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  • #2176811

    Are certifications destroying the world?


    by advancedgeek ·

    Or is it just the people using testking? I spent about 20 mins last night looking for free study guides for the security+ exam, and all I got was the actual test!!!! I couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to find these things. I looked at some of the old microsoft tests (2000 track) and they were the exact same tests that I studied my butt off to pass! How many MCSE’s do you think are out there…faking what they do? I thought about going back to college…but hell…I could fake that too. Well hey, what about experience…FAKE…I could say I did this and did that and noone would know. How many unsecure networks must there be on the internet? I shudder to think of our poor governments networks all controlled by cheaters trying to make an extra buck. It is a sad day my friends, a sad day indeed.

    p.s. Security+ is a joke, the questions were so easy…but I deleted the document and will still try to learn as much as possible about it.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3330189

      Certs without knowledge

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      become appartent pretty quickly and these people will quickly be moved to upper management to get them out of the way so they can’t mess anything up.

      That is why many employers add the part of X years experience.

      • #3330178

        Good answer LOL

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        I like your answer……….

        Agreed. Any Cert without experience today is QUICKLY seen through. Someone (here) not too long ago said: “The days when the only qualification to get into IT was the ability to breath….are LONG GONE.”

        Having said that, they’re are still a few of those types arround.

        Certs are very valuable (knowledge) tools…..when pursued and used correctly of course.

        • #3330169

          How Long though??

          by markb-ohio ·

          In reply to Good answer LOL

          In all honesty though how many people do you know that have a bachelor degree or even a masters in something and can’t tie their shoes?? This isn’t a new problem with the education of adults just a new place for people to cheat.

          I want to get the MCSE 2003 stuff going for me however I agree with the fact that there are some people out there that WILL be your boss someday because they cheated their way through life. I suppose that we should all just go with it and wait until the day comes that they NEED the experience and knowledge and then the people that have real education and real experience will pull through.

        • #3330136


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to How Long though??

          One of my first tech jobs was working for a company that built computers among many other technical things. I ran the configuration dept and would get new people in all the time. I would see people come in with some sort of tech related bachelor degree and couldn’t tie their shoes. I asked one to remove the hdd out of a machine, and he asked me “which one is the hdd!?!?” I couldn’t believe this guy just spent 4 years at a school and graduated with a tech related major, and didn’t know what a hdd was! However, I would get brand new a+ cert carriers that could hold their own. Of course this was 5 years ago, and the market has changed, but how much?

        • #3328683

          Paper MCSE

          by kcompton ·

          In reply to Re:

          A few years back, I was this person. I dropped $9k on trainging and got my MCSE in NT4 with the promise of making $60K /yr. I was officially dubbed a “Paper MCSE”. I took some contract jobs until I landed a FT gig(for much less than $60k). I have since been “in the trenches” dispelling the “paper” in my MCSE. I am a few tests away from my 2k3 MCSE and studying my tail off. Microsoft has made the tests as difficult as they can. If you have the ability to disect and understand the test questions, other than just memorization, the certification can be worthwhile. The fool is the person that thinks they know everything about a product and does not do his homework. The cert can get a foot in the door, it’s what you do afterwards that counts.

        • #3342202

          Really on Paper

          by dazhig ·

          In reply to Paper MCSE

          Two friends (a couple) put down $8000 for a six months course in Houston in 1997 for MCSE that promised garanteed cert pass. The two did not have any experience in networking or programming. Both passed the MCSE cert exams after six months. Why do they garantee? Because they know you won’t fail after practising those almost real exam questions.

        • #3341994

          Novell had the same problem

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to Really on Paper

          In the mid 90s Novell had the same problem with their CNE certification (remember CNE? it started the whole certification bandwagon!). There were an increasing number of bootcamps prepping students with lists of real questions. Paper CNEs were rife. I heard of one person with MCNE (that’s supposed to be much harder than CNE) who had no idea how to configure a COM: port on a DOS workstation (this *was* the mid 90s where Win95 had yet to be released!).

          So, what did Novell do? They started practicum-based assessment. Give the student a simulated environment and ask them to reconfigure something; track their keystrokes & mouse clicks.

          Oh, how did you configure the COM: port? Anyone who’s still ‘young at heart’ will know that you need to use the MODE comamnd.

        • #3342172

          Same here

          by drujenn ·

          In reply to Paper MCSE

          I started off the same way 6 years ago. I had just enough knowledge to be dangerous, so I spent 5K and got my MCSE, figuring it would be a good jumping-off point. I think what helped was that I never claimed to any potential employer that my Cert made me a god – I applied for entry-level jobs and explained that I thought my Cert showed that I was capable of understanding the concepts – all I needed was a chance to show that I could apply them to real life as well.

          After all, isn’t that what education is supposed to be all about?

        • #3342112

          Paper MCSE

          by kcompton ·

          In reply to Same here

          A few years back an MCSE it was assumed had a high level of knowledge. Then the market became flooded with paper MCSE’s. The one’s that are still around are people who dug in and learned their craft. In this market people are so afraid of losing their jobs they don’t train the people that support them. Almost every job ad out there on this level wants the cert as well as the experience. What does that say about the people who have the experience that don’t feel they need the cert? Are they stuck in the same job forever? Have they reached the pinnacle of their careers? Are they bitter about the people that got the certs and the adavancment? The only thing constant about IT is CHANGE! If you don’t grow, learn and backup your knowledge with a cert is just your word over the next candidate with a cert.

        • #3342088

          Paper MCSE

          by kcompton ·

          In reply to Same here

          A few years back an MCSE it was assumed had a high level of knowledge. Then the market became flooded with paper MCSE’s. The one’s that are still around are people who dug in and learned their craft. In this market people are so afraid of losing their jobs they don’t train the people that support them. Almost every job ad out there on this level wants the cert as well as the experience. What does that say about the people who have the experience that don’t feel they need the cert? Are they stuck in the same job forever? Have they reached the pinnacle of their careers? Are they bitter about the people that got the certs and the adavancment? The only thing constant about IT is CHANGE! If you don’t grow, learn and backup your knowledge with a cert is just your word over the next candidate with a cert.

        • #3341952

          Am I bitter No ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Same here

          I’m laughing, I earn a substantial ammount of my money cleaning up after the certified. Certs can give a lot, and can be very useful, but they are not a way to be an IT professional, only a chance to become one or to prove you are one. As long as the halfwits in charge keep making the mistake of thinking they are instead of experience I’m laughing all they way to the bank.

        • #3331798

          “Paper Wizards”

          by mt pilgrim ·

          In reply to Paper MCSE

          There are many of us “old guys” in the field that have a disdain for most “test takers” since we are the ones who typically have to clean up behind them. I’ve had to do this for years and do not have all of the alphabet soup following my name.

          What further adds insult to injury is when you have some idiot in HR that “demands” these certifications as qualifications for positions that need real-world experience. I’m currently being tasked to obtain my MCSE in a six-month window from my employer as a result.

          My hat is off to you for getting in and rolling up your sleeves. That’s the ONLY way you can obtain both the respect of your peers as well as the necessary day-to-day experience these jobs require. Don’t be surprised if some of us in the field want to see the “wizards” dance before we pay their paper certifications homage…

        • #3328625

          but !

          by bebkow ·

          In reply to How Long though??

          That’s when the weight of the world falls on your shoulders!

        • #3342178

          Not all BootCamps make PaperMCSE’s

          by xdwillie66x ·

          In reply to but !

          I had the honor of attending a fantastic bootcamp (AmbiLogic in NH) that not only guarantees passing, it also has labs that put you through rigorous excercises. Additionally, you have to put in the lab work to take the knowledge (and maybe the cert)back to your job. It was quite evident that those that thought that this would be a cake walk and those that were there to really study really were distinguished. The Paper MCSE’s in 2003 are basically gone by the wayside..

        • #3341949

          Well I’m glad you got a meaningful

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Not all BootCamps make PaperMCSE’s

          cert, but there are still way too many people profiting from selling paper ones.
          Always bear in mind though some of those with a paper cert will be good at IT, they just played the game to get a foot in HR’s door.
          Paper certs were about in 96 by the way, 2003 was just a good year.

      • #3328745


        by rosaticrew ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        I think anyone who has been through even the courses for any type of certification will run into some one who can read a book and pass a test without ever having hands on experience. Unfortunitly these people also tend to get first shot at a position because I have found that most HR people are not looking for experience but certs

        • #3328635

          HR People

          by jtakiwi ·

          In reply to Certs

          You are correct, HR people look for the Certifications, mostly due to the fact that quite a few HR types haven’t a clue as to what constitutes an “IT” person. The certs are a simple way to be able to tell their boss that candidate X has this cert and that cert and is qualified. I wonder if the IT manager making the job description dummies down the job requirements so the HR people can figure it out. Would you expect an HR person to be able to determine if a candidate can properly prepare an NT 4 domain for upgrade to 2003? Of course not. The HR person is asked instead to look for an MCSE, or network + or whatever, because anyone w/ a 4th grade education can see and understand that on a resume.

        • #3342210

          certs don’t garuntee a job. Experience is good.

          by jason.keefer ·

          In reply to Certs

          I think it’s the exact opposite, I have two certs, A+ and network+ I had a very hard time finding a job because I really had no experience in the field other then jobs for friends and family.

        • #3342170

          Experience is of little help

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to certs don’t garuntee a job. Experience is good.

          I have a multitude of older certs (useless) to augment my college (useless) and 2 decades of experience (all valuable in my mind but apparently useless). I have not worked full time in 3 years but guess who they come running to when their cert-stuffed whiz kid screwed up again.
          Getting a job still boils down to two things. Either you call Uncle Leo or you put on the good old-fashioned used car salesman approach. Isn’t it interesting that our president is the first of his family to get a degree and that the most powerful guy in the computer industry is a dropout.
          Seriously, certs are just another money making scheme just like the mass resume mailing service. You need that face-to-face contact and wait for the opportunity to show your stuff.

        • #3341945

          I agree with the last paragraph

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Experience is of little help

          whole-heartedly, but I must say in the nicest possible way that if the attitude you display here comes out in an interview you are going to keep having real problems. Never sell yourself based on what’s wrong with the other guy, always on what’s right with you.
          Also people who wait for opportunities miss them

        • #3342144

          I agree with this

          by rayjeff ·

          In reply to certs don’t garuntee a job. Experience is good.

          I talked to few of my classmates who were in the CCNA program with me at my college and many of them could not find networking or Cisco-related jobs.

        • #3342007


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to I agree with this

          A CCNA will not get you a Cisco related networking position (unless it is coupled with a couple of years of networking experience). If you obtained your CCNP/DP, maybe there would be a better chance of getting into a network support role, but the CCNA will not do it by itself. IMHO.

        • #3350415

          Entry level only

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to CCNA

          A nice CCNA will get you in the door to run help desk, if you are lucky.

          It doesn’t get into the meat of how and why things are setup they way they are.

          It doesn’t get into advance routing issues.

          It doesn’t cover securty.

          It doesn’t cover troubleshooting.

          It doesn’t cover Quality of Service (QOS).

        • #3342194

          not in my area

          by joe.canuck ·

          In reply to Certs

          Actually, here in BC I have found the opposite. Certs and degrees don’t work, people do. The only thing that matters in the end is the ability to do the job. I have beat out people with masters degrees in computer science several times in my career by virtue of my experience and track record. This is a govt town, I was recently at the technet winter tour here and met many grey beards I started out on the bench with who are all in senior position in govt now. None of them has a degree to my knowledge, but they all have very long and progressive resumes in the industry.

        • #3342146

          That happened in my program

          by rayjeff ·

          In reply to Certs

          I was in the CCNA program at the technical college I was enrolled at. It was a one year/ 1 class every 8 weeks. The first person to take the CCNA exam took it in the middle of semester 3. And he passed. And if I’m not mistaken, he wasn’t a networking person. He had an IT job, but not in networking, if I’m not mistaken.

          Many of the people in the program with me were people who basically wanted job advancement, but were in the IT field or had limited IT experience. There were very few people who actually took the CCNA exam and past. For me, I only got in the program because I needed “waste time” until I graduated with my degree. But the one thing that separated me (and others like me in the program) from that we had the experience working with networking equipment or had classes dealing with networking.

        • #3331877

          to many people looking for carrer change

          by wkim1 ·

          In reply to That happened in my program

          I am currently taking a 2k3 mcse/ccna course and of the ten people in my class 4 of them actually work in IT, the rest are looking for career changes and some are actually looking to get into the OT field with no experience at all. Microsoft has made the tests a lot tougher, I have taken the 2003 server and network infrastructure tests and they were extremely hard. I have worked in this field for three years now and I had a very hard time passing the tests. So I think they got rid of the paper MCSE, but now they have it so that even people in the field can?t pass it, and yes I work closely with the HR Department where i work and all they look for is certs.

        • #3350371

          re: too many people looking for career change

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to to many people looking for carrer change

          Well you know how the training centers hype things. They make it sound like IT is really easy, anyone can do it with a few short classes and make big bucks. There are tons of jobs out there just waiting to be had, no previous experience necessary, all you need to do is pass this short easy course and people will be knocking down your door to hire you and pay you big bucks. It’s really quite annoying.

        • #3350340

          I agree with you

          by miguelram ·

          In reply to re: too many people looking for career change

          There is one Account manager that has chased me for long time, and I tell him…sorry I don’t need to get into our class. I’ve been there twice, one time i PAID $9,000 OF MY OWN MONEY, the second time work paid for it. I still have the same job and I have leared a lot but still need to learn a bit more. over the years I been thinking in sitting the exams but because I am honest I do study for them. It takes time but i do it.

      • #3328733


        by bebkow ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        I never got certified. I did , however train an MSCE that got hired by my corporation when we set up our E-Commerce building. The guy didn’t even understand basic TCP/IP. there is nothing better than experience. walking around with a cert in your pocket gets you nowhere

        • #3328724

          Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          by datamordechai ·

          In reply to experience

          Yep, I agree with this guy!

        • #3328693

          And there’s the real problem

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to experience

          You can learn the basics of TCP/IP, read a book, surf, take a damn course. But how on earth can you recieve a certification without having to know TCP/IP. Not just certs, I had teach someone with a degree in IT what is was.
          It’s all top level fluff, no foundation in the basics.

        • #3328646

          They do help balance you out

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to experience

          There are a lot of people that are self-taught and just picked things up as they went along.

          While the things you learn, you learn well there are a lot of areas that you will miss entirely with this approach.

          Certs after working in the field helps round the individual and build that almighty resume and maybe get you a raise.

          You definitly can’t do warrany work without that cert.

          So anyone that says certs have no value need to buy themselves a clue. Certs do not equal good tech but it can equal money.

        • #3350099

          Certs do not equal good tech?

          by crowemag ·

          In reply to They do help balance you out

          I am currently the director MIS for a hotel management company. I came in with a diploma from ECPI in Computer Technology and had experience working at a call center and building my own pc prior to this job. I have since then earned my Associates in Computer Technology and become MCP certified. Neither has gotten me that great pay raise, and I am making 1/2 of what everyone is telling me I need to be making. If I had to hire an assistant one day, I can guarentee you I would not hire a cert only person. I want that experience over a cert. I have learned on my own how to design, setup, and maintain a WAN network using W2K and W2003 servers. There are too many jobs out there I would liketo get but because I am not fully MCSE certified, nor do I have a bachelors degree, I would not even get looked at. I have the highest postive attitude and can do what I say and what is on my resume, yet that means nothing. The only way to get a good job these days is to network or bs your way to those good jobs….I’d rather stick to the low paying job that lets me do my job my way and gives me the experience andhands on learning.

        • #3351663

          That is why people are fools

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Certs do not equal good tech?

          Don’t listen to them.

          I am getting my BA in networking, AND getting CERTS WHILE I am working in the field getting experience.

          The biggest problem I see it people make the mistake of letting some outside influence decide if you like your job or not.

          If you enjoy what you do, where you do it is worth so much more than to have that huge check and HATE getting up every morning and having to go the THAT place again.

          Ignore any fool that says your not making enough unless they are willing to pay you more.

        • #3328644

          Its a test

          by geekygirl63 ·

          In reply to experience

          I agree – I work for the government in I.T. and am not certified. However, I have been doing the job for 18 years. Experience is volumes more important than certification. Its the difference between book learning and on the job experience. I also have my own computer services business and most of my customers could care less if I carry any certifications. All they care about is that I understand their requirements and can implement the best solutions to meet their needs. An MCSE or any other certification does not guarantee that.

        • #3342181

          Yes to experience, maybe to certs

          by teamdave ·

          In reply to Its a test

          I’m with geekygirl, I got this FTJ based on my experience. I quit the certs route at MCP over 10 yrs ago, after reading about the 9-year-old MCSE….

        • #3342143

          Re: Its a test

          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to Its a test

          The cert shows to an employer that you have taken that extra step and will set you apart from co-workers who have the same knowledge, experience, and degrees as you.

        • #3350332


          by joprysko1 ·

          In reply to Its a test

          I also have about 17 years experience in the IT field. I started out after high school in one of those computer repair courses. I quickly came upon a job doing that. I advanced quickly over the years, although rather than staying with one company and gaining seniority, I would go from business to business, usually after 2-3 years, would begin looking for a new position. I had gone out on disability in 2000, and had to leave the company I was with. I’ve been trying to get back into the IT field with absolutely no luck whatsoever. I think over the past year I’ve had maybe half a dozen interviews, quite often seeming to go really well. One in particular was with a company who didn’t really care about the certs, and they told me that. I was interviewed by VP who was an old-school network engineer. Since the majority of my “training” was OTJ, there are things that I didn’t have to worry about in a various areas. He called me a “Diamond in the rough”, because most of the people who worked there were engineers, most of them with degrees. He said he would call me for a 2nd interview with the other 2 VP’s. He didn’t call, I called back, and no response. So I don’t know anymore.. Maybe I’ll become a carpenter…

        • #3342179

          Yes but ..

          by dherde ·

          In reply to experience

          True, but walking around with a masters degree, a bachelors degree and an associates degree (and experience) may not get you in the door to talk if you don’t have the particular cert required to get past the HR dept. or the accounting manager (or HR manager) who happens to be in ultimate control of the IT Department. Sometimes IT is the step-child department that is not only seen as a necessary evil, but really has no good home in the organization. (By the way, the recruiter told him that the candidate should have an MSC-whatever..)

        • #3342027

          But then again

          by jdmercha ·

          In reply to Yes but ..

          If I have an AS, BS and MS, I wouldn’t be looking at a job that required a cert.

        • #3342137

          Good thing I never got into the hype of certs…

          by rayjeff ·

          In reply to experience

          I guess it’s good I never got caught up in the hype of certs. At the school I got my Associate’s from. The CCNA was the new thing and everyone was trying to get into the program. I was lucky to be able to be in the second class of graduates of the program. I only got into the program because “everyone else did”. Networking wasn’t even my thing, even though I liked the knowledge.

          I took the CCNA twice and almost past it by like 2-3 pts each time. To me, I was glad with getting the certificate from my college, rather than the actual Cisco Systems official cert. But, I was gaining knowledge in networking as a workstudy at the college. In my area, there isn’t a big need for networking specialists, muchless any type of certification specialist of any kind.

        • #3342134

          Sometimes a little knowledge…

          by martimus ·

          In reply to experience

          is a truly scary thing. I’ve had alphabet soup on my title for years now and I find it really doesn’t matter to some hiring managers.

          I once participated in a hostile job interview where the interviewer (someone who claimed to be the closest thing the company had to a network engineer), spent the better part of an hour trying to prove to me that understanding the source of a MAC address on a packet header was more important than understanding routing theory, routing protocols, router configuration, and troubleshooting techniques.

          I didn’t get that job but it sure was funny watching him get all flustered when I explained that although understanding the contents of packet headers was certainly useful information it really wasn’t nearly asimportant as insuring that data was actually making its way from point A to point B.

          What this proved to me was that a little education can be a dangerous thing in the hands of an unqualified person.

        • #3342065

          So very true…

          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to experience

          Guess who all the MCSE’s around here visit when they don’t know what to do? Me… the guy with ZERO certifications, no college degree and a funny haircut. The one person that is nostalgic about DOS and actually prefers the command prompt to a GUI. I have created a “non-standard” acronym for every useless tech I have met that holds an MCSE.

