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The 10 best IT certifications: 2010

The certification landscape changes as rapidly as the technologies you support. Here's an updated list of certs that currently offer the most value and validity for IT pros.

Just as with many popular arguments -- Red Sox v. Yankees, Chelsea v. Manchester United, Ford v. Chevy -- IT certifications are popular fodder for debate. Except that certifications, in an IT professional's microcosm of a world, have a bigger impact on the future. Just which certifications hold the most value today? Here's my list of the 10 accreditations with the greatest potential for technology support professionals, administrators, and managers seeking employment within consulting firms or small and midsize organizations.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: MCITP

This best certification list could be built using 10 Microsoft certifications, many of which would be MCITP accreditations. The world runs on Microsoft. Those professionals earning Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification give employers and clients confidence that they've developed the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, deploy, support, maintain, and optimize Windows technologies. Specifically, the Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7 and Server Administrator tracks hold great appeal, as will Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010, as older Exchange servers are retired in favor of the newer platform.

2: MCTS

With operating systems (Windows 2000, 2003, 2008, etc.) cycling through every several years, many IT professionals simply aren't going to invest the effort to earn MCITP or MCSE accreditation on every version. That's understandable. But mastering a single exam, especially when available examinations help IT pros demonstrate expertise with such popular platforms as Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008, is more than reasonable. That's why the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) accreditation earns a spot on the list; it provides the opportunity for IT pros to demonstrate expertise on a specific technology that an organization may require right here, right now.

3: Network+

There's simply no denying that IT professionals must know and understand the network principles and concepts that power everything within an organization's IT infrastructure, whether running Windows, Linux, Apple, or other technologies. Instead of dismissing CompTIA's Network+ as a baseline accreditation, every IT professional should add it to their resume.

4: A+

Just as with CompTIA's Network+ certification, the A+ accreditation is another cert that all IT professionals should have on their resume. Proving baseline knowledge and expertise with the hardware components that power today's computers should be required of all technicians. I'm amazed at the number of smart, intelligent, and seasoned IT pros who aren't sure how to crack the case of a Sony Vaio or diagnose failed capacitors with a simple glance. The more industry staff can learn about the fundamental hardware components, the better.

5: CSSA

SonicWALLs power countless SMB VPNs. The company's network devices also provide firewall and routing services, while extending gateway and perimeter security protections to organizations of all sizes. By gaining Certified SonicWALL Security Administrator (CSSA) certification, engineers can demonstrate their mastery of network security essentials, secure remote access, or secure wireless administration. There's an immediate need for engineers with the knowledge and expertise required to configure and troubleshoot SonicWALL devices providing security services.

6: CCNA

Although SonicWALL has eaten some of Cisco's lunch, the demand for Cisco skills remains strong. Adding Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) expertise to your resume does no harm and helps convince larger organizations, in particular, that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to deploy and troubleshoot Cisco routing and switching hardware.

7: ACTC

Here's where the debate really begins. Increasingly, my office is being asked to deploy and administer Mac OS X networks. In the real world, divorced from IT-industry rhetoric, we're being asked to replace older Windows networks with Mac OS X client-server environments. We're particularly seeing Apple traction within nonprofit environments. We've found the best bet is to get up to speed on the technologies clients are requesting, so it stands to reason that earning Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) 10.6 accreditation won't hurt. In fact, developing mastery over Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server will help provide confidence needed to actually begin pursuing Apple projects, instead of reactively responding to client requests to deploy and maintain Apple infrastructure.

8: ACSP

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) 10.6 accreditation helps IT professionals demonstrate expertise supporting Mac OS X client workstations. If you work for a single organization, and that firm doesn't use Macs, you won't need this certification. But larger organizations adding Macs due to demand within different departments or consultants working with a wide client base will do well to ensure they have Snow Leopard client skills. The ACSP is the perfect way to prove mastery.

9: CISSP

Unchanged from the last 10 best certifications list, ISC2's security accreditation for industry professionals with at least five years of full-time experience is internationally recognized for its value and validity. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) title demonstrates expertise with operations and network security, subjects that will only increase in importance as legal compliance, privacy, and risk mitigation continue commanding larger organizations' attention.

10: PMP

I fear organizations begin cutting project managers first when times get tough. Management roles and responsibilities often get passed to technical staff when layoffs occur. Even in challenging economic times, though, IT departments require staff familiar with planning, scheduling, budgeting, and project management. That's why the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation makes the list. The cert measures candidates' expertise in managing and planning projects, budgeting expenses, and keeping initiatives on track. While there's an argument to place CompTIA's Project+ certification in this slot, PMI is a respected organization that exists solely to further professional project management and, as such, deserves the nod.

