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A Threat to Your Career: Combating Certification Fraud

Discussion in 'News' started by wagnerk, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator


    A Threat to Your Career: Combating Certification Fraud

    There is a problem in the IT certification business. It affects all of us in the industry: hardware and software companies that sponsor certification programs, IT professionals who seek certification to validate their skills and employers who use certifications to identify qualified workers.

    Yet this problem is the elephant in the room that everyone knows is there, but no one wants to acknowledge. What is it?

    It’s certification fraud.

    When people cheat to obtain IT credentials, the value of certification is diminished for everyone. Fraud destroys the trust employers and individuals have in brand-name certifications that are the foundation of the IT profession. Rumors of cheating lead to doubt about the qualifications of all people who hold credentials.

    Employers no longer can assume that candidates can do a job, even if their certifications indicate they should have the requisite knowledge and skills. And when employers don’t value certification as a hiring, promotion or compensation criterion, IT professionals don’t see the value in attaining certification.

    Read the whole article here.

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip


    1. Qs
      ^^ True dat.

      Ah... ghetto lingo. :p
    2. sunn
      I'm not trying to knock the initiative, but what the ITCC is trying to do has been attempted in the past by the various vendors. I'm glad there's an initiative, I just don't see much of anything new in the article.

      Good luck to them nonetheless...
      :hhhmmm That's an interesting article, with a lot of things, that have been said on Certforum about what Braindumps sites do to the IT Cert Industry.

      Interesting enough, today I was explaining to someone in the IT Dept why brain dumps are bad and why you should not use them. I asked him to google a known website TK and we found alot of links to Microsoft taking TK to court over the use of their so called study aids.

      I asked where did he get a zip file containing files from TK for every MS cert under the sun?:ohmy

      (it was from another member of staff) But the only reason why she uses it was because she didn't want to spend more money on the exams:blink That's right, it seems it's OK to use BD's but only if you know the subject inside out and your skint (no money). That way you don't have to worry about where your going to find the money to do a resit because by using the study aids from TK, it just re-inforces what you already know!!


      I can't believe it, IMHO there's no good reason to use BD's

      Anyway, thanks to Ken:thumbleft for providing the link and if possible can the staff pin that article??

      We get so many people asking what is a BD and wondering why it's bad and I think the article brings the points we have all been trying to raise to clear understanding why BD's are damaging the industry!
    4. BosonMichael
      Exactly right. If you know the subject inside out, then you DON'T need braindumps. And if you need braindumps as a crutch to help ensure that you pass... then you're not ready for the exam, and you don't deserve to hold the certification.
      exactly, but when i try to get that message across, they still came back to me with,

      "well what if you only have enough money for one exam and can't afford to take another"

      I felt like my advice had fallen on deaf ears!:x:cry:

      But what action are MS taking?? Are they branding/banning people from taking the certs if they are found using BD's? Can they really stop companies from selling bd's?
    6. BosonMichael

      Then... you either get one shot, or you go deliver pizzas till you can afford another exam! Study legit sources until you understand the material and you won't have a problem.

      They are decertifying people, but not great numbers of them. Microsoft hasn't released decertification numbers since December '07, but they were catching between 5-12 cheaters per month: link

      Other than suing TestKing, and then dropping the lawsuit when they had TK dead in their sights and let them off with NO penalty whatsoever :dry, Microsoft has done very little. That said, Microsoft really can't do much, because braindump companies hide in third-world "haven" countries where braindumping is "acceptable". Microsoft can't prosecute them there.

      The only way to stop braindumping is to decertify people who use braindumps... make it so risky to use them that people think twice before cheating. Outside of that, the best we can do is to inform people about the dangers of braindumping. It hurts the people who study legitimately, it hurts the cheater, and it hurts the IT industry as a whole.
    7. wagnerk
      This is why Microsoft has changed their certification program and now introducing New Performance Based exams, which the new MCAS exams are already sporting.

      In other words, you have to know your stuff and how to do it...

    8. Shude
      The odd thing is that I have attended a few interviews lately where I've been given something exam-like before they'll even talk to me, dispite requiring the certification on your CV before they'll invite you to an interview. If the certs are so worthless then why ask for them at all? :rolleyes:

      My last "interview" was in a room on my own, with a sheet of paper filled with very open-ended questions about mildly complex problems that you could fill a page answering! I fell down on that one because it had an entire section on Exchange and I know diddly about it :( .
    9. BosonMichael
      Well... with performance-based testing, you DON'T have to know your stuff... you just have to know how to do it. The theory's pretty much out the window at that point... it's all practical application.
    10. wagnerk
      I have done a couple of performance based exams in the past and while the majority of the questions are simulations, a percentage of the exam is still theory based - I'm assuming that MS will implement their exams the same way.

    11. BosonMichael
      I've done exams where there were mostly multiple choice questions and a few simulations thrown in... and even a SQL exam that was split into two sections, with one section being multiple choice, one section being sims, and you scored the lower of your two sections... but these new performance based exams seem to be nothing but testing only on practical application in an emulated environment. If they combine that with the theory, I'm good with it... but if it JUST covers the practical application, I fear that techs may never learn the theory and knowledge-based portions. Not a good thing, IMO.

      Balance for the win.
    12. wagnerk
      I agree, you can't just know the hands-on, and you just can't know the theory. You can to have the balance and know both. Otherwise they'll fall into the "they won't know why they're doing it, just they do it cause it works" scenairo.

    13. jayford
      Sadly, such is the mentality at my current location of employment :cry:

      Although in the company's defence there are a select few that believe we should not just understnad why it works but also how it works , sadly, they are in the minority.
    14. Kraven
    15. BosonMichael
      We can stop talking about it when it ceases to be a problem...

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