          Here are but a few:
          Must Consult (or Call) Someone Experienced
          Minesweeper Certified / Solitare Expert
          Morons Crudely Simulating Expertise
          My Computer’s Software Exploded
          Minimizing Competence Seems Exhausting
          My Cranium Softened Easily
          Management Conned by Something Expensive
          Moe and Curly’s Software Emporium
          Micro$oft Clusterfsck Slows Everything
          My Company Screws Everyone
          Minimally Cheerful Software Experience
          Mad Consultants Slurping Everclear
          Micro$oft Consultants Slow Everything
          More Co-opted Standards Everyday
          Megabytes Can Soon Evaporate
          Making Clearly Simple Exploits
          Multiple Corrective Servicepack Exorcist
          Managing Cr@p Systems Everyday
          Maintenance Contracts Seem Expensive
          Making Computers Spew Errors
          Moron Confused by Sun Equipment
          Marketing Cancels Software Efficiency
          Marksmanship Can Solve Everything
          Migraine Causing Software Experience
          Molasses Comparatively Seems Expeditious
          Micro$oft Computers Suck Exponentially
          Mozilla Couldn’t Stomach Explorer
          Marketing Cretins Sell Everything
          Mail Consumed Somewhere in Exchange
          Maintenance Costs Significantly Extra
          Mediocre Computer Science Education
          Mindless Corporate Systems Engineer
          Microsoft Certified Shutdown Engineer
          Microsoft Cretins Seeking Employment

        • #3331768


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to So very true…

          My Cranium Softened Easily

        • #3352454

          Experience… the magic word.

          by terere_99 ·

          In reply to experience

          I completely agree with this guy. I m taking MSCE courses that is helping me a lot administering my web server and doing good things. I dont even have any certification yet.

      • #3328716

        knowledge without certs also exists

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        I just hate paperwork.

        • #3328647

          Agreed on that one

          by mmasula ·

          In reply to knowledge without certs also exists

          I began my cert path back in the NT 4 days, and actually have Certification on NT 5 Beta(How many ya’ll got that one…) I still have the install for this and all, pretty cool back then. I quickly learned that I was much too busy to fiddle around with the paper trail, and just moved my career by actually doing something, everywhere. Everything from building multi-national WANS in the days of adtran routers, to building functional inventory applications and testing applications, to now have a CIO position for 3 years, doing every detail of information projects.

          I’ve seen the paper trails, and one of the companies I worked with while certifying actually just pushed the “Practice” exams so much that it was basically the test itself. Just in 3 different tests for each section, but it was the test questions. Didn’t like it so I didn’t finish it then, won’t now either. I do not know any intructor that can teach me an OS faster than me, and know no piece of paper that can prove my talent quicker than I.

          That’s just my take on it. You geeks that are like me that just know how software works, and can learn any software in a day, that’s how we grew up. We got our 8086’The pretenders were always the ones asking me to debug their Pascal code….

        • #3342244

          Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Agreed on that one

          Heck, I still play Rogue 🙂

        • #3342208

          You don’t NEED either but a Cert and/or Exp can make a difference

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to knowledge without certs also exists

          The fact is, if you’re not a cheater and you actually study for the MCSE and get certified, you have more knowledge than someone who has working experience. However, that vast volume of knowledge can’t help you think faster or better or troubleshoot a problem faster. Experience lets you know what, out of that vast volume of knowledge, you need to use. So if you only have experience, you’ve got gaps in knowledge, believe me I know. I have tons of experience but no certs and still occassionally run into problems to which an MCSE would probably know the answer. One or the other gives you a handicap. If you have both, you are the one that get’s the job done quicker and better than those with only one or the other. I have a lot of networking experience. I have a friend who has an MCSE with a small amount of networking experience. My sister’s wireless network wasn’t working. She had an 11b network and the adapters just wouldn’t connect. My MCSE friend spent 2 days trying to figure out how to make it work and eventually gave up. I immediately suspected that one of my sister’s neighbors had an 11b network that was interfering and went and got them an 11G network setup and had them up and running in 30 minutes. However, I had to setup a 2003 forest with multiple active directory domains at work and I spent days trying to figure out why I couldn’t “see the forest through the trees”. My other MCSE friend came in and had it up in 30 minutes.

          The point is: To truly be the best at your job, you should have both certifications and experience.

        • #3342029

          Exp+Cert not always the best

          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to You don’t NEED either but a Cert and/or Exp can make a difference

          My issues with your post…

          1) They don’t designate who cheated and who didn’t on the exam. Since the tests are widely available the certification is compromised and therefore useless. Would you want a heart surgeon certified after taking a 5k boot camp?

          2) You can have 10 years of experience or you can have 1 year of experience 10 times (stop and think about that for a minute). There is no Transender/Cliff Notes for experience, and no boot camp can compress years of first hand experience in to a 5k three week class. The key is 10 years of related experience, not ten years of the same thing over and over again.

          Everyone has gaps, but in my experience those that hold MCSE’s think they can stop learning because they have the cert. If your experience is not diversified then you could have huge gaps, but a cert test isn’t suddenly going to make you a well rounded tech. The old adage goes “There is more then one way to skin a cat”.

          Cert tests only give you the manufacture method for skinning the ?cat?. When I look a cert test questions I can think of 4 different ways of solving almost any given problem, none are on the test, but I can promise you they work because I have done them myself (50% of the time my solution brings a faster resolution to the problem).

          I would be stunned to see MCSE use Hyena, the tool is just as good (some would say better) as the administrative snap-in for the MMC, but you won’t find Hyena anywhere on the exam.

          Show me an MCSE that knows how to use WinInternals Administrator?s Pak and has his default browser set to FireFox, and I?ll show you the one Micro$oft lemming that isn?t running towards the cliff at full speed (yes I know it?s a myth? but you get my point).

        • #3342024


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Exp+Cert not always the best

          I am an MCSE and I use FireFox and the Admin Pack (although I am now strictly networking in my new position so I don’t really need the admin pack).

        • #3342019

          Well done.

          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to MCSE

          And I see you?re employed, well done. I will amend my official records to show that there are 2 MCSE’s out there that are worth hiring. All kidding aside, it’s good to see someone that isn’t fully assimilated into the Micro$oft collective. I’ll assume you have a few years under your belt; I’m interested to know how much have you learned that wasn’t covered by any test?

          Since you have moved from desktop (assumption on my part) to network I would say you?re diversifying your experience which is the key, IMHO. The best techs work their way up from the Helldesk, you have to pay your dues. Good luck to you.

        • #3342009

          Starting point

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Well done.

          I started as a temp for general PC support in a 200 desktop environment. I took over the network 7-8 months later when they fired the net admin (note this was my first positon in computers/networking). I learned on the fly and obtained my MCSE and CCNA while doing so. I was responsible for servers, networking and some desktop support in my last place.
          I just recently started at a new company where I am strictly networking (not even server OS anymore). I need to build my home lab as I did enjoy playing with W2K + 2K3 server, ISA, SQL and Exchange. As well as Linux and BSD, and I don’t want to get entirely rusty with that stuff.

        • #3331933

          Re: Well done

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to Well done.

          you know, I’m sure he/she has learned a lot that wasn’t covered by any test. The tests are not meant to give someone omniscient knowledge, they are only meant to lay a foundation on which to build with further experience. In 9 years of being exposed to MCSEs, I have known a scant few MCSE’s that thought they knew everything and thought that they didn’t need to keep learning. On the contrary, the vast majority of MCSE’s that *I* have known were much the opposite, voracious learners and real go-getters. It’s been many of the non-degreed, non-certified people I have encountered over the past 12 years that have been the big know it alls and the ones who didn’t want to be bothered with continual learning.

          I wouldn’t even consider hiring anyone who didn’t have a BS degree, and at least 5 years of relative experience. The certs are more cream in my opinion most of the time and give a truly qualified person an edge over other qualified people who don’t have the certs. If I am faced with 2 candidates with equal education and experience, they both pass their technical interviews with flying colors but one of them has a relative cert or certs and the other one has no certs, well guess what – the person with the certs is going to get the job.

          But if on the other hand I’ve got 2 candidates, both have the education requirement, candidate A has 10 years of relative experience but no certs and passes the technical interview with flying colors. Candidate B has only 5 years of experience, a cert and doesn’t do as well as Candidate A with the technical interviews. Well who would I hire? Candidate A.

          And here’s why I require Bachelor’s degrees: they show that a person can start something and follow through to completion, a commitment to a goal that was executed and accomplished. They show that you completed your liberal education requirements which make you a more rounded person. And bonus points to people who put themselves through college all on their own without having their parents hand it to them on a silver platter.

          Drop outs will hem and haw and cry fowl all over about that, but in my 40+ years of living I only find it to be more true with each passing year.

        • #3331848


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to MCSE

          I actually do not have my BS. I am originally from the UK and have obtained vocational qualifications after completing 2x 2 yr technical colleges. I did look into obtaining my BS here in the US, but it seemed little (if anything) transferred towards a BS, so I cannot bring myself to go through 4 yrs of school again.
          I do eventually want to obtain my MS though, so I guess I am just postponing the inevitable.

        • #3350185

          I see Hyena(!) there, Hyena there!

          by lumpyhed ·

          In reply to Exp+Cert not always the best

          Oh boy do i love this tool! I really appreciate the custom tools options for making use of PSTools & the resource kit command line stuff. It saves alot of time having to write scripts to do bulk tasks when it will handle the variables for you. I also use the wininternals kit for the networkable regmon & filemon – very useful when you are troubleshooting new software. Definately not a lemming then 😉

      • #3328689

        Recommended Order to get Certifications

        by tgreams ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        With all this talk of Certifications, which order is best to get them in?? i.e. A+, Network+, MCSE, Security+ ?? I have the experience but not certified. Procrastination is the main holdup & money for the tests. I will add, when I did tech support, I helped a MCSE certified tech diagnois video/boot failure. I was not certified so I was beneath him but he didn’t know where the video card was installed on the computer. I told him it was easy to remember because it was where his monitor was connected. Also, for the MSCE 2003 or all for that matter, what schools are best for trainging for these certs?? I have inquired into a school that does teach ‘hands-on’ & is called Does anyone have any feedback on this training center??

        • #3328658

          You’re not alone

          by dev1 ·

          In reply to Recommended Order to get Certifications

          I don’t know anything at all about any particular testing methodology. All I know is that 20 years ago my boss threw me into a room with a dual floppy, 64K IBM PC and said,”there’s the books, don’t ask me.” That was the US Navy way in 1985.

          I’ve never persued certs either. I own a small consulting firm in Alabama and find this discussion quite interesting. I’ll be 45 years old this year and desire to take my business to another level (I’m looking at the Joshua Fineberg thing and sitting on a decision). But none of my small business clients have ever asked for any certifications/degrees. Perhaps they will at the next level.

          But there is one thing that I so strongly believe that must be disproven for me to change. That is that even if I do study like crazy and throw a bunch of bucks at these certs, I won’t be any smarter than if I had to think on my feet during each new network/corporate/security scenario. To me, it’s not the facts that I carry between my ears that makes me a worthy engineer, it’s the ability to learn and apply new ones, safely, whenever the opportunity arises. I cannot see how money and paperwork will ever be even an enhancement to that(other than by uninformed perception), much less a reliable substitute.

        • #3328638

          Proven results

          by mhandlin ·

          In reply to You’re not alone

          I remember those days in the Navy too (DSC(SW) Ret.) currently a Network Analyst and I’m just about to accept a new job (E911 Communications Supervisor) based on my proven track record.

          Unfortunately Certs and Degrees are used to weed prospects out or get them jobs, but the ability to think/act when the heat is on is what really matters. In every interview/job since retiring (5 1/2 yrs ago) the lack of a cert or degree has never been an issue.

          I believe proven experience is better suited to getting the job done, than any cert or degree without experience.

        • #3342165

          Thanks man

          by dev1 ·

          In reply to Proven results

          Good to know I’m not the only squidly IT out there. Best of luck.

        • #3341993

          Retired Chief *IS* a Cert!

          by mgordon ·

          In reply to Proven results

          “In every interview/job since retiring (5 1/2 yrs ago) the lack of a cert or degree has never been an issue.”

          That’s because being a Chief beats nearly any other Cert hands down, especially if HR has any idea what that little gold anchor means. I have gold anchors too; took 15 years and 3 baluts to earn them. It means almost the impossible — a person that leads and yet obeys; teaches and yet is still learning, a whole family of contradictions.

          I attended a chief’s conference in San Diego some years ago (RM-DP merging conference). A large number of men and women packed the auditorium. Master Chief Leonard wanted to know how many of each rank was present. Paygrade is merely E7, E8 or E9 but “Chief” is a state of mind. He asked, “How many E7’s are here, please stand.” ONE MAN stood up — the rest were Chiefs. I felt bad for the man who was horribly embarassed by it of course.

          He’d come from BUPERS; the inside-the-beltway culture that produced the occasional comedy-in-uniform, an LTJG who attended a re-enlistment ceremony on the USS Barry and had been told to be sure to salute the Ensign when you board the ship. She came back later and said, “I hunted all over the ship but I could not find an ensign to salute him!” A half dozen sailors within earshot nearly had an accident they were laughing so hard (the “ensign” is the flag flying from the stern).

        • #3342147

          It’s good to know…

          by blatkn ·

          In reply to You’re not alone

          …that you can still make it on your own merits. I’ve just earned an ATA in CIS but can’t say I remember every thing I was taught. I do know where to look though to get the answers. I’ve also studied three test prep texts for A+ but I’m not sure if it’s worth spending the $$? I just got hired as a Geek for Best Buy( part time) and just need to get the experience for my resume. I’ve learned more on my own just by curiosity and solving problems for friends.

        • #3342023


          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to You’re not alone

          You think that is bad… I work with a guy that was a Marine PC tech about the same time, you Navy boys had it good according to him 😉 He has Compaq certs but I don’t hold it against him.

        • #3328649

          my god….

          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Recommended Order to get Certifications

          Where are you guys finding these MCSE’s…how many of them are just studying testkings, and passing the tests. We, as the community, should come up with some standardization. Everyone needs to retest, and there should be no way to cheat. (good luck w/that, but i’d love to help)

        • #3350275

          In the early ’80’s I had to sit an exam…

          by hockeyist ·

          In reply to my god….

          …just to get an interview with the computer company. The test was a technical one with real world scenarios and questions. The test was put together by the technical manager. I passed and was then subjected to technical questioning and general conversation. Some effort was put into the interview by my then employer. These days it seems that it is easy to get through an interview with the only consideration, in most cases, “Will you work for peanuts?”

        • #3262698

          Info re:

          by kelli.bradford ·

          In reply to Recommended Order to get Certifications

          I am the new Admissions Director with at the Richmond Academy. I would love to answer any questions you may have about our Microsoft Certification Training program. If you haven’t already sat in on a class or come for a visit, I would like to discuss some opportunities for you to do this. I may be contacted at or 800-733-5641 ext 3101.

      • #3342233

        Missing the point…??

        by tomasomaguire ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        Since the true point of all this is ‘The Science Of Empty Infomration’ i.e.;moving Empty Information from 1 place to another. The self importance of IT people who ask Q’s?like this is a good indicator of the problem with IT. It is usually the only dept. in any corp. that does not know it is usually on WELFARE! IT is usually the only dept. that has absolutely no productive capacity. Lots of self important pencil necks jibbering about meaningless technology with no sign of life. They think they are doing something when they would be better served lessining the drag they already put on Society and Business and showing some HUMILITY and real human values. I am a Network Engineer and have been a technician for over 25 years. I sat in a MS Presentation at the Edwards Theater in a room filled with IT Professionals; God Help Us! Please! Or Anyone Who Is Out There!

        • #3342207

          Stand on a desk

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Missing the point…??

          because I think it went right over your head.

          The job of IT is to make it so the rest of the company can do their jobs. In a nut shell.

          Welfare my a$$.

          We come up with either new ways to do business or better ways to do the same thing. Take e-mail away for 15 minutes and see how much crying is going on for the welfare boys to come save the day.

          True, there are many that forget WHY IT is there in the first place. You see that mostly in the IT NAZIS that have “their” systems locked tight to keep the “dumb users” from screwing them up. Your job isn’t to keep the system from getting screwed up, but to make sure that “dumb user” can get their job done well.

          The user is your customer and you never act condencending to a customer EVER.

          They need you, but you need them MORE!

          Hmm, what does this have to do with Certs?

        • #3342195

          The Flip Side

          by ngit ·

          In reply to Stand on a desk

          [Consider my context to be that of IT in support of an organization whose business is not focused on providing services through the Internet.]

          The user, the customer, is a revenue generator or a person in support of a revenue generator. IT is not a revenue generator. As such, IT is a cost factor. There is room for some humility there.

          However, on the other hand, there is also a responsibility for workability. There is a level of locking down systems that maximises the productivity of the organization as a whole.

          Sometimes, keeping a system from getting screwed up is the best way to make sure the “dumb user” is able to get their job done, rather than spend hours or days with non-functioning equipment because of something they did that was superfluous to their job function and preventable.

          The key is finding the balance between control and culture that creates that workability.

        • #3342189

          IT is not just a cost

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to The Flip Side

          My last little program allowed savings of $700k a year, cost about 10k. Next version will save another 300k a year for another 10k.
          If IT doesn’t give you productivity increases then it’s not a cost it’s a waste of time and money. Far too much money is spent keeping up with the Jones’ , flavour of the month and vendor bs. If it ain’t practical don’t do IT.

        • #3331772

          Saving time and money = asset

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to The Flip Side

          I have added systems that save a group of 20 people over an hour a day, every day for the rest of time (each!).

          I have made it so remote users can get in and place orders or check on the status of an order without having to drive for an hour or more.

          If you have a truck you use to deliver product, that is an ASSET that ALLOWS you to bring in the revenue. Without that truck, no deliveries or much smaller ones in cars or on bikes?

          If something enables something else to work better it is only poor accountant thinking that could EVER think of a good IT department as a cost instead of an asset.

          It is only when people forget that no one department is EVER more important than another that you have problems. Doesn’t matter how good your sales force is if you don’t have a good department keeping track of recievables.

          So it isn’t an IT thought, but a company thought that needs to be achived.

        • #3342135


          by blatkn ·

          In reply to Stand on a desk

          You nailed it. A servants attitude will promote you better than any thing else.

        • #3351656

          It isn’t about us

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Exactly..

          If the company is going good, I will do good. If the company does poorly then so will I at lay off point.

          I see all the time people that over pay for items and don’t care because it isn’t their money. If the company spends it’s money on supplies, then that comes directly out of the profit, leaving less to throw around at bonus and raise time.

          Glad to see people of a like mind out there.

        • #3351453

          re:it isn’t about us

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to It isn’t about us

          So true. It’s amazing how many people can’t/won’t see the bigger picture though. Even when I was just an entry level peon I always held to the notion that I was there to serve the company and that I was a representative of the company and it was my job to represent the company well to others both inside and outside the company.

          At the risk of sounding egotistical, here’s my story: See, when I was nearly done with my BS in Telecommunications with not quite a minor in business I decided I wanted to be in law enforcement like my father. Well I had wanted to be in law enforcement for some time but my mother had huge objections, especially with me being her only biological child. But there came a point where I finally felt I should pursue my own career objectives, not hers. I didn’t even know much about computers when I graduated from college other than how to write papers on Macs and Windows 2 & 3. Oh and how to run Mambasa and Porno-Writer on the Mac, LOL. Anyhow, upon graduation and while waiting for local police candidate testing I took a job through a temp agency where the only requirements were to have a BS/BA in anything and familiarity with Windows. It turned out to be a jr. level Windows programming job at an educational software company. Scary minimum job requirements I know, but this was the very early 90s too. It was there that I found I had a knack for computer science and that I really liked programming. I quickly became the head jr. programmer and was offered a nice salaried permanent job which was way better than I would make as a cop. It wasn’t just because I had a natural talent that I excelled, it was because of my work ethic, I took great pride in doing the very best job I could, still do, and I was eager to learn whatever anyone would teach me. I wanted to be a good representative of the company, so whomever I came in contact with would be left with a better impression of the company than they’d had before coming in contact with me. I was always looking for ways to do my job more efficiently. When the IT guys couldn’t get around to fix my computer problems or network connection problems for 3 days, I figured out how to tech support myself. Pretty soon my co-workers were asking me to troubleshoot their problems too. The IT guys were actually grateful for the help, it got the bigwhigs off their backs about the programmers having down time and possibly missing deadlines. I never missed a deadline either. Sometimes I had to work 2-3 days straight through to make the deadline but I always made them, and with the fewest bugs to boot. Because I took pride in my work and worked hard to do things right the first time. The IT guys gave me more and more permissions to help them out, soon I was helping with the Netware servers (yeah, I worked a lot of overtime). When there was downtime between my projects, either because I’d beat the deadline by a week or so or because the planning process was a little off and the next project wasn’t quite ready for me yet, I’d work with the IT guys or in QA, wherever I could help out. I was willing to do and learn anything. It served me well too. I survived several layoffs, a couple of them were massive, even though I was one of the least senior employees by a long shot. And it wasn’t just because the others made more money either, there were people who made less than me who got let go. They gave me a leave of absence to go to MCSE training for 6 weeks after I’d been there for 3 years. I had to pay for it myself, but they gave me the 6 weeks off and I came back to a huge raise. This was back in the NT 3.51 days. I left that company on good terms to go on to learn and experience more than I could if I continued there and I’m told by former co-workers that the President and VP of Development still speak highly of me to this day.

