Supporting Opinion | What a Certificate Is Worth

Those Who Can Do, Those Who Can't, Get Certified

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Lyndon_Henry
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Certification counts for something
Lyndon_Henry   12/20/2012 9:01:11 AM
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..

Masam writes


Today is a world of professionals and everyone prefer specialists


 

I agree that in many fields, certification in a speciality, particularly an especially "hot" speciality, can improve your marketability and career prospects.  Data mining is probably one of those cases.

 

masam
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Re: Some people just get it
masam   12/20/2012 7:15:00 AM
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@Scott and @philsimon

Today is a world of professionals and everyone prefer specialists - Specialist in medicine, defence, education, IT, HR and management. Everyone wants to pay for reliable and trustworthy things.

 

Certifications are really beneficial if and only if you "Do it once and do it right" full stop and afterwards every next iteration is just to groom same things using experience of known specialists – who are offering certifications. You cannot change your brain like computer but you can upgrade with new and relevant material.

 

Persons who have concerns about certifications are possibly those who due to any reason could not do it right first time themselves.  Either they have tried to pass their certification using some nasty ways or at least they are well aware of known cheats and backdoor which have created mistrust in their minds.

 

On first day of carrier, not everyone is lucky from ancestors or have good relationships in the industry of their choice. In that situation, a certification/degree is necessary to show some commitment to their carrier plans and most improtantly bring one on the interview table and after that it's all up to the interviewer - "Only smart people can hire smart employee". If the interviewer is very clear about his/her own carrier path and they also knows how the energies and capabilities of new person can best fit in the overall vision of their organization, only then they will choose the right candidate for their team.

 

Cheers.

Broadway
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Re: Some people just get it
Broadway   12/16/2012 8:53:17 PM
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One indication of the power of certification is the talk now surrounding online education platforms like Coursera. The argument is that they will not become relevant (and profitable) until they offer certifications through their courses --- instead of just knowledge for knowledge's sake.

philsimon
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Data Doctor
Re: Some people just get it
philsimon   12/10/2012 11:41:37 AM
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Agreed. Give me a non-certified expert over a certified newbie any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I was certified in Lawson Software in 2000 after a mere 2.5 months. Eigh years later, I was finally 'recertified' and my increase in knowledge between those two periods was exponential. Official certification doesn't mean much by itself.

tmurquhart
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The CEE Triad
tmurquhart   12/8/2012 8:56:18 AM
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It is very hard to take sides in this issue. I can see valid arguments on both sides. Personally, on the one side I feel certifications are quite expensive, the material learned and certified on gets stale very quickly, and I feel very strongly that the certifiers (ISC2, Cisco, etc.) should provide a free second try for taking the exam should one fail it the first time. Six hundred dollars a pop can leave a serious dent in one's finances, not counting the price of the books, study material, and classes. Certification classes demonstrate that one can memorize the material and pass the test, but what happens when the successful candidate is thrown into the real world and they have to prove what they know?

On the other hand, certification does not take the place of education and experience... it ADDS to it. The study material, lectures, boot camps, etc. are a valuable asset to continuing education and experience. I do concede that the certification exposes the candidate to a wealth of information that will be of significant value to an engineer, administrator, etc. in the performance of their duties.

I personally feel that the CEE Triad (Certification, Education, and Experience) make up the necessary ingredients of making and shaping a properly educated and experienced professional.

Maryam@Impact
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Re: Some people just get it
Maryam@Impact   11/29/2012 2:04:01 PM
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While I agree that being over certified is useless as well as old certifications, I do think they can be useful in certain areas such as broadening your knowledge base or acquiring a skill you weren't trained in. It would be great if we got this in the workplace but not all employers encourage on the job training. I had an individual that worked with me and they weren't a good fit in their current position, I encouraged them to seek a certification which opened an entire new job path for them that they are doing fabulously in today. It can work!

scott
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Re: Some people just get it
scott   11/28/2012 5:58:54 PM
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@mnorth and @Beth, ere's my personal reference point on that last point:

My MS advisor didn't like it when we called him "Dr" - he said that designation is important only to those who don't have it.  I've seen his point, but somewhat disagree - it's also very important to those who have paid the price, and in my case the biggest price was paid by my wife while I was earning it.  It means a lot to her, probably more than it does to me.

In earning my PhD, I think the three most important things I learned (unfortunately, because none of these are "computer science" or anything like that) are these: 

1) It doesn't always take what we think to earn one - sometimes much less, sometimes much more.  Often the general expectation of someone with one is reasonable, but some people paid a whole lot more, and some people paid very little.

2) Having one opens doors

3) Having one closes doors.

The doors it closes are not the same ones it openes, and which it opens often surprise me, and which is closes often surprises me too.

 

In the end, it was definately the right thing for me to do, but the effect has been a very different flavor than I thought it would be.

mnorth
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Re: Some people just get it
mnorth   11/28/2012 4:49:07 PM
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Re: cheating: Agreed Beth.  Not every college graduate cheated their way through (I didn't), and finding the ones who did by looking at resumes it very difficult.  Ultimately, you want to hire the person who can do the job for you, and do it well.  Resumes, college degrees, certifications, etc. have all be born out of the need to determine from paper which applicants can, and which can't.  They're imperfect instruments, I'll grant you that, but we use them because they're effective, or at least we've convinced ourselves they are.  

I recently saw an article, that I can't find now, about highly successful people who never finished college (and who I'd assume, don't have certs either).  The point of the article is all about what you can do, not about the size of your honorary portfolio.  I think they'd side with Noreen -- I'll take the one who can do every time over the one who's studied a lot and collected a bunch of paper.

Is it fair though to assume that a college degree or a certification doesn't indicate an ability to do?  Some certifications cannot be earned without a significant amount of demonstration of the ability to do.

mnorth
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Re: Some people just get it
mnorth   11/28/2012 4:41:56 PM
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@PC: I can agree to an extent.  The problem was that the job market my dad was in was flooded at that time because of defense spending cuts.  The guys my dad knew were either a) laid off with him (and thus competing with him in the job market), or b) faced with many qualified applicants who were easily separated by whether or not they had paper credentials.  My dad's application kept going in the 'have-not' pile until eventually, someone he knew was able to hire him without getting criticized or hassled by some higher-up for passing over more credentialed applicants.  The 'know someone' approach worked for my dad, but it took longer than if he'd had the papers.

Also, the 'know someone' approach has not been my experience.  I have worked for four employers thus far in my career, and in all four instances, I obtained my job without knowing anyone on the inside.  Perhaps I'm an exception to the rule, or perhaps I don't play the game right, but thus far my credentials on paper have had to speak for themselves. I feel very fortunate that that approach has worked for me thus far. 

BethSchultz
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Re: Some people just get it
BethSchultz   11/28/2012 4:26:36 PM
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Well sure, especially when you put it that way. But picking out the cheaters, from a resume alone, is tough. 

 

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