In hindsight, did your IT certifications make any difference in your IT career?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by JK2447, May 10, 2018.

  1. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

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    When I first started studying for my MCSE 2003, I was very hungry for knowledge and it was all about the challenge. 70-270 Windows XP was my first IT certification bagging me an MCP, and I was hooked, could I slay the exams and get my MCSE. I liked the structure and instead of me learning random bits and bobs, I had a path laid out for me. I had a few set backs, a few times I'd prepared poorly, but I made it after 14 months and 7 or 8 passed exams or so I think it was.

    Then once I had the IT job I wanted, Server Engineer at the time, Certs took a back seat while experience was king. When work offered to send me on the vSphere 4.1 install configure manage (ICM) course, it felt a no brainer that I should look to get my first VCP so I was back on the cert trail, not always with successful outcomes as can be found somewhere in the depths of my CF posts.

    Fast forwarding 4 years, I'd done the vSphere 5.1 what's new course and renewed my VCP to 5, but otherwise Certification again took a back seat as I went into Architecture. I was a generalist at a high level and I didn't need any low level knowledge to a degree as it bogged me down, and the SMEs often did the Low Level Designs based on my High Level Designs. He could worry about port numbers, I just said what should speak to what and reference that the relevant ports should be open. You get the picture.

    At this point in my career I was sure I didn't need to maintain my certs for much longer as I wasn't getting my hands dirty. Truth be told on some areas I'd gone so high level I didn't know what I knew anymore so would likely fail some of the exams I'd passed previously. My VCP however, was now my most valuable certifications in my opinion, and anyone with one will know, you have to re certify it every two years or you lose it. Should you no longer be certified, you then need the ICM course again in addition to passing the VCP exam, so I decided it was probably wise to get my VCP6 to give me another two years to think about it. Not just that, I've always found virtualisation genuinely interesting.

    I passed the BCS Enterprise and Solution Architecture exam which was a TOGAF equivalent, only as work sent me on the course, but otherwise I was cert free again. Done my time, I've got enough certs to show I'm not a charlatan, that'll do me.

    Two years later I was still not pursuing any certifications but my VCP was coming up for renewal again. This time I was approaching a new phase of my career, having had my fill of architecture, and looking for a new challenge. A friend of mine worked for VMware and told me about a role he thought I'd like so I went for it. Admittedly a little rare, but one of the pre-reqs for the role.... must be VCP 5, ideally 6! I couldn't believe my luck maintaining my VCP. Long story short, I got the VMware job and had to pass my VCP 6.5 about three weeks after I started. I felt the pressure to be honest, how bad would it look if I fail this, I've failed in the past.

    Lucky for me I knew I'd renew my VCP no matter what happened and I'd been studying for it for about three months. It was tough but I passed it, just about!

    In hindsight did IT certifications make any difference to my IT career. For me 1 million percent. Each was a stepping stone until I came across the virtualisation topics and VCP which I found to be right up my street. The MCSE was essential in my Server job, and they'd filter people out without one to reduce the CVs back in my day, not sure if it's still the same. Then I got my VCP and by the skin of my teeth, literally passing my VCP6 on the last day I could (not wise), helped me to get a job I love with VMware themselves.

    I'm now settling into my new role and starting to plan my VCAP 6.5 with a view to getting the VCIX. Not sure if I have a VCDX in me, but never say never. Just my 2 cents. Jim. *Disclaimer, all views are my own and not necessarily those of my employer!
     
    Certifications: VCP4, VCP5, VCP6, VCP6.5, VMConAWS Skill, 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, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: VCAP 6.5 DCV (Design)
    Kopite_21 and Rob1234 like this.
  2. zxspectrum

    zxspectrum Gigabyte Poster

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    Well I have to say yes to this one. My degree, although not a proper IT qualification, it has certainly helped me get the roles that I have done and also the role I have now.

    Ed
     
    Certifications: BSc computing and information systems
    WIP: 70-680
  3. nisseki

    nisseki Byte Poster

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    For me it's too early to tell.

