Certifications for life - good or bad?

bcairnsbcairns Member Posts: 280
Just curious as to what certifications listed in these forums are life long...and the value of each cert....not just in landing a job, but certs that also act as a stepping stone for bigger certs (like Security+ giving credit tward an MCE)

I do know the following (please correct me if I am wrong)...

CompTIA
All certs are life long - these certs tend to be the most popular just because most of them are about as entry level as you can get.

Microsoft
All Certifications are considered life long but only really valid as long as the technology is still sported.

Cisco
All certifications last about 3 to 4 years and then you must re-certify even if the technology has not changed.

CWNP
Wireless# is a lifetime certification. Because Wireless# is an entry-level certification, like A+ and Network+, no recertification is required. CWNA, CWSP, and CWAP certifications are valid for three years. CWNE, when it becomes available, is valid for life .

EC-Council
C|EH, CHFI,LTP, all seem to be life long for that exam, but the site does not seem to say if the exams are phased out in any way.

ISC2
SSCP and CISSP - to be blunt I have no idea.

Novell
CNA, CNE, CWNE, CLE, CDE, CNI, NAI - to be blunt I have no idea.

Linux Certifications
LPI, RHCE, and SAIR - to be blunt I have no idea.

As for each certifications value, I do realize that is all a matter of perspective and each certification has some value - but obviously some rank higher in the job market then others....for example an MCSE will land you a higher paying job faster then an A+

I personally plan on going down the Microsoft route because that is what currently pays the bills - after I get MCSE / MCPD / MCITP (I am the lead programmer and network admin for the company I work for) - I will switch over and start on Linux certifications.

But along the way I wanted to grab a few certifications that will stay on my resume for the rest of my life (such as A+ / Network+ / Security+ ....thinking about doing Server+ and possibly Project+)

One thing I have noticed is that generalized life long certifications such as CompTIA have a lower "market" value then very Vendor Specific certs such as Microsoft or RedHat.

Then I will choose what other certs that are not lifelong I want to maintain.

Just wondering what you all feel are the right certs to have on a resume and why.

Comments

  • Danman32Danman32 Member Posts: 1,243
    CNE is lifelong, but Novell sometimes has you take a continuing requirement to maintain certification.

    For example, I was CNE classic before they separated them into diferent versions. To maintain certification, I had to take a test on Netware 4.0.
    I also had to take an admin test on NW 5.0 and 6.0 to maintain CNE, but those also got me CNE 5 and CNE 6 respectively as well. I should have also qualified for CNE 4, but that required an extra test that I was too chicken to take at the time.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,673 Admin
    SSCP and CISSP are life-time as long as you continue to earn the requisite number of CEUs. If you don't, you'll need to retake the exams to renew your certification(s). It's certainly an incentive to stay current in the InfoSec industry.
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Member Posts: 323
    bcairns wrote:
    Cisco
    All certifications last about 3 to 4 years and then you must re-certify even if the technology has not changed.

    Cisco Specialist and Expert certifications are good for two years, Associate and Professional are good for three years. Every time I have had to renew, the technology has changed, and the exams changed to reflect this. You can also renew by taking an exam from one level higher than what you are certified. At the highest level (Expert), you don't have to retake the Lab exam (only written), and you can take any of the Expert written exams regardless of the track you passed. This is Cisco's way of encouraging to move forward.
  • bcairnsbcairns Member Posts: 280
    Good information everyone - thanks!
  • MunckMunck Member Posts: 150
    LPI certs are valid for life.

    Certs from ISECOM (OPSA & OPST) are also valid for life. They are, however, useless. But that's another story...
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Member Posts: 323
    Bicsi Certifications http://www.bicsi.org/Registration/index.aspx:

    Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD®)
    Continuing Education Requirements:
    RCDDs are required to continue their education in order to renew their RCDD registration. Within a three-year registration period (after the exam is passed), all RCDDs must obtain a minimum of 45 BICSI continuing education credits (CECs) of technical ITS training. The RCDD registration must be renewed every three years.

