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Are CIW Web Certifications Credible?

Discussion in 'CIW Certifications' started by FreakyBeanz, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. FreakyBeanz

    FreakyBeanz Bit Poster

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    Today I've had a look around on a few UK jobsites and have searched for "CIW", and was only able to find two jobs for a single company that were asking for CIW Web Master Certification. That's two out of hundreds of advertised Web jobs!

    So exactly how credible are these certifications in the UK Web job market?

    I've read a multitude of times that self-study and a good portfolio is probably better than taking some of these overly inflated and costly CIW courses, and seeing that the cheapest I've found started at £639 + the cost of three exams at £90 each, this might be the course I take.

    I have seen this distance learning course though at £300 which provides an NVQ Level 3 equivalent accreditation, and wondered if anyone had any thoughts if this course is actually worth taking! http://www.distance-learning-centre.co.uk/products/180/WEB_DESIGN_TRAINING_BUNDLE.htm

    Thanks in advance for any information or advice you may be able to give me.

    Tony
     
    Certifications: RHCT
    WIP: CompTIA Linux+
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, it depends on what you mean by 'credible'.
    Is it something that employers demand that you have? No, probably not.
    Will studying it give you skills and knowledge that may prove useful to an employer? Absolutely.

    And when you think about it, that's really what matters. When someone studies the A+, they do it to gain the skills they need to do entry level IT work. The certificate itself just proves that they've gained those skills. If you applied for a job as a civil engineer it may say that a BEng in civil engineering was a requirement, or it may say that they require an experienced engineer. Either way, they'd expect people who knew what they were doing to apply.

    Don't put yourself through CIW because you think that employers are demanding it or because having it on your CV will suddenly make you in demand - but I'd say the same thing about most other certifications. Do it if you think it sounds like it covers the sort of subjects that might be useful to you.

    I did CIW many years ago and I really enjoyed it. It was interesting and I learned quite a bit from it. I certainly don't expect to walk into a job because of it, but then again it's something that I've got on my CV that someone else doesn't.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. FreakyBeanz

    FreakyBeanz Bit Poster

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    Well given the cost, and what appears to be no demand for that qualification, I'm just wondering if the NVQ equivalent would be more relevant. From what I've seen it covers pretty much the same subjects as the CIW course, and most UK employers know what an NVQ is when they see that on a CV, whereas it appears that a lot don't know about the CIW.

    I'm not saying it will be the "key" to a new job, but as a certain well know supermarket is keen on informing us: "Every little helps!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
    Certifications: RHCT
    WIP: CompTIA Linux+
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Personally, I don't see much use for the CIW certifications. Programmers and Web designers don't have the same need for certifications as technical admins do because they can show potential employers the portfolio of code they've created; tech admins can't do that, so instead, they rely on certifications.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but from your two threads, it sounds like you've already got your mind made up and you want someone to tell you it's the right thing to do.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  5. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    It is my opinion that the individual makes the certification credible. If you are great at your job and someone asks are you a CIW, CCNA, MCSE etc they will assume your studies toward that certification contribute to your greatness. Likewise if you are a waste of space with a certification, people may assume that certification isn't very credible otherwise you'd be better at your job. Thats a very black and white way to look at it and is only my rule of thumb, everyones different. I know MCSE's that are a joke, and MCSE's that are superb. Its all down to you...
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Certifications are certainly less important to programmers I think, but support certifications are probably also overvalued.

    Programmers can be evaluated in many ways just like support people, generally there are a number of interviews and technical tests. Unless someone contributes to open source or has a few pet projects on the go its actually pretty rare for people to show a 'portfolio of code', you typically sign an NDA / copyright agreement when you take a job with a company, the production code produced at work is not yours to take to interviews.

    Infrastructure techs could arguably take viso network diagrams, firewall config or incident / upgrade logs, maintenance plans to interviews but this would be unethical for similar reasons. Support techs are also likely to be primarilly assessed based on an interview and a technical test, the certs are just the icing on the cake.

    Only front end web developers / designers and largely those that are self employed are likely to adopt the portfolio approach you describe. This if for a number of reasons :-

    1. Client side code is in effect pretty much public domain anyway.

    2. There is a long established approach of arty / designer types using portfolios to market their skills.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    CIW or NVQ not gonna cut it, people simply want people who can deliver in the programming world, thats why the papers not that important, be it degree, cert, etc.

    I have no certifications that relate to CIW material but have developed web sites for multi-national corporations with 8 million+ users. Developers are just expected know this or to grok it and get the job done.

    I like the look of some of Open University short courses on the web and open source, however again its not going to win you work.

