Current state of IT certifications

rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
No matter who you talk to, many have mixed feelings on certification. Mind you, I do not possess any certifications but do own a BS in Information Systems Technology and Computer Science.

I guess when things were exploding in the 90's certs were a novel thing but today many things have changed. In theory they are great for showing competence in particular vendor technologies.

I can side with most of the points made in this article:

http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1180991

Now don't get me wrong, I have been contemplating an MCSE, RHCE or LPI. Then again, I want a masters as well.

Please post your thoughts, and why you got certified. Seems some people who want to change careers go this route.
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Comments

  • ULWizULWiz Posts: 722Member
    This is the part i found funny.Sounds like the guy expected technology not to change and was just disguested because he had to take exams to stay current.
    Here’s a good example from my experience. In 1995–1996, I earned the Microsoft MCSE for NT 3.51 through a lot of hard work. Not six months later, however, Microsoft changed the MCSE requirements for the MCSE in NT 4.0. The seven exams I took for 3.51 no longer had legs. I had to take six or seven more. So I did.

    Well, guess what happened in 1999–2000? Windows 2000 came out, along with a whole new series of exams—which almost killed me. Now in less than 4 years I had taken close to 21 exams to earn 3 Microsoft certifications that I needed to teach the most up-to-date Microsoft classes. Several years later, Windows 2003 came out with two more upgrade exams, which so far I have not taken/passed because of disgust with the process. I will probably have to take them before long because the Longhorn roadmap "encourages" MCSEs to be at least 2003 to avoid taking all exams again.
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  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ditto, but you can't blame him for being upset => 21 exams, 4 years

    It's repeating now Vista, Windows 7, and the next gen by 2011 (only 64bit - hopefully this is the next XP that stays around for awhile)
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    I started to make a point-by-point response, but there's just too many holes in his arguments. He has a few valid points, but overall, it's very weak.
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    yeah well, IT is not for someone who doesn't want to learn new things. It's the nature of the industry - it's dynamic and so you have to change along with it to keep current.
    Certification no longer guarantees that you will be able to find that kind of job in IT.
    He totally misses the point - NOTHING guarantees you will find a job in ANY sector...especially in this economy!
    There is still tension in the market over the value/need for a degree versus the need for a certification versus the need for experience. The battle rages on with absolutely no resolution.
    Sigh. He's creating a crazy 'battle' where there is none. This is not rocket science:
    degree = good
    certs = good
    experience = good
    degree + certs = really good
    degree + experience = really good
    experience + certs = really good
    degree + experience + certs = GREAT!!

    I can't see an employer not hiring someone just because they happen to have certs. And I think this guy misses the point about job ads having pie-in-the-sky descriptions of employee qualifications...most of those lists of qual's are meant to signify a "dream" employee, someone that they would lurve to have but not necessarily someone that they expect to get.

    I dunno, seems like this guy is just making up controversy & issues where there are none. If you're in IT, expect to have to keep updating your skills and expect to have a lot of competition in the job market. Case closed.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    The point is, a lot of companies need to overhaul their certification programs. Only Cisco has made efforts by incorporating hands on labs.

    I wanted do some but my last employer didn't want to pay for them. Since I just got a new job, I'm interested now and curious how fast I could punch out an MCSE.

    Mark Russinovich should come up with a cert called Advanced Windows Troubleshooting using his excellent tools. I start getting into crash **** analysis as well.

    Mark Russinovich is awesome but it took Microsoft 10 years to figure that out and then buy him.
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    rubberToe wrote:
    The point is, a lot of companies need to overhaul there certification programs. Only Cisco has made efforts by incorporating hands on labs.

    I've always had mixed feelings about the value of certs. I want do some but my last employer didn't want to pay for them. Since I just got a new job, I'm interested now and curious how fast I could punch out an MCSE.
    Are hands on labs great for really certifying someone's skills to perform rather than their skills to memorize stuff? Sure! But are they harder to implement/manage/oversee/grade and will they dive up the cost of certifications even further? You betchya. Then people will complain about certs being too expensive, and so the cycle of complaints continues...

    Certs that are legitimately obtained are valuable. Same with degrees - people seem to forget that students **** too, getting copies of exams/answers or getting other people to take their exams/do their homework, etc. You get out what you put in. Such is the story of life.

    Here's the general advice I offer to people: If you don't want to do certs, then don't. If you don't want to get a degree, then don't. No one can make anyone follow either of those paths, but if you do both then you'll have a better shot at a job (& raises & advancement) than someone who has just one or neither. At a very minimum, certs show drive and interest and at least a certain level of proficiency in the subject matter, and a degree shows longer term dedication and a broad base level of knowledge. If you have both, then it's a killer combo...
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    You need a mix of hands-on along with theory. Knowing how to perform a task without knowing why you should do things that way is worthless, and vice versa. Cisco only offers hands-on lab at the highest level, as does Red Hat. If you've been paying attention recently, you'd know Microsoft is planning on incorporating a lot of hands-on work into their certifications as well. Some members here have even participated in the beta programs. This guy seems to be bent out of shape because he isn't treated like god like when he had his NT 3.51 certifications.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here's my point of view on certifications. I believe they are beneficial at the various aspects of seeking out employment. During the first phase after you submit your resume, they can get you past the gatekeepers (HR) and into the hands of the more technical people in the organization such as your potential manager. From here, don't suspect that your certification will prove to your potential manager that you know your stuff. In my mind, my ability to achieve a certification only shows my prospective employers that I have the drive and ability to learn. This is why most of us here will agree that certifications + experience + education is the key to success - one could further summarize this as hard work, obtaining certifications works in your favor because it shows that you care enough to exert yourself to work towards advancing your career.

