Sun 30 Mar, 2003 04:33 pm
Link to Article
MeasureUp, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dice Inc., announced today that Microsoft Training and Certification selected MeasureUp's proprietary testing and assessment engine as the delivery mechanism for project-based assessments for Microsoft IT Professionals.
These tests are available at no cost.
Do you think that this increased availability of certifications will help out-of-work Information Technology professionals get back to work? Or will these certifications not amount to much more than a line on a resume? Or something else?
IMO it will help few. And with greater prevalence comes lesser value.
Yeah, I've noticed these days many certificates are a dime a dozen. There's very little regulation in this industry, and it shows.
The first big attention getting certificate was from Novell (CNA). It's now worthless, yet there's been a few certificates that seem to hold their value over time (CCIE).
The whole concept of certification as a method of promoting knowledge is incompatible with how certificates have been traditionally designed. Before this cart before the horse syndrome started, you went out in the industry, worked for a number of years, then tested to get the certificated to show mastery of skill.
I think a number of factors have permanently killed this model. First, there's a huge para-educational industry whose whole business model is to certify you experience notwithstanding. Second there's a general lack of skill in determining qualified candidates for a position. Combining these two leads to people side stepping more traditional educational means (experience / formal schooling) for something fast that will place them in the short stack of resumes.
It's less effective now because certificates are far too easily obtained by just studying for the particular tests, and the certifying industry wants to make those tests more expensive to take, yet recognize that few will take expensive tests if the likelihood of failure is very high.
Note that the CCIE and RHCE both hold their value by (gasp) administering a skills test (as far as I know, they are the only 2). Others are valuable by their rarity (which will normally diminish), and others are valuable because of contractual support by their backing company, ie. This equipment's warranty is void when a non-***-certified technician works on it
CCIE will make you good cash. If you're willing.
I don't even consider a CCIE as a cert. More like a lifestyle. I have a CCNA and don't even consider this. If your main happy thing is WAN design, configuration, Knowing every last thing about WAN security. and being able to configure any cisco router or blade in your sleep ( you might as well, your wife or GF will have left you by now) then this is for you. But...you make the big bucks. I live in Mississippi ( I know, but many of us are a lot brighter than you would think. Hell, I finished 8th grade...OK just 6th.........kidding!
Anyway, as of 2003 there were only 2 CCIEs in the state.
Kind of amazing considering we were the original home of WorldCom (Boooooo!) and casinos that absolutely require secure reliable transport. I was also told back in 2001 when I went through the Cisco Academy that when you pass your CCIE monstosity in San Jose (yes, you have to go to San Jose to get this cert.) You are immediately offered a job with Cisco at $125,000 a year. My point is, of course it is still worth it. There are relatively very few of them.
Other certs? Not so much. I've found however that certifications are what you make them. If you are willing to get your foot in the door and work your butt off at your job and your continuing education you will eventually become invaluable. My boss pays for my Cingular wireless card(which has saved me lots of time and miles) that I only use when I'm hanging out at the beach or camping. He thinks it gives him control. I know that when I shut the connection down he thinks it's Cingular and biatches at them and apologizes to me....God I love my job!
You will have to learn SO many acronyms for your CCIE that you will barely be able to speak intelligable English anymore.
According to Cisco, less than 3% of Cisco Certified engineers obtain CCIE certification and less than 1% of the networking professionals worldwide, and the average candidate will spend thousands of their own dollars and spend at least 18 months studying while pursuing it.
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. An in-depth understanding of the topics on the exams and three to five years of job experience are expected before attempting certification.