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How do employers rate certifications against a degree?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Maseybaby, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Maseybaby

    Maseybaby Bit Poster

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    Hey guys,

    Just wondering, I've been reading up a lot on different websites about the advantages of a degree and certifications and which employers rate the highest. I've read a lot of different opinions but the resounding answer is that obviously experience is king, but talking about qualifications I've read that a batchelors degree far outweighs any number of certifications.

    Just wondering what your opinion on this and if it is even worth getting certified after obtaining a degree?

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Computer Sci, MCDST, MCITP, CCNA
  2. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Not really a degree shows that you are good academically, you can get a degree without any real world experience, with certifications they back up your real world experience.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    A degree shows you're determined and can see a course through to achieving a degree at the end of three years. A degree is also for life and is a very good personal achievement.

    On the other hand certification helps those in a current field keep upto date with evolvement be it technology or other fields of a career.

    Ultimately as you rightly stated in your post experience out rules both but they're good to have if you can stick it through.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Most certainly it is worth getting certified after obtaining a degree. They measure completely different things. A certification indicates that you have knowledge about a particular technology. A degree indicates that you can stick to a long-term field of study and complete it. In truth, the degree doesn't even have to be in the career field you choose! I have a Chemistry degree, and it's helped me get IT jobs that would have otherwise been closed to me.

    Additionally, some jobs may require a degree, some jobs may require certifications, and some jobs may require both, so you can't really say one is "better" than another. A degree is usually preferred for programmers, IT managers, and IT trainers. Certifications are usually preferred for most techs.

    So... would I recommend certifications or degrees? I recommend BOTH.
     
    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. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    I think both will help you get the interview, then it is down to you to impress at the interview
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  6. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    Obviously, some employers will prefer one or the other. We typically prefer that candidates have both. However, not having one or the other would not necessarily disqualify anyone, but a candidate would have to be a really strong candidate if they didn't have either.

    Like Michael, I have both and would recommend both. Even though I had a few years of experience, I would not have been interviewed for the job I ended up getting at Transcender if I didn't have both, which has led to my job at Boson, which is the best job I've ever had. Getting both has definitely paid off for me :)
     
  7. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I can only put my 5 cents in as an employer in a non IT field.

    The thing that we looked most highly on was Part Time qualifications of any sort whilst a person was working. As this shows that they have to be committed to both there career and continued professional development.

    I'm not not knocking degrees in any shape or form, however they are not looked at very highly anymore. I would even go as far as saying that they are the equivalent of a few A levels from about 15 - 20 years ago. Everyone and there Dad has one.

    Sorry to be a cynic, but just expressing how we looked at them in my previous roles.
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  8. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I have to say, it depends on the position. Me being kinda old fashion (and an IT Manager who sits on the interview panel for IT personnel), I guess, for a "normal" IT job I wouldn't expect one. For a senior tech/Junior IT manager/IT Dept Manager I would prefer to see a higher education (or equivalent) qualification in a related subject and for higher/upper/senior management I would prefer to see a post-grad (or equivalent) qualification in a related subject.

    However I would also expect to see the corresponding professional certifications and experience at the same time.

    Just like professional certs, academic qualifications should not be used as a short-cut or a substitute for experience. Just because someone has a degree (or equivalent) it does not auotmatically entitle someone to a manager's position or to be treated with preferential treatment.

    I agree :)

    -Ken
     
    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
  9. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    I would suggest certs if for one reason or another you can't get a degree. I have never ever taken any certs, but walked into a support job very soon after graduating. If I were to leave my games industry job in favour of IT I'm sure that I wouldn't have any problem getting back into IT.

    Aren't certs supposed to be vocational qualifications, so not being directly comparable to degrees anyway? :)
     
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Honestly I think both are important which is why I am working on my degree now and try to get certifications at the same time plus the experience I am getting at work. I also find that there are alot of techs, real smart ones who don't have any degrees but have certifications and do really well and wise versa techs with degree but no certifications.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  11. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Not necessarily, it depends on the nature of the cert. There are 3 main branches of qualifications: Professional, Vocational & Academic. And to some point all 3 branches actually cross over/meet - however that's not to say that all the certs/quals in the 3 branches do that.

    -Ken
     
    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
  12. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    I’m sure many hiring managers think in the same line as Michael and Ken, but I have to admit, until recently, I wouldn’t have qualified if they interviewed me.

    I never went to Uni, so I never got a degree. I did get a diploma, but that’s another story.
    Although I had a CCNA years ago, I let it lapse and only recertified in late 2007. I’ve held decent roles and the titles and responsibilities that go with them.