    One of my co-workers is a great example of a person who isn't too fond of certifications from what I can tell. They have been in their current position as working at a helpdesk for going on 9 years. The only certification they hold is a Network+ because the employer made everybody obtain it. As hours were recently reduced, he had attempted to look for another job and was turned down by several places. I on the other hand have been employed there , brought on as a helpdesk person, not even 2 years ago. I have shown interest in expanding my knowledge and have delved into projects that I suggested, designed, and implemented such as a network monitoring system, deployed a new problem tracking system, designed network security appliances through open source software and many other things. I am now able to go to other possible employers and show I have forward motion in my career, that I have the ability and desire to learn and my certifications will add to that as well. He on the other hand more or less sat back and rolled with the punches, doing what was asked of him when asked of him. He always talks about how he's so upset he is just a helpdesk person but has shown no real effort to immerse himself in anything else to work his way up and 9 years later he's of course having a hard time finding employment elsewhere because who wants to hire on somebody who's done helpdesk for 9 years and nothing beyond that?

    I guess my main point behind my rambling is that certifications are just a tool that you can use not necessarily to be a 100% guarantee of your knowledge of a topic (because it's not) but a tool to prove to employers you have motivation and the ability to learn.
  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have shown interest in expanding my knowledge and have delved into projects that I suggested, designed, and implemented such as a network monitoring system, deployed a new problem tracking system, designed network security appliances through open source software and many other things.

    That right there would get you a job over someone who had say A+ or Net+ or MCP based on my experience, I didn't come across many jobs asking for certs. Something like 5-10% may have specified or mentioned it as a plus, in Chicago that is.
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    rubberToe wrote:
    I have shown interest in expanding my knowledge and have delved into projects that I suggested, designed, and implemented such as a network monitoring system, deployed a new problem tracking system, designed network security appliances through open source software and many other things.

    That right there would get you a job over someone who had say A+ or Net+ or MCP based on my experience, I didn't come across many jobs asking for certs. Something like 5-10% may have specified or mentioned it as a plus, in Chicago that is.
    Really? I'm finding that more than 5-10% of entry to mid level job ads in the Chicago area are either requiring certs or saying that they would be a "big plus." Most of them are requiring a degree however, even entry level help desk stuff. What level of jobs are you looking at? There's lots of opportunity for temp/contract work in the areas way downtown & NW & W of the city. I'm in the northern end of Chicago, and I'm just not desperate enough for cash (yet) to want to sit in horrible traffic for 2+ hours a day.

    I don't think that it has to be an either-or situation with certs / experience / degree. It's pretty simple I think - if you were given the task of hiring someone and their experience & degree & all other things were equal, would you hire the one that had certs or the one that had none? I'd most likely choose the one that had certs on top of all the other stuff...

    But one more thing that's not being taken into consideration here is attitude & personality. If you've got all the talent in the world & every cert under the sun, but you're a beast of a person, then you're probably not going to get too far in life. Those who do hiring realize that they not only have to find someone talented, but also someone that they will have to spend 40+ hours a week with. If you have the attitude of "I certified once and I am now IT god" then that poor attitude probably translates into other areas.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • Met44Met44 Posts: 194Member
    Please post your thoughts, and why you got certified.

    It's fun.

    Regarding the worth of certifications... not all employers may look for them on a resume, but the worst you will get is a neutral reaction.
    He's creating a crazy 'battle' where there is none. This is not rocket science:
    degree = good
    certs = good
    experience = good
    degree + certs = really good
    degree + experience = really good
    experience + certs = really good
    degree + experience + certs = GREAT!!

    Agreed. People really get hung up over this topic.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    First off, I've seen Warren Wyrostek whining about certifications before, I'm done ranting about him and his lack of ambition.

    Second, my thoughts on certifications. . . well, I can sum them up like this. I want to be certified because I see certs as a nice little benchmark of knowledge in one area or another. No cert (no matter what it's called, even 'expert',) gives you all the knowledge you'll ever need to work. What certs do give you is a well-rounded skillset to help you along, the experience you gain as you work fills in the blanks of how one vendor works with another, how things break in the 'real world', etc. I also like to have some clout in the industry, and that's kind of important as I try to make money, have a good career, and all that stuff. I'm also in school in addition to doing certs and pursuing other avenues of learning.
    skrpune wrote:
    yeah well, IT is not for someone who doesn't want to learn new things. It's the nature of the industry - it's dynamic and so you have to change along with it to keep current.
    Absolutely. There's a choice in IT, as there is in any career: do what's necessary to do your job, or find a new one.
    skrpune wrote:
    Certification no longer guarantees that you will be able to find that kind of job in IT.
    He totally misses the point - NOTHING guarantees you will find a job in ANY sector...especially in this economy!
    I couldn't agree more. All certs, degrees, and experience do is give you a better chance, there are no guarantees.
    skrpune wrote:
    There is still tension in the market over the value/need for a degree versus the need for a certification versus the need for experience. The battle rages on with absolutely no resolution.
    Sigh. He's creating a crazy 'battle' where there is none. This is not rocket science:
    degree = good
    certs = good
    experience = good
    degree + certs = really good
    degree + experience = really good
    experience + certs = really good
    degree + experience + certs = GREAT!!
    Once again, I agree. There doesn't need to be a battle. You don't like certs? Go and gain the kind of experience that you can bring to a new job, have proof-of-concepts and projects you've finished that you can show off instead of a cert. And, of course, being certified implies you have a certain level of experience and knowledge with the product you've tested on, even if it's just in a lab. This article assumes that all certified individuals are paper tigers.

