Are vendor specific certications better for entry level techs?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
Since being in a role hiring resources I have to admit my opinions about certications have changed. I really really like vendor specific certifications rather than generic ones.

Example:

Lenovo, HP, Dell, Cisco, Microsoft

I feel a lot more comfortable hiring people with these certifications, rather than A+ or N+. Not to say I don't see value in those I do, it just makes me much more comfortable to hire someone who has experience with the technology we support.

Comments

  • PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think vendor specific certifications are nice to have, but if they don't have them, I don't think it should be a deal breaker.

    Lenovo, HP, and Dell certifications aren't exactly easy to obtain, you can't just go to a Pearson Vue or Prometric testing center.

    As for Microsoft and Cisco. Yes, if the job role requires the knowledge level the certifications test on. You should consider those candidates over others.
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Priston wrote: »
    I think vendor specific certifications are nice to have, but if they don't have them, I don't think it should be a deal breaker.

    Lenovo, HP, and Dell certifications aren't exactly easy to obtain, you can't just go to a Pearson Vue or Prometric testing center.

    As for Microsoft and Cisco. Yes, if the job role requires the knowledge level the certifications test on. You should consider those candidates over others.


    You make a really good point about how hard the certifications are to get since you have to be part of a service provider. I plan on taking the Dell and Lenovo server ones as well for this very reason.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    Cisco and MS are probably more valuable than dell/hp/lenovo...IIR those are more for people that work for those companies doing break/fix work or sales/implementation.

    The cisco and ms certs, while vendor specific, still represent a concept level understanding of the topic. I have the A+ and Net+, and while i still am glad i did them, they werent very useful in gaining knowledge at all. On the other hand, each cisco and ms cert ive worked for was chalked full of useful info... not to say it was all useful, it isnt, but it is far more useful than vendor neutral imho.
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Member Posts: 1,460
    I've always been a fan of vendor certs over general certs. As you can see in my certs list :)

    The A+ and Net+ seem like a great way for someone to get introduced into networking/computer topics. But it just seems that these certs just don't teach that much in depth knowledge. Kind of reminds me of some networking classes in college. Good overview, but nothing that would really help on a job.

    And lets not talk about the price of any CompTIA cert... icon_surprised.gif I'll stick with vendor specific certs any day.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Aldur wrote: »
    I've always been a fan of vendor certs over general certs. As you can see in my certs list :)

    The A+ and Net+ seem like a great way for someone to get introduced into networking/computer topics. But it just seems that these certs just don't teach that much in depth knowledge. Kind of reminds me of some networking classes in college. Good overview, but nothing that would really help on a job.

    And lets not talk about the price of any CompTIA cert... icon_surprised.gif I'll stick with vendor specific certs any day.

    How do you feel about Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc

    I think it's safe to break down MS, Juniper, Cisco and then Lenovo, Dell, and HP.

    I have a friend I meet along my IT journey who has several HP proliant certifications but no MS certs and he has had a few system admin jobs. They seem to have some value.
  • mattlee09mattlee09 Member Posts: 205
    N2IT wrote: »
    How do you feel about Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc

    I think it's safe to break down MS, Juniper, Cisco and then Lenovo, Dell, and HP.

    I have a friend I meet along my IT journey who has several HP proliant certifications but no MS certs and he has had a few system admin jobs. They seem to have some value.
    It's all situational, anywhere. If I was hiring someone to work in my DC w/ 50 racks of Proliant DL380s, I need your friend. I could sell a rope to a guy who lost his keys in the drain.

    Not all cases are as extreme obviously, but it's up to the discretion of the hirer and how he/she sees the environment. Vendor server certs are one thing different than desktop break/fix. It's cool to be a HP Self-Maintainer but hardly more useful than a general hardware cert. With HP for example, I know you get a breakdown of their S/N and P/N's (The S/N has the date of manufacture, etc) but hardly something you couldn't teach someone from off the street.

    I know some managers who don't want a CCNA or MCITP on their entry-level desktop support crew, just A+ or competent individuals. I think their reasoning, however flawed, is that there are no expectations of either party that way.

    If any of that makes any sense. I feel scatterbrained after writing it...might have forgotten to include the point.. lol.
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Member Posts: 1,460
    mattlee09 wrote: »
    It's all situational, anywhere. If I was hiring someone to work in my DC w/ 50 racks of Proliant DL380s, I need your friend. I could sell a rope to a guy who lost his keys in the drain.

    Good point indeed. It's specific to the job at hand. And I would always feel more comfortable if somebody is actually certified in the job they will be performing. IMO the general certs don't provide this.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Aldur wrote: »
    Good point indeed. It's specific to the job at hand. And I would always feel more comfortable if somebody is actually certified in the job they will be performing. IMO the general certs don't provide this.

    Honest I have noticed this. I manage a deployment and break fix service for a large company. It's always a great thing when a applicant comes in with HP, Dell, Sun, Lenovo certifications. A+ and N+ are solid, but don't really bring the heat. Windows 7 deployment is one I really keep an eye out for. Not many people have it to be honest.

