I've been developing with and teaching Java since 1996. On rare occasions, someone will ask if I am certified prior to giving me an assignment. I usually respond with, "Why should I waste my time and money to take a test to prove that I can do what I've been doing for the past 10 years?"
There's a big difference between saying someone is qualified to do something versus showing that they've already done it. I've worked with individuals who are "certified", but are very poor designer/developers. Expertise comes with experience and a certificate is no substitute.
The only persons I can see who might benefit from certifications would be those who have no experience and are looking for an entry-level position in the industry. If they are competing against newbies who have no certifications, that might give them an edge in getting that first job. Beyond that, experience and references are going to carry far more weight in making hiring decisions than some test result.
The bottom line is this: if you can't do the work, it doesn't matter what certifications you have. If you can, then your certifications don't matter.
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