    RCDD/Network Transport Systems (NTS) Specialist
    Continuing Education Requirements:
    RCDD/NTS Specialists are required to continue their education in order to renew their credential every three years. Within the three-year period after passing the exam, all RCDD/NTS Specialists must obtain a minimum of 45 BICSI continuing education credits (CECs) of network-specific training.

    RCDD/Outside Plant (OSP) Specialist
    Continuing Education Requirements:
    RCDD/OSP Specialists are required to continue their education in order to renew their credential. Within the three-year renewal period (after passing the exam), all RCDD/OSP Specialists must attend a minimum of 24 hours of OSP-specific training.

    RCDD/Wireless Design (WD) Specialist
    Continuing Education Requirements:
    RCDD/WD Specialists are required to continue their education in order to renew their credential. Within the two-year registration period (after passing the exam) all RCDD/WD Specialists must attend a minimum of 30 hours of WD-specific training.

    Commercial ITS Installer 1; Installer 2; and ITS Technician
    Registration Renewal:
    BICSI Registered Installers, Level 2 and Technicians are required to obtain a minimum of 12 BICSI CECs, complete the OJT Booklet, and show proof of current installation activity within the two-year registration period after the exam is passed in order to renew registration.
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    I think its a good thing but they should be versioned.

    For example with MCSE NT/2000/2003. MCSE NT 4.0 should still be valid as NT is still out there, but it also differentiates between those and 2003 MCSE level people.

    No one should be forced to upgrade a cert if it covers what they currently work with.

    I don't think Cisco do it properly. You have to recertify CCNA every 3 years. Most of the basics will stay the same and there should be an upgrade to a new version of CCNA. So maybe version CCNA exams with years or something and employers can clearly see what level they are and if its sufficient. Right now an employer could hire someone who has a 3 year old CCNA while there could be someone who just got their CCNA who has done the latest exam. But maybe thats just me.
  • plettnerplettner Member Posts: 197
    Hi all,

    I think the A+ and Network+ should be time-limited as they are quite general in terms of technology. I got my A+ in 2001 and now they have a new exma which I plan on taking. The technology has moved somewhat since 2001 (i.e. dual-core processors, USB 2.0, PCI-Express, etc.). I think it adds worth to the certification to be required to update on these certificates.
  • bcairnsbcairns Member Posts: 280
    plettner wrote:
    Hi all,

    I think the A+ and Network+ should be time-limited as they are quite general in terms of technology. I got my A+ in 2001 and now they have a new exma which I plan on taking. The technology has moved somewhat since 2001 (i.e. dual-core processors, USB 2.0, PCI-Express, etc.). I think it adds worth to the certification to be required to update on these certificates.


    I would have to disagree with that...the only real differece between the average computer sitting in best buy now and 10 years ago is the speed and the buzz words a (remember when MMX was a big selling point - or your first computer that had a math co-processor so you could play Quake 1 - I used to love to torment the sales people asking questions about RAM and watching them fumble for an answer).

    The basic computer has changed very little - the numbers have gotten bigger, the hardware has gotten faster, the buzz words have changed...but all PCs still follow those same basic concepts.

    Network+ you would have a better time making that argument, but then again everything is moving to wireless and I would bet CompTIA is going to publish a Wireless+ certification to compete (or compliment) with Wireless# and CWNA.

    That being said, I think that CompTIA knows if people had to recert A+ and N+ every 5 years...there would not be many people that have this longer then their first 5 years...lts face it, the certs just do not hold that much market value compaired to the bigger certs...and I think most people use the CompTIA certs as a stepping stone tward the bigger certs.
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Member Posts: 323
    bcairns wrote:
    That being said, I think that CompTIA knows if people had to recert A+ and N+ every 5 years...there would not be many people that have this longer then their first 5 years...lts face it, the certs just do not hold that much market value compaired to the bigger certs...and I think most people use the CompTIA certs as a stepping stone tward the bigger certs.

