VCP4 self pay? Am I crazy?

paleguyinthenocpaleguyinthenoc Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm a contractor and considering going after VCP4. I use ESX 4.1/VMWare on a daily basis, and I've historically done well on exams.

That being said, my parent company does essentially nothing for me, and if I want this cert, I'm on my own. Considering a course is required for this cert, I don't know if I'm crazy thinking of going after it on my own or what.

Has anyone ever self-paid for this or any other expensive-to-get cert? Did you regret it?

Comments

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,740Mod Mod
    I will do VCP probably next year after 5 comes out. I hope my employer assists but if not I will gladly pay for it for two reasons:

    1. Self-actualization. As Maslow said, "what a man can be, must be." I'm passionate about virtualization, specifically VMware products. Doing what you love, because you love it is priceless.

    2. Because I can

    Seriously, You can't go wrong validating your skill set. That VCP will come in handy when you get fed up and decide to look for a new employer who appreciates the effort you put towards the cert.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I self paid for the course. My wife had some doubts, but I didn't.

    Go to any IT career fair and mention to the recruiter that you're a VCP. Your resume will most likely move to the top of the pile.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • kevozzkevozz Posts: 305Member
    Check out this thread further down the page:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/virtualization/62490-where-can-i-take-vmware-vsphere-install-configure-manage-v4-1-affordable.html

    You can also try the VMware IT Academy Program and possibly get it cheaper through a college:

    Participants
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Posts: 1,550Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    ^^this

    I took the ICM course at a public community college... the tuition (5 quarter units), the student and lab guides, plus the exam itself came out to under US $250.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    If you decide to take the course, I strongly suggest taking it as a regular 3-month class through a partner academy, rather than in a 5-day condensed format. This way you will have enough time to digest and retain new information, which is especially important if you're paying for training out-of-pocket.

    I am currently taking the vSphere ICM class through UCSC - it's online and costs $1000. I am thoroughly enjoying the content, even though I've been working with VMware for several years, and feel course format is in every way superior to a 5-day track. UCSC provides VPN access to the lab for the entire course duration, so a dedicated student could have up to 3 months of hands-on preparation for the exam in a lab that supports 95% of VCP content.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

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  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Has anyone ever self-paid for this or any other expensive-to-get cert? Did you regret it?
    Would I pay 3.5K for VMware course out of own pocket? Hell no. Would I pay 1K for it? Yes. Would I pay 1K or more for any other course myself? Not likely.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    GetCertified4Less
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  • petedudepetedude Posts: 1,510Member
    I'm a contractor and considering going after VCP4. I use ESX 4.1/VMWare on a daily basis, and I've historically done well on exams.

    That being said, my parent company does essentially nothing for me, and if I want this cert, I'm on my own. Considering a course is required for this cert, I don't know if I'm crazy thinking of going after it on my own or what.

    Has anyone ever self-paid for this or any other expensive-to-get cert? Did you regret it?

    I spent a fair chunk of change pursuing my Cisco certs, and to a lesser degree my MS certs. Often, the most expensive certs are the most hard-fought and meaningful ones. By all means, it is a good experience if you can afford it. It also helps you to demonstrate to others and yourself that you don't have to leech off a company to advance (nor do you need to cater to whims of someone who just happened to buy particular training for you).
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • spicy ahispicy ahi Posts: 413Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Fellow contractor here in Hawaii! :D I hear this question all the time from other contractors, and I always have to grin when the topic comes up. While it's true that your employer gains from paying for you to earn certifications, most of the smaller companies (for one reason or other) will not shell out the money to have you "trained up" to meet job requirements for the simple fact that you're most likely to leave after earning the appropriate certifications to meet your job requirements. Not a surprise, really, because once you start putting certs and the appropriate experience together (throw in that clearance for good measure) and you start getting unsolicited job offers quickly.

    The bigger companies are more likely to offer training because there's usually an allotment for training included in the bigger contracts with DoD (though when I was a supervisor and tried to get training for my guys, my company always made me feel like I was stealing money from the company; so I can see why some supervisors would rather not support training. I said screw it because it was built into the contract so might as well use it for it's intended purpose) And even if they don't, they usually can afford to play bidding war with your potential new employer vs. the smaller companies who may not have quite the same wiggle room.

