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When will you stop?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Rob1234, May 3, 2013.

  1. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    I know a lot of people do one cert after another but have you got any plans to stop at a certain point or will you keep doing the certs?
    I was thinking when will I have enough certs will it be when I have the job role I want? I am not sure yet.

    So when do you guys plan to stop with the certs or at least slow down on them?
     
    Certifications: A few.
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    I kind of stopped back in 2003 when I moved from an IT Company into Education.

    The IT Company had partner credentials and as such needed X number of certified people. When I moved into the public sector I realised that they put much less influence on certs and more on experience and ability / potential.

    I haven't actively stopped doing certs, I just will only do them if I feel they will be beneficial to me and my personal career direction. I'm doing ok for myself right now so have no need to pursue any.

    More recently I'm beginning to feel that certifications are becoming nothing more than a money making machine for the vendors with the speed that they are coming out then being retired. Added to that the speed that technologies change it just makes finding the time to fully learn everything that bit harder.
     
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Already stopped really, I just do them for kicks now mostly, not because I expect anyone else to care.

    I have 20+ certs and nobody seems to care about them at all when I go for new jobs.

    The only benefit they have is getting certain keywords onto my CV.

    Despite 18 years experience I seem to get treated like a graduate with every screening, people still seem to infer I have no knowledge and I have to prove myself with technical interviews, tests, references, referrals, blogs, degrees, etc.

    In fact it does not seem to matter what 'proof' of competence I present, I still have to follow whatever process the company feels is suitable.

    The proposed value of certification, of accrediting my status as a professional, simply hasn't happened, in many cases they are viewed with suspicion.

    The better certifications also take a lot of time and effort, and I can often no longer justify this with their perceived market value.
    If I want to learn a new subject I may look for some sort of course and sometimes a certificate.

    I don't believe in continual renewing and retesting on the same knowledge and never bought this certification argument anyway. Its simply again rather boring, expensive and unnecessary.

    Many of the test centres near me have shut down, making certification even more inconvenient. Maybe this indicates a possible decline in the industry.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

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    I tend to find most people stop doing certs when they have found the role they want and are happy with job / salary etc...

    The main aim of certs for myself is to backup the real world experience and put on my CV. They also do wonders in making you valuable and getting you more money.

    I recon I'll stop when I have got a CCIE (preferably in security) and up the the JNCIP in firewall and vpn.

    I will have a vast amount of knowledge at this stage and hopefully be happy at work too... So whats the need to keep carrying on? Yes I understand there are new technologies etc... but that doesn't mean you have to do certs to understand it.

    Just my opinion, how do the rest of you feel?
     
    Certifications: CCNA R&S, CCNA-SEC, CCSA, JNCIA FWV, MCITP, MCTS, MTA, A+
  5. csx

    csx Megabyte Poster

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    When I'm old and can't be bothered (in a job I just want to retire....)

    Certs are hard work and require a lot of effort and it can be a bit daunting repeating the process... however, I use certs of a way to motivate myself to keep learning new technologies and features! That little bit of paper to me proves I know what I'm doing/talking about! I could just train without taken the certs.... but I feel I may as well go the full way... don't like doing halfs... My certs have helped me to get to where I am today and makes me stand out, some employers don't recognise this but some do (especially those agencies... all they care about is certs!)

    The bottom bit of this articles How to advance your career sums it up for me
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 70-271 & 70-272, CCENT, VCP5-DCV and CCNA
    WIP: Citrix
    dales likes this.
  6. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Good question.

    I'll stop when certifications no longer help my career progression. However, I also don't spend my time on certifications that have nothing to do with my job. For example, SharePoint, I don't work with SharePoint, nor do I have an interest in working with SharePoint so I will never need to do that certifications.

    I honestly enjoy, from start to finish of preparing for an exam, I learn a lot, gives me the knowledge to tackle new challenges. Down the line, when I am older and if I move into a more management position, I will probably stop, but for now, I don't see myself stopping any time soon.
     