    I think the CompTIA certifications would have more value if you had to recertify. If fewer people recertified, there would be many more not certified today. Market economics are supply and demand; less supply, or more demand, means they are worth more.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,673 Admin
    bcairns wrote:
    Network+ you would have a better time making that argument, but then again everything is moving to wireless and I would bet CompTIA is going to publish a Wireless+ certification to compete (or compliment) with Wireless# and CWNA.
    I'm curious to know why CompTIA didn't come out with with a Wireless+ certification before their RFID+ cert. I expected them to have an exam very similar to the Wireless# by now. The reasons for releasing any cert exam are primarily marketing ones, and maybe CompTIA doesn't want to directly compete with the CWNP. We may therefore never see a Wireless+ cert from CompTIA.
  • bcairnsbcairns Member Posts: 280
    BubbaJ wrote:
    bcairns wrote:
    That being said, I think that CompTIA knows if people had to recert A+ and N+ every 5 years...there would not be many people that have this longer then their first 5 years...lts face it, the certs just do not hold that much market value compaired to the bigger certs...and I think most people use the CompTIA certs as a stepping stone tward the bigger certs.

    I think the CompTIA certifications would have more value if you had to recertify. If fewer people recertified, there would be many more not certified today. Market economics are supply and demand; less supply, or more demand, means they are worth more.

    Good point about supply and demand, but as an entry level cert, people with higer certifications would not recert ...if I am an MCSE why bother with A+ (especially if I have a job)...the market value may go up, but then it will level off and the cert will become an unknown oddity on a few resumes in the back of bestbuy.

    As for the CompTIA and Wireless...I actually hope they do come out with Wireless+ it should be obvious to CompTIA that Wireless networks are here to stay lol
  • plettnerplettner Member Posts: 197
    .if I am an MCSE why bother with A+ (especially if I have a job)

    Yes, that's a good point. But I could also see people who work screwing computers together say at a local computer shop being required by the employer to keep their skills current. Those employees may not need an MCSE to throw a computer together (and please don't think I'm patronising PC assemblers - I was one also!). Maybe CompTIA could offer a new certification alternative - PCAssembler+ icon_lol.gif

    At the end of it, if CompTIA turned around and said to me, "right mate - it's time to re-certify", I'd have no problems doing so.
  • bcairnsbcairns Member Posts: 280
    I am not sure if I would or would not do it.
    I love the fact the the certs are good for life...and I understand why people would want to have them expire.

    But I just can not say with a strait face that I would recert them if I had higher level certs.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    I still am at a loss why it bothers people if A+ expires or it doesn't. There are way too many discussion (IMNSHO) regarding the need to take each new exam as it is released or being satisfied with the certification that is 10 years old (and good for 'life').

    Take the exam and pay your money if you are really that concerned about it. Just quit trying to force people who have taken it and likely smoke your butt troubleshooting a hardware problem.

    As it was already mentioned, generally most people begin their cert path with an A+ then maybe dabble with the NET+ and they never look back as they work their way through the MS and Cisco certs.

    I've worked with people who have so much knowledge and experience they refuse to take any exam as it won't improve their position nor will it make them better at what they are already VERY good at doing.

    Certs can be very helpful for getting a 'no-named' person an interview. Having some certs can help your employer sort of know what you should know. There is just too much that comes down to personality as well as actual working knowledge that if you are good and you have good people skills, you will get in for that interview and you will sell yourself and your ability without a piece of paper....certainly having an A+ or not having an A+ isn't going to be the deal breaker....particulalry at the 2nd or 3rd levels.

    An A+ is like a black belt (in karate), it's just the beginning and shows you 'get' the basics....the real study because after black belt as does ones growth in IT really happens after that first feel good cert is earned.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • TeKniquesTeKniques OSCE, OSCP, CISSP, CISA, SSCP, MCSE (03), Security+, Network+, A+, Project+ Member Posts: 1,262 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I agree with Plantwiz. When you're climbing up the cert ladder, everything you have already taken can be inferior to a point. I don't think this is the case with the advanced certifications that require renewal. If you have taken the cert already and the vendor does not require renewal then why bother to retake the exam at a later date?
  • Lee HLee H Member Posts: 1,135
    bcairns wrote:

    Just wondering what you all feel are the right certs to have on a resume and why.

    i personaly dont have a ideal job scenario in mind so am just gonna plod on doing MCSA then MCSE and i wont stop there, by the time i have done these i might wanna try CISCO or LINUX, you either have a particular job in mind and get certified to do it or you get certified and then do whatever job comes along. Only time will tell if its what you really wanna do

    Lee H
    .
  • bcairnsbcairns Member Posts: 280
    One thing that drives me nuts is how fast some vendors come out with products.