    (And dammit, there I go ranting again. icon_lol.gif )

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  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    skrpune wrote:
    degree = good
    certs = good
    experience = good
    degree + certs = really good
    degree + experience = really good
    experience + certs = really good
    degree + experience + certs = GREAT!!

    Close.
    JDMurray wrote:
    ( Experience + Certs + Education + Who you know) * Luck = really good career opportunity

    It really got out of hand in this thread though icon_lol.gif
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Posts: 2,073Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    his broad unsupported statements often leave the reader Comparing A+ to CCIE.

    But just to prove him right, I think I'll download a few brain **** tonight and snag my CCIE and RHCE this weekend. Who's with me? Maybe snag the Microsoft certified master while we're at it?
    -Daniel
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    dynamik wrote:
    skrpune wrote:
    degree = good
    certs = good
    experience = good
    degree + certs = really good
    degree + experience = really good
    experience + certs = really good
    degree + experience + certs = GREAT!!

    Close.
    JDMurray wrote:
    ( Experience + Certs + Education + Who you know) * Luck = really good career opportunity
    Well said.

    (so do I get partial credit for getting part of the equation right? ;) )
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • pwjohnstonpwjohnston Posts: 441Member
    When I went to school the only degree offered was a BS in Computer Science at university of Kansas. Not really what I was looking for. I completed my Associates in IT at a local community college. It seemed more relevant. There was one programming class and all the other classes were geared toward OS's and networking. Most of my classes were directly out of the MCSE W2k books, plus Solaris 8, Novell 4 (or 5 I can't remember), Cisco, LAN Cabling, Basic hardware and electrics, etc.

    I graduated in 2002 and should have finished my BA through a remote program they had there with another 4 year Uni. But I really wasn't interested in finishing because I "KNEW" I was going to either be a successful dj or musician. HAHA! So I didn't mess with certs. That was fine in Kansas City, but I moved out to Philly, the dj thing didn't work out I did a lot of cool ****, but it wasn't going to pay the bills.

    Practically every job interview I've been on since 2006 the first words out of their mouth are, "Do you have your A+, MCSE, and CCNA?"

    At the end of 2007 I started working on all the certs I should have done years ago. A+, Network+, MCP, MCSA 2003, two more tests and I will have my MCSE 2003. Then I will take the CCNA, probably Security+, and one of the Linux+ or LPI tests. Then I don't know.

    I have been contemplating going back and finishing my degree, I have about 100 credits if any of them are still good. I defiantly, at least in Philly, see the tide turning from the jobs with people wanting people with Bachelors, (Masters Prefered).

    I have mixed feelings on this since the degrees usually fall into one of three categories;

    The first and most popular is the renamed Computer Science degree.They rename it to BS in IT or a few other names, but it's the same old BS in CS. They replaced most of the math with DBA and SOME OS internetworking courses. As I have said before, I have no idea when a Windows Admin is going to need 4 levels of Java, .Net, Pearl, Ajax, C++, whatever.

    Second is the Business Admin of Computers Systems or the business idiots degree. mostly for people who don't want to really learn networking or programming, but want to be in charge and pretend like they're true designers. I thought about looking into wone of these, just to get it out of the way, but business and management is boring.

    Lastly is the real IT networking degree. Windows OS, Unix/Linux, Cisco, Security, Mail, Infrastructure, Virtulization, etc are the emphasis. Not some BS classes on discrete math and nonlinear algebra, but real things I can use. They value programming, dba's, and project management, but they know where the real value in the degree lies. I would prefer to get this style.

    Really what everyone I talk to wants is 5 years experience in whatever job you are applying for, a Bachelors, and the Certs. I predict that in the next 5 years it's going to be really difficult to get a Mid to Senior level job without a Bachelors and probably 10 years to the Jr to Mid level. Unless you already work for the company and work your way up from helpdesk.

    The only saving grace is that in 5 or 10 years there's going to be this huge vacuum of old babyboomers retiring which is going to leave a big void in the IT world. At which point us younger guys will pick up the slack or they will loosen the H1B program.
  • LizanoLizano Posts: 230Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would not be complaining about 21 exams in 4 years, I believe that only gives more value to the certification, which ultimately benefits the certification holder...

    If you were in College you'd probaly be taking more than 21 exams in 4 years...

    Just MHO...
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Lizano wrote:
    I would not be complaining about 21 exams in 4 years, I believe that only gives more value to the certification, which ultimately benefits the certification holder...

    If you were in College you'd probaly be taking more than 21 exams in 4 years...

    Just MHO...

    I agree here. The more rigorous the qualifications for a certification the higher it will be looked upon by an employer. I wish all exams could be a hands on lab but I think its just not feasible for the companies.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • pwjohnstonpwjohnston Posts: 441Member
    Lizano wrote:
    I would not be complaining about 21 exams in 4 years, I believe that only gives more value to the certification, which ultimately benefits the certification holder...

    If you were in College you'd probaly be taking more than 21 exams in 4 years...

    Just MHO...

    When I was in school you had a minimum of 2 important exams in every class which usually made up a majority of your grade, midterms and finals. Multiply that by 5 classes a semester 2 semesters a year, not counting summer classes and you're already looking at 20 exams a year.
  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think you fail to realize that the guy probably works a full time job and might have a family.

    Certifications do not compare to an education. I don't know of anyone who would forgo an education to spend that amount of time doing certifications. Unless your only ambition is to be the help desk workhorse or never will change jobs or move into upper level.

    Certs are only a piece of the pie.

