. Applicable to my job, cause company is moving to Win10--and Win10 certs not expiring soon.

I guess trying be careful of how I spend and make best use of my money.

Comments

  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If they aren't relevant to getting or doing your current or future job, then pass. I would think some of the people also list their expired ones here too so it might seem more than the current ones. I imagine at a certain level of certs on your resume some hiring managers just sort of roll their eyes if they aren't relevant.

    Check job listings, look for the most frequently requested certs for the type of job you want, focus on those first.
  • KapitalKapital Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Panther wrote: »
    I see folks with many certs listed in their signature. If I money was no issue, I'd take as many as I could. How you decide which ones NOT to take? Kind of a spin on the question of which ones TO take.

    Offhand, I'm planning on Win10 certs instead of Win7. Applicable to my job, cause company is moving to Win10--and Win10 certs not expiring soon.

    I guess trying be careful of how I spend and make best use of my money.
    you have reached the right number of certs when your resume can get past automated scanners and HR peeps.
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Some people like the structure of a certification and will achieve it for the knowledge it brings rather than the direct benefit of the cert. I'd also be careful about comparing yourself to the unverified claims of internet strangers. Some people list expired certs, others can be liberal with their definition of what achieving a cert means.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■■□□□□
    EANx wrote: »
    Some people like the structure of a certification and will achieve it for the knowledge it brings rather than the direct benefit of the cert. I'd also be careful about comparing yourself to the unverified claims of internet strangers. Some people list expired certs, others can be liberal with their definition of what achieving a cert means.

    Yep, I fall into that category.

    To the OP, I think if one is pasting their cubicle wall with certs and is the "king of the paper certs", that is having lots of certifications but little work experience and demonstrating little in technical skills, the certs become a detractor and when more such people are encountered, the value of the certification decreases too.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, CSM, MS Access 2016, 2019 Member Posts: 2,580 ■■■■■■■■■□
    There is not a right or wrong answer. For me it has to relate to what I am doing currently and where i want to go. If either of those are a no, I don't do it. That criteria alone limits me especially now that I am specialized.

    But I can only speak for myself.

    Agreed though when I was a generalist I had to be careful not to spend a ton of money.
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,163 ■■■■■■■■□□
    EANx wrote: »
    Some people like the structure of a certification and will achieve it for the knowledge it brings rather than the direct benefit of the cert. I'd also be careful about comparing yourself to the unverified claims of internet strangers. Some people list expired certs, others can be liberal with their definition of what achieving a cert means.

    I took Mike Meyers' A+ course on Udemy. I never planned to earned the certification; I just wanted the knowledge. If I can work on my own computers, I don't have to pay someone else to do it. By the way, his A+ course was fantastic.

    I'll be doing the same thing for other topics. I learn better through structured learning.
  • NutsyNutsy Member Posts: 136
    Usually, it doesn't make sense if the labor market you are in doesn't have demand for the particular skill. If you are trying to maximize the monetary value of your certifications in the marketplace, then it's best to look at job boards daily to see what is in demand. After a week or two, you'll see themes for certain skills.

    Also, if you do have a technology that you think is interesting, and you are doing it for you, great. Just be cognizant that the particular skill may not come to fruition in the marketplace.

    Lastly, if you are going down a particular path of learning be aware of your reasons for dong it on the front end.
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 494 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Panther wrote: »
    How you decide which ones NOT to take?

    From what I've seen, genetic vendor neutral certs hold less value (with the exception being the govt). After an entry level cert like A+ (which has excellent value imo) it's best to go the vendor route microsoft/cisco etc to maximize the RIO.

    However, there is nothing wrong with learning the material and improving your skill set without getting an actual cert.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    This topic is so variable.

    First, you have to consider: 1. do you like your current role or 2. are you trying to change into something different? For example, if you like your compliance role, getting a CCIE is so outside of the path that you won't see any real return...but if you are trying to get into a networking role, getting a CCIE would be huge. Also, every role or path has a maximum certification level. Look at system administrators.....something like an MCSE is going to be the top level for Windows administrators in most cases.

