Which certs brought you real knowledge and which ones are more resume fodder?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
The reason I ask is I have several that are classified in both catagories.

Ones that I learned a lot from
Network + [This answered the questions I was afraid to ask for the fear of sounding stupid] This is a good cert IMO]
Security + [No where near as much as Network +, but still captured a lot of tid bit type knowledge. Introduced me to a lot of terminology.
ITIL V3 F and the other intermediates is where I have made my money at thus far. Being able to communicate with management on their level has propelled me through the ranks.
Microsoft Office Suite 2007 has really done well for me. I actually just got my last job because I had those. I have really become effective with the Microsoft suite. From supporting the applications to using it in a PM/OM capcity.
Project + If you want to get into PM management this is one you might consider. This is a nice segway into the PMP.


One's not so much
ISO 20000 F Not much use for it in any space I have been. Some of the business principles have helped at a high level, but other than that not much
ISO 27002 F Again at a high level it's been okay, but not worth the test
MOF V4 F Not much at all
A+ Wish I could get my money back to be honest. I was already in the game for several years when I got mine. It was rather pointless and EXPENSIVE.
Server + Take it or leave it. Covers a lot of hardware typologies and very little OS related skills.



I might be forgetting a few, but I was just wondering what people felt about their certifications after the fact. It could potentially save someone time and resources.

Comments

  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Let's see how the score tallies up:

    A+ - learned nothing, quickly picked that one up due to the job I was hired for required it
    Security+ - began my MCSE studies with this one during my first admin job, and I believe this one was the most difficult cert I have done. I learned a fair bit studying for that one.
    MCSA/MCSE - I also learned a lot going through this one. I was in my first admin job at the time and I applied as much of the knowledge I picked up as I could. Usually with good results though there was the one time when I tightened security up so much that I had to frantically run around and rejoin everyone's system to the domain. These certs were where I learned the most, everything started tapering off after that.
    MCITP: EA - Nabbed this one with some free tests from Microsoft as I had just gotten let go from a job and was looking for whatever leg up I could find. Spent a weekend studying then did the upgrade exams in 2 consecutive days. I didn't really learn anything from that one as I had been working with Server 2008 for several months and I was still fresh from the MCSE studies several months earlier.
    Server+ - This was the free beta exam, I learned nothing from it as I did not study for it.
    Linux+ - Another free beta, also learned nothing from it as once again I did not study for it.
    MCITP: VA - This one I learned a bit on as I had no MED:V, AppV, and RemoteApp experience but plenty of Hyper-V experience. Doing some labs with RemoteApp and AppV was pretty handy. I didn't feel like I learned too much though as all the concepts built on what I already knew and had experience with.
    CCA in XenServer - I learned a fair bit on this one. I had prior experience in rolling out XenServer but learned a bit more in studying for the exam. It filled in a few blanks I had and really wish I had known about coalesce-leaf previously as it would have saved me a lot of pain.

    Upcoming: VCP - Honestly not learning too much about this one. I have some vSphere experience but not too much. Going through the UCSC Extension class I really don't feel like I learned anything. It doesn't really suit my learning style though. I've always been a learn through hands on implementation rather than sitting through lectures/watching videos.

    So over all I would say that there have only been a few here and there that have really developed me. I've learned far more on the job than studying for certifications.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • Chivalry1Chivalry1 Member Posts: 569
    Listing in order of knowledge/value obtained:

    CISSP - The sure wealth of knowledge is invaluable. Truly enjoyed the experience.
    MCSE - Provided a significant amount of knowledge.
    CEH V7 - My personal opinion if you are going to be within the security realm, this certification is a must have!!!


    MCDST - At the time it was required for the job. Did not gain much.
    MOUS - At the time it was required for the job. Did not gain much.
    "The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and
    content with your knowledge. " Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    MCSE 2000 - I was still relatively fresh when I started to study this. I picked up a lot and put it to use immediately... it still is extremely useful, and whatever is outdated served as a foundation to learn the newer knowledge.
    CISSP - A lot of it was common sense, but the way it is all put together really opens your eyes.

