Ever hit a period in your career where certs don't make sense?

N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
I don't mean FOREVER, I am talking more around the immediate future or 1 - 3 year plan. Not to say this won't change as the months and years roll along. I am very curious to see how others view this. Thanks
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  • TechGuy215TechGuy215 CISSP, CEH, CHFI, CCNA: R&S, CCNA: Security, ITIL-F, LPIC-1, A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Projec Philadelphia, PAPosts: 404Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you've reached your pinnacle or end-all position, then you really don't need to pursue certificaitons anymore for competitive purposes. However, as we are all aware technology is an ever changing beast, and therefore you may be required by the company/businesses to at least renew certifications to keep current.

    Obviously everyone's situation will be different, but I'm kind of a Geek because I enjoy the challange of getting certified. Even if I was a CIO for a large company, and needed no more certs, I would still be hitting the books/labs and taking exams! icon_wink.gif
    * Currently pursuing: PhD: Information Security and Information Assurance
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    * Degrees: MSc: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; BSc: Information Technology - Security; AAS: IT Network Systems Administration
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    I don't mean FOREVER, I am talking more around the immediate future or 1 - 3 year plan. Not to say this won't change as the months and years roll along. I am very curious to see how others view this. Thanks

    Well, sure! There have been times in my life when family goals totally trumped career goals. And this may also be true if you're aiming away from the technical into management or sales roles. However, I can't recall any primarily technical networking roles where abandoning certifications for 1-3 years was the best option for career growth.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    If I ever opt for cushy gov't position or ready to retire comes to mind.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • Node ManNode Man Posts: 668Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my limited experience, certs will get you an interview, but they wont get you the job. The hiring manager will probably want more skills as well (trouble ticket systems, network monitoring platforms you know, how would you handle various scenarios that dont just include cisco gear...)
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm there now. I mean, there are a ton of certs that make sense, but, it doesn't make sense to take time away from school to keep working on certs. If I can find some spare time, great, but finishing the degree faster just makes more sense right now.

    I also think there are positions, areas you can be in that don't necessitate certifying further, at least for the foreseeable future. It depends on what you do, but there are positions within IT that just don't justify getting additional certifications. That doesn't mean you stop learning or keeping up-to-date, just that you stop certifying.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
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  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    ptilsen wrote: »
    It depends on what you do, but there are positions within IT that just don't justify getting additional certifications. That doesn't mean you stop learning or keeping up-to-date, just that you stop certifying.

    So very true...

    I think that it's largely a function of how someone's career progresses. I didn't hold a single certification until very recently. For first 20-25 years of my career, I never really figured out what the fuss was about. It was at a point in my career about 2 years ago when I started feeling very nostalgic about not having the in-depth experience and hands-on work of my earlier career. I had started to re-build an old lab and stumbled on the idea of getting a certification as a way to focus on knowledge retention. And as I was looking on the internet to learn about certifications - I came across TE. Admitedly, I got a bit addicted to various certification programs.

    When it comes to learning new topics, I am not very focused and wander through lots of topics as my interests shift hourly. What I have discovered is that a certification's body of knowledge and layout of topics keeps me focused.

    For me - although I may be towards the top of the IT food-chain, I am probably just starting to explore all the different certifications and taking some of the tracks depending on my interest at the time. I will probably not stop - I find it too addicting.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am at a point where I need to focus on a bunch of specific skills that don't apply to certs, so certs I pursue will only be general certifications and if I pursue a vendor cert it will only be something general or entry level so I am familiar with the product.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    tpatt I am there as well. A lot of what I do now is very industry specific. Learning MS or Cisco just wouldn't help with what I do. In fact it would probably hurt. Are you going through a similar situation? You know dealing with proprietary, niche type IT?
  • CrikeyCrikey Posts: 59Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've been in IT for 20+ years and I have never been asked in an interview about my certs.

    I think they will get your resume past the circle file and in the running; however, how you present yourself and the way you handle the questions will ultimately win or lose the job.

    And...I have been on both sides of the interview table.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    tpatt I am there as well. A lot of what I do now is very industry specific. Learning MS or Cisco just wouldn't help with what I do. In fact it would probably hurt. Are you going through a similar situation? You know dealing with proprietary, niche type IT?

    Well my job is so broad and wide and only an inch deep that going even after general certs are kinda a time waster for me now. I keep thinking I should get the CISA for the letters but once I crack the book I find I am falling behind on basic stuff like how much Microsoft Server has changed over the years. I really only need to know the basic functions of Server 2008 and up and going for a cert above say MCSA is a waste of time. Except even MCSA covers so much across three exams.

    So I need the CISA if I want to stay doing what I am doing which I am not sure of lol except the material in it is so useless to me "now" and I want the cert just for future jobs mostly.

    I need to learn functional Linux also and now find myself dabbling with basic SQL....

    I might just keep my CISSP current, do the CISA and focus on labbing for learning purposes. If I go to an interview I will bring my laptop and fire up Vmware and show all the labs I have performed to try and stay current. If they don't like that then I give up lol.
  • RanMicRanMic Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dave330i wrote: »
    If I ever opt for cushy gov't position or ready to retire comes to mind.

    Sorry to bust your bubble, but many "cushy gov't positions" require certs to maintain your position.
  • krjaykrjay Posts: 290Member
    The only time certs don't make sense to me in a 1-3 year period is when I need to learn an industry specific set of skills or if I were pursuing a masters.
    2014 Certification Goals: 70-410 [ ] CCNA:S [ ] Linux+ [ ]
  • prampram Posts: 171Member
    I've literally never been asked about certs. I'm basically in a devops role at a game company and no one is familiar with any of the certs anyway. I assume it depends on the environment you work in, if you work around programmers then they'll likely not care. Their perception of your skills is based on prior experience and (surprise) programming/scripting ability. I'd imagine if you worked in an operations-centric place like an MSP certs would be much more important.