          Anyhow, I have pushed this work ethic and customer service attitude on every team I’ve ever been on. In fact, my friend that I mentioned in another post that is now a respected and well-qualified mid-level IT manager at a large university was once my protege and says he learned it all from me. There were others who have worked with me in the past and took what I had to say about work ethics and customer service to heart and they have gone on to excel and do very well for themselves.

          But enough tooting my own horn, my honker is worn out. I hope the point that I am trying to make comes across. The point is not “look at me, I am great” but that a good work ethic and customer service attitude can take you far. I am living proof, I’m really just an average person who learned to have an attitude of service.

          OK, that’s all I can say on this subject, I’ve got to break the grip this discussion has on me and get back to my duties.

        • #3332166

          Such a good thing

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to re:it isn’t about us

          that there are still people out there that believe in putting in a honest days work.

          With all the union labor in the country where they want as much pay for doing as little work as possible, it gets depressing. Gee, I wonder why companies would want to offshore. Maybe because so many people have such poor work ethic and an entitlement attitude.

          When I first started where I am now, people would see that when I fixed something it STAYED fixed. It wasn’t long before people would walk past my senior co-workers office, down the hall and around the corner to my office when they would have a problem. That is a good feeling.

        • #3350379

          Well said

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to Stand on a desk

          it’s so true, I’ve seen way too many IT people forget that they are there to serve the company and to make it as easy as possible for the employees to do their jobs. Your points were all right on.

        • #3351660

          No room for egos

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Well said

          It always amazes me when people get their feeling of self worth by what they do instead of how they do.

          Living in Michigan I see that all the time. When you meet people and ask where they work instead of saying they are a chemicl engineer they say the work at dow. Where they work is more significant than what they do there. Sad.

          It says your management? do you see this in your shop?

        • #3351455

          re: no room for egos

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to No room for egos

          I own the company and we are a small custom software firm, only 10 employees, but we are very big on customer service. Most of my colleagues here are people I knew from other jobs and admired for their customer service philosophy and work ethics.

          There is definitely no room for egos here if we want to stay afloat, the customer is king. I wear many hats, CIO, partner, LAN admin, web programmer, accountant, janitor, etc.

          But I worked at a large state university which shall remain nameless for 6 years before leaving to start my company and boy there was a big problem with egos there. In fact one of my good friends is still there as a mid level IT manager, we had lunch a couple months back and were talking about a fellow who was a friend of ours, he was the head network and system admin of an engineering department and he just lost sight of what his job really was. He got in this mode that it was HIS network and the employees he was supposed to be serving were only going to be allowed on HIS network under HIS conditions. He forceably switched everyone to Linux, even the little old lady secretaries who had a hard enough time just trying to do their jobs with Windows – bless their hearts.

          Anyhow, he got away with this for a short while, then a new Dean came aboard. The Dean wanted Windows, the wayward IT guy said no way. The Dean put egomaniac in his place and ordered him to put at least all the secretaries back on Windows immediately and then anyone else in the department who preferred Windows. The guy gave the Dean a bunch of condescending crap and the Dean told him -you’re outta here, don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out.

          My friend and I thought our wayward friend of ours was a good case study of how not to be as an IT person. He totally lost sight of what his mission was supposed to be – to serve his clients. Unfortunately he doesn’t see what he did wrong either, in fact at the moment he is not talking to either of us because we aren’t “on his side”.

        • #3332129

          How much did he change

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to re: no room for egos

          on a personal level?

          I have seen friendships end because one of the friends had DE-volved into a completely different person over a few years.

          It is a shame, esp when they are good at what they do just not HOW they do it.

          Good luck with the hat stack. I have about 7 hats, but they are all IT related and working for someone else.

        • #3342128

          Hand in hand…

          by martimus ·

          In reply to Missing the point…??

          Doesn’t this go hand in hand with resellers who think the garbage they are selling is the best thing since sliced bread?

          I’ve sat in many a meeting with IT Professionals… You can call them what you want but its still a breath of fresh air compared with dealing with “Dialing for Dollars” sales people.

      • #3342232

        Certs without knowledge

        by beejcyr ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        Not when I was job hunting. After I was “out sourced” on my last job I re-entered the job market with 12 years experience in IT, 10 of it as the head of the dept. I have no certs only tons of experience. Most places would not even give me a second look because I didn’t have those little pieces of paper on my wall. I think the battle scars on my body should carry more weight.

        • #3352493

          They look at it as

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Certs without knowledge

          how good could you possible be if you couldn’t after 12 years pass one cert?

          (their view, not mine so dont start flaming me)

          Many get a job and just don’t think about getting certs.

          But just like having a degree helps open doors, so does that CERT. And if you have that much exp the certs shouldn’t be a problem. I just like to get them while an employer is picking up the tab.

        • #3350375

          re:They look at it as

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to They look at it as

          Another excellent point. People should always remember – there is no reality, only perception. If you expect people to tune into your reality which is that you know your job, certs or not, you are going to be disappointed regularly. When you are looking for a job, you have to tune in to the employer’s perceptions.

        • #3351657

          Like picking up the babes

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to re:They look at it as

          Let them see what they want to see.

          (not that I would know….) :< But the idea is the same. If someone thinks your a good worker, then you are. Facts are interesting, but irrelevant.

      • #3341903

        it depends

        by cuteelf ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        It all depends on how badly you want the job.
        Heck I could setup a bogus company have my friends pose as my previous bosses, and wa-la.. I have certs and exp. all bogus.

        • #3352490

          Depends are for old people

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to it depends

          This would fall under my post of if you can’t really do the job you won’t keep the job.

          As for setting up a company, if you REALLY are fixing peoples computers that is real exp. Why shouldn’t it count? How much do you learn with that hands on? hopefully a lot.

          Or we can start a business and just sit around and play LAN games all daze long… that would be cool!

        • #3350374

          I’m in

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to it depends

          I want to be the lunch lady or coffee truck driver. She gets to smoke and be a bag all day. 🙂

          Or else I will accept a position as an assistant printer toner replacement manager in training. As long as I have a staff I can delegate some work to.

      • #3350227

        You all got it wrong

        by leomag ·

        In reply to Certs without knowledge

        Do you really think Microsoft Cares!!!!
        $2500 per course per person
        $250 per exam per person.
        A whole industry build around their product, paper mcse’s recommending teir product regardless of what they know……
        you do the math……….money, money, money
        aint it funny it’s got you all preaching good over evil when evil prevails alway
        I am not a mcse, i am studying and learning on the job and am just as frustrated as anyone here some kid outta college gets the job over me (with 10 years experience) because he/she holds the paper saying they can pass an exam.
        Good luck everyone.

        • #3351637

          And you missed that lesson entirely

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to You all got it wrong

          You just validated Certs.

          If they get the job because of the Cert, then it would seem rather silly to knowingly put yourself at a disadvantage by not getting one? (used silly as it is the nicest word I could come up with).

          I laugh at people all the time that post their resume on a job site and wonder why people don’t call them, EVER.

          You have to have something on that resume that the next person doesn’t.

          That means more exp with bigger companies and more certs and degrees to show you are commited enought to see something through.

          If you have so much exp, you shouldn’t have to spend the $2500 on the class. Just buy a book and write your test. If you can’t pass like that, what does that REALLY say about your 10 years experience? That is the point. If you COULD pass the test and you were a working professional you would take that test.

          Do you HAVE to have a cert or degree to do good? No.

          but you are really stacking the deck against you.

    • #3330120


      by afram ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I interviewed several people who had an MCSE cert listed on the resume. I proposed some very simple trouble shooting scenarios and asked what they would do first to resolve the issues. Most of the responses were so way out there that I figured they lied/cheated about the cert.

      Thank you…next.

      • #3330105

        if it weren’t for certs…

        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to discovered

        I would still be doing break/fix. The only way I got into networking was by microsoft certs. Hell I’ve been to two wars (iraq, and afghanistan) and a nuclear bomb facility all because I took a few tests. BTW I made six figures without a college degree…just had to go to Iraq to do it. 🙂 -Seems like that’s the problem people have finding jobs…they sit at their computer at home and look for a job on some .com site. I was willing to relocate and if you plan to make it in IT…you WILL relocate, or you will do something else (unless you live in atl, dc kinda places). But I have one great thing that most people in IT do not have on my resume…a clearance. B/c of my clearance I was able to come back from afghanistan and get a good job within a month. I was reading a few posts over and that guy Oz has some good points…you have to have the right personality to make it in any business except maybe delivering pizzas.

        • #3330085

          Incomes & attitudes

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to if it weren’t for certs…

          Some may be surprised how far a good attitude & selling skills will get you……………provided you say what mean & do what you say.

          I carry many certs and continue to earn way more than I need (I’d do my job for a lot less but don’t tell anybody).

          I got there by doing ‘crap IT jobs’ that the silver spoon crowd felt was beneath them.

          I think some people are suggesting that good tech skills will lead to management…..not so IMO. A good tech does not necessarily make a good manager.

          Most techs who make it to management would do a better job asking people if they want thy’re fries supersized.

          Your right about personality…..& I’ve maintained my Certs & I maintain a secret clearance as well…………It’s all good every payday.

        • #3330070


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Incomes & attitudes

          I am a UK national resident in the US but not a US citizen, therefore I am unable to get any security clearance. I have been thinking of becoming a citizen lately as not being one greatly impacts my opportunity for positions in information security.

        • #3331496

          Helps with taxes too?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Clearance

          My understanding is it would really save you on what you pay for your taxes every year.

          Oh no, UK is outsourcing…..

        • #3331420

          Not sure?!

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Helps with taxes too?

          I am not sure if being a citizen would give me a bit of a tax break. Although, I am thinking uncle Sam isn’t really my uncle at all?!! I think he is one of those ‘pretend’ uncles like my friend’s Mom used to have 🙂

        • #3329982

          Just as long

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Not sure?!

          as he doesn’t ask you to sit on his lap for extended periods of time….

        • #3342116

          The problem with clearances…

          by martimus ·

          In reply to Incomes & attitudes

          is that SECRET is fairly easy to get but TS takes a long time and is a LOT of work. Up until 5 years ago I had a clearance. Unfortunately when I left that job they immediately expired the clearance. I’d have loved to have kept it but the only way they’d have let me keep the clearance was to stay in a dead end job that paid a fraction of what the job position should have paid. Either that or luck out and find a better job in the Government sector (and there weren’t very many in my field at that time).

        • #3341973

          Easy to get?

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to The problem with clearances…

          Of course it’s easy to get if you have:

          (In Canada)

          A good Credit history
          No Criminal Record
          A Stable address for ten years
          Stable employment
          No ‘holes’ in your history (20 Years for secret)

          This also depends on WHO or what (Government) agency is doing the checking as well is suplying the clearance.

          I just had mine upgraded & it was even more ‘intrusive’ than that again.

        • #3331526

          From the other side

          by jdmercha ·

          In reply to if it weren’t for certs…

          I became a network admin with no certs, and having never seen a network before. But, I did have a BS in engineering and 13 years experience as a nuclear engineer.

        • #3331502

          Clearance does open a few doors

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to if it weren’t for certs…

          My bro just retired from the marines and walked into a great paying job. His hardest decision what which job to take, and ended up basing it on which state he felt like moving to.

          I see people (college level) going into tech that snivel about they can’t “find” a job anywhere and how bad things are. They don’t understand why posting their empty resume on a job search site hasn’t landed them a great paying job yet. And that is the extent of their “search for work”. When I ask where they have go to that week, the answer is always no where, followed by a blank stare wondering what one has to do with the other.

          But that is ok, because I NEED someone to deliver my pizza or ask if I would like to super size.

        • #3330506


          by cuteelf ·

          In reply to Clearance does open a few doors

          I resemble that remark 😛

          BTW I’m already looking for work, and I do have a biz liscence.
          I’m griping that ppl want experience, and getting the foot in the door is difficult.

          I want experience because I know in my heart that knowing all this gunk from books may not prepare me for the 1K user pool that are having loopback issues…
          Certs look good to HR; hands on looks good to the CIO and Head Cheese.
          Both look good to me, as cert shows I put a goal and achieved it, and exp. shows that I can kick A$$ on it.

          anyone hiring :)?


        • #3329979

          See my other reply to you down further

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to grr

          It is just a matter of looking good on paper, and if you ARE doing stuff tech related, that is experience.

          It is just getting creative on ways to apply what you know.

          Yes, the paper helps. I have gone back to school myself. That 2yr degree I got a decade ago just wasn’t cutting it.

          Don’t give up.

          Question, Are you really cute?

        • #3342017

          PPL also want U to rite

          by mgordon ·

          In reply to grr

          We have employed an amazingly skilled SQL programmer with a weakness — he cannot spell. Scripts break because of it. Searches fail because of it.

          Why can’t he spell? Because society does not require it and the IM generation worships the ppl using s3cr3t communication codz.

          An older generation actually conducted the “Obfuscated C Contest” to see who could write a computer program in the most dense, obfuscated style possible that still performed a specified task.

          The winner of it was undeniably highly skilled but not expected to continue writing programs in obfuscated code. PPL that are born and raised using “LOL” to end every sentence may be weak in their programming discipline.

        • #3341940

          All C code

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to PPL also want U to rite

          is obfuscated Tee Hee

          Something to bear in mind that only way to find spelling mistakes in a script is to run it. The way to find spelling mistakes in code is to compile it.
          You’ve no idea how many times I’ve had to chnage chnage to change in my compiled code. Spilling mestakes always cause dleays soemwhere.

          Hmmm the last one was unintentional.

        • #3350413

          And everyone has that ONE word

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to All C code

          That they ALWAYS get wrong.

          When I go to type “date”, 95% of the time it will come out as “data”.

          My coworker does that with “done” instead of “down”.

          I get confusing messages that someone is done. I didn’t know they started.

        • #3350369

          Yes but why is it always

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to All C code

          the word you are using most at the time.
          DateChnaged everytime
          System to collect reasons for stoppages in a manufacturing process, suddenly can’t spell dealy.
          Bu88er again !
          So regular now I just do a search and replace for my usual ones.
          Brain faster than my fingers, still better than my handwriting though, that’s attrocious.

        • #3331821

          d00d 1 g()t5 m@d sk1llz

          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to PPL also want U to rite

          I can’t spell (dyslexic) but that’s little excuse, if you debug your code nobody should ever see your spelling errors. On the subject of weak programming skills I don’t think it confines itself to generation XYZ(or what ever letter we’re at now).

          I’ve been called in to fix code from both young and old programmers that never learned programming principles like: Kernighan and Ritchie style, Hungarian notation, standard naming conventions or even simple comments. Seems the only way to possibly get them to change is to have them debug spaghetti code that’s worse then their own. Although the worst examples are programmers that purposely obfuscated their code as a form of job security… grrrr!

          There are plenty of senile old code hacks that are just as weak in their programming skills as the young script kiddies; in my experience age is no indicator of competence.

          As far as s3cr3t c0dz goes, it does have a useful place in password creation. It helped us greatly increase our end user password strength, advising users to replace A-4, E-3, O-0, ( tripled the time it took to run L0phtCrack. Now if we could just get people to stop using the names of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, pets or the date they reset their password as their password we might get somewhere.

        • #3350412

          or under

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to d00d 1 g()t5 m@d sk1llz

          the keyboard. I love that one.

          Almost as bad as the post-it notes on the monitor.

          I had to ask the one to at least put up 30 post-its so anyone wanting in would have to work for it a LITTLE.

        • #3351623


          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to grr

          I kind of like it….

      • #3328767

        MCSE Cert ….Not worth it

        by bubba ·

        In reply to discovered

        Our Hospital had a position open on the Server Team, of which I am a member. We had over 300 responses, whiddled it down to 15. All had either MCSE or MCT. We interviewed 7 – NONE OF THEM COULD ANSWER MOST OF OUR QUESTIONS! Even the MCT could give us a correct troubleshoot procedure for an “Access Denied” message. This is ridiculous! More and more companies are doing the “Grill them for 2 hours” type interview to ensure someone knows what the #(^% they are suppose to know. For all you out there that got them the “EASY WAY”…I am certified and I have over 18 years experience.. dont come for an interview if you dont know your stuff!

        Jim S.
        Network Analyst II

        • #3328718


          by yemiweb ·

          In reply to MCSE Cert ….Not worth it

          IT recruitments should be handled by experts! I don’t think certifications should be condemned simply because ‘some people are cheating!’. No matter what, some people will still have access to likely questions for any exam – it is the level of cheating that varies BUT some people are not cheating and they really worked hard for their certifications with all pride. INTERVIEWS BY EXPERTS is the key!

        • #3328695


          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to Re:

          Time constraints can lead to the supposed cheating. I wouldn’t necessarily call this cheating, there are some people that I know that just don’t have the time to study properly and, true, will take the easy way out by grabbing the quick test version study guide. The key here is that they already have the knowledge and experience needed for the certification. Some just aren’t good test takers and on the other hand Microsoft’s tests are ridiculous with their questions and their answer choices unlike the Cisco tests I have taken that are straight forward no trick or twists you either know it or you don’t, plus Cisco puts pratical hands on configuration question on the tests. I think that if the hands on approach were implemented on Microsoft test they would be a better showing of someone true experience and knowledge level, earning the Cert.

        • #3342197

          Interviews don’t always tell you who will do well…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Re:

          I know this might sound wierd, but if someone just started grilling me with questions, I’d probably fail most of the time. But if you gave me a computer or network with a problem, I could fix it quickly. Some people, like myself aren’t great at describing their solutions; it’s more intuitive than logical. At least that’s my justification 🙂

        • #3342140


          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to Interviews don’t always tell you who will do well…

          I am with you there. Hands on versus bull*&^% questions in an interview tells a lot more.

        • #3328702

          Questioning is one thing but…

          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to MCSE Cert ….Not worth it

          Questioning is one thing but grilling someone over information that will most likely never be used or seen on the job is another. The interview process should be asking everday practical questions. Extreme circumstances always come up that everyone here has had to get help from someone or someplace else. I have 15 years IT experience with 8 certifications and am finishing my bachelors and I still don’t know everything, I do turn to other people even junior people for help or questions.

        • #3328631

          Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          by bebkow ·

          In reply to Questioning is one thing but…

          We all need to bump heads at one point or another

        • #3342196

          Been there

          by dev1 ·

          In reply to Questioning is one thing but…

          An HR person is not qualified to either interview or hire an IT guy. Only IT guys know whether or not another IT guy can handle the job. But all to often, big brains come with even bigger egos. Resultantly, IT guys interviewing other IT guys may simply get into a “my brain’s bigger than yours scenario” during an interview to establish qualifications.

          Past the point of establishing a persons ability to learn and apply new concepts, a few basic “lookup the answer or know when to humbly ask for help” type interview scenarios are probably best at finding the next fit into an IT department.

          So flip it upside down. Let the homegrown IT guys establish the foundational knowledge requirements, not the certs. But after a short written exam to establish “is this person knowledgeable enough to remain teachable,” turn them over to HR to find out whether they have the personality to lay down their egos and work well with others.

          Noone needs another geek with control issues. I think certifications are unnecessary measuring sticks. They simply make up for a lack of humilty and willingness to grow corporately by means of first acknowledging that there is always someone who knows more than you. Whether you are an IT or an HR, first look to your own improvement, then help others to achieve theirs. Clashing egos and uninformed decisions are the problem, certifications are just the symptoms.

        • #3342136

          Re: Been there

          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to Been there

          You hit all of the points that I was trying to make! Right on.

        • #3342145

          Humility is good..

          by blatkn ·

          In reply to Questioning is one thing but…

          Good on you!… I think some of the IT pros get too arrogant, but you have demonstratede the true key to learning, and that is to remain teachable.

        • #3342133


          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to Humility is good..

