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  • #2091530

    The Truth about getting certified


    by bionicdog ·

    I have been in the industry for upwards of two or more years and i also have a degree in computer science and both of these have to some extent influenced the type of job that i am doing and the compensation but could a certification have done better. I had underwent a MCSE training and taken two exams and well confident that i could have easily taken the rest of the exams and being certified in a week or two but do they really make a difference. I have come to realize that experience is most valuable, i strongly think that if i had gotten an internship and gotten the experience through practice, i will be far more valuable than i am right now with my MCP and my MCSE training. What do you guys think. Certs of practice and experience.

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    • #3861801

      Certification is important..but!!!

      by rzan ·

      In reply to The Truth about getting certified

      Certification is important, but being certified means nothing if you have no hands on experience. Mosts companies won’t even waste time interviewing you if you lack certfication and experience. They may let you off the hook for not being certifiedbut having experience, but the certification is a title, a license to practice what you preach and says to the employer that you know your stuff. You say that you have a CS degree and MCSE. CS means squat unless you decide to be a programmer throughout your career. Having an MSCE means nothing without experience, because anyone can pass an exam, and there are quite a lot of paper certs who are good test takers, but put them in front of a dead server and they start to panic and look clueless as to how they should proceed to fix it. For now, try to get your foot into a company just for the experience. Don’t go crazy with salary because you will need a minimum of 5 years to declare yourself a senior level IT expert. Just get the experience for now and work your way up. It worked for me and it will work for you too. Best of luck.

      Roger Zan, CNE

      • #3861773

        They’re not a silver bullet, but…

        by moki ·

        In reply to Certification is important..but!!!

        In my humble opinion, certifications should be thought of as one weapon in your arsenal. You should have many other weapons in it as well.

        Experience is probably the biggest. Contacts are another. Asking salary is always important. Willingness to travel is sometimes important. Well-designed r?sum?s (both an electronic version and a dead-tree version) and the ability to sell yourself in an interview are important.

        I even had one interviewer confide in me that English skills are becoming increasingly important as users become more and more frustrated with techies who can barely speak English.

        • #3861771

          Certs *can* be a silver bullet…

          by charley ·

          In reply to They’re not a silver bullet, but…

          assuming you want to shoot yourself in the foot. I’ve seen too many people go out, get themselves a nice shiny new cert and suddenly think they are IT gods. I had one freshly minted MCSE working for me at one point. We were rolling out a new ethernet network to replace an aging Token-Ring network. I had him manning the floppy duper (it was old and cranky) making driver diskettes. He actually got so fed up doing this that he exclaimed “I’m an MCSE! THis is beneath me!” right before he walked out. I’ve seen this type of thing happen more than once. Its sad, but I’ll never have to work with those individuals again.

        • #3880430

          Ha ha, well said

          by moki ·

          In reply to Certs *can* be a silver bullet…

          I couldn’t have said it better myself:

          Certs *can* be a silver bullet…
          assuming you want to shoot yourself in the foot.

      • #3879198


        by pauharp ·

        In reply to Certification is important..but!!!

        I have to agree with Roger. Without the certification and experience, there is no room for you in the IT business. I was an Administrative Assistant when I started. The MIS department use to let me follow them around and watch them as they worked.I learned alot and started helping them with setting up PCs and installing software. Eventually, I started to work in that department and the company paid for me to take Novell training and the test. I am now a CNA. After 5 years at this company,I wanted to venture out and learn more platforms. It was a little tough, because I am a woman, but having one certification and hands on experience helped me. I now work for a company in the Wall Street area with multiple platforms; AS/400, OS/2 and WinNT. I will be taking the MCSE tests in December. There’s nothing like the hands on training. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

        Paula Harper, CNA

    • #3861769

      Truth is ….

      by webrageous ·

      In reply to The Truth about getting certified

      I see a lot of people trying to break into IT
      by getting themselves certified … they have
      no prior experience and only work on the
      machines while taking these often overpriced
      programs, which are guilty of promising
      people the ability to makebig bucks in the
      future if they fork over a lot of cash now.
      Its unfortunate that they get away with it.

      The truth is that certification is really
      designed for two things: 1) to provide
      continuing education and 2) recognition for
      expertise. Certification is designed to build
      upon an existing background and experience in
      IT, not as the sole source of one’s education.