    Most people went on the defensive, I was just looking to get an open discussion going on what people thought about the current state of things. The topic wasn't meant to criticize the author of the article but to open a discussion.

    For example,

    When certifications were novel, the people who possessed received huge recognition. Nowadays they are rather common and as so wouldn't really set many apart from others. You would think slightly beyond entry level that certification would be common practice and yet it is not. Some employers like them, others are indifferent.

    Why do you think this is? Or am I totally wrong.

    I just spent quite a bit of time job hunting and interviewing. Other than a handful of positions, the majority of them [entry level] looked for an accredited degree 0-x experience for the most part. Although, quite a few jobs from the headhunters required certifications but I wanted permanent not contract or temp work.

    Personally, I believe if companies want certification cool, pay the money for the materials and the test. I'll go knock it out.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    rubberToe wrote:
    I think you fail to realize that the guy probably works a full time job and might have a family.

    Lots of people here do. If IT is too much for him to keep up with, he should look for something else. The more successful people here are in IT because they enjoy learning, so it really isn't the burden he makes it out to be. I'd rather lab some Cisco stuff or play with my VMs than watch American Idol or Survivor.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Certifications do not compare to an education. I don't know of anyone who would forgo an education to spend that amount of time doing certifications. Unless your only ambition is to be the help desk workhorse or never will change jobs or move into upper level.

    Certs are only a piece of the pie.

    Again, you're thinking solely in terms of time and money. If you're not in IT because you enjoy it, it's going to seem like a waste of time. If you just want the most money for the least effort, you should look elsewhere.

    While I don't think certs equal a formal education, I don't know if I wouldn't consider them at least somewhat comparable. There are some people here who have done very well for themselves without a degree. However, you're completely wrong when it comes to your help-desk workhouse/no growth notion. There is plenty of room to grow.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Most people went on the defensive, I was just looking to get an open discussion going on what people thought about the current state of things. The topic wasn't meant to criticize the author of the article but to open a discussion.

    Most people saw it for being absurd. Maybe if I was treated like a king for having an MCSE a decade ago, I'd be a little bitter too. Everything he wrote about seems like common sense/common knowledge to me. I definitely disagree with some of the stuff he wrote, but I guess more than anything, I was just surprised how flustered he became by stating the obvious. Seriously, how could certs NOT be vendor-centric? Let's have all the vendors come together and make one OS cert and one network cert. They each require a decade of experience and about 10,000 pages read. They'll be really valuable though!
    rubberToe wrote:
    For example,

    When certifications were novel, the people who possessed received huge recognition. Nowadays they are rather common and as so wouldn't really set many apart from others. You would think slightly beyond entry level that certification would be common practice and yet it is not. Some employers like them, others are indifferent.

    Why do you think this is? Or am I totally wrong.

    What certifications are you referring to?
    rubberToe wrote:
    I just spent quite a bit of time job hunting and interviewing. Other than a handful of positions, the majority of them [entry level] looked for an accredited degree 0-x experience for the most part. Although, quite a few jobs from the headhunters required certifications but I wanted permanent not contract or temp work.

    What certifications do you have? What type of jobs are you looking at?
    rubberToe wrote:
    Personally, I believe if companies want certification cool, pay the money for the materials and the test. I'll go knock it out.

    Mine doesn't even want them, but they pay for mine, along with training materials because they realize that it makes me more capable. The good companies will.
  • CCIEWANNABECCIEWANNABE Posts: 465Banned
    skrpune wrote:
    dynamik wrote:
    skrpune wrote:
    degree = good
    certs = good
    experience = good
    degree + certs = really good
    degree + experience = really good
    experience + certs = really good
    degree + experience + certs = GREAT!!

    Close.
    JDMurray wrote:
    ( Experience + Certs + Education + Who you know) * Luck = really good career opportunity
    Well said.

    (so do I get partial credit for getting part of the equation right? ;) )


    close, but i'll take JDMurray's equation one step further to the ultimate setup:


    (degree + experience + certs + who you know + TOP SECRET CLEARANCE) * Luck = Ultimate career opportunity, i.e. No one can touch you icon_cool.gif
  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    Whoa buddy, take it easy. I will elaborate further. I also agree to disagree because we are butting heads here.
    Lots of people here do. If IT is too much for him to keep up with, he should look for something else. The more successful people here are in IT because they enjoy learning, so it really isn't the burden he makes it out to be. I'd rather lab some Cisco stuff or play with my VMs than watch American Idol or Survivor.

    To upgrade is simple now, 1-3 tests or so and not all 7. I suppose you wouldn't mind re-certifying yourself every year then. Fact of the matter is Microsoft didn't have it together then. I can see learning the changes from platform to platform but essentially not too much changes in the scope of infrastructure.

    I enjoy learning too, but there is no certification for crash **** analysis, advanced windows troubleshooting, knowledge of the internals of windows to facilitate troubleshooting, there is only Mark Russinovich and his tools.

    What about data recovery, no certification but there is Scott A. Moulton. Not something a corporation would care about as a skill, due to backup solutions, disaster recovery plans, fault tolerance, replication, clustering. Many of my friends thank me for saving them hundreds of dollars though by getting back their data.

    You know on average you post 10 times daily since joining...

    Let's be real here though, no wants to be taking 10 exams a year to keep current unless they have no desire to do anything else.
    Again, you're thinking solely in terms of time and money. If you're not in IT because you enjoy it, it's going to seem like a waste of time. If you just want the most money for the least effort, you should look elsewhere.