    Since we do 10-15 different types of installs anything from XP professional to XP 64 bit, Windows 7, RHEL 5.5 and 6, some other one off Linux builds. Not to mention the applications we install on top of them. SQL 2000, Oracle 10 G, and some other one off database / applications installs. So anything in that realm always pulls weight too.
  • darkladdiedarkladdie Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I guess it depends on the job.
    For me I would lean more toward general certs, hopefully someone with the CompTia Trifecta (A+, Net+, Security+), for an entry level helpdesk position. But for higher positions I would go for someone with vendor certs and the experience to back it up.
    I say that because I worked with someone that had a ton of vendor certs but could not apply/leverage that knowledge. Later I found out that person relied on braindumps to pass those certs.
    But in the end for any position, I want that person to be a self-starter and learner. People with that mentality or skill, I find tends to spot opportunities and/or problems far quicker than most.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    maughc wrote: »
    I guess it depends on the job.
    For me I would lean more toward general certs, hopefully someone with the CompTia Trifecta (A+, Net+, Security+), for an entry level helpdesk position. But for higher positions I would go for someone with vendor certs and the experience to back it up.
    I say that because I worked with someone that had a ton of vendor certs but could not apply/leverage that knowledge. Later I found out that person relied on braindumps to pass those certs.
    But in the end for any position, I want that person to be a self-starter and learner. People with that mentality or skill, I find tends to spot opportunities and/or problems far quicker than most.

    Just my 2 cents.


    Something tells me that vendor or non vendor, if the person **** he is going to be worth a ****.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Just gotta remember not to base judgement soley on certificates. As long as the individual is smart, dedicated, and motivated he can get whatever certificate he wants as long as he performs his job well.

    I recently worked with a contractor he was VCP4, C|EH, CCNA, and few others... While speaking with him we started talking about the CCNA of course I mentioned I had my CCNA (I didn't mention any of my other certs) and continues to ramble how the CCNA is a worthless cert and it can be braindumped.....

    As we continued working he asked for subnet information and told him it was a /28, it was then I got the deer in the headlights look, I then turned around and walked back to me office.. The dude has his CCNA bragged about how useless and easy it can be braindumped but did not understand the /28, the full subnet mask had to be given to him..
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • griffinalice29griffinalice29 Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Although many of you have posted how generic and basic is A+ and N+, but I think that the fundamentals and concepts clarity can be more visible in a person done either of the two with a vendor certification. I see a lot of people who had done courses like Dell, Cisco and Microsoft, but aren’t able to move out to different kinds of project. While there are those who did A+ or N+ with a vendor certification and now are able to which ever technology they want.
  • xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    I think that any certification shows some amount of initiative and effort. If I were looking at resumes, certification in general tells me that this person is serious about their career and continued education. That's not to say people without certs don't continue learning as well. But, how am I to know that?

    As far as vendor vs. vendor neutral, I think it depends on the position and level of knowledge you are looking for. If I'm looking for a helpdesk/desktop support tech for a small organization, A+ and Network+ look pretty good. If we're talking about an enterprise domain, I'd really like to see an MCP or 2 relating to active directory and client operating systems.

    Of course when you start talking about System/Network positions vendor certs become even more valuable.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you think about their market share, Cisco and Microsoft certs ARE generic certs.

    What exactly are the topics covered on an HP Proliant cert that you couldn't pick after a couple days on the job?
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    Just gotta remember not to base judgement soley on certificates. As long as the individual is smart, dedicated, and motivated he can get whatever certificate he wants as long as he performs his job well.

    I recently worked with a contractor he was VCP4, C|EH, CCNA, and few others... While speaking with him we started talking about the CCNA of course I mentioned I had my CCNA (I didn't mention any of my other certs) and continues to ramble how the CCNA is a worthless cert and it can be braindumped.....

    As we continued working he asked for subnet information and told him it was a /28, it was then I got the deer in the headlights look, I then turned around and walked back to me office.. The dude has his CCNA bragged about how useless and easy it can be braindumped but did not understand the /28, the full subnet mask had to be given to him..
    I commend you for your professionalism.

    Rather than walk away, I would have called him out right then and there. A person that doesn't understand something as fundamental as subnetting and subnet masks has no business holding a CCNA.icon_rolleyes.gif
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Since being in a role hiring resources I have to admit my opinions about certications have changed. I really really like vendor specific certifications rather than generic ones.

    Example:

    Lenovo, HP, Dell, Cisco, Microsoft

    I feel a lot more comfortable hiring people with these certifications, rather than A+ or N+. Not to say I don't see value in those I do, it just makes me much more comfortable to hire someone who has experience with the technology we support.

    Interesting. Why is that?

    Do you think someone who is say, ASA certified would know more about firewalls and firewall theory than someone who has say, GCFW? I am just curious. I think it depends. A person who has HIGH level vendor neutral certs like CISSP, SSCP, SANS, OSCP would probably be more flexible than someone who only has vendor certs like CCSP/CCNP:S or the like imo. I agree with you about comptias vs vendor though.

    Someone who is tied to a vendor has the danger of learning the vendor and not the theory. I think this is very true in networking. Like I know that during my CCNA studies, I did not have to read one RFC (I read like 1-2) but I still passed the CCNA. I am now going back to really read about TCP and networking so that if cisco disappears from the earth, I won't be left wondering how to network. Not marrying Cisco allows me to look for the best in breed solutions, not just what Cisco says is best. I am not saying that if you get vendor certified you will never learn the fundamentals or you will become a vendor drone, but I feel like (especially for those people starting out) the goal becomes learn (Vendor X) not learn (Theory X). Learn Cisco not learn Networking which ultimately makes for less effective professionals.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    Some vender certs transcend being vendor specific to a large degree. I use HP switches and a combination of Juniper, Watchguard, and Cisco firewalls. I still maintain my CCNA because the foundation in networking is so solid. I just ignore the Cisco pandering, I know EIGRP is probably better, but I don't care, the world is not made up of Cisco routers. Or, my first CCNA books / class, we spend a lot of time on the flaws of 802.1Q compared to ISL.
  • pham0329pham0329 Member Posts: 556
    Or, my first CCNA books / class, we spend a lot of time on the flaws of 802.1Q compared to ISL.

    eh? Can you elaborate?
Sign In or Register to comment.