    Everything is is just for the resume.
    2021 Goals: [X] Terraform Associate [X] AZ-204 [X] AZ-400 [X] AWS Cloud Practitioner [X] Terraform CHiP
  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    The ones which made a knowledge difference for me:

    GCIA (can be intimidating at first, but I walked away with a renewed understanding of how network traffic works at an intimate level)
    GCIH (opened my eyes to good methodology in approaching incidents and general awareness of many types of threats)
    CCNA (it was good enough even with a few years of basic Cisco work under my belt)


    Ended up being resume filler:

    Security+, Network+, A+ (I only got these in case I decide to pursue a position involving obligatory minimum government contract requirements)
    CCNA Security (I've never used SDM and probably never will)
    CCNA Wireless (I learned very little about 802.11 and a lot about Cisco product lines ... which I've already forgotten about; useless)

    Everything else I've attained so far as been middle-of-the-road.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Useful

    CCNA/CCNP/MCSA/MCITP:SA - Those probably got me the most knowledge. I'd like to list BGP+MPLS (but it's not a cert just a test) since that taught me a great deal about both technologies.

    Security+ - At the time I learned a good deal of security information even though was broad strokes and not very in depth.

    BlackBerry Certs - I liked these because they went very in depth, probably too in depth then it needed to but its nice to how the guts of BES works, granted it is only a dozen or so windows services. Lord knows I still have the message flow ingrained in my brain even to this day.

    MCTS SQL 08 - I needed to learn about SQL for previous position so I had to dive, Which I found useful due to my lack of SQL knowledge at the time.

    Not sure about

    If CCNA:Security exam didn't focus so much on SDM I would have listed it under useful, but the CLI knowledge of VPN/FW has been a tremendous to help to me.

    Server+ - Mixed feelings about this, I've heard so many say its irrelevant or useless since I had my MCSA at the time but they are two different topics, sure there is not a demand for Server+ but it's got the basic hardware knowledge any server admin should know off the top of their heads. (I've worked with some that didn't know more then RAID 0 or 1

    CCDA - A lot of theory and best practice which is good, but the Cisco way is always the most expensive way.

    Not so useful

    CCNA: Wireless - This really seemed more for a sales/marketing perspective.
    Network+ - I was done with this test in a half hour, its a basic network exam good to learn the essentials but anyone with real expereince should skip this.
    CWTS - I really wish I took the CWNA instead, I didn't learn much from this exam but I had about two years of wireless expereince at the time I took this.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    MCSA - I learned a lot about Active Directory and how Windows servers function in doing the 70-290 and 70-291 exams. I would say 80% of what I learned on this was practical information.
    Net+ - Studying for Net+ solidified my knowledge of the OSI model and how protocols work together to make any network function.
    Security+ - This gave me a foundation on security principles. It's even less depth than Net+, but that's actually what I think any IT professional needs to start into security. I ended up working on PCI compliance for a client shortly after taking it, and I'm not sure how I could have accomplished what I did without what I learned studying for Security+.

    A+ - Completely and utterly useless in terms of knowledge. I took the 2003 or 2004 version in 2005 or 2006 (it's all a blur), and the material on the test was horribly outdated. Windows 9x, IRQs, ISA ports, etc. were big parts of the test. I mean, knowing what specific files did what in DOS was just not useful information in the mid-2000s. I took A+ to get my start in IT, and it worked. I got some a few small gigs and finally a full-time job at a very young age. But I did those jobs using skills and knowledge that had almost no overlap with A+. My recollection is that 20-30% of the test was useful stuff I already knew, and the rest was worthless.
    MCTS: App. Infrast. (70-643) - Actually, I haven't passed this yet, but I really think it's missing the mark in terms of practical knowledge. The material on it is good for some subjects, but crap on the rest. When I do finally pass this, I will not know how to work with SharePoint Foundation, Streaming Media Services, or KMS much better than I already did. I will still have to look up the commands and procedures on those rare occasions in which I work with them. The GPO settings I more or less have to memorize will be forgotten not long after I pass, but will be just as easy to find as they ever were.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
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  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 874 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I think a lot of the replies that say a particular exam is worthless might be a little relative to the experience level of the test taker.