Honorable mentions: MCSE, ITIL, RHCP, Linux+, VCP, ACE, QuickBooks, Security+

In the previous version of this article, readers asked where NetWare certification stands. It's not on the list. That's not a mistake. It's gone the way of BNC connectors, in my opinion. Microsoft owns the market. MCSEs have more value.

ITIL has its place, particularly in larger environments. RHCP (or Linux+) and VCP have roles within enterprises dependent upon Red Hat/Linux and VMware virtualization technologies certainly, but those organizations remain hit or miss.

Acronis' ACE deserves a look. With some 3 million systems being backed up now by Acronis image software, it would behoove technology professionals to learn how to properly use the software. I think it's fair to say there's still some confusion as to the software's tremendous potential.

SMBs are also demonstrating a surge of interest in QuickBooks technologies. From QuickBooks Point-of-Sale to QuickBooks Enterprise platforms, there's strong, growing demand for QuickBooks expertise in the field. The company's growth is impressive. There's no other way to describe it. In a crappy economy, Intuit's growing.

Security+, really, is a no brainer, but I'll get lit up if I include nothing but CompTIA certifications in the top 10 list. However, my advice for anyone entering the industry or even veterans seeking their first accreditations would be to load up on CompTIA certs. How can you go wrong with the manufacturer-independent certifications that demonstrate mastery of fundamentals across a range of topics, including project management, hardware, networking, security, and voice networks? You could do much worse.

A word on the methodology

There's no double-blind statistically valid data analysis run through a Bayesian probability calculus formula here. I've worked in IT long enough, however, and with enough different SMBs, to know what skills we need when the firm I co-own hires engineers and sends technicians onsite to deploy new systems or troubleshoot issues.

Sure, I could have thrown in ITIL to satisfy enterprise professionals, included RHCP to sate the rabid open source crowd, and added VCP to look hip modernizing the list with a virtualization element. But I'm just not seeing the demand for those skills in companies with up to several hundred employees. My firm's been asked to deploy exactly one Linux server in almost seven years. And we've virtualized maybe a dozen systems. Therefore, I feel it would be a disservice to readers to include such accreditations when I see, on a daily basis, vastly greater demand for these other skill sets.

For more details on how the IT certification landscape is changing, see this Career Management blog post.


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About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

89 comments
uberlist
uberlist

I would also add in support center certifications. Support centers have traditionally been a good place to get into IT. I've also seen where some good money can be made for individuals with good experience. Couple of good places are Globalbench (www.globalbench.com) and HDI (thinkhdi.com).

mistercrowley
mistercrowley

What I don't get is that people don't understand that there are different A+ certs and that they don't care to make a distinction between any of them.

tommy96
tommy96

An efficient data center addresses cooling, air flow management, power distribution, load shedding, monitoring, reliability, policies and procedures, and maintenance. It also must include looking at strategies to position the company to a+ certification take advantage of rebates and incentives which I have seen add up to 50% of the cost of a project.

dmarsh26
dmarsh26

No call for VCP ? No call for the hundreds of other certs not mentioned ? Are you on crack ? This is nothing more than your opinion presumably based on rather limited exposure to certain aspects of the indistry.

pankaj.nikam
pankaj.nikam

What about in software? What are the top certifications in software please provide an update...

Nimmo
Nimmo

I'm surprised that more security certifications didn't make the list, where is the CompTIA security+ and EC Council CEH?

Jadams76
Jadams76

Suprised no CCIE or VCP on the list @ciscopress / @jamieadams76

crcgraphix
crcgraphix

And, if you are going for MCTS or equivalent right now, then you are taking the test of one of the nineteen different style tests. Plus, there are roughly 1200 different exams covering all of the material of every technical subject. Some test centers alone offer about 800 tests in their arsenal, mainly focusing on Microsoft CompTia, CCNA, and MCSE/MCTS ... That means that out of the total average of tests, there are almost three or more new exams per 1200 allotment every few weeks or so. That would mean 1200 / 3 * 2 per month = 800 + the existing 1200 in the hole. These places that offer 700 to 800 tests are basically responsible for almost two-thirds of test production processes and that's not to say they do it alone, but that on a bi-weekly or tri-weekly basis, they're expected to make good with some valuable test data and procedural layouts. So , as you can see the test providers kind of support the beast, the beast which is the licensed Testing and Assessment Center, those who create the tests. Now, if there are 3000 Prometric Licensed Testing Center world-wide, then how many students are taking each test at-a-time in any given part of the world? You do the math...