          I love my chosen career and I love learning as much as possible about everything that I can, call me a knowledge sponge. I learn something new on a regular basis especially junior people who have a fresh perspective on everything.

        • #3328690

          Certifications and such

          by railis ·

          In reply to MCSE Cert ….Not worth it

          In a previous job I worked with many individuals that had numerous certifications and some with no certifications. All in all, the guys that felt obligated to put all their certifications behind their names were jerks. They could read a book and take a test, but they had no people skills and very few if any technical skills. The guys that worked their way up from the bottom were the best technicians by far.
          Certifications have their place, but so does good old fashioned hard work.

      • #3328722

        re: discovered

        by yemiweb ·

        In reply to discovered

        Excellent! The problem is not with the certification exams but with the hiring department of organisations. Hence, the solution lies in the hiring organisation! There is no law against testing and interviews – the cheats will always be around but onus lie on the employers to go after what they really want. Certification is very good and it is the basic screening before the main interview stage.

        • #3328719

          but that’s the problem…

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to re: discovered

          the main interview seems to be no more than confirmation of the existence of certs… and a complete understanding of equal opportunity, workplace harassment laws, ethical behavior and minority emnhancement practices.

      • #3328707

        Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to discovered

        First step: Make sure it’s plugged in 🙂

      • #3328624

        I’ve seen that too

        by jaymiller25 ·

        In reply to discovered

        I’ve interviewed MCSE’s who had no clue about even creating user accounts. It floored me, but I wasn’t too surprised.

        One thing certs are good for is marketing. If you work for/run a VAR, it looks alot better to say “we’ve got 4 MCSE’s w/ 23 years of combined experience” than saying “we’ve got some guys that know some stuff”.

        However…I’m just now doing the MCSE after working w/ the technology for the last 6 years professionally. I got the experience first, then the certs…I feel that’s the best way to do it.

        • #3342192


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I’ve seen that too

          Remember facts parrot fashion, take exam, now you’re a professional.
          Learn IT, pass exam, be recogised as a professional who’s achieved an accepted standard level of competence.

          A lot of certs simply recognise the fact that you can see lightning and hear thunder.
          Not seen some of the heavier certs, but I always remember one of the question for an ms cert was about the minimum spec you could run NT on. Aside from the fact that my definition of run differed from theirs, what professional in their right mind would implement minimum hardware for a server’s os.

        • #3331875

          Work your way up

          by balbir ·

          In reply to I’ve seen that too

          I started by building PC’s in 1998. I knew most of the basics, joined college in the evenings going to two different colleges four evenings a week after finishing work.(I worked as an engineer for a Japanese company for 24 years) I had to do this because they would not let me sit the exams without attending classes. I was way ahead of other people(mostly youngsters)The reason they gave me- you had to do 26 written assignments.I took the A+ exam 3 weeks after my instructor- and passed.I did 2 Semesters of CCNA course where i learned about networking form Cabling upwards(they dropped the course because people dropped out and it wasn’t worth running the course)I have installed 15 computer Peer to peer network from ground up.Have installed many small office networks and sorted problems where others have given up.I am now studying for a MCSE, have purchased Win 2003 Server (Trial version) and will learn by diong IT not reading about IT. There is no substitute for experience.I now work for myself.

      • #3342193

        Couldn’t agree with you more

        by dazhig ·

        In reply to discovered

        I had a “friend” with whom I had had lunch together in the same cafeteria since 1998. Last year (end of 04) he showed me the piece of paper that he got after he passed the MCSA SQL Server exam. I asked him to write a simple SQL statement to retrieve data from two tables (dept and emp) where dept_id = 5. He did not have a clue what to write, so he was pissed off. I apologized to him and he never wanted to acknowledge my apology (he prays before he eats each and every his lunch!). We never see each other any more. But I agree that experience plus certs are the best for us.

        • #3342114

          Just goes to show..

          by blatkn ·

          In reply to Couldn’t agree with you more

          ..that pride goes before the fall. It’s to bad that your “friend” would sacrifice the relationship over his ego. I’m glad that he prays and I hope he prays for forgiveness and seeks you out to heal the breach. I’ll bet he knows how to write that query now!

        • #3342074

          On the flip side…

          by martimus ·

          In reply to Just goes to show..

          is it OK to publically embarass someone? I grant you that the individual likely knew more about passing the exam than managing a SQL server but there are two sides to every story… and we still don’t know that individuals perspective.

      • #3342169

        Understanding “why” better than knowing “what”

        by tin man ·

        In reply to discovered

        They can teach you the “knowledge” but the “application” of that knowledge comes from experience at attitude.

        If you can understand why something is you don’t need to memorize what needs to be done. Problem with memorizing is if you forget one link in the chain the whole thing falls apart. Understanding why something is, a reasonably intelligence person with the right attitude can figure out what needs to be done.

    • #3330063

      ms certs are

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      destroying the world.

      a friend who teaches netowrking at university took the mcse, mcne exams,( win nt, 2k ) without even looking at the course.
      his assesment, pick the answer that best sells microsoft’s products and you will pass with flying colours..that’s what he did.

      though being a unix person, and fully qualified on networking with unix, those few questions that weren’t multiple guess he had the knowledge to answer.

      • #3331746

        I was going to ask if you

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to ms certs are

        where cranky today…….but then I realized…;-)

        I guess I’d have to ask why your friend would bother???

        Someone who works with UNIX & has a few clues could write most of the newer exams with reasonable ease. Just like I could knock off an OS/2 cert without breaking a sweat. (Oh yes..I did)

        Allthough you KNOW I dissagree with your friends assesment, especially after I spent years getting an MCSA, I will offer that the exams are no longer multiple choice (In the vein they were about a year or two ago)

        Most UNIX people I know could do an MCSE easily I’m sure. They know they’re…….but why bother???

        • #3331725

          Big assumption

          by moshchops ·

          In reply to I was going to ask if you

          Why would ‘most’ UNIX people know anything about MS product – most unix people are so precious about their ‘real’ OS (what about OpenVMS – now that’s an OS).
          MS exams bear no relevance to the real world – you just need to know how MS WANT you to answer the question…oh yeah ‘most’ UNIX people are graduates so can answer anything put in front of them!

        • #3331719

          Not so

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Big assumption

          I continue to use a MicroVax 3100 that I usually only shut down about once a year.

          I’ll be porting the Microvax to Windows 2003 in a virtual environment soon.

          The UNIX boxes will remain as is.

          Sounds like you know how to write the exam so why don’t you write it….instead of simply opining here?

        • #3328672

          Everyone is an expert…hates MS, Hates certs

          by beoweolf ·

          In reply to Not so

          The general consensus is Microsoft tests are too easy, anyone can pass. Wait a minute, revise that; Microsoft tests are not real world, they just look at the world through MS glasses, we need hands-on tests, open book…then we could see who has real expertise. No, that’s not it…people don’t need to be certified or go to college, on the job training is the best way, we just need to let them get a foot in the door.

          I am confused? from the breadth of “solutions” presented, one would think the #1 OS for business, commerce, connectivity is the problem. If we could just get rid of Microsoft…Oh, then what would wanna-be’s complain about then? It’s not minorities, it’s not out-sourcing, it’s not test cheaters, it’s not even about not getting opportunities. People will pay for your services only when they see a benefit. No one owes you a job, a foot in the door or reserved seating.

          Believe it or not MS in all it’s flawed glory is the trough we all feed from. (Yes, even the xx”uix crowd feeds at the MS trough…Years of Unix only growth of the internet was eclipsed within the first 2 years of MS entry into internetworking). Want a job? Go get one! Quite whining, the world is what it is, deal with or not…it will still go on with or without you.

          Certifications are not different than any other document. You have a drivers license, so do most other drivers on the road, yet we still have accidents, we still have cheaters (even on drivers tests), we have people that complain because it is only given in English or complain because it is give in non-English. Too easy to get or too hard, how can that be? Hand-ons, written, good drivers bad drivers…just the same as MS certs. It’s not the cert, it just human nature. There are and will be varying levels of skill, regardless of the test.

        • #3328630

          Right you are

          by dmambo ·

          In reply to Everyone is an expert…hates MS, Hates certs

          I hate it, love it, don’t really care when someone is right, and Beoweolf is right!! The real world is out there and we need to get used to it. I’m middle-aged and somewhat of a newbie and I’ve busted my hump to stay in IT for the last 5 years. It’s better by a long shot than my previous field of manufacturing management (another famously out-sourced career.)

          I’ve worked to start down the cert path and when I get there I’ll crow like a rooster about it.

          It’s interesting to note how many typos and grammatical errors there are in some of the posts of the anti-cert, anti-education crowd. The real world is looking for the whole package folks, or at least a mostly-full partial package. If it’s education, experience or certification that helps us trouble-shoot, document and present ourselves in the best light, then who can blame employers for looking for the best of everything??

        • #3328617

          Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          by bebkow ·

          In reply to Right you are

          I Don’t think anyone’s sweating spell check, cowboy

        • #3342102

          I’m right there with you…

          by blatkn ·

          In reply to Right you are

 48 I’ve had to reinvent myself once again. Having been a Journeyman Printing Press Operator to an Overhead
          Crane Operator at the lazy B…. to now, starting off part time at a retailer doing bench work. Life is a struggle but with perserverance we shall overcome. Now I ‘ve got to get off my but and find time to take the A+.

        • #3341933

          Well Yes and No

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Everyone is an expert…hates MS, Hates certs

          There will always be various levels of skill most definitely, but certs were meant to be way of guaranteeing a minimum level of skill in the holder. This is manifestly not true, not is it true for higher education, you can buy that as well. People with experience should be vetted based on it, people who want experience should be vetted based on theory and attitude.
          You can be certified as at a particular level of knowledge, but as soon as ‘cheating’ becomes regular, the cert becomes a bit of meaningless paper.

        • #3342058


          by martimus ·

          In reply to Not so

          but I find it necessary to disagree with you. Unix people know Unix… thats their bread and butter. Shoot you can hardly put a Unix person at some Linux consoles and expect them to understand what to do from the get-go. This is no different than Windows at the Server level. OS’s, even ones that are supposed to be the same, all have tangible differences. Its understanding these differences that differentiate those who know from those who don’t.

        • #3331677

          um, not really.

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Big assumption

          it’s not the product itself, it’s the tech behind the product.

          most *x people have the in depth knowledge of networking protocols that most mc* people don’t.
          ( manual config at konsole of nic’s, routes etc )
          microsoft’s “wizard” based approach to everything means most people working with it don’t get that depth of knowledge.

        • #3331491

          Problem is

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to um, not really.

          then the questions aren’t how to configure something but which wizard to you use for blah blah and where do you find it.

          The other cute think M$ has done in the last few years is to incorporate sales propoganda into the cert. They are trying to make the techs the first line of sales to push their line.

        • #3330402

          I know.

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Problem is

          m$ specific questions can always be answered by, run the wizard.

          since m$ doesn’t supply real tools to do anything with.

          and MCS* stands for Microshaft Certified Sales *
          not microshaft certified system *

        • #3329717

          Try the HP Data Protector Cert

          by moshchops ·

          In reply to I know.

          Just learned I have to pass this one before 31st March or my company gets 2% less discount for HP sales.
          Cert. written by the guy who wrote the app. – this one is really in depth! No sleep ’til next Monday…

        • #3328629

          Time for you to visit the energy drink discussion CHOP

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I know.

          They now sell RedBull by the case.

          Good luck with the test. nothing like a deadline to help you relaxe and study…..

        • #3331679


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to I was going to ask if you

          since he TEACHES networking, and a lot of jobs are m$ based networks, the certs gave him the legit right to say, I have my MC*, to the students and administration, getting that respect from both groups members that need that.
          ( translation: I do have my mc* I know what I’m talking about you %$^$%&*%&* )

        • #3331440


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to well

          Yeah……..I realize he teaches NETWORKING.

          I guess my translation would be:

          ( translation: I do know *X I know what I’m talking about you %$^$%&*%&* )

        • #3330516

          butthat’s the

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Teaching

          rub, to many id10ts think that unix is dead/legacy, and only care about microshaft certifies sales certificates

        • #3329818

          hey…what the?

          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to butthat’s the

          Unix is still around?
          j/k 🙂

        • #3328682


          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to hey…what the?

          Yes it is still around and my company feels they need to replace our 14 UN* servers, that replaced our mainframe, with Lin*. I don’t have a problem with administering either but I think that is the wrong direction.

        • #3342110


          by techniquephreak ·

          In reply to I was going to ask if you

          That last paragraph is so funny.. Serious. My side hurts, I’m laughing so hard.

          Most UNIX folks can’t even breathe and think at the same time, and UNIX is so much easier (because it is so dumbed down and functionless).

          Took you what, years? To get your MCSA (watered down version of MCSE)? But I’m sure you could have done it easily…

          I’m sorry, but if MCSE’s are a dime a dozen.. UNIX admins are what? A penny?

          You’re hung up on two technologies that are BOTH substandard! Comparing feces and vomit..

      • #3331662

        i hate that…

        by house ·

        In reply to ms certs are

        The ‘microsoft’ answer is the best answer. I ran into this issue with the limitations of disk management in 2k. “it can be done” [i]just not with ms utils[/i]

        Unfortunately, a proper MS training module will have to include sample questions in order to prepare you for the kind of propaganda that you will see in these exams.

        • #3328691

          Re: i hate that…

          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to i hate that…

          I am with you on the propaganda.

      • #3328728

        re: ms certs are

        by yemiweb ·

        In reply to ms certs are

        No matter how you structure the exam, I am sure the networking teacher will still pass – A networking teacher that is fully qualified on networking with Unix and obviously familiar with windows?? What do u expect! But, nice one on Microsoft marketing.

    • #3330058

      Double Edged Sword

      by moshchops ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      It is a real problem these days, when charging out consultants on projects and the resource is not certified are you cheating the customer who expects the right letters after the guys name? Internally, you know they are more than capable with years of exp. and real world knowledge that can’t be matched by a few courses and exam passes! Our organisation requires certs. purely to maintain vendor accredited status – is this the same across the industry, the company wants the benefits and in our example expects most of the training time to be self paced (2 years to MSCE – with kids I don’t think so!).
      Bitter, no – making the move to management…

      • #3331620


        by cuteelf ·

        In reply to Double Edged Sword

        I’m spending my time at school, studying etc and working towards certs to have next to my name.
        HR places want the letters, and want experience, but for pete’s sake, I cant get experience!!!!

        I’m such a low on the totem pole, I’m asking for handsup from all my teachers etc. Getting hits for jobs, but the ones locally want 2 yrs exp plus the certs.

        Me, I’ve got 1.5 yrs self exp and no paid experience, and some of the, I may have to go be a cashier again to pay for this stuff..and try for a job.

        Its frustrating for me too.

        • #3331480

          Tech on your own

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Time..grr

          How many times have you fixed someones computer for beer? I am now setting up a network for a garage in exchange for working on my car.

          If you just make up some business cards (stock is cheap and make a sheet at a time) then start counting this as your experience.

          with the card you may pull in more pay jobs and avoid the cashier job. Then look at getting a license so you can claim this as legit exp.
          May have to pay taxes, but if you write off every book you buy and all computer parts, you will never show a profit. Even write your cell bill off.

          It us just getting something on paper, and you sound like you could do this.

          Another idea. I started padding my resume by assiting teaching for community ed programs. Didn’t make much but it looked good on the resume. After a year I started to take over teaching and it looked even better.

        • #3328725

          Jobness & Certs….

          by catadmin ·

          In reply to Time..grr

          First, relax a little. Believe me when I know how you feel. My college degree has nothing to do with I.T. and I had to go the cert route to get my foot in the door.

          When the contracting agency interviewed me, the first thing they asked me was *how* I got my certs. Since I’m a poor person, I had to buy cheap hardware at a computer show, put everything together on trial versions of the software and then learn it by myself. No bootcamp for me. Too expensive. Strangely enough, my recruiter liked that answer. It took me two & 1/2 years to get my MCSA & MCDBA (didn’t go for the MCSE as it seemed rather worthless at the time).

          And yet, I still couldn’t get in the door. Of course, I was working in a customer service job and found out if I volunteered for all the grunt work, people would let me help out with the computer stuff in my spare time. I laid network cable, I took broken PCs and learned how to rebuild the OS, rebuild the hardware and how to troubleshoot problems with no one to help me but a couple of newsgroups, some Tech Republic newsletters and a heavy reliance on Google. I crawled up in ceilings, reached under desks, even broke my own PC once trying to upgrade it (which taught me more than I can possibly tell you). Developed, for myself, a couple of very simple Access DBs. Volunteered outside of work to help friends trouble shoot laptops, build business networks, etc. for free because it meant resume experience I could put under the heading of “Contract Work”.

          Finally managed to get an underpaid help desk support job for a software developer doing front end stuff for SQL & Access. The free Contractor work I had done helped. No one cared that I volunteered to do it, they just cared that I had actually done it. I even included several years of Admin/coding experience I had gotten from volunteering on a MUSH (multi-user simulated halucination – or text based RPG) on my Resume.

          It may sound silly, but that is the way the game is played. If you can reasonably say that something gave you IT experience, it’ll show in the way you interview. Of course, you have to properly present it on your resume, too. I never lie about the experience I have in I.T. during an interview. When they ask me, “Have you dealt with replication”, I tell them right out, “I did it when I was studying for my cert in a stable test SOHO environment, but I haven’t done it in a production environment.”

          It seems the interviewers like that kind of honesty.

          Since last year, I have gone from Customer Service Rep to Access Specialist to full blown Database Adminstrator. I’ve literally doubled my pay since the CSR days. I was let go from the AS job due to budget reasons and spent a month trying to get jobs which were “too senior” for my experience level. Then, just when I’m ready to go back to service industry, someone wants a junior DBA whom they can teach to do the things they want.

          All I can say is WHOO HOO! It seems doing things the hard way does pay off. And definately getting the certs helped get my foot in the door.

        • #3328677


          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to Time..grr

          What jdclyde is telling is the way to go. I moved from a very high paying job to Jax, FL without a job a started looking. I went through the yellow pages and faxed resumes to tech company with a fax and went to these companies and filled out apps with no luck. I then decided to get my business license and printed up 500 business cards with flyers. I took a job delivering phone books just so I could stuff my flyers in them before I delivered them. Worked Great. I then was approach by a few companies with offers I couldn’t refuse so I went back to the work force, but I still maintain my business just in case. It takes some time but hang in there and don’t give up.

        • #3328637

          It is always the simple ideas that work

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Re

          Getting a job that is unrelated just so you can make contacts is something that just doesn’t come to many people it seems.

          Getting the phone book delivery is greatness in action.

          NOTE: I don’t even worry about finding a “tech” company. ALL companies these days have computers and need to communicate.

          I work for a company that makes cement pipes and bricks. “Ma, when I grow up I want to work for a sewer pipe company…”. We have five locations and don’t forget about a mobile sales force.

          Not everyone will work for IBM or Micro$oft.

          On the side I am now getting my car rebuilt at a service center in exchange for updating their network. All I pay for is parts at their COST and they pay for their parts at my COST. Brakes, suspension, front end parts, coolant flush and many others. Car has high mileage because of my travels and stuff is just wearing out, ya know? 99 concorde with 170K on it, but the thing is LOADED so I don’t want to get rid if it.

          Mostly all I have done was clean up adware so far, hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa! I LOVE adware!

        • #3342126

          Same here

          by xirkonax ·

          In reply to It is always the simple ideas that work

          I have done the same thing with repairs for repairs. Back scratching always works well. I wore down my 93 Jeep Cherokee and it now has 246,000 miles on it but still run like a champ. Since I have landed this bigger job working for, yeah I know, a big company and not for myself I have had to do all of my own repairs but it all works out.

        • #3342094

          Keep at it Elf

          by blatkn ·

          In reply to Time..grr

          I’m in the same boat but just got hired part time as a Geek Squad tech…The experience will be good but it’s not my dream job(if there is such a thing).

        • #3351619

          Dream job?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Keep at it Elf

          How about the people that surf the web looking for nudie sites to add to blacklists? Now there is a job.

          “So, what do you do for a living?”

          “I surf porn.”

          Ain’t life grand?

        • #3332112


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Dream job?

          Isn’t that what most CFO’s do all day anyway…. surf porn? 😉

        • #3332093

          Chief F%@k Off?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to CFO?

          They are too busy wanking to document what they find short of a bookmark for later “research”.


          It must be rough, so try lotion.