      Most certifications, such as the MCSE,
      actually recommend that the person seeking to
      obtain the certification should have at least
      a year or two of experience working with the
      technology … I know with the MCDBA, for
      example, it is assumed that you have worked
      with dataabases before.

      Typically, certification is a means for those
      with a few years experience under their belt
      to get a promotion and there’s certainly some
      status gained by being recognized as an expert.

      Since you alreay have two years of
      experience, getting a certification may not
      be a bad idea … especially if you can get
      it onthe companies dime.

      • #3861680

        On the topic of Certification

        by mturner ·

        In reply to Truth is ….

        I am with most of you in saying that without experience, a certification MIGHT get you in for an interview. I currently hold Cisco’s CCNP certification, and I believe that some of those tests were very difficult to pass, and someone with no experience would probably not pass them. My ultimate goal is to obtain Cisco’s CCIE certificate, and I am currently studying for the written portion of it. On a side note, the things that I learned while taking Cisco courses I was able to change the way thatI was going about solving problems. I have almost 5 years of experience in routing and switching, server, and desktop support, and my job has intermingled them throughout my career. I will admit, that I am partial to the routing and switching, I could work overtime on salary, and still be happy, becuase it is truely what I love to do. I think that that is what drives me. Anyway thanks for the time.


        • #3879178

          Cert no Cert

          by asasullivan ·

          In reply to On the topic of Certification

          I have had to retrain at age 52 and am now certified CNA, MCP, MCSE. I have recently found a job with a good company in the IT field. Most companies would not even consider taking me on as a trainie in the field because of my age if I were not certified. NO I do not think I know every-thing or that my skills are going to be as good as someone with 5 years expierence, but I will have a good idea what that person is trying accomplish and have an understanding of what they would expect me to be able to do. Yes a downed server would scare me, but I would hope my co-techies would appreciate my efforts and be patient with me till I can become a fully confident and capable TEAM MEMBER.


    • #3868942

      Imagine this…

      by sybelle ·

      In reply to The Truth about getting certified

      You look for cert programs. Most of them have classes that last from 1 to 5 days. Then you come across this program that lasts 2 years. They require you to have a separate computer for Linux/UNIX at home. First they teach to use a text editor. You bring in your own Linux/UNIX machine because you will be partitioning the drives, installing and configuring the OS. They let you take the machine home but you have to bring it back to set it up in the classroom network and get it configured to accessthe internet. (from the command line, No GUIs allowed). When you take it home, if you mess it up you get to start over again. For several classes you get to do the same each time with a different flavor of Linux or UNIX. When you are sick of it, thetrainer messes something up on purpose and the class has to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Then comes installation of software, licensing, security, etc. Then you have to write your own scripts to create utilities and you have to create a web page. All this time you access the site from home to do assignments and take tests. Sometime in the first year you do an internship, you are on-call for help desk (the blind leading the blind so to speak), you are called in for crisis drillsin the middle of the night… In short, all the things you would be exposed to in real life. In the second year you specialize. You have to publish an article based on your specialty; demonstrate your way around *all* flavors of Linux and UNIX; you research the job market and interview for jobs. After the interview rounds you have to refine your specialization work on the basis of what the employers are looking for. You create a team to learn it and use it. When you are done at the end of 2 years you have a cert and the experience to go with it.
      Now, that is a cert I would pay good money for. Wouldn’t you?

      • #3867901


        by bionicdog ·

        In reply to Imagine this…

        Definitely i will pay top money for that type of certification if it is available anywhere.

      • #3851438

        I would pay good money for this too

        by jbuchberger ·

        In reply to Imagine this…

        This kind of training would be great to have and would certainly be worth the money that the certification mills are charging, er, ripping people off for presently.

        Nothing makes me madder or actually just makes me laugh and shake my head than getting brochures from training companies listing ‘boot camps’ costing $1495 for an A+ course or several thousand for CCNA.

        Spend your money on low cost equipment and a professional reference library and then invest a big portion of your free time studying and geeking and tweaking instead, I say, but if I found a good program that actually taught something and made me learn by doing with the guidance of a qualified instructor, I’d pay it.

        Better yet, take a job at low pay with a company thatwas willing to invest in me and they’d have a loyal employee.

        Joe Buchberger

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