ray
ray

That disclaimer about "no statistical basis" for this list should have been the very first sentence. Idiotic.

jjenkins
jjenkins

...then why should I, who has only 2 years of field experience and an associates degree, keep getting asked if I have Security+, CISSP, CCNA/CCNP, etc. when I go for job interviews? Say what you will, but this article is for people who don't have a job trying to get a job in the industry. I've found that ALL U.S. government or contract positions require Security+ now. Depending on what your specialization is (if you have one), A+ always seems to garner interest in my resume too. Then they start asking for specific certs for whatever position I'm applying, be it CCNA for Network Admin or MSITP for Windows Server Admin. If you're a web design or database specialist, these would obviously be the worst choice, but having A+ would still help because everyone seems to be looking for that person who can do what he specializes in and help with everything else. Not to mention I've met quite a few web people and programmers who can't seem to identify what kind of memory their MAC needs in order to make their program run more efficiently. I usually don't ask them anything professionally after that because it shows a distinct lack of interest in the whole purview of their chosen field.

cbader
cbader

If you are hiring someone for the Geek Squad you may want an A+ certified technician, but to put that on a 10 best list is a joke. Replace that with VCP, and replace N+ with Security+ and your getting a little closer.

BradTD
BradTD

I was hoping to hear more about what people thought of the list, but of course it had to degenerate into the usual debate about whether certs are useful or not. (Yawn.) Hello people, this certification thing is NOT exclusive to IT!! I have friends who are teachers or in trades, and many of them have had to get certified or found value in doing so. Can you imagine if teachers bitched about "having to" get certified the way IT people do? I myself have fallen on both sides of this debate. I have been in the IT field for over 18 years and didn't get my first certification until last year. Now I have a few and will keep on going for now. I do see some value in getting them based on experience of both me and the people I manage. It doesn't guarantee you'll be an effective technician(nor does it mean that those who don't have them aren't effective technicians), but it can help if you have some skills and common sense to begin with. No, it is not a foolproof way to ensure you've hired a quality candidate. But to say that certified technicians are worse employees on average than non-certified technicians is absolutely ascinine. As far as the list itself, of course it's open to debate; but to me it's not a bad starting point. Based on others I have seen in the field, I certainly promote CISSP if you're involved in security and hope to obtain it myself someday. Like it or not naysayers, it does open up some doors as I have witnessed for others. I also promote ITIL and hope to obtain that one in the future. I have an employee who obtained ITIL while at a previous job. While he is a Microsoft network administrator, he also provides extra value by applying some best practices with process items such as software and hardware deployments (among other things). Considering how disorganized much of IT management is (in my nearly two decades of experience), process improvement items such as learned through ITIL are important.

jk2001
jk2001

What's the value of a cert compared to other ways to get proof of competency? - Recommendations - Publications - Weblogs - Participation in Open Source projects - Volunteer projects - Membership in organizations - College degrees I ask because I have no certifications.

Matthew.Rasins
Matthew.Rasins

Many of thses seem to be more accreditations than certifications. Maybe I'm wrong.

Englebert
Englebert

I am convinced that the future hiring process will be vetted by a computer that will go out seeking certs And this does not apply just to IT. Tell the juniors, your children, granchildren to accumulate their certs. Even one may not suffice, but many, viz Jane Doe, BA, PEng, MBA Networking and Certs...the only way to open doors

tsabbe2001
tsabbe2001

VM, VOIP/UC, OCS, and video Telepresence are the hottest technologies. I've been involved in >20 projects at Global 1000 companies and leading LA/SD firms in the past 3yrs. The list above lacks in the skill sets associated with these technologies. Guessing you're company has very limited exposure to larger enterprises.

