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IT Managers and Certs

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by UKDarkstar, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Just thought I'd throw this one open to debate.

    I'm just interested to know your views on whether an IT Manager needs certs.

    Now that's pretty broad I know so what I mean is :

    a) if you're a "junior" whether (1st/2nd or 3rd line) would you expect your manager to have at least the same level of certs as you or greater ?

    b) if you're an IT Manager, do you feel you need the certs to demonstrate to your staff and the management above you that you've got what is required ?

    c) what if you're an IT Manager but it involves no "hands-on" i.e. more of a management/project management type role ?

    etc etc

    Note I'm not talking about experience here, just certs.

    I also appreciate that views may vary depending on the size of the organsiation and the role of IT Manager and how it's defined.

    Hope it's clear (sort of) so pile on in with your views :D
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Yes and no. For me first and foremost, gaining certs was a personal thing. Then I discovered that I use to reference them alot when dealing with people who liked to talk big (people that spoke b*lls*it). Don't do this anymore as IT services has now got a very good rep (before Modey & myself, IT Services here was very poor). Now it benefitted us as a company for insurance purposes and for gaining new customers.

    I also have to say that going for other IT management posts, they always either list professional certs in their desirable or essential lists and wish to see the actual cert.

    However that's not to say that I believe or feel that you have to have professional certs to be an IT Manager. One of my very good mates, would has been an IT Systems manager (longer than I've been in IT) and who is now an IT manager, only recently started to pursue professional certifications, he's done well for himself.

    -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
  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Interesting Ken, thanks for that.

    I just wonder whether a manage feels the need to "prove" he's as good as the people working for him by certs and whether thos e people "expect" their managers to be as qualified as them to do their job i.e. do you have to be able to do the work that all those under you do and do you need the certs to prove it ? (ok I know certs is no substitute for experience etc etc).

    It may be just a perception thing :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Me personally, I believe that a good manager is one who has worked his/her way up thru the ranks. In order to better understand the duties, problems, etc that the people that s/he manages face.

    As for certs, if the manager is not hands-on but manages the people that are certified/experience, then I don't believe that it's neccessary for him/her to be certified. If s/he is hands-on, then I believe it will only benefit that person if the manager is certified (to reflect his/her experience).

    -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
  5. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    I'd say that if the manager is managing a technical team then they should have a level of technical knowledge, and possibly some certs to back that knowledge up.

    As a manager though they do not necessarilly need to be as skilled as those beneth them who are actually doing the hands on job, they need to have an understanding of the technology and how it works, but not necessarilly the in's and out's of it.

    So do they need to be certified to as high a level as those below them, IMO no, but they need to undesrtand what those below them actually do.

    8)
     
  6. MsG

    MsG Bit Poster

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    This is a topic I given some thought to, along with It managers with very little technical experience, but excellent business and management skills. Having worked for several different IT managers and recently suspending my own studies for CCNA to take on a management role and to study ILM2. I decided I needed to put my full concentration on my new role and put my certification on hold, at least for the moment.

    I think a good manager is a good manager, whether certified, experiened or well advised. They need to keep their knowledge as up to date as possible, they need to take the technical recommendations of the team they manage and they need to balance this against the business requirements.

    Managers are judged on their results and on the results of the people they manage.
     
    Certifications: Birth Certificate
    WIP: CCNA
  7. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Yup, good point

    Exactly my thinking

    Spot on.

    I started thinking about this as with my 10 years of experience I'm still struggling at the moment to get interviews. However, since becoming MBCS and adding that to the CV I'm in contention for an interview at least on a couple of positions for which no mention has been made of a lack of MCSE etc.

    Prior to adding the MBCS to the CV I was being asked by recruiters why I didn't have MCSE etc.

    I could surmise therefore that the MBCS has added some credibility to my experience (and I've now applied for CITP as noted in another thread) but I was concerned that if I obtained a position those below might view me as "inferior" (perhaps not quite the right word but you see what I mean) because I didn't hold the certs (tho' I'm still hitting the books).

    Interesting to get the thoughts of others and to realise that one's own perceptions are not necessarily the same as everyone else's.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  8. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    No pun intended but with your years of experience in IT you should have the MCSE to make you more competitive. It's a fierce career field and the tough and persistence coupled with experience would land you a role in less time.

    I would also suggest contracting so that way you are not being too side tracked and lastly get the MCSE out the way.

    Once you have your MCSE coupled with your years of experience you're set to go. I know its not easy but I truly believe in persistence and hard work as this would take you a long way.

    Best wishes and don't get disheartened as your break would come:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks m8 :wink:

    Workin' on it but funds are tight even for a single exam fee. Hoping to get ITIL Foundation done in a couple of weeks and maybe one off the MCSA/MCSE a week or so after that
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    It really depends on the manager and his/her responsibilities. At my last place, I was the most senior "tech of last resort"... but I had an IT manager over me. He actually did technical work, but he didn't hold any certifications. He understood the business side of IT, and he knew what needed to be implemented and generally the costs involved... but he didn't always know how to implement it. That was MY job. Plus, I was his go-to technical advisor... if he needed a more technical opinion about something, he came to me for it. So in that way, we made a great team.

    Here at Boson, Josh and I are the most senior content developers on staff. But we don't run the department - we have a Director of Product Development. He can't write as well as we can, but that's not his job; his job is to manage the department. Which is great for me and Josh - we don't have to mess with all that stuff we really don't want to deal with! We simply have to focus on creating the highest-quality product we can.

    In both of those cases, the managers didn't HAVE to know how to do what we do, and thus, didn't HAVE to be as certified as we are or as knowledgeable about the technology (or the writing) as we are. Obviously, at some places, it will be different... for example, when the manager is expected to do less "managing" and more "hands-on work".
     
    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!
  11. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Simple answer - No, an IT Manager doesn't need any certs. However the answer can change depending on job responsibilities. Overall, I'm one of those that doesn't believe certs aren't a requirement of any job. They're good, but usually not a requirement.

    No, but I would expect the manager to understand what the Junior staff was doing, and understand the issues he/she has to deal with to get the job done
    I've been in an IT Manager role - and had no certs. However I did come in with about 10yrs experience and a very good understanding of the business, and the direction we were moving in.

    Again, I was in this type of role with no certs - just lots of experience. I had the respect of my peers, staff, and other management folks. Maybe my answer is biased :rolleyes:

    I've worked in small orgs and large ones, but I feel that the view on certs is the same. Nice to have, but experience and good work ethic (i.e. resposible) is what they look for.
     

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