    Not my point at all. I probably would be saying the same thing if my parents didn't convinced me to go. Maybe you are lucky and have a natural affinity to the areas of economics, philosophy, logic, etc that go beyond the grasps or cares of most people. The opportunity opened my mind to many things, experiences, and people that I would have never encountered.

    Besides if you haven't noticed, the general direction of the industry is pushing for a minimum of a bachelors in most instances.

    An education provides a solid foundation in theory, rather than the technologies that support it.
    There are some people here who have done very well for themselves without a degree. However, you're completely wrong when it comes to your help-desk workhouse/no growth notion. There is plenty of room to grow.

    You're are right to a point, but why make it harder and less beneficial. Most positions state in lieu of a degree it usually is equal years experience or more.

    Lets just say I'm an advocate for education. I had the same mentality when my sociology professor explained it to me my freshman year.
    Seriously, how could certs NOT be vendor-centric?

    I agree.
    What certifications are you referring to?

    Read articles saying CCNA, during the dot com boom, garnered 50K.

    Dot com era --People made stupid business decisions over the hype and venture capitalists were throwing money to everyone no matter how bad their initial business plans were there was no way to sustain the growth anyways.
    What certifications do you have? What type of jobs are you looking at?

    None. Desktop support / help desk. We all have to start at the same level unless you have an MBA or are a programmer.

    Just recently I accepted a Systems Support Specialist position. Desktop / Administration / phone switching, eventually do database work and get my hands on the backend BSD and Debian stuff.

    While looking for my first job, anything programming or IT. In fact I did make it through the 6 month process with Walgreens corporate to design, develop, support a project for the logistics department called "Pedigree." It needed to track pharmaceuticals from the moment they entered the supply chain until it reached the retail outlets and ultimately the customers hands to prevent the circulation of bogus drugs from foreign markets unregulated by the FDC. The law was first passed in California.

    Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPPA. Maybe I am more interested in Systems Analysis or Project Management. Have to put some years in as support and eventually get my MBA.
    The good companies will.

    True. I used to work for a terrible small to medium business consulting firm that was implementing infrastructure like a child's bike with training wheels and providing questionable support. [Think Best Buy]

    Told the owner about the Walgreens when offered the job and was told a bunch of BS to get me to accept. The commute to Walgreens was almost infeasible so I opted for that job and ended up working with a bunch of donkeys.

    After leaving there, I now work on Michigan Ave downtown Chicago with plenty of opportunity, great benefits, and tuition assistance.
  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    TOP SECRET CLEARANCE

    Thought about joining the army for a security clearance in 25B I believe it was.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    rubberToe wrote:
    Whoa buddy, take it easy. I will elaborate further. I also agree to disagree because we are butting heads here.

    Not sure why you think I'm not taking it easy... icon_scratch.gif
    rubberToe wrote:
    To upgrade is simple now, 1-3 tests or so and not all 7. I suppose you wouldn't mind re-certifying yourself every year then. Fact of the matter is Microsoft didn't have it together then.

    So how are those points relevant now? The typically re-certification time-frame is three years. I don't see that as unreasonable. It's actually been five for Windows Server this last round.
    rubberToe wrote:
    I enjoy learning too, but there is no certification for crash **** analysis, advanced windows troubleshooting, knowledge of the internals of windows to facilitate troubleshooting, there is only Mark Russinovich and his tools.

    Email MCP learning and tell them you want a Sysinternals cert. I'm game ;)

    Realistically, there's probably not enough of a demand for certifications dealing with extremely advanced, specific areas of knowledge to justify developing them.
    rubberToe wrote:
    What about data recovery, no certification but there is Scott A. Moulton. Not something a corporation would care about as a skill, due to backup solutions, disaster recovery plans, fault tolerance, replication, clustering. Many of my friends thank me for saving them hundreds of dollars though by getting back their data.

    There are backup and storage certs...
    rubberToe wrote:
    You know on average you post 10 times daily since joining...

    Meaning?
    rubberToe wrote:
    Let's be real here though, no wants to be taking 10 exams a year to keep current unless they have no desire to do anything else.

    What scenario are you imagining where you would be required to take ten exams per year to keep current?
    rubberToe wrote:
    Not my point at all. I probably would be saying the same thing if my parents didn't convinced me to go. Maybe you are lucky and have a natural affinity to the areas of economics, philosophy, logic, etc that go beyond the grasps or cares of most people. The opportunity opened my mind to many things, experiences, and people that I would have never encountered.

    Or maybe I have a college education ;)

    I'm actually two courses away from a BA in psychology of all things. I haven't put much time into it over the years because its really not going to do much for me.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Besides if you haven't noticed, the general direction of the industry is pushing for a minimum of a bachelors in most instances.

    It's possible to get around that with certifications, experience, positive/eager attitude, etc. Expectations are typically lower than what is advertised for a position.
    rubberToe wrote:
    An education provides a solid foundation in theory, rather than the technologies that support it.

    I agree.
    rubberToe wrote:
    You're are right to a point, but why make it harder and less beneficial. Most positions state in lieu of a degree it usually is equal years experience or more.

    That's a different point than saying they're going to be stuck at a help-desk level and not go anyway. I always encourage a formal education. It'll always make things easier, but it's simply incorrect to state that its a requirement.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Read articles saying CCNA, during the dot com boom, garnered 50K.

    Dot com era --People made stupid business decisions over the hype and venture capitalists were throwing money to everyone no matter how bad their initial business plans were there was no way to sustain the growth anyways.

    Again, I'm not denying this happened, but how is this relevant today? The dust has settled and people have a more realistic view of certifications. How is that a problem? I'd rather have that than a bunch of clowns with no real knowledge being overpaid.
    rubberToe wrote:
    None. Desktop support / help desk. We all have to start at the same level unless you have an MBA or are a programmer.