    Second, there are many certifications such as CISSP and CISM that are on the same level....and it's usually a requirement to have one, however getting the second just gives more awareness but not necessarily any strong tangible return.

    Third, if you are going into an environment such as the DoD....the 8570 mandates you to have certain certifications, thus getting some additional areas covered opens up doors.

    Just like with anything related to certifications....it depends on the individual as there are no cookie cutter answers and you have to reevaluate every couple of years. People early in their career, usually will try to be broad with certifications they earn but if you are under 2 years experience and have 15 certifications, you generally aren't going to remember a lot of the information....and as people get further into their career, the selection becomes more targeted because people know themselves better and what they want to do.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIA, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,303 ■■■■■■■■■□
    mikey88 wrote: »
    From what I've seen, genetic vendor neutral certs hold less value (with the exception being the govt).

    That's definitely not the case with InfoSec where ISC2, SANS and ISACA hold the best value and are the most in demand certs. Maybe youre just thinking of CompTIA and EC-Council.
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■■□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    That's definitely not the case with InfoSec where ISC2, SANS and ISACA hold the best value and are the most in demand certs. Maybe youre just thinking of CompTIA and EC-Council.

    You make a very good and valid point. However, except for SANS (and in my own research, SANS certs don't have the same level of demand outside of DoD as ISC2 and ISACA), both ISC2 and ISACA certs can require some vetting for experience and background checks. Most SANS certifications, as far as I know, like CompTIA certifications, simply requires one to pass the exam. Private sector employers seem to feel more confident with certifications that have work prerequisites (which is why PMP is seen as much more value than PRINCE2), or, show competency in a specific vendor (e.g., Microsoft and Cisco).

    Before anyone says anything, I am not dissing CompTIA or SANS certifications. I've obtained four CompTIA certs and I am working on a SANS cert right now. I can say with absolute fact that the learning I got from getting my Net+ landed me my first IT job. And it is generally accepted that SANS training is second to none in the IT world. Further, my path getting my SANS even in self study, the knowledge I am picking up is invaluable. More than likely I will pursue a couple more CompTIA certs, again not for the employable marketability, but to pick up IT knowledge I am weak in and could use improvement.
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think there is something many people overlook when it comes to developing knowledge: You can study for a certification without paying for and taking the exam. I struggled with that concept for years. I felt like I had to sit every certification that interested me simply because I had gone through the study material. Alphabet soup can drown you financially and sometimes career-wise. More certifications is not always better, especially if they don't relate to the role you want.

    When I look at a certification and its value to me, I ask myself three questions:

    - Does this benefit my current role?
    - Does this benefit my desired role?
    - Does this personally interest me?

    If the answer to two or more questions is yes, I will prioritize the funding for it. If it answers one of the first two questions as yes but doesn't interest me - it does into the pool that I will study for but will not take unless it is employer paid. If the only yes is the last question, then it goes into the pool of things to study for but no investment into funding for the exam.

    Many certifications require fees to maintain and some require renewal. At one point I was spending more on maintenance fees than I was on vacations and things for myself. If your employer will pay them, keep them. Otherwise, don't go for them unless they benefit you.
    2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I personally like the structure the certifications provide. Sometimes it is hard to dig into a new topic and know what to research.

    Entry level certs give me an easy path to follow. I am currently working on MCSA Windows server 2016. There will be no immediate ROI for me but in the long term I will be better prepared to do my job or look for a new one.

    I think when you move beyond entry level certs you should pursue them for a specific purpose. I did not go on to CCNP because I am not working in networking. If I move in the direction I would probably pick up that study path again.

    Jon
  • PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For the curious, this other thread is similar/relevant,
    Renewing older certifications

    Interesting thread too, as folks on there appear to be specialized in their career, and have many certs.

    It's like the thread for the future self, if one jumps on the cert bandwagon.
  • PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think the training/education for certs is pretty invaluable.
    - Paying for books/labs to learn, I'm cool with.