      • #3342241

        Some Certs have real tests (Red Hat)

        by dons_ca ·

        In reply to Double Edged Sword

        I have my RHCT. It is the only cert I have. The reason: it has a real exam. There was no written component, it was all practical. The exam is in two parts: trouble shooting and installing according to specs given. BTW, trouble shooting was a must pass. If you failed the morning you did not get to come back for the afternoon.

    • #3330025

      certifications destroying the world?

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I thought it was global warming that was destroying the world?

      • #3331744


        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to certifications destroying the world?

        I just realized where this discussion was going.

        • #3331582


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Thanks

          Yea we got a little off track from what I was originally saying…but still more problems in the IT world. The major thing I was getting at was that probably more than half of the IT world is faking it.

        • #3331551

          Better percentage…

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to derailed

          That’s supposedly a better percentage than female partners 🙂

        • #3331529


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Better percentage…

          now that’s a “faking it” that bothers me more than the IT world… 🙂 😀

        • #3331478

          Way to stop the faking

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Better percentage…

          Marry them. Then they don’t even pretend.

        • #3328753


          by ciscogranny ·

          In reply to Way to stop the faking

          …..usually when you take the time and energy to figure out how things “work” there is no need for faking.

        • #3328634

          Re: well

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Well…..

          I got done, if she isn’t there are batteries in the top drawer.

          The food found to remove 90% of all sex drive from women? Wedding cake.

          Sorry, if I seem bitter lately it is because the wife is moving out. Seems she found her “soul mate”, and I’m not it.


        • #3331423


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to derailed

          But these ones usually do 🙂

          I like the other faking disc further on though LOL

      • #3329967

        oh no

        by afram ·

        In reply to certifications destroying the world?

        MS certs cause global warming?

      • #3342090


        by blatkn ·

        In reply to certifications destroying the world? many overheated CPU’s not SUV’s

    • #3331522

      MS Survey

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I just filled out a survey for Microsft’s idea of creating a Sytems Architect certification. Basically I slammed the idea because the cert like all other MS certs are too easy to obtain.

      Although I admit that a cert is better than nothing, a BS is better than a cert, and experience is better than both.

      And yes, I work with many Phd’s that can’t tie their own shoes. Typically they spend so much time and effort trying to understand their one area, that they do not have the time or desire to learn anything else.

      • #3331457

        The problem with certs

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to MS Survey

        is they are used to replace experience. Sorry, can’t buy experience.

        • #3330401

          yes you can.

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to The problem with certs

          you can buy experience, it’s called paying to hire someone with experience, not just a piece of paper that could be meaningless. ~g~

          oh, you mean paying and getting experience for your resume.
          well if you are stupid enough to pay an employer instead of getting paid, go for it. ~l~

        • #3328752

          Getting experience, etc.

          by ciscogranny ·

          In reply to yes you can.

          My school has internship programs for IT majors. Some are paid, some are not. I have no idea now how easy it is to get into an internship there, but I’ll find out soon enough. My unemployment runs out in May.:)

        • #3328632

          Just don’t worry about the $$ yet

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Getting experience, etc.

          Even the one’s that don’t pay or pay little will get you back in the door.

          Best of luck getting in.

      • #3328673

        Reply MS Survey

        by xirkonax ·

        In reply to MS Survey

        Yeah but having all three is better than any one!

    • #3330714

      I’ll say it again…

      by pgm554 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Certs are like the shine on the bumper of a car,it looks good, but you can’t judge how well it will perform from the shine.

      • #3330533

        Sure you can!

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to I’ll say it again…

        They crumble when you hit ’em hard ennough.

        Do it during the interview.

    • #3328777

      Oh, Really

      by teajay9001 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      In my experience and I’ve been in this business many many years, most companies that consider any applicant weather he’s certified and degreed or what ever, perform a Technical interview/test to determine the depth of knowledge. In most cases you can weed out the pretenders in about 30 minutes. The certs are good we just need a better and consistant way to “certify the cert”.
      As far as the sites that help out with the test “SO WHAT”. If propestive companies understand this and I beleive most of them do. They’ll figure out a way to get the best experienced/certified folks as most companies already have.

      • #3328774

        No doubt

        by house ·

        In reply to Oh, Really

        If you can’t do a hands on test… sit the potential down with a pen and paper and a little pop quiz for him/her to write. Nothing too technical, just the basics in order to assess his/her background and common sense regarding technical issues.

        • #3328712

          throw ’em a curve ball!

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to No doubt

          when recruiting techs during my time (sentence?) as an IT manager, I used to toss in a real curve ball… went something like this….

          “Imagine I’m holding a rubber ball at waist height and let it fall to the ground. It will bounce back, but not to its original height. Let’s call the ratio of the two heights the coefficient of restitution. Without touching the ball, we see that it bounces proportionally lower & lower in agreement with the coefficient until eventually we can no longer see it bouncing.

          Now, theory tells us that it must still be bouncing, we just can’t see it any more.

          Is it still bouncing, justify your answer.”

          The correct answer is ‘no it’s not bouncing, I can’t see it bouncing, bugger the theory!’

          I’m looking for the people who can figure out how to think for themselves, not those who try (desperately) to cling to the clues thrown to them as part of the question.

      • #3328761

        Well in my experience they aren’t getting the right

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Oh, Really

        people to test.
        Certs & degrees get you interviews, not jobs.
        I haven’t got any of either but I often wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed out on because some dimwit in HR or an agency thinks you need a bit of paper before you can do the job.

        • #3328759

          That’s the thing

          by house ·

          In reply to Well in my experience they aren’t getting the right

          We can all argue that…

          – certs do not mean a thing
          – beware of the paper cert
          – MCSE is garbage
          – blah, blah, blah

          When it comes down to it though, a lot of places have a step in the screening process that is directly related to certification levels.

        • #3328746

          That’s the game.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to That’s the thing

          Certifying and re-certifying, especially after you’ve made it almost mandatory is a definite money spinner. The fact that they don’t do what it says on the tin has no bearing as long as they can keep selling the idea to business. Fortunately they are slightly less necessary in software development, support, networking and admin, they are almost a must. I muddle through keeping myself in work, haven’t got the time, money or desire to jump on the ms training bandwagon, class one rip off as far as I’m concerned.

        • #3328742

          active directory

          by house ·

          In reply to That’s the game.

          You have to pretty lucky to be involved in the direct implementation of AD. I’ve gone through an MCSE targetted training course a while back, and have since touched down on AD but once. There is definitely some sort of marketing scheme going on here.

          I don’t regret the training though, because it filled in a lot of holes… but I’ve yet to write for my MCSE for 03 as it is not all that practical in my situation. I work directly and indirectly with Cisco products, smaller MS networks, and a bit of Linux.

        • #3328711

          study AD *second*

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to active directory

          hey, if you need to study AD, loom at eDirectory first. At least that way you’ll see how a proper directory should be built! Then you simply need to learn the exceptions.

          Wait, no, on second thoughts, it’ll be quicker to learn AD than to learn how badly it deviates from a *real* directory.


        • #3328708

          akkkk typo!

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to study AD *second*

          if you need to study AD, LOOK at eDirectory first.

          sorry folks… ~smile~

        • #3331886

          don’t really need to study it

          by house ·

          In reply to study AD *second*

          I need to work with it. I’ve been put through the ringers when it comes to AD, but have rarely had the opportunity to work with it directly in a production environment.

        • #3328717

          Funny thing I always find though:

          by hybrit ·

          In reply to That’s the thing

          So many companies place value on vendor certifications and training, but less and less they are willing to pay to have one of “their” employees get certified on something they are already implementing!!!!

          What a stupid game: I want only certified people but heaven forbrid that MY company should have to pay for it!

          The typical all around attitude these days in America: I want it all for noth’in… (yes I am generalizing).

          Sad really…

        • #3328706

          cert vs training

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to Funny thing I always find though:

          actually, when I was an IT manager, I would pay for any necessary training; but I’d never pay for certs. The certification was for the employee to offer his NEXT employer, so I figured he could pay for it himself. Having him do the training was useful to me, having the cert wasn’t

        • #3331885


          by house ·

          In reply to cert vs training

          What value does certification hold without proper training and experience?

          The value in offering your employees a certification ‘freebie’, would be to promote your consultancy by advertising that your staff are “highly trained and certified”.

        • #3351312

          true, if you’re a consultancy

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to exactly

          fine, but my team was simply an internal IT group for a retailer. If they wanted letters after their name, they were welcome to pay for them!

        • #3350023

          your right…

          by house ·

          In reply to exactly

          In your case it would most definitely promote their departure.

        • #3251770


          by david_heath ·

          In reply to exactly

          not sure I understand that comment… ‘hasten their departure.’

          My employees were completely happy… they were getting lots of training to do their jobs. they know (coz I told them) that they were welcome to sit exams, on my time if necessary, but they’d need to pay for the exams themselves.

          The over-riding reason being that the company needed trained employees, the certs added nothing as far as the company was concerned.

        • #3245715

          “YOU” would pay.

          by gary.nowels ·

          In reply to cert vs training

          Wow, how generous.

    • #3328760

      MCSE good or bad

      by d_j_owen2002 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I do not have the MCSE but instead did a course that required I provide evidence of my knowledge an abilities. Unfortunately the IT world does not give guys like me much of a chance as they do not greatly recognise my qualification.
      My first job in the IT world when I was taken on I was informed that the previous week they had taken on a guy with an MCSE and he had barely been able to switch the PC on.
      I have a colleague who has an MCSE and he relies on me to solve the more complex IT problems as he has no fault finding logic whatsoever.
      I also know IT guys with the MCSE who put me to shame with their knowledge.On software tests such as Office 2000 knowledge with perspective employers I usually score around 97%.
      Due to misfortune the 2 jobs I got in the IT industry ended with redundancy one due to the government. I no longer work in the IT world but still do it as a hobby in my spare time, though I could be described as being on the fringes.

    • #3328757

      Company over reliance on Certs shows company culture

      by questor1 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Companies increased use of Certs for job screening is a symptom of that company’s management problems.

      When companies “weed out” job candidates based in part on Certs, they are perpetuating a myth that more IT training is automatically better. The real key is to screen job candidates for what they did at previous jobs, how they did it, and what was the result.

      The burden of IT training costs has dramatically shifted in the past 10 years from employers to employees. Current Certs are far more used as a job screening tool for Consultants and Temps where there seems to be a inherent client bias towards age discrimination of older workers.

      For example, I have worked in IT for 15+ productive years, earned an BS IT degree, completed certifications for Novell and Microsoft and continue to have problems finding a job. I kept all of my Certs up to date with all of the current Novell and Microsoft Cert update classes at my own expense. I am hesitant to pay out big bucks of my own money every 3 years to get re-certified when my past Certs are arbitrarily declared obsolete by software monopoly companies. Job experience should be considered far more than having the “Cert of the week” when scrrening job candidates.

      The job screening problem for me appears to be that 1.) companies have shifted IT work to business process outsourcing (BPO) causing reduce IT demand, 2.) I have been told that my 15+ years of skills and certifications are not “current” enough because I did not retake classes that I have already passed in prior Certs, and 3.) that contract clients are looking for a “younger” person, even though I would work at a “younger” contract rate.

      The bottom line is that as IT has reduced in scale within the USA, descrimination based on Certs and job candidate age occur every minute of the day. Companies that have faulty management or hiring practices over-rely upon the use of Certs to screen out qualified job candidates and negatively impact the ability of a company to hire the best qualified job candidate.

      • #3342008

        Darwinian struggle

        by mgordon ·

        In reply to Company over reliance on Certs shows company culture

        The Dot-Com boom and bust is this very thing you are talking about on a grand scale.

        An entrepreneur enters a market primarily for emotional reasons, it makes very little difference WHAT the market is buying/selling. He wants to get rich. He forms a business to make it happen.

        Emotions govern everything starting with hiring; he will instinctively hire persons like himself, and yet not his superiors. They, in turn, hire persons like themselves, and yet not their superiors either.

        See “The Peter Principle” by Dr. Lawrence Peter.

        The implication is obvious; in an entrepeneurial company, you can expect that NOBODY will be older or smarter than the entrepeneur.

        Exceptions exist, of course, and that’s where Darwinism comes into play. How can a single entrepreneur challenge a company that achieves “synergy” (this is when two complementary talents produce a result that neither could produce alone)?

        In big-corporation America, the rules are “safety first.” Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft, or for hiring certified technicians. Why should an $8 an hour worker risk her job by taking a risk on a highly experienced yet uncertified technician? It is not likely to happen. It is no risk to her to stick with Certified Workers. If they cannot do the job, that is no threat to HR.

        Small business is far more likely to choose experience over certification, and more likely yet to hire if you possess a cultural match.

    • #3328751

      Why have Certs

      by mac0813 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I have been in the It industrie and for about 3 years. I have found that all the Cert’s in the wourld does not justfy anything it might sell you to the HR people bout as far as doing the job it does not mean crap.
      I have worked with people that have there MCSE and they can’t even add a computer to the AD (Active Directory)correctly. The only thing that a CERT tells me is that a person can take a test really well it does not mean that they can do the job when needed.

      I think that we have gone cert crazy and we need to back to the basic’s when it comes to hiring some one to have them prove them selves and if they can’t do the job fire there REAR. Just my opinion


      • #3328743

        Mine too

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Why have Certs

        I’ve no certs and never added a computer to AD, bet I could figure it out though. In about two minutes, and google how to do it in three or wait for a response from one of my fellow members. But that’s the difference between being simply certified and being a professional. One can vaguely remember the answers they gave in an exam the other knows how to ask the right questions.

    • #3328741

      MSCE not only cert

      by flosofl ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      While an MCSE means nothing to me (anyone and I mean ANYONE can get one with little effort), there are certifications out there that actually mean something. Of the top of my head:

      CCIE – insanely difficult to get and having means you really, really know your stuff. While an MCSE will mean little when hiring a sys admin, you bet a CCIE will get the enterprise network engineering job.

      CISSP – again not the easiest to get and they vet your skills based not only on your test, but on your work experience (you send in a resume) and you have to get a manager or another CISSP to vouch for you. For any security position, a CISSP will have a huge leg up. You also need to earn points by taking classes/seminars in the security field to maintain the cert. Or go through the whole process (350 ques test, submit resume, get someone to vouch) every 3 years.

      • #3342097

        Professional Certifications

        by tin man ·

        In reply to MSCE not only cert

        There are technical certifications but don’t forget certifications from organizations like the Institute for the Certification of Computer Professionals (vendor independent & supported by most of the other independent industry associations).

        Holders must pass an exam on an IT “body of knowledge”, not just vendor technical/marketing caca, and encompasses more than just having technical skill. Specialty exams can also be taken. Holders must have a minimum combination of education and/or experience to take the examination(s), agree to adhere to a code of ethics, and the certification can be revoked in the event of malpractice or breaching the code of ethics.

        However, it seems a certification like this is less important than being able to memorize how to add a computer to Active Directory.

        The power of marketing. Go figure.

    • #3328731

      dont blame the the newbie…

      by mgeyre ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      The reason many people use cert?s as an entry to IT is because too many managers/directors want instantly experienced workers. They are not prepared to put in time or effort (or money) to train new people and prefer to poach from other companies. The people trying to get into IT are faced with a dilemma, they cannot get hands on experience so they pay a boot camp to provide them with certs and bluff the experience. They get caught but by then it is too late they are on the payroll.

      The solution to this problem is simple STOP COMPLAINING AND START TRAINING.

      • #3328723

        hmmm – good point

        by house ·

        In reply to dont blame the the newbie…

        For some reason, the IT industry is an industry that demands ‘instant’ professionals. Corporations in general should be hiring based on professionalism and work ethic in general, and not necessarily based on a brilliant CV.

        It would be ideal to hire junior admins based on the minimum, and then mold them to your satisfaction. The problem that we see here is the abuse trends that come out of it. If I were so inclined, I would work 6 months for a company and have them pay for thousands of dollars worth of training and certification… so long… see ya… this is where it falls apart.

        On another note, my issues with the job market are related to bilingualism… I’d spoken French for about 12 years throughout my childhood, but haven’t spoken a word of it since I was 16. My vocabulary sucks, and many positions here in Ontario demand that you speak French. I have no time these days to work my French, so tough cookies for me. None of my family nor any of my friends speak the language.

        • #3328627

          I agree.

          by mgeyre ·

          In reply to hmmm – good point

          I agree with your point about the expense of training, one way to keep people is using the carrot and stick method. The carrot is a reward for gaining certs with promotion/pay rise. The stick is, they agree to stay with the company for a specified period of time if they break the deal they are required to repay part of the course fee.

          If a person is paid what they are worth then they less likely to look elsewhere.

        • #3331780

          Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          by balbir ·

          In reply to I agree.

          When i started working,26 years ago, i worked 4 days a week and went to college one day a week( To study for a Higher National Certificate in Electronics) My company gave me the time off, i paid my own fees. I stuck with the same company for 24 years.In the end it was they that terminated my employmebt with 51 other people.
          What happened to apprenticeships?
          Where the employer paid you while you learned the trade.

        • #3350175

          apprenticeship = cheap labour

          by house ·

          In reply to Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          In my opinion. One of the reasons that I got out of CNC Machining is the apprenticeship factor. I do not want to spend 4 years on the chain gang for peanuts… and another few years of complex political tactics to acquire a design and programming position.

      • #3352480

        Only part right

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to dont blame the the newbie…

        The people to blame are the bootcamps and training places that put dollar signs in peoples eyes and tell them all they need is to take this class for $2000 and they will make $11k a year from then on.

        This is also why there are so many REALLY BAD techs out there. They went into IT during or right after Y2K and saw all the money being thrown around and saw it as a get rich quick deal. Just sit around and peck at a keyboard and rake in the big checks. Easy, right? hahahahahahahaaaaa. jokes on them.

    • #3328730

      Why not fake it?

      by guapo ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      After all, Microsoft fakes an operating system.

      • #3328694

        need the experience? get to work

        by hawkeye255 ·

        In reply to Why not fake it?

        I’ve been in IT since 1988. In 1990, an acquaintance and I opened our own business to little fanfare and few prospects in a three-room office suite (that we couldn’t really afford) in a not-very-fashionable commercial buidling on the sixth floor (no reliable elevator). Six months later after working night and day, we opened a huge storefront with five offices and hired our first employee (besides us). After six months of working my ass off while my partner mostly played with his own “bulletin board” and talking on the phone all day long with buddies around the country, I convinced him to buy me out. (Thank you, Lord, thank you thank you thank you!)
        I then opened my own company after relocating across the country, in an office in my home. I officially started advertising in the local papers July ’91. By July ’93, I had to stop advertising, I had been working 18/7 for a year-and-half and it was killing me. Since then I advertise sparingly and my best years income was $120,000 with the average being a bit less than that. I have no employees and carry very little in inventory (a few routers, a couple hard drives, etc.)
        My average workweek is 15 to 20 hours long and I usually earn $1000 to $2000 a week. The rest of the time I sail and fish and play with my room full of synths.
        Word-of-mouth advertising has sent me 90% of my clients and I seldom do work for large companies since they are slow paying and demand a huge investment of non-paying time. I have learned a few tricks that take care of the slow payers, by the way.
        When MS certs first come out and I noticed the serious money that was required, I declined, feeling that it was just another revenue producing stream for Microsoft akin to extortion. At a tech conference a few years ago, I took a practice exam and scored 98%, so I hold not even one MS certification and the result is: I don’t feel I’ve lost a thing.
        My clients pay me to train when they present me with problems I have not encountered before which happens a lot less all the time. The key to my success is tenacity. I don’t let go of a problem until I solve it. I see young people start up all the time and disappear two or three months later. Mostly because when the problems are over their head, instead of seriously getting to work on it by whatever means available-that means research and study, they simply don’t show up.
        There are certifications that have real meaning, I don’t think MS has one though–hell, I wouldn’t trust Bill Gates to mow my lawn successfully without endless do-overs amidst negotiations with platoons of attorneys. 😉
        Want experience and think you have what it takes? Get to work. God knows there is plenty of it out there.

    • #3328720

      thank you ‘advancegeek’

      by house ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      look at the negative feedback that I got from this one

      It’s nice to see that I’m not alone 😉

    • #3328709

      Security +

      by vtjo ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I agree wholeheartedly – experience counts, but I found that I learned a lot while studying for exams. There are always systems that your particular environment may not utilize or things you don’t do everyday and covering them even just academically does help broaden your scope.
      As far as the Security + exam – watch out. The “practice” exams are very easy – way easier than the actual test. You really have to know your stuff for this one!

