IT Employment

General discussion


value of certification

By Lumbergh77 ·
I'm pondering whether or not I should get certified. I'm a jack of all trades with skills in programming, tech support, networking, and databases and have almost 6 years of experience with a BS degree in Info Systems. I thought about going through the certifications process and getting the A+, MCSE, and MCDBA. This would take an entire year and cost around $2000 for training materials and tests (employer will not pay). Is it worth the time and money investment? Why not just study the books, go through the material I'm not familiar with (skipping stuff I'll never use), and forget about taking the tests? Wouldn't the be better spent working on side jobs and/or getting another degree to fall back on?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

it doesn't work that way

by secure_lockdown In reply to value of certification

If the employer *really* wants an MCSE - then they will *get* an MCSE. If you don't have an MCSE - you won't get the job. Just like if they want a guy with a BA - then they will get a guy with a BA. Its as simple as that!

now this has nothing to do with a persons ability to do the job. there is absolutly no proof that a BA or MCSE can do a job better than a guy that doesn't have one - it's all about what the employer wants. and the way the IT industry is these days - there is plenty of supply(IT guys) for a very limited demand(IT jobs) - the employer can get whatever they want.

as to the value of certifications - i personally think they are great. the problem is - many IT educational institutions are into the business of over charging for the value of the education and promising miracles to dumb shmo's who want to get into IT.

Hello, reality check! A newly certified MCSE and you will be designing vast and wide Active Directory forests that span across different states - are you kidding me! Are you out of your mind? If that did happen, then that would be a miracle.

lastly, as to actually getting a certification. you don't have to pay an IT goofball tons of money for something you can just as easily learn on your own by either hangin out on the net (for MCSE you hang out at the Microsoft site, specifically Technet and Support Forums) or buy a book for a fraction of the price of the courses.

Good Luck

Collapse -

Call me Jack.......

by Choppit In reply to value of certification

My background is pretty much like yours and I've asked myself the same questions. All other things being equal at a job interview, the more qualified candidate is likely to get the job. Would it be possible for you to self study then take the exams?

I chose not to pursue certifications and learn only what I need to know, interests me or can be applied to benefit the business. In many situations (but not all) a Jack of all trades is more valuable than a specialist, particularly in small businesses.

Collapse -


by secure_lockdown In reply to Call me Jack.......

a specialist will always make more money than a jack of all trades.

Collapse -


by mrafrohead In reply to BS

A jack of all trades is acting as a specialist to individual places.

Collapse -


by Oz_Media In reply to BS

A jack of all trades is always employed.

How many specialists are on THIS site alone that do not work in their field of specialty? Therefore not being paid for their ability at all.

I personally have proven you wrong many times, I often beat out far more qualified 'specialist' candidates based on hands on experience, drive and a better attitude fit with the employer. I offer more to the employer, therefore I am a greater overall asset that won't cry and whine when the job description changes as it progresses. I can't tell you how many ties we have seen people post here that they strted with one 'specialty' job in mind and are being asked to do oter tasks and don't feel they should have to.

I know who I'd hire anyway.

Collapse -

hi there, OZ...

by secure_lockdown In reply to BS

i am a jack of all trades. and i watch specialists get paid 10x what i get paid and they don't have to know 1/10th of the broad knowledge I have to know to keep up with my job performance requirements.

all the specialists have to know is what they specialize in - and they have to know it very very well. they don't know anything else - just that. they couldn't get 2 windows machines to file share without calling MS tech support to save their lives.

specialists in LotusNotes, Peoplesoft, SAP, IXOS, Cognos -- you name it. all the BI app specialists will out salary you any day of the week with their eyes closed.

so why don't you quit selling CompTIA advertizing and get yourself a *real* job in the *real* IT world.

Collapse -

Don't need one

by Oz_Media In reply to hi there, OZ...

I make what my friends 'the security specialists' make when I'm sitting at home. I am not rich by any means,but I enjoy a very comfortable life as a result of being a jack of all trades.

If I get called out for IT work, $150.00/hr, if I fix a car at home $60.00/hr, if I do a frame off restoration it's 40K - 70K depending on the car, my residual checks from CD's come in four times a year (which is staggered so it's four from Europe and four from the US) and I get the odd public speaking, motivational speaker call (they pay big!). I don't need to specialize in something to earn a living.

Instead of wasting time in IT schools I went to trade school and while there built a business on the side, several of them actually.

Now when it comes to IT, I BEGAN working FT for a company at a fair but lower wage than the specialist techs did, they quickly found that I was capable of many other tasks they needed done, as each was added my hand was out for money. They can either hire two people or pay me more to do both jobs.

I ended up making FAR more money than he specialists who once trumped me, before the ocmpany let me move and work form home at an equal salary.

It's just a matter of choosing the right company to go and work for, not having the certs so that the right company chooses you.

These 'spcialists' spend quite a bit of time complaining on TR about how they have certs and yet only have help desk jobs, or that their company is outsourcing their specialty. So what, NEXT!...oh yes, there is no 'next' is there, one trade, one profession, one door to knock instead of thousands.

No thanks

Collapse -

out to lunch on that one

by secure_lockdown In reply to Don't need one

Oz, sorry but you are out to lunch on that one. You haven't really worked in IT - have you?

If you did, you would have noticed that most of the money is being made by the people *not* doing the IT work. The *actual* IT work is being done by people who are getting paid a miserable salary.

Collapse -

OKay well first of all

by Oz_Media In reply to out to lunch on that one

That makes no sense whatsoever. I have been in IT for quite a while now and YES I have worked on SEVERAL sites as a netadmin, a telecom SPECIALIST and other stupid little 'roles'. I also do have my MCNE, paid for by a former employer guiessed it, I was a network administrator.

So your whole post is just assumptive and incorrect garbage, make some sense next time.

And what's with the assertion that I am OUT TO LUNCH on it. I offered you a PERSONAL opinion based 100% on personal real life experience, it's not a guess. You have absolutely NO idea at all what the industry and market is like where I am and especially no idea what I think as a result of my experience. Make sense next time!

As for IT WORK, my last position was basically calling IT staff to get jobs done. Whether on client site, their client site etc. People around here know exactly how much time I used to spend working. I have been in MANY different levels of management in my career depending on what industry it was. I understand exactly WHAT you are trying to infer but by MY experience, your conclusions come from some really sorry system or something that I certainly haven't faced.

I have always been in a position where I had equal OPPORTUNITY to make just as much money as anyone else in the company, including the VP, without the need of specialization. It just takes work and proven achievement.
ACHIEVEMENTS!!!!!!! Something everyone seems to forget about once they have a degree. Paper is nothing, results are proof.

Collapse -

you should write a book

by Lumbergh77 In reply to Don't need one

I agree with you about generalists vs. specialists. Seems to me that the more specialized, the more trapped you are.

Related Discussions

Related Forums