    It depends on what you want to do. No one's going to let you work with Cisco equipment if you don't have experience, even if you are an MBA. Development is an entirely different animal.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Just recently I accepted a Systems Support Specialist position. Desktop / Administration / phone switching, eventually do database work and get my hands on the backend BSD and Debian stuff.

    Congrats!
    rubberToe wrote:
    Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPPA. Maybe I am more interested in Systems Analysis or Project Management. Have to put some years in as support and eventually get my MBA.

    Cool. There are auditing and PM certifications available as well.

    http://www.giac.org/certifications/audit/
    http://www.pmi.org/Pages/default.aspx
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    dynamik wrote:
    rubberToe wrote:
    Whoa buddy, take it easy. I will elaborate further. I also agree to disagree because we are butting heads here.

    Not sure why you think I'm not taking it easy... icon_scratch.gif
    rubberToe wrote:
    To upgrade is simple now, 1-3 tests or so and not all 7. I suppose you wouldn't mind re-certifying yourself every year then. Fact of the matter is Microsoft didn't have it together then.

    So how are those points relevant now? The typically re-certification time-frame is three years. I don't see that as unreasonable. It's actually been five for Windows Server this last round.
    rubberToe wrote:
    I enjoy learning too, but there is no certification for crash **** analysis, advanced windows troubleshooting, knowledge of the internals of windows to facilitate troubleshooting, there is only Mark Russinovich and his tools.

    Email MCP learning and tell them you want a Sysinternals cert. I'm game ;)

    Realistically, there's probably not enough of a demand for certifications dealing with extremely advanced, specific areas of knowledge to justify developing them.
    rubberToe wrote:
    What about data recovery, no certification but there is Scott A. Moulton. Not something a corporation would care about as a skill, due to backup solutions, disaster recovery plans, fault tolerance, replication, clustering. Many of my friends thank me for saving them hundreds of dollars though by getting back their data.

    There are backup and storage certs...
    rubberToe wrote:
    You know on average you post 10 times daily since joining...

    Meaning?
    rubberToe wrote:
    Let's be real here though, no wants to be taking 10 exams a year to keep current unless they have no desire to do anything else.

    What scenario are you imagining where you would be required to take ten exams per year to keep current?
    rubberToe wrote:
    Not my point at all. I probably would be saying the same thing if my parents didn't convinced me to go. Maybe you are lucky and have a natural affinity to the areas of economics, philosophy, logic, etc that go beyond the grasps or cares of most people. The opportunity opened my mind to many things, experiences, and people that I would have never encountered.

    Or maybe I have a college education ;)

    I'm actually two courses away from a BA in psychology of all things. I haven't put much time into it over the years because its really not going to do much for me.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Besides if you haven't noticed, the general direction of the industry is pushing for a minimum of a bachelors in most instances.

    It's possible to get around that with certifications, experience, positive/eager attitude, etc. Expectations are typically lower than what is advertised for a position.
    rubberToe wrote:
    An education provides a solid foundation in theory, rather than the technologies that support it.

    I agree.
    rubberToe wrote:
    You're are right to a point, but why make it harder and less beneficial. Most positions state in lieu of a degree it usually is equal years experience or more.

    That's a different point than saying they're going to be stuck at a help-desk level and not go anyway. I always encourage a formal education. It'll always make things easier, but it's simply incorrect to state that its a requirement.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Read articles saying CCNA, during the dot com boom, garnered 50K.

    Dot com era --People made stupid business decisions over the hype and venture capitalists were throwing money to everyone no matter how bad their initial business plans were there was no way to sustain the growth anyways.

    Again, I'm not denying this happened, but how is this relevant today? The dust has settled and people have a more realistic view of certifications. How is that a problem? I'd rather have that than a bunch of clowns with no real knowledge being overpaid.
    rubberToe wrote:
    None. Desktop support / help desk. We all have to start at the same level unless you have an MBA or are a programmer.

    It depends on what you want to do. No one's going to let you work with Cisco equipment if you don't have experience, even if you are an MBA. Development is an entirely different animal.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Just recently I accepted a Systems Support Specialist position. Desktop / Administration / phone switching, eventually do database work and get my hands on the backend BSD and Debian stuff.

    Congrats!
    rubberToe wrote:
    Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPPA. Maybe I am more interested in Systems Analysis or Project Management. Have to put some years in as support and eventually get my MBA.

    Cool. There are auditing and PM certifications available as well.

    http://www.giac.org/certifications/audit/
    http://www.pmi.org/Pages/default.aspx

    +1

    Rubbertoe, you do make some good points, but you also make a lot of broad assumptions. Just because someone is for or has certs doesn't mean they are against or don't have an education. You're falling into the trap the article's author has set. There is no great battle. There are no sides to choose. Like a lot of others here, I'm choosing to go for both certs AND an education to give me what I feel is a more well-rounded knowledge set. College is great, but certs are also great in their own right to certify that you have specific knowledge that's not covered by a degree.

    Just because a certification doesn't exist for some particular subtopic or specialization, it doesn't mean that certifications are bunk, just as the lack of a degree in a particular IT specialization doesn't make it any less, well, special. If there's not enough of a demand for a degree or cert, then there's no sense in putting in the time/money investment to develop the program. Simple as that.

    I think it's time that we all got past the "dot-com" era & what certs meant back in the hey-day. Who really cares what certs meant or garnered back then?? What matters is the here & now, and if we keep looking backwards to the past, then we're not looking forward and that's just a recipe for tripping & falling flat on your face! :D Seriously though, what matters is what certs mean today and what they garner today. Do they equal instant fortune? Certainly not. But that doesn't mean that they're not valuable in their own way. They're part of the overall package that you can present to an employer/customer to help ensure that you're worth their time and money.

