Contrary Opinion | What a Certificate Is Worth

No Harm in Getting a Data-Mining Certification

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Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: It depends
Hospice_Houngbo   11/30/2012 7:12:44 AM
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@mnorth,

" The hard part for job applicants is that you never know where on the spectrum a hiring manager is going to land."

You are right. Certs on resumes can be helpful during the hiring process. But  potential candidates will still have to go through an interview phase during which recruiters will gauge their "fitnesss" for the job.

mnorth
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Re: It depends
mnorth   11/29/2012 10:01:30 PM
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@Hospice: Ultimately, I think it comes down to who the hiring manager believes will do the best job.  I've seen all kinds in my 15+ years in the industry.  Some hiring managers are wowed by certifications, while others seem them as nothing by resume padding.  The hard part for job applicants is that you never know where on the spectrum a hiring manager is going to land.  If you did, you could list or remove certs from your resume with each application, but there's no way to do that reliably.

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: It depends
Hospice_Houngbo   11/29/2012 6:08:26 PM
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@mnorth,

You are right, starting with a certificate may not be the right thing to do. Certificates are more for specialization. But in the case of data analyst skills shortage, I guess some companies will have no other option but to fill their positions with people with just the a certification as long as they have the basic knowledge.

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: It depends
Hospice_Houngbo   11/29/2012 5:33:49 PM
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@PC,

"Just make sure that it really is contributing to your knowledge or skills or marketabilty."

It reminds me the story of an financial analyst who went to get an expensive certification in IT because he moved to a place where IT skills was sought for. Unfortunately, he was not able to compete with younger graduates who just got their bachelors degree in computer science or related fields. The certification may have contributed to his knowledge, but definitely not to his marketability.

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: It depends
Hospice_Houngbo   11/29/2012 5:20:37 PM
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@kicheko,

Certifications may be a proof of the mastering of a subject matter, but does a certificate make a person more knowledgeable than someone who has a practical experience in the domain? I guess, it is good to have something to put on the resume, but I don't thinbk that should be enough.

kicheko
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Re: It depends
kicheko   11/29/2012 12:22:41 PM
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Certifications indicate that a holder of the certificate has had experience in the said subject. this is because passing computing certifications typically calls for a lot of practice.

PredictableChaos
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Re: It depends
PredictableChaos   11/28/2012 4:49:36 PM
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@Beth, I'm not against certificates in data mining.  It's not black and white.

If there is one that furthers your career goals (as in the generalist looking to boost analytics credentials that @mnorth cites below) - go for it.  Just make sure that it really is contributing to your knowledge or skills or marketabilty.

PC

mnorth
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Re: It depends
mnorth   11/28/2012 4:34:42 PM
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@Beth/PC: I could see that being a benefit for a generalist looking to specialize.  For example, young college grad with bachelors in computer science gets first job and it turns out its very analytics focused.  Grad likes in and wants to climb the corporate ladder in the direction of analytics.  Cert may be just the ticket....

mnorth
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Re: It depends
mnorth   11/28/2012 4:32:50 PM
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@Beth: How aware are they?  It really, really depends.  Some are keenly aware because they hold the certs themselves.  Some know that the bigger companies (e.g. Oracle, Cisco) make theirs harder to get.  Some are clueless and are easily impressed by something that sounds fancy.  Some know specific certs in their field that are meaningful (e.g. CISSP), and if they don't see that, then they're done looking at the resume.  So it varies wildly -- which might explain why it's a crapshoot in getting them or not, or having them help you get a job, or not.

mnorth
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Re: The Certification Chase
mnorth   11/28/2012 4:29:32 PM
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@CallMeBob:  Yes, I think Scott Larsen does mention in his counterpoint piece that if you do get a cert, you've got to keep it current because it will become dated, and even something as simple as the name can make it be dated.  I remember interviewing candidates for our SysAdmin group with our CIO at eBay around the year 2000 and one of our finalists had listed on his resume that he was Windows Certified, but when the CIO pressed him on it (and he really had to press), the candidate admitted he held a Windows 95 certification of some sort.  At that moment, that candidate was dismissed as a realistic possibility.  He probably wouldn't have gotten the interview without the cert, and with it being out of date, he lost any chance at the job.

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