    I have 0 Linux experience so studying LPIC or Linux+ would be beneficial.

    For CISSP, I attended a two week course, never read the offical or Harris book or stressed over exam preparation and still passed. I thought it was a worthless cert, but for a manager or someone delving into network security, it's pretty decent.

    Same goes for CCNA Security or Server+. It's the first Cisco cert that discusses zone based firewalls, VPNs, dynamic ARP inspection, DHCP snooping, etc. and if you've never touched a server and have little IT experience, it's useful. It's vendor neutral, so the next step is Microsoft, VCP, Red Hat, etc.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think a lot of the replies that say a particular exam is worthless might be a little relative to the experience level of the test taker.

    Yes and no. Linux+ might not be useful to an experienced Linux admin, but it contains useful information. A+, at least when I took it, was largely useless information. Net+ is not useful to an experienced security or network engineer, but it contains useful information.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • swildswild Member Posts: 828
    In order of most to least useful:

    CISSP - sold me on IT security as my focus. The sheer breadth of knowledge assures me that I will never be bored. Plus I'm OCD on best practices.
    Project+ - Horribly boring. Flew through it in less that 2 weeks but still retained quite a bit. Only PM cert I ever plan to get. Also, showed me that I am not as interested in management as I am in the grunt work.

    A+, Network+, Security+ -
    I was already at this level and took all three in 2 months of each other. Just wanted to assure my base understanding.

    Storage+ - Total joke. Studied for 2 hours and passed with no experience.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    I think the whole arguement of whether the certification topics are worthless or not depends on the test version, experience of the taker, and the time/place the person is in. I don't know if we can really classify a cert as useless. We may say the A+ is useless but I ran IRQ conflicts in my time, Network+ well my version still covered token ring nda bus topologies, useless maybe maybe not, I've come across 2-3 token ring network still in production, and maybe the background knowledge of the older technologies (thicknet/thinnet,etc) is useful from history perspective.

    Some tests like CCNA:S cover good technologies but in my opinion its just executed poorly usuing the SDM, why should the CCNA:S focus on the SDM when the CCNP/CCIP does not. Sure we can go back and forth about this but SDM is just horrible. If the CCNA:S went back to CLI it would much more beneficial but to learn SDM (which EoL and replaced by CCP already) just for the CCNA:S is just judgement on Cisco in my opinion.

    We also should keep in mind most certification are stepping stones (With exceptions to high level ones CCIE/CWNE/CISSP/etc), it's not the fact of having the certification it's what we do after we obtain and were we take ourselve with the knowledge that make it worth while.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
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  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 874 ■■■■■□□□□□
    ptilsen wrote: »
    Yes and no. Linux+ might not be useful to an experienced Linux admin, but it contains useful information. A+, at least when I took it, was largely useless information. Net+ is not useful to an experienced security or network engineer, but it contains useful information.

    I took the A+ in 2007. I did have a few years of IT experience, but it definitely contained a lot of useful information. It definitely helped a few months after when I went on a military deployment to Iraq. I managed to maintain all of that "useless" info, which helped immensely with the numerous PC trouble calls I handled during that seven-month period. I have a friend who recently went through an A+ class, and he felt the info was useful too.

    I took the CIW Web Foundation exam in October prior to applying to WGU. I thought the exam was an easy test and could be a waste of my time, but again this is coming from someone with six years of experience and more than a dozen certs.

    This discussion is definitely a matter of opinion. Though with the CompTIA exams not including any "real" vendor information, it can make them seem easy or a waste of time.

    I do agree with Steve in regards to exams that seem like sales pitches or vendor self flagellation. I detested studying for the CCDA. It was like getting a 12-oz steak with 7 oz of fat (Cisco technologies/products) and 5 oz of substance (the actual network design part).