    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
  7. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I'm at the stage where Ive got the main certifications for my current role, so my cert hunting has declined. I am studying at a slower rate to gain the latest MCSE but after that I am probably done studying Microsoft certs until my role changes as there's always plenty for me to learn on the job. That plus Powershell is my current vice that Ill never stop learning from.

    I will however keep recertifying my VCP for two reasons, one is that it holds good weight in the industry and two it's just one exam. Which is always nice :)
     
    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
  8. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    No plans to stop however certs have slowed down for me. I will start something and then I will be away from home for a few days (most times on a network install) so by the time I pick up the books again it can be a couple of weeks since the last time I did any studying.

    This stop-start approach just doesn’t work for me but I’d prefer to be doing the work anyways!
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Not sure if that applies to us :) I'm currently happy with my job (my team says the same) and we're still doing CPD and in turn the certs to go with them, we're currently all going for the 70-410.

    Saying that, I have slowed down quite a lot. When I was younger, I use to study (a combination of theory, eg CBT/Books and practice, eg virtual labs and live environments) and go for exams every 1, 2 or even 3 months (depending on what the exam was and the difficulty). Fast forward to the present day and last time I did a professional exam was about 8-9 months ago...

    Or, I guess, when I'm not in a hands on technical support role. I'm planning my possible career path and maybe in about 10-15 years, I'll make it to a senior management post, where these cert will be of less use. Then again, I may still be in a technical support position...
     
    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
  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I agree, once you're in a senior management position, that's where the degree becomes more important than 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. csx

    csx Megabyte Poster

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    Sweet least my degree won't be a waste #studymachine lol
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 70-271 & 70-272, CCENT, VCP5-DCV and CCNA
    WIP: Citrix
  12. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    I effectively stopped a little while ago, my last employer didn't have the best attitude to certification (they saw it as a box ticking exercise for gold partner status and didn't see any value in studying properly for the exams) which put me off putting the effort in.

    Now that I'm in a far better role I'm back on the cert treadmill again and I'll work on the basis that I'll keep studying until my current employer stops funding it!
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  13. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    Great question!

    Hopefully, if you stumbled into IT, you did it for a reason, I know for me, it was a change in careers at the ripe old age of 30. Some think I'm slightly mental, but I have a passion for IT, I embrace the fact, that I have to keep learning new things to stay on top of my game and accelerate my earnings.

    Whatever industry you are in, there are lots of people who have 1 years experience x 10 and others who have 10 years experience.

    Without naming names, I know of people who got comfortable, stopped learning on the certification track back in NT/2000 and then hit the, you have been made redundant part of their life. What happened?

    Well they had an amazing amount of experience, and whether we like it or not, interview screening, using certifications is a great way to filter candidates, yes they are now re employed, but guess what, they are earning around 50% less than they used to. The question you ask is are they serious about being in IT? How much will I need to invest in them to get them up to speed?

    So, will I ever give up learning, err no, do I enjoy it, hell yes. It's been great to see fellow CF members become more certified and experienced and move onto job roles with 'architect' in there title, it shows that with both of these skills, you become a deadly force in the market place...ninja anyone ;)
     
    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
    BB88, jk2447 and danielno8 like this.
  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Stopping certification != Stopping learning

    Only people whose sole form of learning is cert related would think that. Since stopping certification I've studied around 8 subjects, I even have 5 certificates, they just aren't 'certifications'.

    Certifications have not proven 'a great way to select candidates' in the development field, and they probably aren't that much better in support.

    Redundancy can affect anyone at anytime, regardless of skills, qualifications or certifications. Certainly it helps to be better qualified.

    Architect is a pretty loaded term in IT, and I'm certainly not sure certification is particularly relevant.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  15. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I think Architecture, in our place at least, is a bit chicken and egg with regards to certs. I don't think certs are required to get the job, it's all experience in our place, what design work you've done, the recommendations you've had from existing architects when you've worked with them on a project etc. That said once you do become an architect in our place, the TOGAF certification is extremely highly thought of. I'm not at the stage where I can comment on this being a popular certification but it certainly seems so.