    Does it suck to have to renew some certs or take new exams on new objectives? Sure does! But there's no need for exaggerations about 10 cert exams per year or having to renew certifications every year. It doesn't make your points any more valid and it actually takes away from them since you are stretching the truth a bit there. The point is that IT is a constantly changing field, and certifications are a great way to keep up to date and SHOW that you're up to date with current technology. Kinda hard to do from the traditional educational standpoint...it's not like you're going to go back for an updated comp sci degree when technology changes.

    If you don't feel like you need certs, then that's fine. No one's trying to make you go get them. But there's no reason to poo-poo certs because you don't personally see them fitting into your career path. And while I agree that a degree is a great addition to anyone's resume and overall knowledge set, it's just not for everyone and not everyone has the opportunity to go to college...and that doesn't = certain doom for their careers. There's people that never get a formal education (for various reasons - lack of funding, opportunity, etc.) in IT and do just dandy. My sister in law is a great example. She put in her dues for a couple years working for barely over minimum wage, "interning" for a small ISP & learning everything she could from the owner. He taught her web design, programming, you name it. And when a client of his mentioned that they needed someone to build programs & websites for them, guess who he recommended? She now works from home as a consultant for them bringing down some heavy cash & doing some really great work for the company, which happens to be a great nonprofit organization...so she's got the "feel good" factor in her job as well as great pay and flexibility. She's a great example of the *who you know* factor of the success equation. Is her story typical? Of course not. But no story of great success IS typical.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that everyone's path to success is different. Some have education, some don't; some have certs, some don't; some have both, some have neither. But no one path is right nor is any one path wrong, and the paths do intersect at times. And be cautious about making assumptions about the education of others - just because they don't go around screaming to the hills that they're in college or that they're college educated, it doesn't mean they're not.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • rubberToerubberToe Posts: 56Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    Cool. There are auditing and PM certifications available as well.

    Yes, I am aware. That was one of the only college courses [project management] that in the text mentioned certification. [IT Project Management _ Kathy Schwalbe]
    Email MCP learning and tell them you want a Sysinternals cert. I'm game icon_wink.gif

    Realistically, there's probably not enough of a demand for certifications dealing with extremely advanced, specific areas of knowledge to justify developing them.

    So instead of learning to properly understand and diagnose issues you would join in the blame game. Call application vendor, they say Microsoft issue. Call Microsoft, they say vendor issue. One of my co-workers spent on and off 3-days on the phone with Symantec over Backup Exec.

    How would you handle intermittent BSOD and hard hangs? Reinstall? It could be as simple as sending the kernel **** to MS OCA or load it in the debugger configured for MS symbols server to narrow down the more than likely offending 3rd party driver.

    It's funny that some guy [Mark] who never developed for Windows, by doing his Ph.D in UNIX was able to develop tools more powerful than the ones provided by Microsoft themselves. These tools were actually used by the development teams to diagnose issues during the development phase. People can learn these techniques to a certain extent to get by and that is what will set you apart.

    It's not quite that hard to get a general understanding. Heck, by just using 3 programs you will be a better tech. Process Explorer, Process Monitor, Autoruns. Besides, it is no more difficult than some average person trying to get a certification.

    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/spotlight/sessionh.aspx?videoid=346

    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/teched2008/itpro/tv/default.aspx?vid=73

    http://www.solsem.com/videolibrary.html

    Sure I could be desktop certified and know when to escalate the problem by calling the manufacturer but I wouldn't feel like a computer guru then.

    My educational understanding of technology gives me the capability to choose what I learn whereas others have to follow the certification path if they want to venture into IT or just teach themselves off the internet.
    Seriously, how could certs NOT be vendor-centric?

    That author complained how across the different vendors they were inconsistent on some topics.

    If you have the theory, in reality all you have to know is how to apply it to the vendor's implementation. For example, learning Cisco IOS or Juniper commands. But they have to incorporate theory because uneducated people would be excluded. Or they could institute a regulated vendor neutral test.

    Same with programming. If you understand the concepts, to learn any language all you do is learn the syntax and semantics relevant and you can program. The theory [knowledge] is key and the language [tools] is then irrelevant. Different types of hammers with some being better for certain tasks than others. Technology is dynamic stuff comes and goes but the theory remains improving and building on top of what you already know.

    You don't get that understanding by knocking out a few certifications.

    =============================================

    Getting up to speed on my new job is going to take up quite a bit of my time. So sorry, we won't be able to argue too much come shortly.

    My boss wanted an independent person who could develop, test, document and implement procedures. Automation is key, I think Powershell / WMI. Outside of the Windows environment is all open source. BIND [DNS], SendMail, MySql, PostgreSQL, etc.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    rubberToe wrote:
    So instead of learning to properly understand and diagnose issues you would join in the blame game.

    I have absolutely no idea how you could have possibly misconstrued what I said that badly.
    rubberToe wrote:
    Sure I could be desktop certified and know when to escalate the problem by calling the manufacturer but I wouldn't feel like a computer guru then.

    My educational understanding of technology gives me the capability to choose what I learn whereas others have to follow the certification path if they want to venture into IT or just teach themselves off the internet.

    If you have the theory, in reality all you have to know is how to apply it to the vendor's implementation. For example, learning Cisco IOS or Juniper commands. But they have to incorporate theory because uneducated people would be excluded. Or they could institute a regulated vendor neutral test.