    My point is it’s not a show stopper if you don’t have a degree or certs, but experience is the most important thing. If you can get your feet wet you can probably go without getting a degree or cert.

    For me though, the one thing I would re-consider is getting a degree. If it’s an option, I would suggest getting it. Doing it part-time is an option too.
     
  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Why wouldn't you have qualified if I had interviewed you? Depending on the job, I don't *require* that people have degrees or certifications. In fact, people without experience, certifications, OR degrees would qualify if I were looking for an entry-level candidate.

    When hiring my replacement at my last job, the only thing that was an absolute *requirement* was experience. Certifications and degrees were preferable, but were not required.
     
    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!
  14. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    Britain is just saturated with people with meaningless degrees in every tom dick and non traditional subject that they assume will "let me walk out of Salford uni and into a 75k career".

    It is simply too easy to get into uni now, it's too easy to get the information to do your degree and overall, it just does not have the standing it was a few generations ago.

    Medicine, veterinary, computer sciences, teaching, English, maths and sciences and law, traditional subjects like that, it may mean something, but not degrees like the 2 dozen ones to do with computer design that too be frank are worthless and that has been said by the people that HIRE game designers, that out of all the degrees, maybe 1 or 2 are the recognised ones.

    Instead of people taking degrees that directly relate to where they want to go, they take whatever they think will be fun, or what they liked in high school and as a result, you have people with degrees in XYZ applying for jobs that involve ZYX.

    Too easy to get into university, reserve it for exemplary students.
     
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3
  15. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    I agree wih most of what Western said really. The last couple of governments in ths country have been so single minded in pushing degrees as the be all and end all of education that I don't think they really thought about the concequences of vastly more people actually having them. I certainly don't think a degree is valued now compared to 15-20 years ago. Another result of trying to get as many people as possible into higher education is that vocational jobs have suffered a fair bit.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
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  16. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    That's why I always say or equivalent. Equivalent can mean alot of different things, for example: NVQ 4 & 5, the senior awards issued by City & Guilds (LCGI, GCGI & MCGI), verified X amount of years at a particular level doing particular things, Chartered status, etc. This covers, not only the academic route, but also the professional and vocational route as well.

    -Ken
     
    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
  17. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    Pretty much my feelings.
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  18. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Both a degree and certs play vital parts in a person's career progression as even a degree is not a visa to high paying jobs for life.

    Ultimately it is an achievement and can only hold it's value if the holder continues to develop through experience gained and continuous development in line of their choosen field. Just MHO:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  19. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I disagree, how do you class a student as exemplary. I did not like high school (yes, I was brought up in the US educational system) and from what I see in secondary schools in the UK, I would not have liked it here either. Because of that I did not perform as well as I could. Hit college and Uni, I enjoyed it and hence I performed better. If you go down that route, you're just asking for another "class" divide.

    As for people taking degrees in one subject and working in another because they liked that in high school, yes there is a percentage of people that do that. However there is also a large percentage that do the degree, not to work in that field, but for more education in that subject because of their interests. There is also the case where after completing a degree in their chosen field, they can't get a job in that field and have to go down another route. On my degree course there were 2 fathers who did the degree part-time with me and after graduating could not get a IT job straight away, they had to take other jobs in order to support their families.

    I do believe that there are some degrees that may not be as valuable as other, the degree offered by one of the top University's a few years ago that was based on the X-Files is one that springs to mind. However don't mistake tradition degree with recognised degrees, computer design for example is not just used in the games industry, there's also the movie industry as well as the normal programming/software engineering field, in particular HCI part.

    I agree that it is easier to get into University as there are a lot more routes into it: you've got your A levels, GCSE's, NVQ's, GNVQ's, these new 14-19 diploma's, ONC's, ND's, NC's, access courses, once you hit 21 then you're classed as a mature student and the list goes on. But you're still assessed to see if you are accepted - not everyone is. And yes information is easy to get to do your degree, but it's your intepretation that only you can provide. You hear of people who do cheat on degree programs now a days, but is that because they have only started to cheat now or is it because it's only come to light now because of the web?

    As for walking out with the degree and walking into a £75k pa job, that's not the degree's fault - that's marketing. Just take a look on tv, how many times does a commercial come on TV implying that once you do this 2 week MCSE you'll get £35k plus job. They tend to "forget" about the other things like experience, area, position, etc. However a well informed person would have looked into this before signing up.

    That's my opinion.

    -Ken
     
    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
  20. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    So what you are saying Ken is that if I do an MCSE I can earn 35k+! Winrar! :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada

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