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Sunday, November 19, 2006

IT Certifications get No Respect Anymore?

An interesting article got pubbed in InfoWorld last week saying that IT cerfications are starting to become less and less relevant to employers and just may not be worth your time anymore. I've been working in IT for more then 10 years, and having no official IT certifications has never prevented me from getting a job, and has never even affected my salary whatsoever. Experience and a good head on your shoulders will always be more important on the field of action then having theoretical knowledge and a piece of paper saying you passed a series of exams. I've known a lot of people who had an MCSE and couldn't even restore a crashed exchange server, set up an AD domain or even configure a Cisco PIX firewall properly.

Are certified IT jobs just becoming more of a commodity, facing stiffer offshore competition? Are certifications becoming less relevant because anybody can go to Google and get themselves a minitutorial on almost any tech topic, any time? Or as Foote Partners CEO David Foote suggests, have enterprise employers simply refocused their priorities on “niche,” noncertified skills such as applications and Web or e-commerce development?

So, what are your thoughts on this issue?

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  • I have yet to see the permanent position where possession of any level of IT skill was actually one the top 5 most important criteria for long term success at the company.

    4 of the top 5 attributes for success in a job can be ascertained by a good interviewer in a non-technical interview.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 PM  

  • 20 Years in IT, no current certifications. 10 years in InfoSec, no certifications. Doing just fine.

    By Blogger Planet Heidi, at 10:35 PM  

  • Everything is relatiive. People who go after certs SHOULD be doing so not to wave a peice of paper around in everyones face but to learn something deeper about whatever subject it is they want to be certified in.
    Employers should look beyond paper certs, degrees, knowledge of terminology and focus on what a person has actually done in previous projects. Some of the best interviews I have ever been in focused on what projects I worked on, what was good and bad in them, and asked questions such as, what was one of the most challenging problems you have ever had and what did you do to solve it? What made it challenging.

    Again, too much focus on certs and degrees take away from what a person can actually contribute to an IT team. If it is a junior level job, great, the certs can be a fairly decent yard stick. But not the only one.

    Personally, I have a couple of certs and I look at them for what theey are worth to me - i learbed all I could in order to deepend my expertise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 PM  

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