    I agree with others opinions that you are attacking your current situation from the wrong angle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I started out with the OU, both in web design and programming. Their courses are excellent and a great way to get started. The course material is probably second to none, and you are provided with any software that you need to be able to practice your skills.

    That being said - that's all it was - starting out.
    After that came many years of practice and further learning, both on my own and for employers.

    Between the OU, self study, CIW and Microsoft certifications I've tried a number of different things and really couldn't say which was the 'best' or 'most useful'. To be honest, I've got to the stage now where I'm more likely to leave some certs off my CV than put them on because they just aren't relevant to the work I find myself doing - or at least my work experience is more relevant and useful.

    But as the others have said, and has been said here many times before - never pick a cert or a career path just because you think it will make you highly employable or leads to the highest paid jobs. It just doesn't work like that. Most people who post here with that sort of mind-set are never heard from again. 8)
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. FreakyBeanz

    FreakyBeanz Bit Poster

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    Not made my mind up exactly, but essentially attempting to ascertain if the NVQ Level 3 equivalent award actually had better merit than the CIW in the UK e.g. what would be the most beneficial one to have on a CV (as well as a half-decent portfolio).
     
    Certifications: RHCT
    WIP: CompTIA Linux+
  10. FreakyBeanz

    FreakyBeanz Bit Poster

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    I agree! I was looking into these courses because I've done a fair bit of web stuff over the years and have always enjoyed doing it. Thought it would be a good idea to take the skills I've got and try to improve on them, and believed that the courses/certification would be a good way of doing that, especially with the added experience you pick up along the way.

    But given the fact that several people have essentially said these are not exactly worth the expense, then perhaps it might just be better to hit the books, and construct some more websites for demo purposes, and use those as a portfolio.
     
    Certifications: RHCT
    WIP: CompTIA Linux+
  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Have you considered some of the Adobe certs? Smaller, quicker, cheaper?

    My main real gripe with CIW is that it's expensive for what it is - especially if you go for the official material...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  12. FreakyBeanz

    FreakyBeanz Bit Poster

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    I hadn't actually looked into Adobe certification at all! But that's something that's just gone on my list of things to investigate! Thanks!

    I tend to agree with you, with the cheapest course that I could find for CIW coming in at £639, then you require three exams at £90 each, it starts to work out an expensive option, and from what I can see - and this is no disrespect to those who already are studying for this or have passed the examinations - that the demand for CIW certified professionals doesn't seem to be there in the UK job market! It may help to have the logo on your own website if you're a freelancer, and it may help a little way on a CV, but is that actually worth a grand of my hard earned cash?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
    Certifications: RHCT
    WIP: CompTIA Linux+
  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, it depends on your reasoning.

    I didn't do CIW because there was a 'demand' for it in the market, or because it would look good on my CV and get me a job. I did it because I had some web design skills and experience and was looking for some way to formalise them, if you like. In doing so, I did learn some new stuff too - network technologies was pretty new to me.

    Having a portfolio as a designer is all well and good - sure, it's the most important way of showing off your talent, but it doesn't translate well to a CV other than the fact that you can list the projects you've worked on and hope that the reader has a look at some of them.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    For what it's worth, it doesn't seem to be there in the US job market, either.

    One point of clarification... you don't HAVE to take a training course for CIW certifications... you just have to take the corresponding exams. However, training materials are hard to find... specifically because the demand for CIW certifications is so low that publishers would lose money on creating the training materials.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  15. FreakyBeanz

    FreakyBeanz Bit Poster

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    I know that like the CompTIA examinations, you don't have to do the official CIW training first, but like you said, I've noticed that there are hardly any training materials for CIW. What books there are, now appear to be somewhat dated, and possible not relevant to the current exams (from comparing the contents of both!).
     
    Certifications: RHCT
    WIP: CompTIA Linux+
  16. chojin

    chojin New Member

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    From my experience, what it is worth, I haven't got any advantages by gaining my CIW Master Designer paper.. the only 'plus' I had was that ones someone got curious what it was and couldn't find the CIW certification on the net.. resulting in an interview which has nothing to do with the CIW...

    CIW is nice to fill up your resume, but for getting a job it is not really an advantage. Only if you have 0.0 other papers it can be a plus, still... it's nothing more then an entry level certification. It will not give you a great job as a java-developer or a flash designer.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA-Security, CCNP, CCSA, MCSE
    WIP: CCIP
  17. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Indeed. What you need to remember about anything that you do, A+, CIW, Cycling proficiency, morris dancing - is that it could well be something that a lot of other people haven't done.

    Taking a certification, irrespective of its value within the industry, shows that you have the ability to study at a higher level, learn facts and skills and then recall these facts when required.

    Those are valuable skills to any employer, so don't make the mistake of making light of a qualification just because you don't think the technical content is cutting edge.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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