TGGIII
TGGIII

All of the comments above about not having real skill are true; if you can't dance your will go home without your date. As a manger that has done a fair bit of hiring, I will tell you that certs can get your resume in the right stack, especially in a tough job market. Not a deal maker but perhaps a tie breaker. Certs do need to match level of aspiration. If you are at the beginning of your career looking for entry level work - entry level certs are great, but don't come looking for a senior level security job with a Network +. Finally, there was one comment about PMI being useless theory. Deming said, "Experience without theory, teaches nothing." There are many people applying theoretical principles as if they were scripture. As with all frameworks, rigor equals risk and it is possible to overdo such things. On the other hand, I have seen some projects where some of the more agile or informal methods would have melted...in the end there is no substitute for thinking and if you think hard enough, you usually wind up at the frameworks that have already been developed; ergo get the cert as a short cut to knowledge and then work to develop the skill.

juanuby
juanuby

Last time I checked (which wasn't that long ago by the way) job descriptions still require of an applicant to have certain certifications especially, specialties such as IT, Audit/Assurance and Project Management. If someone is presented with two candidates, both with experience and one with accompanying certification the later will be chosen, unless the former has some sort of an inside track advantage. Same thing can be said about education, high school graduate vs college grad with the same experience, its just the way it is. If you think you can get along without continuing education which certifications mandate by the way (and it shows you are ?up to date? with new technologies and methodologies) then by all means go ahead, but your career outlook, your desirability, will suffer. In tough economic times you need to prove your worth and experience with certifications show you are more then just a PC grease monkey.

Sir Breezy
Sir Breezy

Is this a joke? A+ still on the list. Why not speak about how hiring managers regard certifications as meaningless these days. Managers want skilled workers that have experience in the field, not on paper.

Kelseyvh
Kelseyvh

I think CBAP is also missing.

duncanrack
duncanrack

A high demand for MCSEs does not equate to high salaries, which basically means the more MCSE's the lower the price the market will pay. That makes it the worst qualification cz at the end of the day its about the benjamins baby .. ching..ching. So i say, taking the MS route will get you the job but not the rewards due to you. It becums an issue of title vs cash... i vote for cash! Besides, hw many can seriously tackle an RHCE exam, very few, and CCIE, very few again. So the fewer you are, the better the graph. Peace!

Bobbymak
Bobbymak

The PMP's concepts and terminology add no insight or clarification to one's ability to manage projects. It's a memorization of academic theories of questionable value. Project managment has been around since the construction of the sphinx and they did just fine without being certified. And being careful not eat their own dogfood, none of the officers of the PMI are themselves certified. Another reason to think twice before shelling out the bucks for this designation.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

These certification vendors claim that those holding them, or worse still those claiming to hold them can pass an exam. Quite often even so miserable a conjecture is dubious. In terms of means they can do the job, don't make me laugh. The idea behind certification was some independant and reputable body vouchsafing a professional's ability against an industry standard. As soon as the huge sums of money that could be raked in from selling a stamp of professionalism were realised, that orginal idea floated off on a boat load of greed. I've no argument with the idea that we can learn things on them, that we can prove that we had at some point by passing the exam. Certify us as professionals? Naivety, stupidity or mendacity are the only explanations. I've met too many with them, who were crap at the job, and only slightly less without who weren't. The only thing a claim of cert on a resume gives me confidence in, is which subjects to grill the next candidate on.

tommy96
tommy96

An efficient data center addresses cooling, air flow management, power distribution, load shedding, monitoring, reliability, policies and procedures, and maintenance. It also must include looking at strategies to position the company to a+ certification take advantage of rebates and incentives which I have seen add up to 50% of the cost of a project.

RyanLSanders
RyanLSanders

What about MCM or MCA? I would argue these are the real Enterprise MSFT certs. Weeks of on-site training in Redmond (mine was 3) and timed hands on labs. Less than 50% pass rate. You better know your stuff before you are even accepted into the training. Yes accepted into the training, its not open to anyone. http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/master.aspx

tfudge
tfudge

Just wanted to say thanks for your comments. As one who's not seen a "need" to get certs because they are 1) not required at my current job and 2) I prefer database/web management over what I consider "real" IT (networking/server management/PC troubleshooting), your comments actually make sense as to why I SHOULD consider some certs!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

potential employers are asking for. Our estimation of their intelligence and ethics based on why they are asking for them is of course a different matter. Why would you ask a programmer what kind of memory they need. That would be like asking a hardware guy for potential database optimising strategies. If a programmer was having performance problems related to memory, they would change their code not the damn chip. Does not knowing this indicate your unprofessional lack of interest in our chosen field?

