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Do you think employers get put off when you self-study for certs?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Juelz, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    I was just wondering if any of you had any experience with this question.. I was just thinking that it may put of alot of employers as you probably wouldn't have got much practical experience as you would if you went to college. It would obviously depend on the employer but would be good if you could share your experiences.
    WIP: A+
  2. Messiah74

    Messiah74 Bit Poster


    Employers are looking for a balance between certifiable knowledge and experience , it's kinda chicken and egg as both depend on each other. Seeing it from both sides of the coin as I do however getting experience can carry so much more weight than getting certs with no practical experience :)

    Hope that helps
    Certifications: Comptia A+ , Comptia N+ , C.C.N.A
    WIP: M.C.S.A
  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    As someone who has interviewed people I find that Self Study is much more impressive, as IMO 90% of troubleshooting is going off on your own and learning.

    Then again I am a bit biased in favour of self study.

    Ideally your certifications after the basics/"get your foot in the door" certs ( These include A+, Network+, MTA and Maybe the MS Client Exams) should have some employment history to back them up.

    But if you have passed an exam then you have learned enough of the material to pass the exam, this is the same whether self study or classroom based.

    That being said classroom based learning does have the whole "Networking" aspect to it, when I did my A+ almost a decade a go the people doing the course put me in touch with a company looking for someone to run there network, so there is that aspect to consider.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  4. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

    Hi Juelz,

    In my opinion, most definitely not. Self-studying shows you can take the initiative to study an exam off your own back! This speaks volumes when interviewing for a new job.

    Instructor led from my experience leaves you with a knowledge gap, and more often than not without all the practical experience to do the job.

    The bit about college isn't true also, there are alot of uni graduates that are leaving and not being able to find work purely for the fact they don't have the vendor accredited skills and experience. I put myself in that bracket, my own path to where I am now was not the conventional college/degree route. I went to college for 2 weeks before leaving and self studying Microsoft / Comptia and Cisco certs, I now work for multi national company as a network engineer (no A levels / no degree).

    I've found those that are successful are not always the naturally clever people, but they are those who are determined to achieve.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  5. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    Thanks for your replies, I think you all made good points. Im actually planing to go to college to study a btec in IT which I hope will give me the practical skills but I will also self study the A+, then will probably go for a desktop cert
    WIP: A+
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Certs have actually lost me jobs in the past so no they are not universally good, it depends on the interviewer and their perception.

    Any metric can be gamed or have good or bad aspects. Interviewers will have bias on what metrics they feel are effective.

    Experience is not perfect metric either, some people might be a very weak link in a strong team, when they present their CV they may appear experienced, they may even consider themselves experienced. However present them with a problem to solve on their own, and they cant solve it.

    Education when done right, should teach you to solve problems both on your own and as part of a team, so you can be effective in various environments.

    Self study is impressive as it shows people have the dedication and passion to go above and beyond to discover information and keep themselves informed. However not all self study is equal, passing a made up course from a paper mill tends to be useless, where as say an OU degree means something.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  7. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    Generally speaking it shows a willingness to improve yourself that most bosses should appreciate, however I have heard stories where people haven't had the backing of management, passed high level certifications and then walked away from their roles because of the lack of interest shown by the employers.

    My place don't really seem to car one way or another, I passed a couple of exams last year but apart from paying for the exam fees and a pat on the back that was it (not that I was expecting anything you understand, at my stage of my career I am pretty much there with regards to experience and certifications, sure there are a couple more I want but more for my own piece of mind than anything requested by management).

    There are certifications that do require you to attend courses (VCP) so no matter how much you may want to do self study you can't do it with certain certs.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
    jk2447 likes this.
  8. Rich165

    Rich165 Bit Poster

    Hey Guys,

    I've interviewed many many people and find self-study a good thing, after all it shows commitment to your own career.

    You'll need to have at least some basic experience to back this up and you should be good! If this experience is only home lab based but is fundamentally solid and you've got passion and a will to learn, you will find work.

    And yes, I was turned down when I was starting out because the other candidate had more experience, to be honest it just made me try harder, ask for feedback and then focus my efforts on my weak areas.


    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP Server 08 & Exch07, CCNA, CCNA Sec
    WIP: ...everything else!!
  9. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    I don't think it matters if you self study, they should only care that you bothered to pass the certification. I do rate certification very highly in my field, server support, because it directly relates to my role I.e. My VCP not only taught me about vsphere, it also showed me how to troubleshoot it.

    Courses can cost thousands so in an interview, if your previous employer has invested in you heavily that is always going to be a plus if asked about it I'd say.

    To answer no I don't think home study matters. You could argue it shows you have taken ownership of your training so are proactive.
    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, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

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