    Paying for exams at $100-200 a pop, not so nice.
    - Exams alone for MCSE is close to $1K?
    - It is what it is though, whether it's degrees, certs, licenses, entrance exams, etc.

    Some good inputs. Thank you all!

    My take aways:
    - Check job listings.
    - Reevaluate 1-2 years.

    Mooseboot's breakdown is good:
    - Does this benefit my current role?
    - Does this benefit my desired role?
    - (I fee role should also be in demand/need. Otherwise, why put time/money pursuing?)
    - Does this personally interest me?

    Prioritize from there.
    For me:
    - 1 & 2 = Yes. Prioritize personal funding
    - For any, see if employer can pay.
  • PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So I searched a job board.
    Filter:
    - My local area
    - Past month

    Tried keywords:
    MCSA or MCSE = 40-70 listings (systems engineer; network engineer, etc.)
    DevOps = 150-200+ listings
    Windows 10 = all kinds of roles


    What should I be searching for on the job board(s)?
    - Certs themselves?
    - Job title? .. and see what certs are required?

    I'm a bit dismayed seeing the results for mcsa or mcse, for the past month.
    I'm in a tech hotbed, and I'd thought there'd be more (but that might also be why).
  • PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    To make myself feel better, I did another search.

    Keyword:
    Cobol = 3 listings

    Posting with respect my Cobol peeps (I realize you likely make a **** load of $)
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am not job hunting currently but I have a daily job listing search emailed to my phone every day.

    I skim the ads to see what is available and what is requested. It is good to see what type of options are available. Then if I need to pursue one I will have a good idea of what I need to get there. I personally work on some of the common certs to keep me relevant in my position and allow me some flexibility in case I make the move to an IT position in the future.

    I don't worry about the time and money I invest because I know it has always paid off for me in the past. I feel if a person is studying something that is reasonable relevant to their career the knowledge gained from certification will benefit them in the long run.

    Good Luck!
    Jon
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Yep, we all should be keeping our eyes open for new opportunities and the current in demand skills and technologies.
  • mzx380mzx380 ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM New YorkMember Posts: 453 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Glad the OP said not help instead of hurt. Certifications will NEVER hurt your career, especially wehnyou keep the mindset of always improving!
    Certifications: ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • SaSkillerSaSkiller OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH Member Posts: 337 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my experience there are issues with certs when trying to transition to certain security fields. When I was looking at getting into Reverse Engineering, it seemed like certs were not really a concern, experience mattered a lot more. Similar thing for pentesting. I had a series of certs that didn't get me anywhere, and when I did manage to get somewhere it was more about experience than anything else.
    OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH, CPT, CCENT, CompTIA Trio.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    SaSkiller wrote: »
    In my experience there are issues with certs when trying to transition to certain security fields.
    Yup - well said. There are definitely roles in technology where certs matter less. There are also companies and managers that don't care as much about certs as well. It doesn't mean that certs are useless or unnecessary.

    How someone's tech career progresses with the use of certs is probably difficult to measure. There's always going to be successful careers with and without certs.

    Personally, I do study for certs that don't have anything to do with my own career. And I don't always take the exams. Part of it is curiosity, and part of it is to see if there's knowledge that I can apply. Usually, the material has some tangential benefit, if all it does is to let me be able to have a conversation with another technologist that works in that particular area.
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 801 ■■■■■■□□□□
    For me, it's two fold. One for my career and another for my personal goals. I've earned some certs as a personal goal. My Cisco ones were that way. Yes, they helped me, but I did that as I have been eyeing them since the 90's and finally went for it. For career - it's a long road. I have my A+. It's very much not applicable anymore in my career. It's way outdated and overshadowed by everything else. But, I have it. Many of my certs were stepping blocks to where I am now and are pretty much useless in my current position. I've move up and past those certs and job functions.

    Except my Windows Vista cert. That's my crown jewel. It's always relevant. :)
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