    I know what you mean Craigie, I personally feel it can look a little blasé for a server engineer in my case, to not be able to demonstrate that they have invested in their own development, keeping up with new technology and proving you know your stuff by passing the exams. For that reason I will get the newest MCSE but I am fairly confident that I could explain why I maintained only my VMware certs after that as that's my chosen specialisation. I'm like you tho mate I enjoy the cert trail, but I'm into other things on top of being a techie now, I'm a European Works Council rep which eats into my time.

    I suppose to sum up my opinion, not that anyone's asked, I think everyone should get certified and maintain a level of certification, but I also think experience is King and always will be. It's the only way to truly sort the men from the boys IMHO, or gals of course ha ha I've worked with truly gifted people who care little for certification, it's not how I'd go about it but I respect their skills. I am a fan of people picking up books on any subject and mastering it without exam costs or even caring about how we are supposed to demonstrate our skills. I know a few MCSEs who surely must have cheated in some way because they don't know what they should again IMHO.
     
    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
  16. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    Whole heartedly agree, last 'cert' I did was about 3 years ago now, but I've learnt more in that time than I ever have done.

    Personally I see certs as a way to help get a job I want, outside of development rightly or wrongly it is one of the major ways recruiters and companies filter applicants so having the right words on an application helps you no end.

    For instance I know that having on particular certification has helped me get my last 3 roles (the first of which was following a redundancy) even when it's not been wholly relevant, but just the way the recruitment process goes.

    In my current role I know it's used as a selling point to clients that we are certified at certain levels, also clients often request that people doing our role have it.
     
  17. csx

    csx Megabyte Poster

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    Depends how you look at it, sure I can learn on the job and from colleagues but from my experience colleagues way isn't necessarily the correct way or the best way - and I have found that colleagues that do have certs seem to understand things a lot better (brain dumping certs etc is another matter). I have learnt so much from studying certs and have found different ways to implement things and understand as well then just 'learning to do something'.

    You can of course just learn (i.e. CBT/Books etc) and not take the cert... depends how we are learning. If working with some awesome colleagues (again I have found this difficult, some may have different experiences) you can learn that way + resources.

    Guess what I'm trying to say is, there's no right or wrong way... everyone has different experiences (like me with colleagues) and everyone learns differently and having different goals.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 70-271 & 70-272, CCENT, VCP5-DCV and CCNA
    WIP: Citrix
  18. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I am not talking about just 'learning on the job' although that is valuable, I'm talking about personal development that comes from a genuine interest, reading books, taking courses, just because a subject interests you.

    Recent topics I've studied :-

    General Purpose GPU Programming with CUDA
    Multicore Programming and Java Multi-threading
    Computational Finance
    Computing for Data Analysis in R
    Development with Apache Hadoop
    Pattern-Oriented Software Architectures for Concurrent and Networked Software
    Windows Internals with Sysinternals
    Web Intelligence and Big Data
    WPF / XAML
    Mathematics
    Python
    + about 10 more in less depth.

    Certification covers a very narrow subset of information and even when its available its not necessarily the best way to learn.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  19. csx

    csx Megabyte Poster

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    Gotcha. Totally agree - I'm studying "What is a business?" via the OU at the moment and find it very interesting as well as learning about fitness/nutrition and using podcasts as a way of learning. Just in the way of IT - If for example I'm learning server 2012/Cisco I feel as if I may as well go the full way and get the piece of paper (personal preference) guess to me it feels as If I have achieved something - same with the OU - degree.

    Problem is, employers/agency and people in general recognise people with certs/degrees/industry qualifications (fitness etc) and maybe generally wouldn't go with someone without these. I'm rambling on here... guess it comes to how far you won't to go and if you're happy/goals/current job etc etc etc....
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 70-271 & 70-272, CCENT, VCP5-DCV and CCNA
    WIP: Citrix
  20. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    I'd recommend the online courses on the Coursera website, a good selection of things on there and all free.
     

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