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the expense of certification accumulation

By Lumbergh77 ·
Add up all the time you spent studying for these certifications. Now add up all the time you spent taking the tests for these certifications.
Add in the casual discussions, techno chats and meetings.

Now multiply that by your current hourly rate.
Add all the money you spent on internet time, books, training courses, discusssiong groups, and user groups.

Thats how much in dollar terms you've spent.
Subtract this from your current yearly salary.

Have you truely made any money yet?

Ask yourself if you could have spent all this time doing other things like starting a side business, communication with your wife or girlfriend, enjoying a hobby, or relating to or raising children better.

Now consider the organisations who generate these certifications. You think its because businesses ask them to develop some sort of measuring stick to be able to prove your experience.

You think they're doing it because they want a good name in the industry?

Its a business opportunity. A money making endeavour. Do you think they do this for free?

They don't just have you fooled into some short term scheme. They've got you hooked for the long term. They've even got you selling the certification scheme for them. And convencing recent graduates it wil solve all their problems.

Why does it cost $600 a day for these courses. And $250 for the test. $125 for a book.

Now off I go to see when .NET certifications and courses will be available so I can get a job based on technology that changes so quickly I might as well become a Professional Certificant and study 50% of the time.

By the way did you know that M$ has now simplified their grading to either pass or not pass. So once I've got 5 certificants vieing for the same position I won't be able to tell which studied the hardest the night before and forgot the most the day after.

This is a money making rip off for short term benefits.
With a never ending cycle.

Reel 'em in. We've got another sucker hooked.

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not me

by Jaqui In reply to the expense of certificat ...

eyuz jest an unedumicated iggeramos
gots me no edumicashun.

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Depends on your approach....

by awfernald In reply to the expense of certificat ...

The only certification I ever bothered to get (MCSE) was to prove what I had learned through hands-on experience, so... no study time involved, no course costs, etc... and the tests were only $75 where I took them.

Took one test on one day to see what the tests were actually like, then took the other four tests in about 1.5 hours the next day. Then about a month later, I took the final exam to actually get the MCSE cert.

Total investment was $450 for the price of the exams. Earned that back with the contract we won because of having the "certified staff".

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This is just theory

by seanc In reply to the expense of certificat ...

I think that you are focusing on the wrong thing.
You are debating the cost of getting training from your own experience. And if I read this right, you are only talking about Microshaft. There are lots of ways to get training at various different costs. Bear in mind is all theory. The real benefits come with experience.

In conclusion, studying is an art form. You have to figure out which is best for you. If you are spending too much time and money, you need to re think your plan.

It's not good just making a general posting based on your own experience because it is very limited.

As far as costs are concerned, sounds like you are being ripped off !!!!!!!!

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Good thinking

by amcol In reply to the expense of certificat ...

Let's take your thought to its logical conclusion.

You're a college graduate. Let's be generous and say maybe 25% of all the course you took were actually professionally valuable and the rest were Basket Weaving 101 and The Art And Science Of Alcoholic Fermentations.

Let's further say you spent an average of $25k per year on your education, and (based on how today's college students conduct themselves) it took you five years to achieve your degree.

You spent $125k getting educated. Only $31,250 was of any value, which means $93,750 went down the drain.

You left school and got an entry level job for $40k. After taxes, living expenses, putting a little away for a rainy day, and the cost of an occasional brewski, you're left with let's say $5k. You work hard, you're good at your job...let's make things simple and say you stay with your company for your whole career and get your standard 3.5% annual raise.

So by my calculations, not factoring in financing charges or the opportunity cost of money, it's going to take you somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 years to earn enough scratch to make up for everything you "wasted" on your college degree.

Of course...on the other hand...you wouldn't have had the opportunity to get that job without the degree, would you?

OK, sport. You've posed an interesting problem. So what's your solution?

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Rules of the game

by Adrian_curiosu In reply to the expense of certificat ...

It's all about the rules of the game: some employers want you to be certified! If you can get a decent job without certs, that's fine!
An employer usualy requires in depth knowledge of the technical issues listed in the job description. If you don't have a proven experience on that matter, you're out of luck.

From my experience (20 years in IT), if you want an IT job, get some training (certified or not), practice hard all that you learned and you'l see that it will make a difference. In time you will see that most of what you learned using a certain technology can be applied to the next technological wave - experience matters!
Despite the marketing efforts of the vendors, their new products are not so different from the old ones (remember the TV comercials - the cleansing agent launched this month is a revolutionary improvement compared with the one launched six months ago :o] ).
I understand from your post that you made a serious investment in your training: don't let it waste! Use what you learned and add real life experience to your training.
On the other hand, before pursuing any further with your IT career, you must decide if this profession is the place for you. If you don't like it, if you have no affinity with it, don't waste your time - find something else that suits you better.