    That's not to say I don't personally pursue certs, because I do. They're very useful for learning new material, and that has benefits even if employers don't care about the piece of paper.
  • MickQMickQ Posts: 628Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    dave330i wrote: »
    If I ever opt for cushy gov't position or ready to retire comes to mind.

    What's the difference?

    You know your own case the best. If word of mouth is enough to get you by and you can afford to leave the certs go idle for a few years then go and smell the roses.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Pram I work in a data shop that's heavily into app dev projects and data. Infrastructure is here but it's not something we really discuss much unless it can impact the performance of our product.
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Posts: 1,637Member
    I'm kind of at that point now. I have 2 (3 if I'm motivated) MS exams left in the 2012 track. Only exams I need after that will be for renewals or if I change my career focus. Even though I have slowed down - at one point I was averaging an exam every 6 weeks - it will be strange not to take an exam for a couple of years.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Clay - enjoy life brother! Just kidding but that is impressive, getting a cert every 6 weeks. I could do that for one cert and then burnout.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    pram wrote: »
    That's not to say I don't personally pursue certs, because I do. They're very useful for learning new material, and that has benefits even if employers don't care about the piece of paper.
    Right - I'm of the same thought as well. I've never been asked about certs before by any employer. But as a way of learning, I think it can't be beat.
  • ExpectExpect Posts: 252Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Certifications are for personal achievement and maybe an assistance when a beginner tries to make his first market break-through.
    when you have the experience certificates don't matter unless the job description requests for a specific certificate.
    just my 2cents
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    My current employer's CIO was impressed when I brought up the GIAC G2700 cert I got as part of the WGU program. Also a former employer thought it was funny how fast I rattled off an answer to a basic tech question during the interview and asked me if I was studying something. I mentioned the CISSP which I was taking, I think that helped them remember me.

    So I think certs might become less important to your current job but when job searching it can help you stand out from your competition.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    I've hit situations where it makes less sense than others. Right now I doubt getting further certified will do much for me monetarily or career wise, but never will furthering my qualifications make no sense at all. Always have to be ready to hit the job market.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Expect wrote: »
    Certifications are for personal achievement and maybe an assistance when a beginner tries to make his first market break-through.
    when you have the experience certificates don't matter unless the job description requests for a specific certificate.
    just my 2cents

    Experience can be completely meaningless. Many drivers have years of experience, but are terrible drivers. Why? Because they never bothered to educate themselves on how to drive.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Posts: 330Member
    When adding certifications no longer increases my bottom line, I won't bother. Sure it's nice to stay current on tech by studying and ready books but you can do that without doing a bunch of certs. We all work to get paid, let's be honest here. I have plenty of things on my fun list to do in my spare time that rank way above reading the latest Cisco book.

    Certifications pay off the most when you jump to a new job, which usually means your advancing in your field so salary increase should naturally happen.
  • ExpectExpect Posts: 252Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I agree with what you're saying, yet employees still prefer experience (and knowledge, not just years doing X) over certificates
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I have to agree every company I have worked for has valued experience a lot more than certifications or education. With that said I have seen some positions require a bachelors or they wouldn't even consider you. I'm sure this is the case with certifications and certain positions.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Expect wrote: »
    I agree with what you're saying, yet employees still prefer experience (and knowledge, not just years doing X) over certificates

    That's why when I interview I point out the flaws in "experience trump everything" mentality. One of the reasons I've been successful.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • PolynomialPolynomial Posts: 365Member
    dave330i wrote: »
    That's why when I interview I point out the flaws in "experience trump everything" mentality.

    Could you elaborate a bit?
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Posts: 1,637Member
    Polynomial, it's something I also see when I people think they are good just because they have been doing this for a while.
    • 10 years of experience is different than 1 year of experience 10 times.
    • People who know 'how' to do things, but don't understand 'why' they are done that way
    • Folks that read about a recommended best practice 10 years ago and still use that practice even though the product has had 3 versions released since then.
    Certification isn't everything, but it does show that you have at least cracked a book since you got your first position and are making an effort to keep up with the changes in technology. At many of my client sites I can tell what version of server or Exchange the person trained in, even if they are running a different version now. I see VMs being built today like they were building a physical server in 1998. Or a shiny new feature like thin provisioning storage get implemented without understanding the potential impact.

    I know I'm not getting as much out of pursuing certs as I used to. I don't have the time for them so I do just enough to pass and move on. The certs also aren't pushing me to learn like they did 6 years ago when I got back on the MS cert train. I've passed exams without studying or only studying for a few hours. I passed 3 beta exams in 6 days last year, including both Exchange 2013 exams on the same day, with only a couple of evenings to prepare. The certs are more for partner competency and funding requirements than for personal development now. They also aren't as fun as they used to be.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Polynomial wrote: »
    Could you elaborate a bit?

    I prefer to use general examples since I don't know the interviewer's IT skills. Driving is a good example because everyone does it, but everyone does it badly. Braking while turning makes the car unstable so it shouldn't be done, but everyone does it because they don't know about it even though they have x years of driving experience. I know about it because I studied vehicle dynamics while in college and attended car control clinics.

    How to use a chef's knife is another example. My mom's been cooking longer than I've been alive, but she never learn how to cut properly. She can cut very quickly from experience, but she does it incorrectly so she damages the edge.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    But that is all assuming you have enough experience on the resume to get them to talk to you! I think your situation dave330i is a little different than someone entering the IT field straight with zero professional experience in any field.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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