    For example, microsoft is just now comming out with the tests for .net 2.0 but already talking about the development of 3.0
  • Danman32Danman32 Member Posts: 1,243
    Unfortunately technology is geometrically progressive. Technology products are often obsolete by the time the average person buys it.

    I did read though that MS is trying to provide interim OS replacements about every 3 years and major upgrades every 6 years so that those purchasing upgrade protection will feel they are getting their money's worth.

    Let's face it, how many of us feel W2K is passe? NT is mideval. Windows 3.1 is ancient and DOS is pre-historic.
  • draineydrainey Member Posts: 261
    Personally I think the value of the entry level certs lies in their "life long" rating. If you are looking to break into the field then an enrty level cert will help, and if you stay at the entry level then that's all you need. And if you stay at the entry level most likely you will be staying with the company you got hired by. Therefore they already know whether or not you are knowledgable on the current technology.

    Otherwise you will start to rise to higher levels and if needed or desired you will start to gain higher level certs. To paraphrase what many have said this decreases the value of entry level certs after all if you are a CCNA then you should know everything need to pass the NET+ (even the current version) as CCNA requires you to recertify thus proving you are up on current technolgy.

    Therefore to me the value in the entry level cert is showing that you have paid your dues to get where you are at and wouldn't be worth renewing as I'd have higher level certs to put on a resume.
    The irony truly is strange that you're the only one you can change. -- Anthony Gomes
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    I think there's something to be said for the vaule of entry-level lifelong certifications. CompTIA's general idea seems to be to certify people in the "broad idea" of a concept. Sure, the A+ talks about specific processors, for example, but have things really changed all that much? Processors have gotten faster, hard drives have a larger capacity, memory is both faster and bigger, and motherboards are spiffier. I guess the point is, if you took your A+ in, say, 1999, and you're just now getting back into the world of computer hardware and software, you should be able to spend a weekend brushing up, and be back up to speed on what processors and what RAM is out there in today's market. (That is, if you spent as much time earning the certification, as you're supposed to.)

    The same goes for Net+, Linux+, and even Security+. CompTIA does test on specifics, yes. However, it's the broad concepts we're supposed to be taking away from those certs. There will always be newer and better switches. There will always be newer versions of Linux distributions, and there will always be new issues to look at in security. A company like CompTIA doesn't expect you to be an expert in a specific technology or generation of technologies, they expect you to get your hands dirty with the concepts, and hit the ground running.

    I suppose this does bleed over into other certs, like Microsoft and Cisco. I'm sure that the intention of getting MCSE certified is to be able to work on Microsoft servers, and hopefully be able to keep up with changes, service packs, and even new operating systems, as they come out. Things change faster in the vendor-specific world, and you can't expect an MCSE on NT 4.0 to be able to just walk into a Server 2003 environment and get to work, if he/she hasn't touched a network since 1998. However, it's not out of that MCSE's reach to study and upgrade their knowledge, without having to do the whole path over again, like it would be for someone coming fresh off of no certification and no experience at all.

    I guess what I'm getting at here, is this. Certifications aren't supposed to be the be-all and end-all of your knowledge. Everything from A+, MCSE, all the way up to the almighty CCIE are supposed to simply be a test of your knowledge. It's assumed that these are your starting points, that you'll continue working and moving along in the IT world and learn more and more. Some companies, like Cisco, don't rely on the honor system to make sure their people are current, so they make us recertify. Some, like Microsoft, simply push out newer and newer technologies, and the old certs are left behind. And, as I stated, CompTIA doesn't expect to make a world full of experts in specific fields, they simply want to get our hands dirty, and push us along to get those entry-level jobs where we can get more of that "experience" stuff.

    Are lifetime certs a good thing or a bad thing? I suppose that's really up to the person who gets them. If you rest on your laurels, if you fall out of date with the IT world, they're a bad thing. If you continue working, continue learning, they serve their purpose in getting your foot in the door to do greater things.

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