Does IT Certification Matter Anymore?: Page 2

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The importance of certification has changed since the ‘80s and ‘90s, he says. Then, the lack of qualified IT workers in many areas meant getting a cert was an inarguable way to demonstrate skills.

But now, “We’re settling into a pattern where a relatively small percentage of IT workers will need a certification to work in the area that they’re in.”

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One of those areas is high-end IT architecture, and there are several certs that are profitable, in his view. They include the architecture-related certs offered by Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and EMC.

A certification like one of these can make or break a job interview. Anderson gives the example of a hypothetical worker who can boast of having just completed a six-month assignment co-designing a storage area networking project. The employer might be skeptical, wondering if the applicant was in reality merely a flunky on the project.

But then out comes the cert. At which point the employer is likely to realize, “Okay, you have an EMC certification, I believe you not only have that bit of experience but you probably have more capability beyond that.”

Good Certifications vs. Worthless Certifications

Neill Hopkins, VP of skills development for CompTIA, a leading provider of certifications, concedes that some tech staffers feel unenthused about certs.

Helping create this disenchantment is the plethora of cheap, essentially worthless certifications flooding the Internet. Fly-by-night vendors, he says, hawk them constantly: “’Just take this quick exam, it’s $10, and you’ve got something on your resume.’” There might be as many as 600-700 of these exams, Hopkins says, “And they’ve probably given our industry a bad name.”

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Tags: SOA, wireless, IT certifications, IT career, VoIP

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