    I'll agree that CCNA Security does have quite a bit of SDM, but I think it's more of a failure in their updating the exam. I think their focus was on the Professional Security Program. I believe next up on their chopping block is the Expert level then it'll probably be the associate level, since they're taking a top-down approach to designing the track.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I took the A+ in 2007. I did have a few years of IT experience, but it definitely contained a lot of useful information. It definitely helped a few months after when I went on a military deployment to Iraq. I managed to maintain all of that "useless" info, which helped immensely with the numerous PC trouble calls I handled during that seven-month period. I have a friend who recently went through an A+ class, and he felt the info was useful too.
    I will concede that from what I have seen, Comptia greatly improved the exam material in the past few years. I certainly don't want to knock the A+ -- I'm just saying the version of the exam I took was largely impractical information.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 874 ■■■■■□□□□□
    ptilsen wrote: »
    I will concede that from what I have seen, Comptia greatly improved the exam material in the past few years. I certainly don't want to knock the A+ -- I'm just saying the version of the exam I took was largely impractical information.

    And that's why I disagreed with you. You based your opinion on your experiences. But there's nothing wrong with that. I completely can see where you're coming from. But I think a brand new Techexam poster, who wants to break into the industry might be misled by some of the opinions being posted.

    If you look in the CompTIA/CASP sub forum, you'll see that I think that test is waste of time. I took it in the fall and only looked at the objectives and Googled the ones I didn't know the night before I took the exam. There wasn't a book, CBT, etc. But the person who took the test is a CISSP, Sec+, MCSE, MCTIP:SA, CCNP, CCDP, CEHv7, etc, so I don't think I was that exam's target audience. It's just another bullet on my resume.

    Going off of the premise Steve gave, the certification is merely a stepping stone to job/experience. It should definitely be the first step. Whereas, many, who could've been in the industry for a bit of time, take them as a means of legitimatizing/padding their resumes.

    I want to learn Red Hat, but before hand, I know I'll probably do Linux+ because of my lack of Linux experience, so I have a solid foundation. Some might think that exam, but I disagree. And it's the same advice I'd give to someone who has plans on entering the IT industry and hasn't really made a decision of what his specialty will be (Windows Administration, Network Engineering, Security, Design, etc).
  • jovan88jovan88 Member Posts: 393
    CCNA - I picked up more knowledge with experience, but having this on my resume was good help
    for me to get started in the field

    CCNP - Learned a great amount, awesome cert to have.

    CCIP - QoS was the most real world help to me as I don't work for an ISP. But knowing what goes on inside the cloud was good.

    CCNA: Security - I studied for this and was ready to sit the exam, until I realised it wasn't worth the money.

    Upcoming: I'm now going for the CCNA: Voice. Half way through the book and I've already learned a huge amount.
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    CCENT/CCNA - I already had a pretty good grasp on networking by this point but this gave me valuable knowledge with IOS and especially learning the hardware side of things (NMs, HWICs, etc) as I built my home lab when I was going for this cert. The CCENT was a bit of a resume padder but splitting the material into two was a good option for me at the time.

    CCNA Security - Pretty much a resume padder. I didn't learn a great deal from this cert but I did it around the same time they had that SPECIALIZE promotion in 2009 where you got 50% off the CCNA specialization exams.

    CCNP - Got a really really good understanding of routing and switching concepts at an intermediate level, especially stuff like HSRP, multi-area OSPF and PVLANs which is stuff I deal with most weeks. The EBGP concepts/configuration is especially useful for my job - not so much the IBGP side of things (I don't work in an ISP)

    CCIP - As I said I don't work for an ISP so most of this stuff was pretty new to me at the time. Like jovan88, QoS is definatley the most applicable to my job but getting to understand BGP and MPLS VPNs in depth was very interesting and will definately help me in future jobs and the CCIE.

