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Certify This!!!

Category: 2002 Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Mike Berman
Dave Berman

When you see a resume that proclaims the job candidate is "certified" in some skill, what is your first impression? Is it that this person has been well-schooled on a certain subject and has been recognized for his abilities? You bet your bippie it is!

Now Uncertified Dave would have you believe that certifications mean absolutely nothing. That they're just window dressing a person uses to bilk more money out of his/her employer.

Untrue, my friends. To me that certification means that this person has taken the time to master a particular subject and has the credentials to prove it. He/she has gone the extra mile to learn all there is to know to become an authority in a particular area.

When you look for a mechanic to work on your car, do you check to see if he's certified to do the job? Of course you do.

The same goes for so-called experts in Windows, networking, A+ or any other facet of computerdom. Those letters after their names (MCSE, A+, CNE) tell me that they can do the job, and do it well, because they've taken the time to learn about their skills and have passed exams to prove it!

Now, granted I -- or even Dave -- may know more about making systems or PCs do what we want them to do through practical experience. But let's face it, Corporate America feels a lot better if Microsoft or Novell tells them we can do the job by allowing us to add a few letters after our names.

MCSE, A+, CNE -- they all have one thing in common: They're worthless.

Now, while many of you probably think I just rant all the time, you're right. I am an angry little man and this topic angers me the most.

What good is a certification if you don't know your a$$ from your elbow? Well, it's good if you want to land a job or if you want to make more money. It's no longer about what you know, it's a matter of what certifications you have.

I feel there should be more value placed on real world experience instead of silly certifications. I've met and worked with plenty of certified engineers to know that a good portion of them aren't that bright. A lot of them are just book smart. They look at past exams available on the Internet or they buy books geared toward these exams, study up and then pass the test. It's all about money for companies offering these certs and it's a get rich over time scheme for the person getting the letters added onto their titles.

Am I bitter because I don't have a certification? I don't think so. It's not worth my time to get a certification if I'm not looking for another job. I'd rather concentrate on what's important: Doing my job and doing it well. If I need to know the internals of a particular Windows 2000 component, I shouldn't be forced to memorize it for test time. A real administrator would look it up using available resources and ultimately solve it. That's how you learn and how you grow.

Now you've probably already read Mike's view on this because he's over there on the left, but it's not worth reading. I'm right. RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT! And he's WRONG.

For all you MCSEs out there, I have two words for you -- CERTIFY THIS!

-- Frustrated Uncertified Senior Systems Administrator 

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