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Certification - An Enhancement or Fluff?

By CarolineHarris ·
I have noticed that there have not been too many discussions regarding graduates who have not been able to find work in their related field.

I graduated almost two years ago with an Information Studies degree and an emphasis in Web Site development. I took my fate into my own hands and was able to gain two years of VERY entry-level experience in web development through a few Florida state agencies. Perhaps I lacked the professional networking know-how or I was too timid to press the issue of long-term employment with a shrinking state government. Regardless, both positions were designed for short-term employment. I ended up relocating 8 months ago to a new state and found that it has been difficult meeting the criteria of most web-related job postings. My references in regards to previous IT related employment are excellent, but I honestly did not have the opportunity to work with higher level languages or database interconnections to be marketable. So, the question is what to do.I now have a B.A. degree (with a sizable debt to validate it), seemingly common I.T. skills, and a curiosity of whether certification in web development and/or database administration would be worth the investment.

I could say more, but I am reaching the character max length. I would greatly appreciate responses from people who have been survivors of this sort of situation or who are employers willing to offer a little bit of worthy advice. Thanks!

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by generalist In reply to Certification - An Enhanc ...

Welcome to the world of IT after international outsourcing and the dot bombs. What used to be a fairly lucrative set of professions has hit hard times so the employer can be very choosy.

What you might want to do is check what the ads are requiring in terms of certifications. If you have some experience and some of the proper certifications, your resume will stand out, especially if HR or a computer program does the first cut on the resumes.

If you have a good background, it is possibleto prepare for a number of certifications by studying the right books and doing the practice tests. You would have to balance the cost of the materials versus the cost of failing the tests.

From what I've seen, some of the CompTIA certificationshave a fair amount of overlap in terms of topics. Getting a cert in one prepares you for others.

Another thing to try is setting up a home server and network so you can practice programming in network/web oriented 'languages' like PERL, PHP, Java, ASP, ColdFusion, SQL, C, VisualBasic, .NET and related variations. This practice could turn into a portfolio of examples you could present to a potential employer.

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