Good luck !

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Major rules of the game

by areynolds51 In reply to Rules of the game

I've looked at college and certifications in a similar light: they show you made an investment of time and money (lots of it) and obtained a paper showing you have accomplished something. From there, your experience moves you forward and your ability to learn and adapt to change is critical. You need to determine what you want to do, where you want to go and the best way for you to get there. As the previous posting states: if you don't like it, don't waste your time.

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The Certification Game

by techrepublic In reply to Rules of the game

Certification is indeed a game. I never did Microsoft Certification; I evaluated, hired, and fired MSCE's to be trained under me in the art of complex network maintenance. I never did certify in NetScreen, yet I teach courses to those who wish to. Certification doesn't get the job done, knowledge does. If you can get a prospective employer to see your skills, the certifcation becomes irrelevant. I've hired lots of certified folks that were useless as practicioners, and lots of uncertified folks that were superb at their craft. Smart employers understand this.

The thing to take is vendor-sponsored courses with not certification attached. They pick up the bill. Why? Because they want you, the reseller, to be educated, to push their product, to make them perform well, and to lighten the support burden on their organization.

Look at the University equation now. Say it costs you $100,000 to get your Bachelor's. So you come out 4 years after highschool with $50,000 in debt and no savings. You go to work... You friend who is similarly intelligent, didn't go to University. He went to work. He bought some books and studied the certification curriculum himself (learning without spending money on the courses or the exams) while he worked at lower level jobs to start, and gained skill and work experience. By the time you've graduated, he has four years of work under his belt. He's got assets and savings, you have debt. He spent 25% of his time learning the 25% of your course that was relevent to an IT career, and has practical expertise on a dozen background and entry topics you will never touch, and has begun to dabble practically in those areas that you are now hoping to tackle with no practical experience at all. He took half a dozen 100% relevent, Industry-led courses in the last two years, making him immediately productive in many projects. He is more use to an employer right now, than you are. How long will it take you to catch and pass him financially? How about in terms of skills?

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Use all situations towards your advantage

by mindstrong In reply to The Certification Game

It is hard to pin down the exact usefulness of certs. Unlike most of you, I do not have an IT job yet, I am finishing college with a A.A.S. in Electronics and Computer Technology, and I am trying to accumulate some useful certs like A+, Net+, and CCNA. As long as I understand that these certifications are not the sole factors in my success as an IT professional, then I will be O.K. When I become certified and graduate college, I will have enough industry cred to be seen as a worthy candidate of an entry-level position. Now this does'nt mean that it will be an easy ride, only the ticket in. I study very hard on my own time to be on point with my working knowledge of my field. I read a lot of technology media to be up on the "lingo" and to keep up with the ever-changing "latest trends" (even if, at the time, I don't know lick about what I'm reading...eventually, I will!). I ask costant questions to IT staff and school faculty and participate in technology discussion groups (like this one) constanly. With all my efforts, I believe that I am well on my way to reach the levels of some of you fine people! ;-)

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Not to burst your bubble

by techrepublic In reply to Use all situations toward ...

Any time I see somebody with several certifications and no experience, I put it in the discard pile. Certification should never be your first foray into a subject area, it should be an affirmation of your skills. When you're familiar with something and you take a course, it fills in gaps and reinforces what you know. When it's your first introduction into it, the course is hard to keep up with and ends up as a large academic exercise to be recalle later when the chips are down. Having the certs with no experience buys you exactly zero industry cred in my view, it just makes you a professional student.

I recommend you start working, right now, even part time, before taking any more courses. You'll get more out of the courses when you do finally take them, and will be seen as a viable candidate for a real position at the far end of it all.

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The COBOL vs C++ Arguement

by dinotech In reply to Rules of the game

I have to make a comment here regarding the so-called transformation process that COBOL programmers didn't want to go through. As we were dealing with new object-oriented technologies, many companies saw the opportunity to reengineer some of their legacy applications in this new C++ code. Most COBOL programmers couldn't deal with the new programming paradigm and they fought as hard as they could not to change. Of course, we now know that the projects of reengineering COBOL and RPG were too expensive and for most companies, they have chosen the web interface as the platform and a CORBA or DCOM middleware solution to connect to the mainframe. As a software developer, I am sure you have to look at many technologies and decide what you are going to specialize in. It is possible to have PHP, Perl, and C since they have a common framework and you can easily relate. However to go from VB to C++ is a giant leap and requires some patience.

So, message to drago is - find something worth pursuing and be an expert in that subject.

PSS - Do you think that the Certification in Data Processing that the old DPMA members qualified for years ago doesn't apply to today's event driven computing model? Absolutely! No matter what model you use, you are still processing data, and that requires a skill beyond the technologies that are used. (ERD's DFD's etc)

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