ScottLander
ScottLander

What if I am certified in that, will it do me anything? ;)

jk2001
jk2001

An A+ might be worth it for someone who wants to get a computer repair job, or who wants to start such a business. (I just read an A+ test guide, and it seemed mostly okay.) Certs are market-oriented, and more for the person purchasing services than the person selling services. I've generally been suspicious of them, because they seemed so easy to pass, and the people getting them seemed under-skilled. Perhaps things have changed.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you can't fix the job while they are beavering away in the background negating your efforts. I didn't give a p1ss about the list or what order it was in. After the contention that cert = professional, I simply assumed the rest of it was complete drivel as well.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

of money, is about the best one. Recommendation isn't proof. Publications aren't, may be your wife wrote it. Weblogs, same again Open source and volunteer contribution, depends on visibility and the percieved worth. Organisations = proof of spare cash. College degrees prove skill, really? There's only one real proof short of doing it in front of them, the respect of your peers. PS don't confuse making the shortlist for interview with proof of skill.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Just get some eejit with their own phone and email, and a Search button and put them on commission. Actually that's been done. I got a hit not so long back for some product called Merlin, the name of the road I live on..... 'Nuff said The one for helopcopter maintenance I still haven't figured out : (

dreamsculptor
dreamsculptor

I think the author was going for the broadest appeal, and it seemed that he was dealing with a great number of small businesses, which would temper his response. Personally, I am with you. If you want into any enterprise environment, you better show them technologies that will save them money. No Virtualization, No Better Networking Efficiency, No Shared Storage, No Collaboration/Web Conferencing... tough sell. Talk about one or two of those things and you have some people listening -- maybe even returning your phone calls. Talk about them all, they're drueling; Talk about building them a complete Enterprise Architecture to deliver those technologies and integrate them into their current environment for less than your competitors -- they'll ask you where to send the check and when you can come over for dinner. But, like anything else, if you specialize too much and don't have a broad foundation, when the tide changes, you get left out in the cold.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

After all learning the wrong way to do something as long as you know why it's wrong is a plus. The thing to get clear is Project Mnagement is a skill, database design is a skill, windows admmistration is a skill, programming is a skill. Prince2, SQL Server, Windows and C# are tools. Lets remember that 1000 chimps jumping up and down on keyboards, might get you one sonnet but it is still appalling inefficient....

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

HR numpties don't know what they mean anyway. Your experience and certs contention is also somewhat simplistic. Experience in what, when and more importantly how much. I've interview people with certs and 'experience' who couldn't answer basic questions on a tech that I learnt decades ago. Buggers who claim to be Client Server Developers who don't know waht a transaction is.. In tough economic times just lower your rate, you are more likely to get the job and you won't have to pay for a cert and teh exam as well. Remember in corporate IT quality is an overhead, management, people, processes and product.

ylto
ylto

Despite having 20 years industry experience AND having a few of the aforementioned certs, I've found that many managers - particularly those in larger organizations - DO want certifications, and that many recruiters won't actively assist me without them. Small business on the other hand seems largely ignorant of them. As a full time consultant now, no one ever asks what my credentials are. *shrug*

sissy sue
sissy sue

A lot of people are being paid big bucks to formalize and add an air of mystique to what are commonly understood to be good business practices. You are correct: Good business practices, as in project management, have "been around since the construction of the sphinx." There is really nothing new here, except that these certifications do count for something in the eyes of SOME hiring managers.

tbmay
tbmay

....the value any or all of the above and a slew of others hold really depends on the company. The simple fact of the matter is you could have ALL of them plus all the other really difficult ones you could get from, say, Red Hat and Cisco, and still find yourself losing out to a far less qualified candidate. Companies hire for a slew of reasons and if you find one where they'll hire you because they're convinced you're the sharpest candidate, you've found a rare one...with or without certs. That said, I'm of the belief that anything one does to improve himself or herself can't be bad. But certs are expensive and if you don't have an employer flitting the bill, you really need to target what you want to build on.

mike_patburgess
mike_patburgess

Remember when you went to school? Those people who memorized the material got the high grades! So many of us do not memorize material as that content is far too point in time. Instead, we strive to understand how things work. Yep, let's spend all our hard earned cash to take some dated training and boost up that saggin revenue that manufacturers find themselves in.

ronaldwwoods
ronaldwwoods

I agree that certifications are simply an indictor, and possibly a discriminator, but do not reflect actual ability or performance. However, the government has adopted certain IT certifications as an employment standard and if you don't have them your chance of employment is slim.