    Sorry, got off topic a bit. Back to your question. Is it worth it? Goodness yes! I tell everyone willing to listen that it's an investment in YOU and although your current company may not value it (by not paying for it) your future company surely will (as the cert may be one of the considerations for extending an offer) As some other posters have said though, do your homework. There are a myriad of offerings that encompass the full spectrum of pricing. Do your homework, look for training options within your budget, and call to find out what you get for the money you pay. Asking questions about training options here is also a good way to screen online offerings, while asking around the shop will usually get you good opinions of local offerings. But definitely look at paying for training not as a cost to you, but an investment in your career and your future. It's still going to be a bite in your wallet, but knowing that it will lead you to bigger and better lessens the sting!

    As an aside, I used to live in Vegas, and was thinking about attending the Cisco Academy with CCSN's Cheyenne campus right off base before I ended up moving away. Have you checked with them to see if they offer VMWare training? They have Micrsoft training and usually VMWare training goes hand in hand so they may be a VMWare academy as well.
    Spicy :cool: Mentor the future! Be a CyberPatriot!
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    If I could afford to do it, I would. This is one cert that I think would actually be a good investment right now. I only have about 2 years of VMWare experience, and it's pretty basic experience at that. I could be making $130k/yr right now if I had my VCP. I made it through 3 interviews for a job that was going to start off with that high of a salary, only to be told "We really need someone with more VMWare experience right now, if you got your VCP we could hire you".

    VMWare seems to be really hot right now, lots of companies looking for people that know what they're doing with it. If you can afford to do it on your own, do yourself a favor and invest in yourself by getting it done.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Everyone wrote: »
    If I could afford to do it, I would. This is one cert that I think would actually be a good investment right now. I only have about 2 years of VMWare experience, and it's pretty basic experience at that. I could be making $130k/yr right now if I had my VCP. I made it through 3 interviews for a job that was going to start off with that high of a salary, only to be told "We really need someone with more VMWare experience right now, if you got your VCP we could hire you".

    VMWare seems to be really hot right now, lots of companies looking for people that know what they're doing with it. If you can afford to do it on your own, do yourself a favor and invest in yourself by getting it done.

    If the VCP would get you a job for $130k / year, then surely you should be able to find a way to afford the course ? Seems like a no brainer .. even if it means begging for money (bank / credit card / family / friends / current employer (sneaky I know))
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    An investment in yourself is never a waste. Spend the money.
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    Gomjaba wrote: »
    If the VCP would get you a job for $130k / year, then surely you should be able to find a way to afford the course ? Seems like a no brainer .. even if it means begging for money (bank / credit card / family / friends / current employer (sneaky I know))

    Positions will probably be filled by the time I finished it. I am finishing final round interviews for other opportunities that will pay me 6 figures to work from home full time for my Exchange, AD, and Blackberry skills. Working from home full time rather than having to commute 1.5 to 2 hours 1 way is worth the slightly lower salary. Plus if I get one of these, they will probably pay for me to get the training and the cert, and even if they didn't, it will be enough of a salary increase for me to be able to afford to pay cash for it out of my own pocket, without having to worry about borrowing the funds.
  • paleguyinthenocpaleguyinthenoc Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Lots of good info here. Thanks for the thoughtful replies.

    I'm going to look at my options and try to find the most affordable route that also doesn't interfere with my current job. As a contractor, if I don't work I don't get paid, so an extended after-hours course, whether online or instructor led or whatever is going to be my preference.

    Good info!

    This is a pretty cool forum. I might stick around!

    Cheers
  • paleguyinthenocpaleguyinthenoc Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    kevozz wrote: »
    Check out this thread further down the page:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/virtualization/62490-where-can-i-take-vmware-vsphere-install-configure-manage-v4-1-affordable.html

    You can also try the VMware IT Academy Program and possibly get it cheaper through a college:

    Participants

    Awesome - thanks for the links. I'm going to try to find an online course.
  • lanrexng2lanrexng2 Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    ChooseLife wrote: »

    I am currently taking the vSphere ICM class through UCSC - it's online and costs $1000. I am thoroughly enjoying the content, even though I've been working with VMware for several years, and feel course format is in every way superior to a 5-day track. UCSC provides VPN access to the lab for the entire course duration, so a dedicated student could have up to 3 months of hands-on preparation for the exam in a lab that supports 95% of VCP content.

    I am curious can you provide the link to UCSC vSphere course @ UCSC?
    M Sc Computer Science == 1% completeA+, Network+, Security+, CCENT == 100% complete
    ICND2, RHCSA, C/C++, Python, x86,
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,740Mod Mod
    lanrexng2 wrote: »
    I am curious can you provide the link to UCSC vSphere course @ UCSC?

