Is 'certificate' better than certification?

binarysoulbinarysoul Member Posts: 993
The title may be confusing, but it's a good question.

Would a certificate on a technology (done at a technical institution) carry more value than a certification (MCSE, CCNA, etc)? In other words, if an employer sees someone who has a certificate in Windows 2003 server from a good college and then sees another applicant with an MCP on Win2k3, which candidate is more capable? I know the answer varies, but I want to know the 'trend'.

The reason I ask is to see if employer's view of vendor certification has changed.


  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,905 Admin
    There are millions of employers; who can know what any of them will think of any given IT certification or certificate program? If you get a certificate in network engineering from the college the employer graduated from, he might hire you over a CCIE with many more years of experience. Another employer might have tried to get the MCSE certification for himself and failed miserably, and therefore hates anyone with any certification. An employer in the next company might have an unreasonably inflated opinion of anyone with a certificate from a very reputable university, while another employer respects neither certs nor certifs and only wants people with degrees. And still another employer will not hire anyone with either a long list of certs or a Ph.D. Who's to know?

    Currently, the only standards (in the USA) are a Bachelors degree for a high tech career, a Masters degree for management, and a Ph.D. for a specialized researcher. Certs are (usually) more widely known and globally accepted than certificates from regional educational institutions. Just get as much education as you can at a reasonable price and of reasonable quality.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    In general, industry certification will carry more weight than a technical certificate, as the industry certs are at least standardized. A school can give away a certificate for whatever it feels like, it's not necessarily indicative of the level of knowledge obtained, where the industry certification should be (I say should be because of the rampant amount of cheating)
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Had a former coworker, she was hired over an MCSE who also had a great of experience based on the fact she had a certificate from Berkley in technology administration. So I guess it depends on the school
  • AldurAldur Member Posts: 1,460
    I would say that certs are more valuable to an employer then a certificate from a college for the reasons that Forsaken noted.

    I think this holds true for the higher level certs that require some sort of lab exercise such as a JNCIE or CCIE. Albeit still possible, it's much much harder for a candidate to **** on a lab exam vs. a multiple guess paper exam.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

  • skrpuneskrpune Member Posts: 1,409
    I think the OP's location makes a Canada, certificates & diplomas are offered by colleges I believe, whereas degrees are usually offered by universities. (Those who are permanent/native Canadian residents, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's the info I found when I was living up there and I believe another poster recently said the same thing.) I think that a certificate or diploma from a college in Canada is roughly equivalent to a technical program or associates in the US.

    In general though, the type of work you want to go for will affect the credentials you need. I'd suggest looking up job listings for jobs you want now & down the line & see what they require, and then plan accordingly.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
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