      • #3328698

        Re: Security+

        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to Security +

        Well, I don’t think it was the “practice” exam…I think it was the ACTUAL exam…that’s the point of this whole discussion…it’s ENTIRELY too easy to find the actual exam, and thats our problem (IT’s problem). I spent about 20 mins googling for practice exams, and found the actual exam. I don’t think this exam will be a problem for me, as I have been working on the Sys admin side for about 5 years now.

        I am thinking about starting a REVOLUTION!!!! (get your pitchforks out here) I say we bring down all of the testkings, and actual exam makers out there! That’ll put the respect back into the certifications.

        *I take the security+ on good friday (:)) so…I’ll let you know how difficult, and what my score was then (not to bragg, but just to help out the other pro’s)

      • #3342223

        Security Certs now big news

        by salmonslayer ·

        In reply to Security +

        Security seems to be the “buzz word” that MCSE was a few years ago. The big problem is that there are too many certs out there, and many are just too easy to pass without having any practical experience.

        Some certs, such as GIAC, actually require a written submission after the testing has been completed. This is a good way of proving knowledge. Others, such as CISSP, require proof of a certain amount of experience behind the wheel, so to speak.

        The other problem is that some employers just don’t understand certs. I hold the GSEC from GIAC (and plan on doing more certs through them later) and also hold my CISSP. In a recent informal job interview, I was told “Well, yes, but we want a Security+ certification”.

        • #3342211


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Security Certs now big news

          Did you slap them? I would have. That post made me laugh out loud.

        • #3331884

          no kidding?!?!

          by house ·

          In reply to ROFL!!!

          That makes no sense to me at all. This is exactly the kind of garbage that you see when either…

          1) top level IT management are not IT at all
          2) the organization relies too much on HR for the hiring process.

          How difficult would it be to involve someone from Information and Infrastructure management in the interview process?

    • #3328704


      by mill3502 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      The first thing that comes to mind is that yes certification matters when it comes to HR people reading your resume. But certification without experience is a waste of your time and money. I teach both Microsoft and Security + and the one thing I tell my students is to either get there degree or get certified. And second get experience. I make it mandatory that all students install and configure a server at home and then assign projects for them to use that server. Experience and knowledge will get you the job, certifications only get you past the door.

    • #3328701

      this arguement will never go away…..

      by vjcskid ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I wish that the discussion of certs vs. higher ed would go away. Most college degrees are in comp. sci. and don’t have you ‘crack open the case’. There are very few university’s that offer day to day hands on stuff.
      I am self taught and have vendor certs from Microsoft, Novell and CompTIA. I also have a bachelor’s degree and I’m hoping to start work on my MBA (tech emphasis) next year. Point is – any action on a person’s part to learn is good. Doesn’t matter if its in a university setting or in certification classes/self study. You will find ‘cheaters’ in both arenas.

    • #3328700

      Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      This is why companies are hiring by experience with a minimal number of certifications. In some cases, it is cheaper for the company to hire a person with alot of experience and send them through the process than hiring a paper tech with only random experience.

    • #3328699


      by sysengineer ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Let me just tell you how glad and relieved I am not spending every morning, night and weekend studying for the next “big” certification. It got old very quick…College is the way to go, no matter what the work force is doing a college degree will always prevail. Why waste time studying for a cert for a certain technology when, in fact, that technology may be obselete in a few years. A degree lasts a lifetime…….

      • #3328678

        Ya got that right!

        by gothicscott ·

        In reply to Certs…ha.

        Well said cipher010!!!!

        This certification thing is a scam from the get go.
        I too, wasted hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on classes, materials and exams to gain my certifications. What did I end up with?

        1.Certifications that everyone and his brother have.

        2.Limited shelf life. Everytime one turns around
        there’s more bloatware coming from Redmond that requires re-certification.

        3.Shelves of outdated and obsolete books that nobody wants including my local library.

        4. A crappy paying job ( I have 15 years of experience), that pays 1/3 of what I used to get before the IT implosion in 2000.

        Get certified in Microsoft Scamware again? No Thanks. If you’re serious and want something that’s tangible, worth the effort and lasts a lot longer than the bogus industry certifications, get a college degree,preferably not in IT!


        • #3328616

          You guys are pathetic!!!

          by mariobjones ·

          In reply to Ya got that right!

          To say that you have XX number years of experience and to follow that up with whining about your current situation states that you either 1) haven’t made the best of your experience 2) haven’t had a good work record 3) don’t truly understand IT and it’s relation to business enablement 4) are just plain pathetic…

          At what point did anyone state that a certification in any said technology would guarantee a bountiful career, not job, with growth and longevity? And where in the hell did a couple of test cert get paired with a college degree? That’s a waste of time to even broach that subject. I have a dozen certs and never did I question my degree (BS Computer Science). Nor have I ever seen in any vendor’s objectives that its cert can be used as a replacement for more formal education.

          They are what they are. They are a method to guide an individual in the mastery of a particular technology with the intent of demonstrative skillsets and capable of supporting and/or designing computer devices, software, networks and systems. That’s it!! Not get this three week study guide and ditch your degree!!! Never once…

          Stay the course… These things are cyclical. Not long ago, municipal employees thought they were indespensible now due to city/county shortfalls they are up on the chopping blocks.

          My point is simple, despite the above disseration, a degree is tantamount. Certifications should only be used to augment degrees and work experience. Build a career portfolio not a next hot thing.

        • #3331942

          Yes – to an extent

          by danfugett ·

          In reply to You guys are pathetic!!!

          I agree with your assertion above. I proceeded with my degree as a foundation, and am now looking at certs. I deferred while trying to decide which to start with, but the essential gist of your logic is what I went with.

          It isnt one or the other so dont get dragged into the argument. Yet, reality is that each person has to evaluate where to start based on time and resources. Need a quick start? One of my students just graduated with a 2 year degree and got a job as a programmer when 4 year students dont necessarily get one. Others have got their MCSE and are doing well too. They went from paper MCSE to a real one. I got a lot of mileage from my AAB (in 1986) and only recently finished my BS and MS. In between I went from a paper AAB to an IT professional.

        • #3342219

          Certs aren’t a magic bullet

          by garnerl ·

          In reply to Ya got that right!

          1. I don’t know what cert(s) you have, but if you don’t feel that they differentiate you, get others.

          2. Limited shelf life? I have 2 certs, but none from Redmond. Nonetheless, you know going in that they don’t last forever. If you want to cling to your Novell 2.x or Windows NT 3 cert, feel free. Generally, re-certifying when something changes is a very good thing. My Cisco and Novell certs require recertification periodically- Cisco whether a new product comes out or not.

          3. Old Books? I don’t have a good idea for that.

          4. Crappy job? Get another one. Or not, your choice. As the subject line indicates, certifications won’t get and keep jobs for you.

      • #3328652


        by bebkow ·

        In reply to Certs…ha.

        a Degree in what? everything is volatile. I don’t understand your reasoning. are you saying you get a degree and you are good for life? silly

        • #3350362

          I’m afraid that one is true

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to ???

          Not as bad as it used to be, but can still be a free ticket and it lasts way longer than certs.
          20 years in the trade and my lack still raises eyebrows. Even if I’d took one, that would have been 85, so content of the degree obviously has nothing to do with it. Certs however are all content. My NT3.51 admin course still comes in handy, but it’s useless from a HR point of view.

          Not saying it’s right, but it is used as an indicator of intelligence, even if iy was in advanced flower arranging or even more useless media studies.

      • #3350177

        Practical Schooling

        by house ·

        In reply to Certs…ha.

        ..seems to promote a better understanding of the material, but your brush off of certifications, higher learning, and self education lead me to question your professionalism.

        Our field involves a lifetime of education.

    • #3328685

      Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

      by hbueno ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Whether the person passed the test by cheating or studying, I would argue that certifications provide no guarantee or measure of a person’s ability. I’ve met many people with “CERT’s” who couldn’t punch their way out of a paper bag. For this reason, I refuse to waste my time or money pursuing any IT industry certifications. My work and ability stand on their own.

      • #3328675

        Stand on your Own!

        by dpskiman ·

        In reply to Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

        I’ve run my own networking business for four years, and not one client has asked to see certifications. Hmm? My work stands on its own. The begging question is, who’s making the money here? I am, not the testing services!

    • #3328670

      Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

      by nbpqsecofr ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Last year, I obtained my first cert, IBM eServer Certified Specialist, iSeries System Adminsistration V5R2. I can tell you that IBM Certifications are not something you can just cram for. You need years of administrative experience on an iSeries to pass the particular exam which I took.

      If people want certifications to be taken seriously, then there needs to be a major shift in the focus of a certification. The exams need to be designed that you need the experience in order to pass, not just goto a Boot Camp for a week, take the exam and pass. That just devaules the entire certification process.

    • #3328663

      Cert = HR weeding tool

      by angry_white_male ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      When your average IT job job posting generates hundreds of replies – requiring certifications makes it easier for the HR people to sort out resumes into two piles… MSCE pile and the garbage can.

      All a certification proves is that a.) you can pass a test; b.) you’re dumb enough to shell out big bucks to keep feeding the MS monster; and c.) that unless you have the experience to back up the certification that you will fail miserably.

      • #3342176


        by rkendsley ·

        In reply to Cert = HR weeding tool

        I’ve been doing the IT thing for over 20 years…. and would like to move into higher in management. However, many higher ups in my industry feel they want an IT director to have the certs. Even though the IT director in most cases should not be the ‘Hands-on’ person.
        They are looking for a mechanic to be the boss even if, as in my case a year ago, the boss has not even been in this industry or had alot of the practical leadership experience.

        So, I’m working the certs. MS $ machine or not… I need them to advance.

        • #3341999

          A Sys Admin with a fancy title

          by tin man ·

          In reply to Exactly…

          I have run across companies, particularly small companies, requiring “managers” to have certificiation(s). If you are looking for a real “management” position, steer clear of these. It is very likely that, either the hiring manager is certified, and has a bias, or you will just be a sys admin with a fancy title. They obviously don’t understand what management is.

      • #3342174


        by rkendsley ·

        In reply to Cert = HR weeding tool

        We hired a person that just happen to has an MCSE in a worker role. He did not even know how to set up a printer for the network! Great! Just a book/paper cert.. nothing more.

    • #3328650

      Does securing MCSE 2003 matter?

      by nrupenv ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      My experience with MCSE 2003 exams was mixed.

      The problem with these exams is: If you read two books, understand the contents, and practice all labs on a home computer, I believe no one will get more than 50% of- most of you will fail if you gained real knowledge and practice of “how to do”.

      The reason is, in exam, you would spend 3 minutes on the average to read a question. This gives you only about 10 seconds to come up with a right answer! In reality, the Microsoft staff who approves such questions must be getting plenty of time to think through to come up with an answer.

      I found many questions misleading to start with, few inaccurat in format, few expecting to answer from Microsoft Knowledge-base.

      What to do to pass MCSE exams, then? Well, the best way would be to read & understand the material in the book, practice labs, and then, practice Questions & answers available from any source, including the one you found relaiable!

      The rest you will have to learn on the job! Like any vocation!

    • #3328642

      Proof is in the “Pudding”.

      by dlrcomputerrepairs ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Just a quick comment on this thread. I would agree that exam prep material is very easy to find, but I wouldn’t say it is, “SO EASY”, to pass any exam. I’ve been enrolled in A+, Net-Server+, and MCSA course for almost two years now, and I’ve one month left to finish my MCSA Certification. For all my exams I’ve had to read, read, read, read, dozens of books pertaining to each Certification. Then actually implementing what I learned in a physical environment.

      Hence the, “Proof in the Pudding”.

      I look at this way, sure you can find the prep exams for any exam whether it be a “Trade of any sort”, but when it comes to proving your skills with in the work force there is no hidding your lack of actual hands on experience. So if you think by passing any exam by just studying the questions in a practice exam, to pass the actual exam will get you a job you can keep, ” You’ve got another thing comming”. There is no, “Faking”, your ability and competency while preforming your job, no matter what it is. If you manage to acquire a job with your, “So easy Certifications”, the buck will stop when it comes time to perform.”You can guarantee that”.

      This is just my two cents 😉

      • #3342238


        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to Proof is in the “Pudding”.

        Reading throughout all of these replies…it looks like the “fakers” are doing a fine job of getting the job and keeping it. I read a hundred posts or so up that an MCSE didn’t know “where the video card was on the computer…” He also stated that the MCSE was above him the ranks.

    • #3328633


      by jrisner ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      After reading several of the responses I will post mine. I believe that Certs are both good and bad. I have a MIS Degree graduated in 98 and in 99 it was hard to find a JOB. I had to work contracts to get my foot in the door. Even at that time the MCSE was considered to be king. I interviewed for a job against someone that I knew from another company we both worked at, he was in Marketing at our previous company but went to a boot camp and got a cert. He than lied about his experience and beat me out of the job. 2 weeks later he was released. I believe that learning is important and there must be a way to show you are willing to continue your education. I did not pursue any certifications for the first few years because I hated them. Now I have 5 of them, eventhough my job does not require them. Many times the study guides have good knowledge in them. I recommend reading 3 different books on each subject. Try relating what you have learned to your job and you will do well. I will say that even after several years in IT and prior Military Experience, I realise that I will never know everything about IT.

    • #3328621

      Some good answers, some whining..

      by the savant ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      If the title caught your attention, then you’ve been around these types of discussions long enough to enjoy the train wreck that usually ensues. On one hand you’ve got your hardcore people who say that any passing of any test without doing all the labs and having the experience is cheating. On the other you have the people who state that the questions on the tests are geared to make the average person fail and have to retake the tests over and over.

      The long and the short of it is that anyone without 5 years experience in the field should not be attempting premium-level certifications. These are the MCSE and MCSD for Microsoft and other engineer level certs for other companies. If you’re not doing engineering, don’t get the cert. Using the “I need a job so I’ll get a cert” argument is putting the cart before the horse. People do it, and then whine when they can’t get a job. (I wonder why)

      Now all of that being said, I carry the MCSE2k and 2k3. I’m a manager whose primary responsibility is a helpdesk. I don’t do engineering much. I do however; need to interface with engineers and understand the concepts those engineers pass down to my charges. It was an absolute requirement that I be versed in Microsoft technologies and it’s getting to the point where Cisco and Linux are things on my radar screen. A valid use of certification is to build familiarity with core concepts and prove that knowledge. In many cases the study process (involving certpreps) is a valid way to build that familiarity.

      So it really depends on what you’re doing. The path I like to see as a hiring manager is as follows:

      1. Technical degree: It could be an associates, a bachelors or even a technical school. I need to see a core understanding of technology. Some real school is very important. I won’t hire someone without some degree of real classroom learning. High school doesn’t cut it and if you don’t have some advanced education and have certs only, you’re spending your money foolishly.

      2. Certifications: If I see a college degree, I like to see in this order an A+, N+, MCP, MCSA, MCSE and then Cisco. If I see a technical school education I can forego the A+ as much of the curriculum in those schools focuses on break/fix. People forget that a BS in CS or IT focuses mostly on theory, math and programming, not network engineering or component level repair.

      3. Personality and Thinking skills: Another manager already brought this up in a post above. You need to hire people that think, not just react. To some extent critical thinking is part of a college education (should be much earlier but that’s an argument for another post). Personality-wise I like to see people that present well and that I feel can integrate into our company’s culture.

      Ultimately, after looking at the above, the personality component should be the only dice roll I’m taking when someone walks in to speak with me. Perhaps I’ve been very fortunate, but people with all of the above reqs very rarely are idiots or “management material” as some people referred above (rather rudely).

      • #3342175

        Having been accepted

        by dev1 ·

        In reply to Some good answers, some whining..

        I had to google savant. I did not know what it meant. I knew where to find the answer, though. Now I know something that I didn’t know a few moments ago. But gee, I only have military experience. No degree, no certs. Nevertheless, I am no less a savant. I just don’t meet your criteria. Perhaps it just takes a little more work to find the right person. Of course, having been accepted into a scholarly field may in some folks say everything about ego and nothing about “management material.”

        • #3342076

          Reply To: Are certifications destroying the world?

          by the savant ·

          In reply to Having been accepted

          Perhaps, but in your case you have had or have a security clearance due to military experience.. and that alone in this market matters quite a bit.

        • #3342060

          Nicer reply.

          by the savant ·

          In reply to Having been accepted

          Hi –

          Having a few extra moments now, I’d like to take more time to reply to you. Apologies for the earlier one-liner.

          I think there’s a few things you need to take into consideration.

          1. Consideration of your skills in the military and the things you’ve done in IT. Recent military service means you’ve got an active security clearance. That alone gives you an advantage in the marketplace. I’ve had many ex-military types come in for an interview over the years. I’ve not hired any. Note that that wasn’t due to them not being skilled or due to any bias I have (I come from a career military family myself.. I like the discipline) but because I don’t feel that the people I’ve seen can adapt to the company I work for very well.

          That being said and knowing many ex-military men who have a college education I feel that were I running a NOC and not a helpdesk there would be some who would do just fine.

          2. Military service alone won’t get you in the door in all environments. Security maybe. Academic no, Research no. Paper doesn’t hurt to prove things that a hiring manager can’t easily see or experience.

          3. Respect for others. I’d appreciate it if you could keep your comments on the subject matter and not on some irrelevant bashing of my posting name. That being said, I’m glad I helped to expand your vocabulary.

          Best regards.

      • #3342099

        Some good answers not whining

        by mollybigd ·

        In reply to Some good answers, some whining..

        I want to say “thank you” for your thoughts on this whole subject especially your way of laying out what you would like to see/expect in an individual, if they were to step into your office. I have a BA in IT/Web Programming, but now I am at a point to where I want to obtain “certs.” I would like to try for the A+ and N+, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the process, now I know and thank you.

        • #3342048

          No problem Molly.

          by the savant ·

          In reply to Some good answers not whining

          I appreciate your comments. Depending on your career focus (you mentioned web programming) you may want to take a look at the CIW series of certifications as well.

          Best regards

      • #3342036

        Thanks Savant…

        by blatkn ·

        In reply to Some good answers, some whining..

        ..for a seasoned reply. I’ve just recently broken into the IT field after completing an ATA degree in CIS. Currently, I’m working part time as a Geek for Best Buy and tyring to chart my course in these troubled waters. I’ve studied 3 texts for the A+ exam and am ready to take the test soon. I know I need to pay my dues experience wise and I hope to hold out long enough to get a full time job (not in retail). Your suggestions are helpful and shed a different and optimistic light on the issue. Thanks

      • #3341919

        No certs, No degree,No Clearance

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Some good answers, some whining..

        and definitely no whining. Twenty years experience usually parlays in to a job or two, except for those who hold academia in higher esteem of course.

    • #3328615


      by jkorpan1.spam ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      The sad thing is that people are still being suckered in by Microsoft and the likes, into paying outrageous dollars for a piece of useless paper. The whole concept of paying a company to learn their software is beyond comprehension.

    • #3342248

      Faking the Funk

      by emill ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Met up with a few people claiming to hold this Cert and that Cert- in Ten years i have yet to take a test- if you are a hired gun then its needed. If your a W2 – then whats in the grape will take you the distance- CISSP exams very hard- DDOS costing your company 5 mill for hour they cant make a little pill- Much Harder, that only comes from having your face in the mud.
      study hard – dont forget those Student Loans !!

    • #3342227

      Certified to be Dumb or Smarter in the Future

      by donaldcoe ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I started in the IT Profession when certification was not even in the dictionary, since then I have seen my share of IT Profi’s with Cerf’s that could not unscrew and remount a harddrive without problems. As a manager I use the Rule that it is SHOW and TELL time, because I expect that there are so many sheep herders that can’t tell the difference between a good pair of sheep shears and or scissors and you are only called a Cheat when you are caught in the act of pulling to much wool. It is increasingly impossible to Police the Profession but in my little part of it if you can show me that you are not to afraid to grab the BOOK and know your Indexing skills you have my TRUST.

    • #3342225


      by barker81152 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I have to agree in part I have study my but of to really learn and there are people in my classes who don’t study and don’t learn it but they pass any way get certified and are off looking to run someones network. It makes one wonder if the certification really means anything at all

    • #3342218

      I know the feeling

      by dbucyk ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I am not Microsoft certified, but I am Comptia certified in A+ and Network+, soon to be in Server+.

      As a home schooling study person I have to constantly find books and make my own notes and study the ins and outs of the book.

      What I hate is when I have to go for exams on the internet (free ones), alot of these companies offer training and exams that resemble the exams very closely (transcender for example).

