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Getting the balance right - Question

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by BraderzTheDog, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

    Hi Gents,

    Hope we are all well.

    Thought I would ask a question, get other peoples opinions on the matter...

    Where are you in terms of certification / experience balance? I was at the office today thinking I'm out of sorts in this region. I think most of you will agree with me when I say as a new IT professional the way to climb the greasy pole is to get certs, get noticed, stand out from other applicants. I know alot of people with no IT experience trying to break into the market with a good catalogue of A+ N+ MCSA etc...

    So where I am... Currently 4 years into networking, had a few jobs at big companies, now working for a leading global law firm as network security engineer, designer and architect (I'm pretty much the only dedicated network resource). Its great! If you look at the certs I have though I've not been keeping up with where I'm actually at in terms of ability, I work to CCNP / CCDP level daily I just haven't pushed myself to get these certs since I'm quite comfortable. I'm wondering if this is hindering me in terms of opportunity, cash (I mean more certs come annual review might warrant a pay rise perhaps?)

    Looking forward to hearing other people stance on this, maybe you can share where you are on the journey?
  2. dominoe

    dominoe Nibble Poster

    Hi not really posted here for a while, but I'll give you my thoughts on the matter. If your happy with what you are currently doing and wage etc.. then stay as you are. Ive been on helpdesk for a software company. for 5 years or so however I was getting a nice pay increase every year and I like the company I work for.

    however I have just recently moved to a second line role with more emphasis on fault finding and Database admin work.. I'm currently brushing up my SQL skills.. with an eye to picking up MCSA when I'm ready.

    That being said It wont hurt to pickup the cert to the standard you are doing, as you are already at that level and you never know what might be around the corner so to speak.
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MTA
  3. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

    Yes timing is important, I think its good to have certifications that match experience whatever field you are in.

    At the moment in Cisco land the exams are over £180 each, and there's three of them to be passed before qualifying for the full certification. Expensing this is an option but having a good wedge of cash up front is also a factor.
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    It helps to have the paper, but without the experience its pretty worthless.

    You have the experience and as long as you can demonstrate that fact, certs aren't that important.

    If they were your employer wouldn't let you do the job without getting them first.
  5. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    I think it depends on your future plans. If you have no interest or requirement to move jobs, then your company know well enough what you can do and you don't need it.

    However if/when you are ready to move on, or feel you need to in order to improve pay or job opportunities etc, then is a good time to get Certs up together.

    Problem is, Cisco certs as an example last 3 years, so if you stay in a job for 10+ years, then you will pay money to re-sit and keep them up to date, for effectively little reason, but of course if you want to move, then it's worth having them.

    Flip side of course is having to re-sit relevant exams later down the line to get them back, but probably depends on disposable income and interest in doing I suppose?

    I have no certs, unless you count an ECDL and 16 year old NVQ 2 in IT support, so they are not necessairly needed, as long as you can deliver the knowledge and do the tasks asked of you.

    That said, I really should sit some exams, been meaning to do my CCNA for about 6 years now, let alone CCNP! lmao.
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  6. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    I've done a fairly poor job keeping my certs up to date recently and it hasn't hindered me too much, that being said however a friend of mine worked in IT for the same firm for about 15 years and never got a certification to his name, never had a desire to move and was quite happy maintaining his little empire until he got made redundant. He's been unable to find IT work since as he has nothing to back up his experience.

    So if you're comfortable, feel free to take your time with updating your certs but I would say do update them because you never know whats going to happen round the corner.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
    Sparky likes this.
  7. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    I believe that certification is there to show your experience, not really for your current role but for your prospective new role, let's be clear here, you're in current role and they are happy with you, you have nothing to prove to them, but like others have mentioned if you are looking to move on then you're going to want to have the certification to prove your abilities to your next people, once they have spent time working with you then they understand where you're at technically.

    I haven't taken any Microsoft exams in a long time now, the reason I haven't is because I no longer concentrate on Microsoft technologies. if I ever need to prove my skills on Microsoft 2012 products in the future I will look at taking exams but until that time I only concentrate on my current technology set and only that is to prove my current abilities.
    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).
  8. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

    To clarify a bit more, specifically to my circumstances I'm not looking for a job move but to as you mention have that piece of paper that proves I am what I say I am from a technical standpoint.

    No requirement to prove anything to the firm; however in terms of looking after number 1. Is it important to spend the cash to keep current? No immediate gain, but long term its good to have, right?

    Thanks for all the advice!
  9. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    I would say again probably depends how safe you feel and how long you feel you will be at your job.

    If they are lifelong certs then defo worth doing, but if they expire, then you might spend money, cert expires in 3 years time, 4 years time you fancy or need to change and you still have to resit the newer exam again anyway.

    That's my view at least.

    I've never bothered doing my certs, as i've bene stable in my job but that appears it might be about to change a bit, so I will be looking at sitting mine shortly, had I have done them originally though then they would have expired so less value to them I would say. Especially as the exams have also changed during that time.

    Nice to have, don't get me wrong but I've never bothered as seemed a waste of money to me at that point in time.
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  10. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    I haven’t done a cert in a while but I hope to get back into it next year.

    For anyone who has lots of experience but no certs it is always a risk that it may prevent you being considered for some jobs. Just my experience as some HR peeps like the string of certifications before considering a candidate. Unfair IMO but that’s life. :rolleyes:
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH

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