    22869 VMware vSPHERE: Configuration and Management [V4.1] | UC Santa Cruz Extension
  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Posts: 234Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Before I shell out that kind of money I would thoroughly check the market for jobs that favor a VCP over someone who does not have the cert. I live in the DC/MD/VA area and around here, the VCP cert does make a difference, and if I didn't already have it, it would be worth it to fully pay for the course myself.

    I am also a DoD contractor so certs are highly desirable for certain contracts. I don't know if that is the same everywhere though.
  • gkcagkca Posts: 243Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    ChooseLife wrote: »
    I am currently taking the vSphere ICM class through UCSC
    So we're in the same class :)
    "I needed a password with eight characters so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." (c) Nick Helm
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Posts: 1,376Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I would go for it – money invested in knowledge is money well spent.

    Besides, it's pocket change compared to what people spend on CCIE:Voice and Security labs :)
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    pitviper wrote: »
    I would go for it – money invested in knowledge is money well spent.

    Besides, it's pocket change compared to what people spend on CCIE:Voice and Secuity labs :)

    Good point!:)
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    lanrexng2 wrote: »
    I am curious can you provide the link to UCSC vSphere course @ UCSC?
    22869 VMware vSPHERE: Configuration and Management [V4.1] | UC Santa Cruz Extension
    Yep, that's the one
    gkca wrote: »
    So we're in the same class icon_smile.gif
    :)
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    GetCertified4Less
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  • azjagazjag Posts: 579Member
    Check out this site before you sign up for a VMware class. If the class you are looking to take has seats open 15 days before the class starts they discount it 30%.
    Limited-time Special Offers

    One scenario that worked for me is offering to pay for half of the class. That and telling them that regardless of their decision I was going to this class even if I had to cover the entire cost.. In the end they paid for the class.

    Good luck and welcome to Techexams.
    Currently Studying:
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) (Passed)
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP5-DCD)
  • azjagazjag Posts: 579Member
    cyberguypr wrote: »

    Just followed the link and was surprised to find that it is an online class. Heck anybody could take it regardless of where they are located. No wonder the class is wait-listed till fall.
    Currently Studying:
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) (Passed)
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP5-DCD)
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    azjag wrote: »
    Just followed the link and was surprised to find that it is an online class. Heck anybody could take it regardless of where they are located. No wonder the class is wait-listed till fall.
    And it's open internationally too.
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Posts: 665Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Global knowledge allows you to purchase college credits with the ICM course, if you don't already have a bachelors degree I believe this would fall under the american opportunity tax credit wich should allow you to get 2,500 of it back.

    That being said, I was going to pay for my own after my employer said no multiple times, finally I told them Im going to pay for it on my own and my boss got serious about getting the company to pay for it, I am part of the same contractor type situation you are.

    I believe paying for it on your own isn't a bad idea, just make sure you study hard before the class so you get the most out of it, VCP is fairly difficult, lots to know.
  • TherhinoTherhino Posts: 122Member
    why not accomplish this in reverse order...study the information take the test if pass go to the class
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Posts: 1,550Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Therhino wrote: »
    why not accomplish this in reverse order...study the information take the test if pass go to the class
    This is one way to do it. The class will probably help you pass the exam, though. Also some classes include vouchers good for discounts on the exam (e.g. in my class I got a voucher for 70% off the exam).
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • nhan.ngnhan.ng Posts: 184Member
    yup. My teacher told me the same thing, if we pass the class we get the voucher to take the test at a ridiculous discounted rate :Dicon_thumright.gif
  • longbeachlongbeach Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Therhino wrote: »
    why not accomplish this in reverse order...study the information take the test if pass go to the class

    mineaswell since passing this test either takes years of being a contractor using VMware in every known possible way 5 times over or cramming your head with endless leaked questions (that the exam writers in turn keeps tweaking into obscurity)

    SO, as someone who just passed it today on my second try (just missed the first time) I have to say TAKE IT ASAP.. since it will just get harder and harder as more questions get leaked..

    Seriously, I built a whole lab from scratch over the last year and that knowledge meant about 15% of the test.. so i don't even know what it means to pass anymore since obviously I have been using it in a department in major corp with 50 people relying on me and taking everything for granted

    but hey, now I can be part of the 'in' club when going to VMWorld next month
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