      Even though I don’t go to school and learn this material, I have to really work hard to learn this material (sometimes I feel it is even harder), and companies don’t give me credit out there.

      They want people with schooling and certification (some of these people just buy the exams wherever they can and study them to pass the exam. They don’t really know their stuff). Those are the people I hate because they know in their hearts that they don’t really know much and they get hired, whereas the people who know their stuff and don’t go to school and have equivalent certification have a hard time getting hired.

      A sad story if you know what I mean!

    • #3342215

      Re: Are certifications destroying the world?

      by natem1 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Certifications are just one small part of the picture when hiring IT people. Experience is what builds real knowledge. But I want more than just knowledge. I want somebody who isn’t too lazy to get out there and get a decent certification. When I hire for IT positions I get a ton of applicants. It makes it a lot easier to weed out 90% of them by dumping the ones who didn’t bother to get a relivant certification right along with the ones who don’t have the experience. If they are good, the certification is usually pretty easy to get. If they cheated, I will find out in the interview. Crying about it isn’t going to change anything. That is just the way it works.

      • #3342156

        Two items to chew on

        by bkimmell ·

        In reply to Re: Are certifications destroying the world?

        From an experienced private consultant perspective certifications are often a waste of money that I have to pass on to my customers in terms of increased fees.

        When you’ve been working in the computer industry since the timex-sinclair computer era, you don’t need to spend another $10,000 everytime Microsoft burps out a new iteration of Windows. Generally speaking it’s the same thing, just different. As consumers we are brainwashed and inundated with advertisements leading us to believe that the absence of a certification in the latest version of ‘whatever’ will lead us to extinction like the dinosaur.

        In my opinion the recent demand for certification is being driven by 2 factors:
        1. training is big business for the larger manufacturers (i.e Microsoft, novell, cisco).
        2. the increase of placement agencies entering the hight tech sector in the “profesional” category. These folks need a differentiator because they have no staff, are not IT companies and can’t do the work themselves. So they try to create the illusion that certification is a replacement for an experienced well structured team.

        • #3342141

          Customer costs

          by natem1 ·

          In reply to Two items to chew on

          It may be a bit different if you are a consultant, but if the training is unnecessary then why not just go in and take the test? That brings the MCSE to about $800. How much is that really going to drive up the price for all your clients over 3 or 4 years?
          If you need to pay for training it should be a lot cheaper than $10,000. Someone who knows the basics should be able to pickup a couple of books and training CD’s for $600 – $700. Going away to one of the week long ‘Boot Camps’ is unnecessary, (and probably not enough time to really learn anything).

    • #3342205

      MCSE costs passed on to customers

      by bkimmell ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I haven’t been certified since 1996 – I am a partner in a Technology firm and have a PMP certification now and planning for an ITIL cert. I have been configuring and setting up Microsoft Krap for 10 years now. Consequently, when my customers ask me if I have any MS certification my response is No but I can get certified and pass the cost of certs on to them. The study time and costs associated to certs – in my case loss income. Seems the bigger IT firms are obssessed with certifications and woo their prospects with paper instead of hard performance that only comes with experience. My bottom line is affected by the decision of potential clients; experience versus certification that is the question.

    • #3342182

      The best certs

      by jaredh ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      The certification is only as good as the test that designates that certification. In the old days when test were multiple choice for written defination questions, it was and still is easy for people to memorize facts without understanding or being able to apply concepts. In some of the newer tests, they are scenerio based and have virtual hands on questions.
      Cisco, Novell & RedHat have great scenerio tests and to answer a question, you must not only know the facts, but understand how to apply them. There may be others out there as well.

      If the cert industry would have started this way, certs would be great! If you passed or renewed a cert under a scenerio based test that tests your hands on skills an application of knowledge and facts, then I would say that specific cert is valuable. Again, Cisco is a great example. But for all certs? Until they are all as described…. well you come up with your own conclusion.

    • #3342180

      The best certs

      by jaredh ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      The certification is only as good as the test that designates that certification. In the old days when test were multiple choice for written defination questions, it was and still is easy for people to memorize facts without understanding or being able to apply concepts. In some of the newer tests, they are scenerio based and have virtual hands on questions.
      Cisco, Novell & RedHat have great scenerio tests and to answer a question, you must not only know the facts, but understand how to apply them. There may be others out there as well.

      If the cert industry would have started this way, certs would be great! If you passed or renewed a cert under a scenerio based test that tests your hands on skills an application of knowledge and facts, then I would say that specific cert is valuable. Again, Cisco is a great example. But for all certs? Until they are all as described…. well you come up with your own conclusion.

    • #3342163

      Certs have ruined the IT world

      by ross.elkins ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      When I started in 1980 it was college degree’s or real world experience that counted.
      Now too many empty headed HR dept people routinely skip over valuable people lacking certs. For example, I used to fix pc circuit boards with my oscilloscope and soldering iron, but this isn’t considered valuble knowledge or experience compared to having an A+ certification. When I look over this beginner oriented cert, I see that the test developer is only interested in someone memorizing test questions, questions I might add that are mostly totally obsolete and irrelevent. Am I pissed, damm right, cause this kind of behavior prevented me from getting interviews. Now that I am back on top with a good gig as a large helpdesk manager, I will do my best to hire people w/o certs and with great experience. Also, people who can answer my well thought out relevent questions!!!

      • #3342122

        Don’t blame certs when your skills are obsolete

        by dbremer ·

        In reply to Certs have ruined the IT world

        Yes obsolete. …

        Being able to fix a motherboard might be way cool in a perverted kind of way (like refilling a ball point pen) but it just isn’t sensible today. Don’t blame the certifications because your skills, high as they are, don’t count any more. Move to somewhere that cares about a soldering iorn and an oscilloscope – it surely isn’t PC support. – I would make A+ a requirement for desktop support serfs. If they can’t pass it within six months of working for me then I seriously do NOT want them anywhere near my clients gear. A+ is one of those hygiene factors. Having it doesn’t mean much – NOT having it (or worse FAILING it) is more than a little offputting

        • #3342045

          I agree to an extent but respect is more important

          by the savant ·

          In reply to Don’t blame certs when your skills are obsolete

          It may be largely true that fixing a board with an iron and solder is a skill not needed on a helpdesk. It’s also true that respect for a diverse skill set and set of people is very important.

          A+ as a hygiene factor is great and I agree with your argument. But more hygienic is knowing when not to insult someone. Being online is not an excuse to call anyone obsolete.

    • #3342127

      certs vs BA

      by mollybigd ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      After reading the many ?’s/answers about “certs”, I am wondering how well a BA in IT stands up in this whole mess. I received my BA in Information Technology/Web Programming, but now I want to go backwards and do the technical side of this learning channel. I used to be an NT Administer 4 years ago, but gave that job up to go back to university to obtain my BA in IT. Since migrating to Win2000, I don’t have a clue on how Windows 2000 Server works. I would like to become/add an A+ Network cert. to my BA. Am I crazy? I think so, but it might add leverage to going back into Administering a Network. I have a job in Web Programming, but haven’t been able to practice the IT aspect of my degree. Presently, at my company, they have hired a “self taught” administrator, but servers are always breaking down and he doesn’t know why. My opinion, is breakdown the old server and rebuilt it. Anyways.I do feel for you “cert” guys, as I do think “certs” are valuable. Its just getting the right people to recognize its worth, and give you the pay you’re worth. Like my saying goes, you have to give that individual a chance to prove he/she has that knowledge/expertise, but until you get will always feel like you and your cert aren’t worth a dime. This shows you that top management has no clue about how technology really works!!!! Sorry so long winded.

      • #3341920

        Degree vs Cert

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to certs vs BA

        is n’t a question. Education wise it isn’t even an issue.
        Certs are very specific and have a limited lifespan, a real degree is more general and apparently lasts forever.
        If the job market says you have to get a cert to get a foot in the door, then go get a cert. It’s a bu**er, but a no-brainer as well unless you want to use your education to serve burgers and a coke.

        I’m sort of self taught as well, have you discussed the problem with your admin, if it’s an on going problem he can’t solve just bouncing a few reasonable ideas off your head might help him.

        P.S. Don’t start out with becuase I’m qualified in blah you should listen to me. If the admin has a lot of experience you’ll find out how much you don’t know as well. If he’s the MD’s favourite nephew, hard luck.

        • #3331776

          Degree vs Cert

          by mollybigd ·

          In reply to Degree vs Cert

          Don’t get me wrong in condemning a self taught Adminstrator. I am also self taught but decided to get a degree. I guess my biggest b***h is I have bounced ideas off his head, and some, BUT the problem here is……territorial. I have learned from very seasoned/experienced Administrators in the past, and they were very open about teaching what they know. Its those that don’t want to teach or even take new ideas that make the problem. I do hear you though in what you’re saying..but the Admin is not hearing what I am saying…so what to do.

        • #3350364

          Fair enough

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Degree vs Cert

          I tend to be a bit sensitive about the academically qualified denigrating the self taught. However this doesn’t sound like a gap in his knowledge. Territorialilty is a certain indicator of mediocrity in book. A departmental beer or six with a frank discussion might work. Not met the guy, my style is “in your face”, but that gets me in to difficulties with the insecure but in power types.
          If he’s keeping you back so you don’t go past him, well pr1ck is my thought. I’ve worked for people I’ve trained, they remember I did, respect is due no matter where you are in the food chain, if you want any in return.

        • #3351674

          Fair Enough

          by mollybigd ·

          In reply to Fair enough

          I totally agree with what you’re saying. I’d rather learn from a well seasoned Networking Adminstrator with or without a degree. These types of individuals know their stuff as long as they keep up with technology.

          The guy doesn’t want to expose certain knowledge. The trainee that works under him now, is only given so much information to ONLY WORK on certain things. O/S knowledge………forget it. So if any of the servers go down..trainee has to call the administrator to get that certain information to FIX the problem. Poor trainee is definately in the dark. You want to hear a shocker….I used to have this guys(administrators) job before I went back to university full-time. Received my degree, came back to the same company, received the job as Webmaster, but you know what, I am missing the Networking arena. I really loved doing the Admin job…the only problem now is, I am not up to par with Windows 2000 server..Know of any good books to start refreshing my mind! Thanks

        • #3351540

          House or Apotheon Or Dafe

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Fair Enough

          are your best bets for that sort of thing. I’m a software developer, so I just use the network and then blame the admin when it doesn’t work. LOL
          Not true actually I go ask them if they can see what I’m doing wrong and all of a sudden it starts working by the time I get back to my desk.

          My network admin stopped with VMS 6.* and NT4, back in 99

        • #3351487

          My recommendations – Sybex

          by house ·

          In reply to Fair Enough

          The MCSE route (if you want to go that far – you can judge for yourself what you think you should know). Sybex books are the best publications for MS, Comptia, and junior to intermediate Cisco certs.

          For general networking technologies, both the Network+ and CCNA combined are well worth the effort in pursuing. Now… when you think CCNA, you think switch and router configuration right? Well… half right… half of the CCNA exam is devoted to some very important networking fundamentals. Working through this text with a solid simulator, like the Boson Netsim, will definitely help you fully grasp the concepts involved.

          The A+ cert is almost a necessity. Work towards this one to fill in the holes in your knowledge. The cert is always a bit outdated, so in real life, you will need to keep up on products, technologies, and trends out of personal interest.

          For your Microsoft studies, I recommend going through the MCSA texts in order to grasp 2k, but then tackle the 03 for your actual certification in the end. You might not deem the certification necessary, but it will be very valuable in it’s pursuit. Work with the OS while you are going through the text – this is vital – do not think that you will remember anything unless you do it hands-on.

          Sybex publications have a way of laying out the information at a very “reader friendly” pace, with the occassional blip of humour.

          Have fun… if you wish to pursue certification, these are my entry level suggestions.

    • #3342125

      Non – Tech Managers

      by saint613 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      As long as there are managers who know nothing about the jobs they hire for you will need Certifications regardless of there value to the person that holds them.


    • #3342124

      certs don’t mean shiznit

      by techniquephreak ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I don’t know anyone in the biz who actually puts any weight on whether a candidate has certs (of any kind) or not. Why? Because thousands of talentless hacks get certs every month, and think that they are somehow magically morphed into IT gods… Certs don’t do anything to assess whether or not someone actually possesses the requisite skills to do their damned job. All they are is resume fluff.

      I wish we did have a quality certification program, but any moron can bone up on the internet and get his MCSE or CCNA… and most of the other cert track can be aced on intuition alone.

    • #3342086

      Back then Certified, but No Experience… Today Cheated and No Experience.

      by tcpip4u ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      For all you old time IT pros out there you know what I’m talking about. Remember back in the early to mid 90’s the Novell CNE (Certified, but NO Experience) was one of the must have certificate to get into IT. Looking back now there wasn’t much too it, but it did take a lot of studying and preparation, at least I had to.

      Back then I had to study and study with included lab time and studied until I got a nose bleed in order to obtain my CNE. Once I became a CNE, I was proud that I was not only certified but knew the material which justified and backed my certification. Back then we were certified with no experience, but today we have people that are certified with no clue as to how things operate. The IT profession has gone to the dogs in my opinion. I should say that majority of the IT professional that are out today, especially the ones that came on board during the “hey days” really messed things up for a lot of us.

      As the director of IT, I review the prospect IT candidates for our company. Certifications are one of the last things that I look at. Its the experience that I’m looking for and count on. The half dozen colored certificate don’t mean anything to me without the experience to back it up. Of course if the position is an entry level position certification is a definite plus.

      The newbies in the industry need to realize that CCNA, CCNP, MCSE, CNE, Network+ and etc… are certifications and not a meal tickets. Yes it will help you in obtaining a job, but like anything else in life you’ll need to earn the position that you seek. In addition, you may think that cheating on the certification test will help you obtain your MCSE, CNE….etc. but in the long run it will hurt you and put doubts in IT managers and directors mind about what value and worth other IT professionals have. Think about it, IT NOT ONLY ABOUT YOU.

      Remmber, industry certification is to backup the experience a person posses, it wasn’t meant for it to replace experience.

      • #3342073

        I know one thing…

        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to Back then Certified, but No Experience… Today Cheated and No Experience.

        Every IT job I’ve ever had I got becase of certifications (except for the first one). I got my first IT job as a configuration technician for 9.00 an hour. Worked my arse off, and got my A+ (a loooong time ago) and got a better tech job…then a better…then throw in an MCSA2000 then a better and so on and so forth. The point of this WHOLE discussion (200 posts my god) is this: DO NOT CHEAT ON A CERTIFICATION!!!!!! Yes it’s easy to do…memorize some questions and all…but you will be SCREWED in the long run. Once you cheat on the first cert, you’ll be screwed up when you try to pass the next one…so you’ll have to cheat…basically creating a vicious cycle. You will never be able to actually learn the material that will get you a good job. So do yourself, and the whole IT world a favor…learn.

    • #3342077

      Future Certs?

      by panzrwagn ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I work 18-24 months ahead of our implementation plans. My job involves looking ahead at equipment and technologies figuring out when they are ready to solve real business problems. Think Information Lifecycle Management, Grid Computing, Enterprise services. Anyway, HR is always on my butt about getting more certs in my specialty. I am forever explaining there are few classes and no certs in emerging technologies, but they want me to get on a cert track anyway. I love classes, and a good tough cert is a hard-earned recognition for engineering and operations folks, but that’s not what I do anymore. So while certs are very valuable for some, for otheres, especially in emerging technologies, they make no sense whatsoever.

    • #3342070

      Are certifications destroying the world?

      by rtsims1212 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I agree you your comments %100! I am outraged that my IT group at work have great salaries but find that they don’t half the knowledge I have worked so hard to learn.

      Their only difference is that they foot over the money to pay the Microsoft exams whereas I refused because I felt I was wasting hard earned money to answer questions on MS exams that came nowhere close to asking real support questions on servers and workstations relating to the real world.
      I am continue floored by IT certified reps calling into my company’s support center asking questions I would have been too embarrased to ask, especially if the support rep knows that the caller is an IT certified rep.
      I joke with my manager all the time, threating to get my MS certification so I can be as dump as the ones I get calls from.
      Although I feel I know alot more about servers and workstations setups, permissions, domains and active directory, because I study and test (hands-on experience), than the average Certificate waving rep, I still can’t get any of these positions because I’m not certified. I’m slowly beginning to wise up. It’s not what you know, it’s what you have that’s important.

      P.S. I am now living in Washington D.C. – my skin crawls just thinking of some idiot with MS certs exposing classified info.

      • #3342039

        that’s what i’m talking about…

        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

        I work for the military as a contractor, and the thought of all of the idiots out there with wide open networks makes me feel like vomiting!!!

      • #3350303

        I’d say it’s your attitude

        by warnerit ·

        In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

        that is keeping you from getting any of these positions that you are talking about more than your lack of certifications. Just my .02

    • #3342021

      Have to disagree

      by djarvis9 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Having just started my MCSE as part of a Masters In IT (in other words there are Uni subjects also), I am finding that the latest batch of exams is far from what is published on the net. Microsoft have gone out on a limb and made the exams much harder.

      An example – learn all 300 questions that come with 70-290, get 99% on SelfTest software’s 160 questions, learn 200+ braindump questions, study the book, practice the exercises and still fail the exam!

      Am I dumb? No – the questions asked fell on the line between this subject and 70-291. Microsoft now expect that the white papers and TechNet knowledgebase be studied also for info that will be tested on the exams.

      I have to admit being a bit dumbfounded – why should I have to do far more study and practice to get an MCSE than someone that did it 5 years ago by rote-learning questions?

      Anyone out there agree with me?

      BTW – regarding reliance on certs – I do agree with others that they are no substitute for experience.

      • #3342005

        Consultants and Contractors need Certification

        by mgordon ·

        In reply to Have to disagree

        “BTW – regarding reliance on certs – I do agree with others that they are no substitute for experience.”

        One area where certification is inescapably necessary is the “corporate resume”; just as you have your own personal resume, so does your employer have a resume for the whole company.

        If you were hiring a consultant, you have no way of actually verifying experience but you CAN verify certification. You would PREFER to hire someone experienced, but how can you know? So you hire the consultant, or consulting company, whose corporate resume includes appropriate certifications.

        When I have my car fixed, I am happier if I see some kind of certification for the mechanics. Just today a mechanic used a nifty $9,000 portable analyzer to diagnose problems in an Isuzu Trooper. Could he have done it without certification? Maybe.

        • #3341962


          by oneili ·

          In reply to Consultants and Contractors need Certification

          The topics on this exam is broad, its a good body of knowledge that covers IT practise…Please dont say its a joke, when im working now, i approach situation much more analytical…better than before…If Someone wants to cheat themselves by ‘dumping’ or not having practical know how..thats their business….As Bob Marley would say “TIME WILL TELL”….

        • #3331868


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Security+

          Im sorry when I said it was a joke…but what I meant is that while I glanced at the actual test…the questions on it were easy for me to answer. I have 5 years of experience doing this stuff (not much compared to some of you ol timers in here :)). I do it for 8 hours a day, then I go home and do it all night. It’s my career, and my hobby. Sorry if I offended someone.

        • #3341915

          If so

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Consultants and Contractors need Certification

          why is it much easier to fake a cert than to fake experience ?
          If I said I was an MC.., you’d find it very difficult to prove otherwise, because I have the experience to answer the question correctly even though I aren’t. At that point do you care ?

        • #3350344


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to If so

          My company is a VAR and solutions provider. We are required to have professionals on board with certifications for our vendors products/solutions in order to keep our agreements.

        • #3351538

          If they lie to you

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to VAR

          you lie to your customers, everything’s fine
          No ?
          I’ve said in other posts while I believe the cert by itself has doubtful value from a technical point of view, you can’t argue with it’s commercial value, either on a personal or in your case a company point of view.

    • #3341988

      The problem with the industry

      by stratti79 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      In Australia at least I think that the Tech industry needs to define itself better, I see it more as the new age mechanic but many see themselves differently. I was on my way before a change in career and found that experience and knowledge coupled with some instinctual attempts at resolving issues helped. Apprenticeships should be brought into this field and it would improve it immensely particularly in the domestic scene

    • #3341978

      What about fear as a factor too?

      by njdevil11 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      In addition to the complaint made, how ’bout this situation:i was working in the IT department of my current employer, when i saw how much cisco stuff we were going to implement…company wide, i thought i’d look in to training, the fool that i was, i thought i had a career there…well when i proposed that i go to school and i pay for it, i was told that they specifically don’t look for people with certifications…mean while, he continually kept calling in Cisco people and the 3rd party service provider who service the stuff. Point being, i live 2 blocks away from the site, and have at least the aptitude to execute instructions when a crisis strikes, since he was always too busy with family to answer emergencies. I thought it ludicrous that he wouldn’t want a trained assistant there(esp.since my supervisor wasnt eager to learn it) I finally figured out that it isn’t what you know but who you know–this was CYA going on here…im dying to get back in to tech work, but its been really hard…has anyone run into this situation–and come up with a solution? Im festering as a CSR now….

