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Staying Certified: Too Much of a Burden?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by BosonMichael, Jul 1, 2010.


Which of the following statements best matches your view of getting/staying certified

  1. Staying certified is a good idea, and I don't consider it to be much of a burden.

    10 vote(s)
  2. Staying certified is a good idea, but it is burdensome to do so.

    7 vote(s)
  3. Getting certified is a good idea, but staying certified shouldn't be necessary.

    5 vote(s)
  4. Getting certified is burdensome. I certify only because I have to.

    4 vote(s)
  5. Certifications aren't worth doing at all.

    1 vote(s)
  1. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    There has been some discussion on whether staying current with your certifications (or, in some cases, recertifying old certifications) is worthwhile or a big hassle. What is your opinion?

    I'm not asking about any particular vendor, so I'm not asking specifically whether it is worthwhile to renew your A+, or upgrade your MCTS: SQL 2005 to MCTS: SQL 2008, or recertify your CCNA. I'm asking your opinion on whether or not, in general, is it worthwhile to stay certified/recertify, and whether it is burdensome to do so.

    Based on the results, I might post other polls to determine how you feel about each vendor's particular recertification policy.

    Interpret the poll terminology however you wish, but when I say "staying certified" in the poll, I mean staying certified by recertifying your older certifications or getting certified on newer technologies than you've been certified on in the past. "Getting certified" is the act of getting your first certification on that technology. You can consider "burdensome" to be a monetary burden, a time burden, or anything else you feel is burdensome about getting certified.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
    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!
  2. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    I think its a good idea and I don't think its too burdensome, that may be because I still fairly new to certification and haven't got too deep into the treadmill.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  3. ChrisH1979

    ChrisH1979 Byte Poster

    I think being certified is a good idea as it backs up your experience and I do think updating is a good idea as long as it's only every 5 years or so depending on the technology. Things that change rapidly like VMWare etc should have less of an interval but others like MS should be fine with those.
    I am a 2000 MCSA and I didn't think it was worth upgrading to 2003 but I am now studying for 2008 as I believe there is a big enough difference now.
    Certifications: MCITP:SA, MCSA, MCTS:Win 7, Application Infrastructure
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    I would consider 'updating' my certifications if I was working with a more recent version of the technology - so if I found myself working with SQL 2008 rather than 2000, I might give it a pop.

    However, I wouldn't bother re-certifying just as a renewal. As far as I'm concerned, if I had my A+ then I have demonstrated that I have the knowledge required at that level. I would still put it on my CV, and I wouldn't consider re-certifying unless the content changed dramatically or an employer specifically required that I keep my cert valid. In which they can pay for it... :biggrin
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    I don't see it as a burden per say but it can be very demanding considering one's work and social life. To be honest it's necessary for one to keep up to date with certification to make one be in the know how as well as having an advantage in job interview.

    Certification should obviously be acquired in line with one's working life experience and not just being sat to gain the cert on it's own.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  6. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Major league PITA. No way I'd do it unless absolutely necessary
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Although I am still early on in MY certifcation and IT career I would see as a PITA like Zeb said. I would only do it if required.

    Just like I am having to do the current Network+ and thats not even the bridge exam but the full new one as my employer requires me to do it.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    Having taken 5 years to upgrade my 2003 MCSE to the MCITP I can't say it's too much of a burden, obviously I am only updating what I need to, for instance I haven't updated my CNE since 4.11 (I missed 5, 6 and 6.5 completely because I simply don't use Netware anymore), the same with the Cisco certs, nice to have once but as I never use them I don't need them.
    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).
  9. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

    I only do it because it will help with jobs.
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    I tend to go for certifications that are up my ally.... meaning I take certifications in areas that I work. I am doing my MCSA because I work with a Microsoft network. I did my A+ and MCDST to help me get ahead but those were entry level certs that I wanted to do to stand out when applying for jobs.