Ou Jipi je
Ou Jipi je

I have 12+ years of experience; senior it job and thus nothing to prove anymore - yet I still certify and re-certify (if the certification is still relevant to my job at the time of the re-certification period). That is, with new technologies and approaches I usually follow a training. Once I follow the training, I would like to show to myself that I have been listening and I have understood the material (and thus verify that I haven't been sitting some place for a week or two picking my nose). Call it a self test. And thus I take an exam (and usually pass). Nothing wrong with that. I expect my staff to do the same when they follow technical trainings. I guess I am one of those naive, stupid or mendacious ones. Luckily; there are guys like you out there, realists, smart, objective and truthful who know everyone and seen everything. So the humble rest of us, the naive, stupid or mendacious can cry out for your help when our businesses are burning down due to our certifications.

dmarsh26
dmarsh26

$20+k for a certification, one offered almost exclusively in the US ? No thanks rather have an MPhil or PhD from a recognised college.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

my NT3.51 and DecNet administration material. :D

taylorstan
taylorstan

You must realize that SMBs usually had or have a homebrew IT person that is a lesser duty of their typical job. So an SMB are just looking to get an "expert" to fix what system or software that is out of support took a dump.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

definition of Qualified :p Got to be clear though, if you can get the certs do so, aside from maybe learning something useful, you'll appease the HR numpties. Course it will take a bit longer to get your Phd in access enterprise applications.... :(

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I memorised my times tables at school. Used to have to sing them out by rote. Only up to 10s, though. So how come I know 16 * 19 is 320 - 20 + 1 ? Because I can apply.....

Ou Jipi je
Ou Jipi je

"Those people who memorized the material got the high grades! So many of us do not memorize material as that content is far too point in time. Instead, we strive to understand how things work." Who do you mean when you say "we"? You and your brother? To understand how things work, you require to have knowledge of facts. Which by definition means memorizing _loads of material_.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Given the rate and comprehensiveness of failure in It.guv.... That's just management cya. We hired 'professionals' therefore we did our bit.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Professionals can have certs, or degrees, strange sexual fetishes even. Having anyone of the latter doesn't guarantee the former though.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is emloyers don't know what it is. TR pushed a thread on it, so I had a look about found two jobs requiring it. Both buzzword bingo requirements MCSE/CCNA/ ...... etc. The sense I got from the rest of them MCSE would have done the job, so it wasn't an architect position anyway. It looked interesting, probably some good stuff in there. 20K, + flight to US + accommodation. You'd need to be working on something huge to justify that and if you need training, why are you working on it? Perhaps because your employer couldn't afford someone with proven ability..... Anyone doing well enough to pay for it themselves needs to have a look what ROI is. How many opportunities are there to make real use of it, and what sort of moron would give somone such a task based on simply having a cert, no matter how good? Scratch that last question, I can think of a few. :(

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

SMB's often require multi-skilled people. A top notch Cisco admin would be near useless to them. When they need a specialist they hire one, after much hand wringing. They also tend to have a mixture of kit of varying ages. Not that long back I was still messing with protocol.ini and 16 bit network cards....

tbmay
tbmay

...certs = qualified Of course. There's qualified and there's capable. One can easily be either one and not the other.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

320 - 20 + 4 or 320 - 16 or indeed 160 + 90 + 54 What it shouldn't be is get our your calculator, or live in a nuclear reactor during gestation and end up with 16 digits on each hand... Certifications do indeed validate knowledge. Of course that's at the point you get tested. It's assumed relevant. Skill and professionalism are not in scope. The first part of being wise, is admitting that at least on occasion you were are and will be foolish.....

rwparks.it
rwparks.it

Knowledge sets the basis for wisdom. Memorization keeps that knowledge handy. Case in point: Not familiar with the math you gave "So how come I know 16 * 19 is '320 - 20 + 1 ?'" This didn't add up. My first clue was 9*6=54, memorized in elementary school; the last digit should be a '4'. Checked via calculator = 304. The knowledge flagged the answer appears incorrect. Followup gave the result. > Certifications validate the knowledge. > Wisdom from experience builds on that knowledge and gives value. (Knowledge without wisdom is vanity.)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

been too subtle... Most of the really stupid mistakes I've seen have been made by people with more letters after their name than I've got in mine.

Ou Jipi je
Ou Jipi je

I know where you are coming from, I have experienced my share of "idiots", too. The point that I am trying to make is that there were those idiots who were certified, those who weren't and the split is at about 50/50. This means from my experience that if you are an idiot, you are an idiot whether you have a certification or you don't. Stating that _all the certified people are idiots_ (which is what you are claiming or at least strongly asserting) is simply false argumentation. One that does not make yourself look good. It basically suggests that you can NOT apply.

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