    JNCIA-Junos - Without a doubt the most useful cert I have as I was pretty new to Junos at the time when I got it so this got me up to speed pretty quickly especially with basic system management things. I deal with SRX firewalls everyday at work now so this cert has started me on the JNCIx-SEC path. Can't wait!
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A+ - Looked good to have. I never really remembered much from it as I've generally always been in the field since Atari 2600 days.
    Network+ - Started me off to knowing a little bit about things.

    CCENT - I just received it so it just looks pretty for now. Something about being the #10,000,000 ccent just seems like "Oh, there's 10 million of more of me in the job market". Not to downplay the significance, I enjoy the information immensely and find it all wonderful. I just hate looking at things and then at the cusp of wanting more information how does things "really" work. Then sitting back at the scribble of drawing on the paper and saying "Amazing". Looking at the big picture lets me appreciate just how much work learning the commands, and theory is.

    How useful it is? I don't know. But I think most of us that go in a honest-to-goodness career you enjoy don't just do it for the money. Except if you work where I work, then yeah, money helps to keep me coming back. :P

    I'd like to round myself out with knowledge of Project+, Security+ and Linux+ just to say "I have it". Vendor Neutral is attractive for me.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,718 Admin
    Every cert I've studied for--including those where I ended up not taking the exam--I have found beneficial, as I tend to over-study for my cert exams and enjoy the knowledge.

    My disappointment is always with the cert exams themselves. The worst was the 2003 A+ exams when it was still adaptive. It took me less than 10 minutes to finish each exam, and it was hardly a proper challenge. The quality of many of the questions on my 2004 Security+ was poorly worded and contained dubious terminology. And I took several Microsoft MCSD beta exams back in 1998 that were definitely not ready for prime time, but they were beta, so I can't complain too much.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Learned the least: For me it has to be Anything-+ :D Resume filler to the max! :) I already had MCSE and Cisco certs before I ever touched CompTIA, it was full-bore resume filler from the start, to be honest. I mean, getting Security+ after you already have MCSE is, at best, anti-climactic.

    Most knowledge gained: MCSE/CCNA/CISSP: Servers / Networking / Security All bases covered !!!

    For instance, it helps as a network engineer to be able to know how servers work, when you have a systems admin on the line, and you can speak to them intelligently because you know how their servers work (probably better than they do) and can help them narrow down their problem, which definitely isn't the network 99% of the time. It really cuts down on troubleshooting time. Others have already commented on the usefulness of CISSP.
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    instant000 wrote: »
    Learned the least: For me it has to be Anything-+ :D Resume filler to the max! :) I already had MCSE and Cisco certs before I ever touched CompTIA, it was full-bore resume filler from the start, to be honest. I mean, getting Security+ after you already have MCSE is, at best, anti-climactic.

    Most knowledge gained: MCSE/CCNA/CISSP: Servers / Networking / Security All bases covered !!!

    For instance, it helps as a network engineer to be able to know how servers work, when you have a systems admin on the line, and you can speak to them intelligently because you know how their servers work (probably better than they do) and can help them narrow down their problem, which definitely isn't the network 99% of the time. It really cuts down on troubleshooting time. Others have already commented on the usefulness of CISSP.

    I really am thinking about leaving my CompTIA's off of the resume and a few others to boot. I am thinking about picking my top 3 and rolling with those. Listing 5 CompTIA's is making my resume look very trashy imo.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    N2IT wrote: »
    I really am thinking about leaving my CompTIA's off of the resume and a few others at boot. I am thinking about picking my top 3 and rolling with those. Listing 5 CompTIA's is making my resume look very trashy imo.

    Hah, just list them last, not first :D
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
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  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I've learned from every certification that I have and all of them have been helpful in some way.
    The A+ certification has been helpful the most. The Network+ and Security+ has helped me in the classroom. The CCENT hasn't helped me anywhere.

    The certifications that I'm studying for (ccna, ccna:security, and CEH) have helped me in the class room a lot. I do believe that if I talk to the right teacher that they could help me out in finding the right internship.
    Booya!!
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