    I'm currently doing my CCNA and hopefully pass it next month.

    I see a lot of junior network engineer jobs pop up now and then with CCNA being a requirement so fingers crossed.
     
  4. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    I do think the degree of impact more depends on the field you are working in but for me certification and traditional education have both played a part and helped me and are continuing to help me in my career.

    When I am interviewing people I always ask around certification if someone has them have they considered them etc. especially for lower level roles if they have them to me it shows a hunger to learn and gain a better understanding. The amount of people who I have met who do things because that is how they have always done it at there place is scary problem with only relying on experience you tend to only learn what you need for the job whereas experience and certification gives you a more rounded view.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  5. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster

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    Excellent question and my answer would be a big fat YES!

    Started with CompTIA A+ and with NO IT Experience at all, it helped me get my foot in the door.
    Then done the MCP which was totally for my benefit, which was then followed up with ITIL.

    Now I can't say ITIL got me the next role but I know it played a significant part.

    Network+, was totally off my own back BUT, I realised I could subnet, I understand what Vlans are, I know what protocol does what. So this then leads me onto moving into Cisco gear. Get my CCNA and (as long as I pass my probation) will help me move into the NOC team.

    Couple of years here with some experience and hopefully have my Junos, my CCNP and maybe even Linux+. I have a route, and I think I am in a company now that will let me follow that route. Can I come back to you on this in about 18 / 24 Months? :)
     
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I have been a big advocate for certifications ever since my Novell 3 CNA days, it's a way to prove experience and moving onwards and upwards has helped me progress through my career, going up levels with each job move. I have done Novell, Microsoft, Cisco and VMware certifications and all of them have helped me with the varying degrees of knowledge I possess.

    It's allowed me a far wider appreciation of IT, it's made me hungry to learn different technologies and I honestly believe that it now makes me a better technical manager.

    I am however at the stage of my career where I am less hands on, where I am told by my manager (my director whose position I am looking to fill when he moves on to senior director) that I must stop being so hands on, it often takes me reminding him that my input is needed as I often ask the questions that others forget, on those occasions he's happy with me being that much more technical than him and he does rely on me to keep him straight.
    Being less hands on now means I probably won't renew my certifications, certainly not whilst I am with the company I am with, sure it may take me a couple of months to study for the VCP if I ever needed to but at the moment I am happy leaving the exams to my engineers.
     
    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).
  7. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I have to agree with the others and say "Yes" for me... When I first started, I was eager getting as much as I could and within two years got a Senior IT Tech role, then just over 2 years after that got an IT Managers role. While my role is still half-hands-on, I still study but not as much as I use to - but that's because of the role I have... If/when I do move on up/across (depending on if I move up to a directors position or decide to leave management), then my studies will take a different route...

    Your education (eg your academic), certifications (vocational & professional) and experience - whether you have all 3, a combination of 2, or even if you only have one of them will help mold you into the IT Professional that are and want to be... However I would also say that those 3 are not the only things that will help you.
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 3rd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc Open and MCSA
  8. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Yes tbh... I only have a few basic ones but it stopped the recruitment people putting my CV in the bin... then I just used my natural charm to land the job. When getting my second job, certs played less relevance as I had experience. Definitely helped me get my foot in the door, thats for sure.
     
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Not really, but it did impress the chicks and get me laid ! :thumbleft
     
    Juelz, wagnerk and Jaron78 like this.
  10. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

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    I hope you do well :emoji_couplekiss::emoji_grin: Dave in the developer world. Is there a cert that is very highly regarded or considered extremely difficult to get? Likes of a VCDX from VMware, CCIE from Cisco, CISSP etc?
     
    Certifications: VCP4, VCP5, VCP6, VCP6.5, VMConAWS Skill, 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, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: VCAP 6.5 DCV (Design)
  11. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Is that the Laid+ cert? ;)
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 3rd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc Open and MCSA
    JK2447 likes this.

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