    Same with programming. If you understand the concepts, to learn any language all you do is learn the syntax and semantics relevant and you can program. The theory [knowledge] is key and the language [tools] is then irrelevant. Different types of hammers with some being better for certain tasks than others. Technology is dynamic stuff comes and goes but the theory remains improving and building on top of what you already know.

    Who is denying this? You seem to be in some mysterious argument that no one else here is privy to. As stated earlier, certifications are simply one piece of the puzzle. They signify that you have achieved a certain level of knowledge; they are not the end-all or be-all of IT knowledge. Even CCIEs keep learning. You seem to have some serious misconceptions or misunderstandings of what certifications are and what they represent.
  • loxleynewloxleynew Posts: 405Member
    I'll be honest I only read about 9 posts so I may repeat some of you. I see certs in this way.

    I got a degree in unrelated field to IT (sports exercise). After that I got a job @ a helpdesk for 5 months. During that time I got 2 certs to get my mcdst. From there I went on and got the job i'm at now which pays significantly better. The people at my old helpdesk job said it would take at least a year to get a new job that would pay $3 more p/h. Mine pays $6 more p/h in half the time. No one else at that job ever got certs.

    Now I believe that it was partly luck but partly certs + degree, even though it was in an unrelated field. Unfortunatley now Ive been kindve lazy in finishing my MCSA but eventually early next year I will. If you are on the border of getting a cert, then do it. Plus many people don't even realize that their work will pay for certs as long as you pass.
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    rubberToe wrote:
    Email MCP learning and tell them you want a Sysinternals cert. I'm game icon_wink.gif

    Realistically, there's probably not enough of a demand for certifications dealing with extremely advanced, specific areas of knowledge to justify developing them.

    So instead of learning to properly understand and diagnose issues you would join in the blame game. Call application vendor, they say Microsoft issue. Call Microsoft, they say vendor issue. One of my co-workers spent on and off 3-days on the phone with Symantec over Backup Exec.

    How would you handle intermittent BSOD and hard hangs? Reinstall? It could be as simple as sending the kernel **** to MS OCA or load it in the debugger configured for MS symbols server to narrow down the more than likely offending 3rd party driver.

    It's funny that some guy [Mark] who never developed for Windows, by doing his Ph.D in UNIX was able to develop tools more powerful than the ones provided by Microsoft themselves. These tools were actually used by the development teams to diagnose issues during the development phase. People can learn these techniques to a certain extent to get by and that is what will set you apart.

    It's not quite that hard to get a general understanding. Heck, by just using 3 programs you will be a better tech. Process Explorer, Process Monitor, Autoruns. Besides, it is no more difficult than some average person trying to get a certification.

    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/spotlight/sessionh.aspx?videoid=346

    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/teched2008/itpro/tv/default.aspx?vid=73

    http://www.solsem.com/videolibrary.html

    Sure I could be desktop certified and know when to escalate the problem by calling the manufacturer but I wouldn't feel like a computer guru then.
    HUH? icon_scratch.gif Not sure where all that came from, but I think you're completely misinterpreting what dynamik & me & others here have said. And people who are vendor-specific certified don't automatically become arseholes who don't want to help people & who pass the buck. That's not part of any exam objectives last I checked. Some people are just naturally *blessed* with that talent to be jerks and certification has nothing to do with it! :D
    rubberToe wrote:
    My educational understanding of technology gives me the capability to choose what I learn whereas others have to follow the certification path if they want to venture into IT or just teach themselves off the internet.
    Woah, where did THAT come from? Just because you have an education, it does NOT make you better than those who are certified. And what's to say that people who are certified aren't also educated? Or vice versa? Just because you choose to make it into an either/or situation does not make it so. And no one has to follow any certification path - no one's *making* me go for my MCSA, I just choose to do so. By the way, what's so wrong about someone teaching themselves a subject? There are plenty of people who are self-taught in lots of subjects (in IT and out) and who are experts in their chosen fields and who know more than people who had formal education on the subject. It's not the source of the education that counts, it's the quality & effort that's put forth by the person doing the learning. I repeat what I said before - college education is great to have, but it's not for everyone for various reasons; and certifications are great, but they aren't for everyone either, and some people just can't pass a standardized test to save their lives. (Just to clarify, I'm not saying that about you, just stating a fact that applies to some out there.)
    rubberToe wrote:
    That author complained how across the different vendors they were inconsistent on some topics.

    If you have the theory, in reality all you have to know is how to apply it to the vendor's implementation. For example, learning Cisco IOS or Juniper commands. But they have to incorporate theory because uneducated people would be excluded. Or they could institute a regulated vendor neutral test.

    Same with programming. If you understand the concepts, to learn any language all you do is learn the syntax and semantics relevant and you can program. The theory [knowledge] is key and the language [tools] is then irrelevant. Different types of hammers with some being better for certain tasks than others. Technology is dynamic stuff comes and goes but the theory remains improving and building on top of what you already know.

    You don't get that understanding by knocking out a few certifications.
    Yes, vendors can be a bit inconsistent on certain topics. But such is life. Can you imagine what would happen if every vendor tried to take all other vendors' products into account on their certification exams?? They can't keep track of all the technology from other vendors & third parties, and so it's completely unrealistic to think that every vendor is going to agree with every other vendor on every subject. There can't be one giant monster vendor-neutral exam that covers everything. CompTIA has some mostly vendor-neutral exams to cover the basics, but there is subject matter that's not covered there and certain vendor tasks/programs/specializations need their own certs based on their own products to certify knowledge of the subject matter.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
This discussion has been closed.