    To be quite honest, I don't believe in have too many different kinds of certifications because unless you work with a wide range of technologies on a daily basis, having certifications that are not related to your work, don't really benefit your performance. Sometimes you'll have employers impressed with an MCSE or MCDBA but if you don't know your stuff like you say you do, then you'll be exposed real easy.
    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
  11. Rover977

    Rover977 Byte Poster

    The concept of 'recertifying' is nothing more than a way for cert authorities to generate more business for themselves.

    There should be only new certifications, and no 'recerts' whatsoever. The concept is meaningless. If you gained MCSE on NT4.0 then that is your cert - it is valid for life, and you are still MCSE, but only on NT4.0.

    The concept of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is becoming an insidious part of many professions. There is obviously a need to assimilate changes. Buts it is not healthy to be continually swotting up for exams throughout your adult life.

    I know a successful accountant who has broken away from his professional body owing to his unwillingness to meet the CPD requirements. He drives a new BMW and has a nice house, and people hire him because he is good at what he does, not because he stays up late at night swotting up for CPD.

    IT Certs are useful where they are relevant, but the recert business is largely a racket.

    If an employer wants employees to recertify so it retains its own partner status then it should provide the time and money to do it. I know that some of the better employers will give you 1 full day off per week for such study and that is only reasonable.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Cisco CCNA
    WIP: Maths
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I disagree. If you're not learning in IT, you're becoming obsolete. And if you support the technologies, the exams are actually pretty easy... particularly if you're recerting something you've already taken. Thus, there's not much "swotting up" to have to do.

    Still, nobody says you HAVE to get certified. Personally, I think it's a good idea, but if you don't think the advantage is worth the cost, that's your decision.
    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!
  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    You misinterpret the point, learning and taking exams are two different things. You get paid to take exams, most people don't, many exams cover areas which candidates won't be exposed to on a day to day basis, an element of studying for the exam or revision, exam technique etc is therefore required, none of this is necessarilly covered by your job.

    Theres many areas of IT I've covered in the past 18 years, would I pass a test on all of them tommorrow without prep, of course not.

    Yep, nobody has too, nobody said you had too either. Its your opinion and others are stating their equally valid opinion's.

    You've mentioned 'If you can, cert on it!' in the past, this could lead to a individual taking dozens of cert exams, theres a point at which maintenance and cert everything you can become physically unfeasible. Just maintaining my Sun exams for every version or my MCPD for every version would be a fulltime job, and thats not including the dozen or so other certs I have.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    But if you aren't taking exams, some employers interpret that as not staying current. The whole point of certification is to impress employers, so their perception, whether right or wrong, is what is important.

    Like I said before, nobody says you have to certify to be a good tech. You need to certify only if you want to impress those employers who value certifications.

    All of my previous IT employers (8 of them, with 6 employers not related in any way to the certification industry) paid for exams. They wouldn't pay for training... but they'd pay for books and exams.

    Perhaps not without any prep... but if you're experienced, I doubt it'd take you long.

    I didn't say their opinions weren't valid, D. :rolleyes: I said I didn't agree - I simply stated my opinion that I believe exams are not difficult if you have experience, and that I think it is a good idea to stay certified. But you've once again put words in my mouth, like you *always* seem to do.

    You don't agree with my viewpoint - which is fine. So you decide to counter by saying "Other people's opinions are just as valid!!"? If the only way you can defend your viewpoint is by whining about something I've never said, by all means, continue the personal attacks, D.

    I've also mentioned, "Don't cert on it unless you have experience with it." If you have relevant experience, then it's not "physically unfeasible" - I'm living proof. I've had no trouble keeping my relevant certifications current, even when I wasn't working in the practice exam field.

    I understand that some people might not LIKE to do it... or they might not do well at exams... or they might not have ANY spare time. Fair enough - that's the entire point of this poll.

    Then don't certify on them. That's your decision, and that's fine.
    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!

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