    • #3341967

      Doctor, Dentist, Registered Nurse, Plastic Surgeon

      by audiovox8910 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Every profession that worth bucks has certifications. No doubt about it. Does the cert mean that you are an expert in your field. Doctors who attend med school cannot perform Brain Surgery on you and expect you to live. They only know the dangers, what and where to cut, etc. They own hundereds of thousands of dollars for their training and by no means are they experts. The CERTIFICATION is by all means a way for you to get your foot in the door and that’s it. If I ever hear someone talk about certifications, then let’s compair them to the degree Doctors get after completing Medschool or Registered Nurses. The fact is, you go to school, you take a class, you take the test. You pass the test PERIOD! I go to medical school, I take a class, I take the test, I pass the test. I do this for eight years. OK, now I’m almost ready to become a doctor. Now its time to take the boards test. Guess what. The Medical Board tests are now avaliable ONLINE. Bite me.

      • #3352520

        Your missing the point… MD, RN, LPN vs. Network Admins.

        by tcpip4u ·

        In reply to Doctor, Dentist, Registered Nurse, Plastic Surgeon

        You seem to know the process very well when it comes to preparing for a test or an exam. Now, think about it for a second. People that are in the medical profession have gone through exactly what you have just said. “The fact is, you go to school, you take a class, you take the test. You pass the test PERIOD!” The keywords in your statement was, go to school, take a class, take a test and pass. Wow! imagine that. people actually studying for a test that they will be taking.

        We are talking about wanna be IT professionals that practice alternative methods in passing the exams rather then going through your mentioned process. You can’t compare the medical board exam to an MCSE or most other IT certification. It like comparing apples to bell pepper.

        If the Medical Board Exam questions and answers were to become available ONLINE and I got a hold of it, took the test and passed it, does that make me a doctor? I don’t think so. There are many lectures, classes, labs and a degree from a school of medicine before you can even see the exams. They may not be ready to cut a patient open and perform a heart surgery, but they are qualified for what all physicians go through residency. You gotta learn to crawl before you can walk.

        I’m all for professionals in all industries having certification, but remember the process. You have to learn the material, take the test, pass it, and get certified. Not, find the test, memorize it, take the test, pass it, got certified, but don’t know crap about it but I want $40-50K /year even though I cheated my way in obtaining my MCSE.

    • #3341963


      by acolyte12 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      how did you know that it is the actual security+ test? are you planning to still take the security+ exam?

      • #3331861


        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to security+

        It was labeled as the actual exam…and it was called “testking.” Reading the entire discussion (it was on an msn discussion group) people were saying that they passed because of this document. I do plan on still taking the exam…my employer (for some reason) wants me to put this on my resume, and has paid for 1 week of class, and the exam. So I plan on going and learning as much as possible. I will not cheat myself, or the IT community by cheating on the test, and I hope that everyone else shares the same dignity.

    • #3341944

      Certifcations scams starting at the schools whom teach it!

      by leiaj24u ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Hi! I am extremely disillusioned for the same reason. I have studied my butt off too! Note: I have found that after taking the classes and paying for them and the certs, that some of the tests are passed out on the campuses itself and we are asked to keep it quiet! I actually was given a prep test that had been ticked off in a class by someone whom got it all wrong. Can you imagine at 140.00 a pop and not quite working yet, the inconvience. It is no secret that these tests are difficult enough and do add a wide range variety of data for the test, dependant on which school etc you have studied at. I was furious that I would be handed data that I am paying an istituion for that is accidently marked off wrong (4 study purposes). Talk about being set up for failure. Converesly, I am equally ashamed at those hiring all these people hired with no certs, while we are back in school again and constantly upgrading our skill sets, while these imposters take employ we have very much earned.I am also, finding that a lot of institutions that had testing centers within them are no longer in existence. It is so underhanded. Not only are we jammed up with trying to get the work, continue studies and work search competing with idiots/imposters that are taking our jobs; they now want us to go excessive mileage on jammed up schedules to take the certs. I am shocked at the lack of integrity. It is a sad day for those system environments as well. Did anyone else notice how some of the highest tech schools are equally dropping the classes like hot cakes? My last semester that would have made this very climatic for my career goals had dropped four diffrent classes. I was back to A square trying to get them particular advanced skill sets under my belt.Thank God for alternatives. We will be the ones eventually cleaning up the wreckage they have created for the companies whom employ them. Note also that I am not against ways for some hardship cases to be able to financially get the information they need. First criteria to be met, would be: accurate info. Second criteria: legitimate Third would be : Earn it. It is only fair.

    • #3341916

      What about fear as a factor too?

      by njdevil11 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      In addition to the complaint made, how ’bout this situation:i was working in the IT department of my current employer, when i saw how much cisco stuff we were going to implement…company wide, i thought i’d look in to training, the fool that i was, i thought i had a career there…well when i proposed that i go to school and i pay for it, i was told that they specifically don’t look for people with certifications…mean while, he continually kept calling in Cisco people and the 3rd party service provider who service the stuff. Point being, i live 2 blocks away from the site, and have at least the aptitude to execute instructions when a crisis strikes, since he was always too busy with family to answer emergencies. I thought it ludicrous that he wouldn’t want a trained assistant there(esp.since my supervisor wasnt eager to learn it) I finally figured out that it isn’t what you know but who you know–this was CYA going on here…im dying to get back in to tech work, but its been really hard…has anyone run into this situation–and come up with a solution? Im festering as a CSR now….

      • #3350361

        re: fear

        by warnerit ·

        In reply to What about fear as a factor too?

        so it sounds like they’d already decided to get rid of you for whatever reason and keeping you out of the loop with the new CISCO stuff was a move toward justifying getting rid of you.

        But there are some companies that don’t want certified people at all because they think the uncertified will cost them less money and they are all about cost. Or I knew a director once who was really into BSing the other non-technical directors of other departments and he didn’t want any employees under him who were good enough to know that he was just talking BS – certs or no certs.

    • #3331945

      its not just cert but also graduation, schooling and …

      by raghu ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I have been contemplating on this issue for a very long time
      now. My friend, its not just certification, it our whole graduation
      process our schooling and every other exam that v take from the
      age of 3.

      Today every exam is based on numbers, and numbers are given
      on predefined question. Its is not important to know the subject
      but u just need to ans those questions and u r through.

      This puts the whole assessment thing in a gray area, where u
      dont check the caliber of the student with respect to intellect
      and subject understanding but the presentation skills.

      I feel very sad that I had to grow up in this hypocratic system
      and m a part of it. the worst thing is that i dont know wat can be
      done about it.

    • #3331937

      Certs aren’t destroying the world

      by warnerit ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      They really aren’t. What is destroying the IT world and has been for some time is that many employers don’t even bother to check references, or anything else that a person’s resume claims. I have encountered way too many people who claimed on their resumes to have certs and other experience and the employer never bothered to check anything to confirm.

      Too many employers don’t have someone who knows the right questions to ask (and what the answers are)be part of the interviewing process. That’s where the real problem is. The cheating on certs, the “paper” certs are really just a symptom of the problem.

      I too agree with the person who stated that a cert doesn’t mean you are a “god” and you know everything and employers should not look on them as such. It just means that you should have a good foundation of knowledge upon which to build further. Just like a law school graduate who just passed the bar exam is not considered a seasoned expert. It just means that they know enough to be a beginning lawyer, becoming a seasoned expert comes with years of hard work and experience.

      AS for the person who was complaining that their previous certs, college and whatnot come across as “useless”, I agree with the person who basically said that’s a bad attitude and it will only hamper you. You’ve got to put a positive twist on your education and experience. And maybe you need to update yourself with current technology, I don’t know. I know someone who did main frame programming for years and years. They had a lot of work up through the year 2000 scare but then after that their work started drying up. They complained about not being able to get a job, but they hadn’t ever bothered to keep their programming skills up to date, they didn’t know windows programming, or Java, etc. only the old mainframe stuff. You’ve got to keep your skills updated. It’s a constant challenge because Computer Science is very fast paced. It’s nice if an employer will help you keep your skills updated but if they don’t, it’s your responsibility to yourself and your career to do it on your own. Whatever it takes.

    • #3331928


      by del_one ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?


      • #3352460

        New member and

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to STFU

        already a troll. AttaBOY. And I do mean “boy”.

    • #3331923

      Should I ???

      by dustin.ostberg ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I have been contemplating starting on certs, but every time I start I get into arguments with my friends that have certs saying that the certs they hold don’t seem to help them at all…. So to the people that actually hold them …are they worth it.. I have five years experince working with W2k and a year with 2k3… and have a good track record with my company… Will they ever benifit me??

      • #3331871

        Should I ??? Yes, you should

        by mike.shimandle ·

        In reply to Should I ???

        As you can tell from the number of posts here the certification path has its ups and downs. Just like people who graduate with a general degree (for example a Business degree) this only shows that they have some interest and aptitude to learn how to perform the basic functions of the job. Experience will help.
        Since you are already with a company that respects your work I can’t say that they will appreciate (i.e. give you more money) certification. Some do, some don’t. Ask them! Also don’t forget that turnover in IT is high and if you were faced with new employment what would look better: experience only or experience AND a certification? Again, the idea is to be able to get your foot in the door of a place of employment.

        • #3331841

          I’ll go with that

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Should I ??? Yes, you should

          They do get you interviews. The original idea of a cert was to back up your experience, which is what you are going to do if you get one.
          It’s the short term thinking bean counter approach that messed up the idea along with the realisation, that’s it’s a serious money spinner if you can get plenty of people on the cert merry-go-round.

        • #3331785

          I must cert!

          by frobaby ·

          In reply to I’ll go with that

          Working at a small, family owned company for 9 years as the sole IT dept. with 6 servers on-site, 3 in a hosted facility and 35 clients.

          I have had my hands on every aspect of the company from Admin to Help Desk, including re-designing and replacing their old outdated network.(Novell 3.1 upgraded to W2k domain)

          We recently hired a .NET developer for our e-commerce app and this guy knows his stuff well. I welcomed his hire as it now gives me the opportunity to have someone to bounce ideas off of instead of being the only one with systems knowledge.

          My problem is that with his hire, (makes double my salary but deserves it.) my boss has decided that I will not get a substantial raise until I acquire a MSCE cert.

          My boss is a good guy and I enjoy my workplace but I think after interviewing prospects for the developers position, he came to the conclusion that only people with certifications are qualified.

          Now remember, my boss is the president, lead salesman, top decision maker about EVERYTHING. He is the micro-manage king that understands about 15% of what I do and 5% of how it is done. As long as things work – it’s out of sight, out of mind.

          So, in order to break 50k, I HAVE to take this exam. I enrolled at WPI (a great tech school in the N.E.) and took out a 10k loan for this MSCE class which lasted 6 months, attending nights and every other Saturday. The class was good, lots of hands-on in-depth labs but I still need to take the Microsoft exams now.

          The troubling part with the Microsoft exams is that the only correct answer is the “Microsoft” answer. Anyone with any experience knows that most 3-party apps can do a better job at server maintenance.

          I’m stuck spending countless hours and much of my own money to get a 13% raise. Being in my mid thirties and single, I spend enough time with work related issues in my life. All this time spent and it will not change one aspect of how I perform my job.

          I will take the exams because hopefully with the cert and experience, I will find a higher salary position employed elsewhere – even though I really enjoy where I work now. /wants a house but priced out of the market!

        • #3352447

          There are a lot of reasons to believe

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I must cert!

          we are heading in a stupid direction, no one’s changing course though. If you need ’em to keep afloat then you get them. The people in charge don’t know the weaknesses, the people who sell them don’t give a sh1t.
          I’ve managed to keep my head above water without them up to press, but the only thing that’s static in IT is a HTML page. So I could be coughing up for them myself at some point. Might be the way I pick up .NET anyway, seeing as it doesn’t like I’ll be able to avoid it.

        • #3350363


          by warnerit ·

          In reply to I’ll go with that

          Agree with all your points in that post 100%. You know what would help is if people had to have a certain amount of experience first before they were even allowed to test for a cert. That would get rid of the Paper certs and give the certs back some credibility as long as the tests were sufficiently rigorous.

    • #3352458

      Get a real Security Cert

      by bcos ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      You don’t want a Security + anyway. If you want real hands on security training and confidence in what you have learned, get involved in SANS courses. They are much more real life including hands on and open book (real world) exams (with a time limit of course). CISSP is stil the Gold standard, but you have to have 4 years of dedicated verifiable security work to sit for the 6 hour $450 exam. The test questions that I found on the web were not even close to what the real exam was, though that was over 3 years ago. The SANS certs in my humble oppinion, are the best indicators of skill and knowledge, and are slowly being recognized and sought after. I have both the CISSP and SANS GSEC and thought the SANS is a validation of a stronger skill set, the CISSP is still the most recognized. I don’t see too many posts asking for the Security +, though if you are just starting out and are low budget, it may not be a bad starter.
      Still Learning,
      BCos, CISSP, GSEC, A+ (and a few more less interesting ones).

      • #3350370


        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to Get a real Security Cert

        I was looking to get CISSP certified within the next year. I recently started a new job where I am pretty much strictly Cisco networking, so I am probably going to go for my CCSP first. Maybe CISSP 6-8 months down the line.
        I have been through on-line training for CISSP, CCSP, Security+, CIW+ Security and Securing Windows. The encryption portions of the CISSP blew my mind. 🙂

    • #3352456

      may they disappear

      by rekaye1005 ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I am from the paper CNE era.
      Why havent we learned?

      Because the only person to not lose his IT job,
      is the least valuable, but most politically connected person- the non-technical IT manager.

      By the way, where are you finding these sample tests? I was looking for Linux.
      All I seem to find is someone trying to sell me something.

      ron kaye

      • #3352451


        by advancedgeek ·

        In reply to may they disappear

        I won’t tell…I am talking about ending the cheating and you want me to tell you where to go to get the answers?! BAH! Bad ron! 🙂

        Anyway like I said, I am only taking the security+ b/c my employer wants me to have it, and he is paying for me to have it. I will definately look into sans though.

        • #3351616

          Only in on-line discussions

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to BAH!

          or bad old movies do I ever hear anyone say “BAH”.

          Why would someone type something they would never say? (or do you actually say that?)

          Sorry, off the beaten path. It is just something that makes you go “hmmmmmm”.

        • #3332258


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Only in on-line discussions

          I actually say it in real life…sad…so sad. I said it in front of a group of people yesterday and felt really dumb…so I think I’ll try to scale it back a few. 🙂

        • #3332178


          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to BAH!

          Would have been really funny to see the look on your face as soon as you realized what you just said.

          Did the others catch it or only you?

          I have found you can get away with saying a lot to people because they just don’t listen anymore.

          Feel free to BAH as much as you want. I was not complaining, just making an observation. Although you might have to change your login ID to advancedDORK if you do! hahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!

          (I crack myself up)

          Have a great day. Someone might as well.

      • #3352431

        Linux has hands on

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to may they disappear

        If you are looking for short-cuts, then linux is not the OS for you.

        You have to actually KNOW something for it.

        Lots of books by “exam cram” and if you do more than the simple search you will find the same information on-line.

        Don’t expect linux people to hand-feed you answers though. That isn’t what they are about and you will bring loathing and contempt upon yourself. It isn’t like the Windoze world where they EXPECT you to be lazy and stupid.

    • #3352525

      BIG NEWS!!!!!!!!!

      by advancedgeek ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Maybe Microsoft is trying to fix their exams?!?!!??!!!!! I just heard (in a webcast) that MICROSOFT IS NOW PUTTING INTERACTIVE QUESTIONS ON THEIR TESTS. He was saying that the new questions will be just like sitting at the box, and you have to fix problems, or whatever the question pertains to. Oh, I hope this is right. If it is…you cheaters better knock out those MCSE’s as fast as you can 🙂 😀 🙂

      • #3350322

        Certainly hope so

        by awfernald ·

        In reply to BIG NEWS!!!!!!!!!

        It would make the test sooooo much easier.

    • #3352519

      Not Completely Destroying the World…..

      by nhkathy ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Everyplace I’ve worked, a “fake” would show up in no time. It may get them an interview or maybe even a job, but you wouldn’t want to be in the trenches I’ve been in, without “the real thing”

      • #3350360

        Sure they get found out but

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Not Completely Destroying the World…..

        Now you’ve a useless tech, the good ones or those certless types who were turned down by HR have gone elsewhere.
        At that point you’ve no real option but to go through the whole interview process again or train up the cheat to repay the investment.
        I got pipped to a job requiring at least 10 years experience by someone with two, they paid him way less than what I was asking, two months later I was gainfully employed and they were advertising again.
        My absolute favourite though was being pipped to a client/server DB position by an ADO expert. Recruiter had to ring me back, took me two hours to stop laughing.
        Like picking an author based on his ability to sharpen his pencil that.

    • #3352518

      Not Completely Destroying the World…..

      by nhkathy ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Everyplace I’ve worked, a “fake” would show up in no time. It may get them an interview or maybe even a job, but you wouldn’t want to be in the trenches I’ve been in, without “the real thing”

    • #3350350


      by wmertz ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Many, too many people out there are faking it.
      But haven’t we done this to ourselves??
      There was such a huge drive in the last decade to ‘Be Certified’, it was worth more than a degree.
      I myself have dealt with an Admin that had not a clue in the world, but had passed the tests. He would drive me NUTZ!!! Change settings and see what happened!! AAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHHH!!!
      There has to be better control on this at very least…

      • #3350178

        Better Control

        by house ·

        In reply to Fakers

        Minimum experience and required proof for the following…

        These are just examples though – in my opinion there should be a ‘proof’ factor involved here.

        MCSA – Maybe 6 months or so
        MCSE – at least 2 years hands on in a Networking Environment
        CCNP – 6-12 months hands on (relaxed only because the CCNA is almost ‘required’ for entry)

        There should be screening in place to even qualify for these exams… I just can’t go out and grab my PMP… so why not restrict these exams as well, as opposed to saying ‘recommended’ experience level.

        • #3350136

          the problem

          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to Better Control

          the problem with this is that there is no way to get 6 months of experience unless you have the mcsa…but this would be a good way to get rid of all of the kiddies out there that think they can just take a test and automatically start out making big bucks.

          Hell that’s what I thought when I was just getting into the arena…I was A+ certified in 2000 (maybe early 2001) and I thought I was supposed to be making 18 bucks an hour starting out (found that on a website). In reality, I made 10 bucks an hour, and I was lucky I had that.

        • #3351537

          That’s a step back to the pre-cert

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to the problem

          world, get experience and then certify you have gained from it. As opposed to the get the cert and then get the experience a$$ backwards way of working we have now.

    • #3350267


      by smartdude ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      I think if a person has a right experience and certs . Certs will definatly help, I have 3 years of exp but whatever job , I apply asks for a cert in addition to experience.

      Not sure why is that or why a peace of paper holds so much value than a college degree and experience.

      • #3351536

        HR don’t understand what the experience

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Certs

        means, can’t verify that you’ve got it and don’t know how/whether/if it applies. A bit of paper makes their life a lot easier.
        You’ve got to play the game, to be a player basically.

    • #3351544

      balance = paper smart + experience

      by rsgdmn ·

      In reply to Are certifications destroying the world?

      Prime example folks, without mentioning names. I was working as an intern during my last year of an Associate Degree program and ahd a supervisor who kept calling their service vendor to change NIC’s in both desktops and laptops because users were losing Internet connectivity. Yet they could still authenticate and access the Novell network. I told him the NIC was working and he stated when they change it it fixes it so it must be the NIC. I said that was only changing the MAC address. He said the NIC handled DNS. This was experience speaking. So I truly think experience is great but if you do not learn the technology and concepts, it’s rather useless.

      • #3351498

        That’s not experience at all.

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to balance = paper smart + experience

        The problem with being self taught, is that there are gaps in your knowledge that will only be addressed when you run into a situation where you have to teach yourself more. Anyone who thinks the NIC handles DNS has experienced nothing and learnt less.
        Experience might help you talk complete rubbish better, don’t know many people who want to be certified as doing it well. Except press officers, market researchers , lawyers and politicians of course.

    • #3332263

      To A De