E-Chat Friday: the Certification Conundrum


For many business, data, and IT professionals, certification gives rise to a conundrum, a real puzzler over value. Does the time and effort pay off?

AllAnalytics.com bloggers Matthew North and Scott Larsen weigh in on this age-old question in this week's Point/Counterpoint debate blogs. Community members have jumped in with their opinions, too. For example, @PredictableChaos writes on the AllAnalytics.com message board: "For data mining, my view is the certificate usually doesn't add much real value." And @YourRetailGuru tweeted, "Nope [no certifications]. Just years and years of practice!!" AllAnalytics.com blogger Maryam Donnelly is in the minority in her response to our related Quick Poll, Analytically Certified: "Yes, I have some certifications in market research." Preliminary results of that poll show that most readers do not have professional certification.

The truth is that you can find an opinion that backs whatever stance you favor. Search all you want; a definitive answer will elude you. What you can find, though, is advice on why you might consider getting a certification, when to do so, and where. In the community spirit, we invite you to participate in a conversation on certifications Friday, Nov. 30, at 1:00 p.m. ET. North, associate professor of computing and information studies at Washington & Jefferson College, and Larsen, founder of Better Place Consulting, will be on hand to share their personal experiences and perspectives from the academic, consulting, and corporate worlds. (As analysts, North worked with eBay, and Larsen with Google.) Join us in this interactive e-chat, and get the advice you need for this important (or not) career decision.

Particularly as companies scramble to fill analytics and data roles to meet growing big-data demand, the value of certifications is sure to be a topic rehashed time and time again. Get a jump on your decision by talking to your peers tomorrow. In the meantime, flip through this slideshow (click on the image below to begin) to get a quick sampling of some of the myriad types of analytics, business intelligence, and data mining certifications you might pursue.

Beth Schultz, Editor in Chief

Beth Schultz has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor.  Most recently, she brought her expertise to bear writing thought-provoking editorial and marketing materials on a variety of technology topics for leading IT publications and industry players.  Previously, she oversaw multimedia content development, writing and editing for special feature packages at Network World. In particular, she focused on advanced IT technology and its impact on business users and in so doing became a thought leader on the revolutionary changes remaking the corporate datacenter and enterprise IT architecture. Beth has a keen ability to identify business and technology trends, developing expertise through in-depth analysis and early adopter case studies. Over the years, she has earned more than a dozen national and regional editorial excellence awards for special issues from American Business Media, American Society of Business Press Editors, Folio.net, and others.

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Re: Certification Means Work Has Been Done
  • 11/30/2012 6:53:13 PM
NO RATINGS

Hospice, - You can't miss a few odd potatoes in the sack. on the overall though, a well designed certification should be such that you can't pass it by fluke. You only pass it because you finally get the concepts and by that time you'll be ready for the job.

Re: Certifications improves Confidence !!
  • 11/30/2012 4:15:48 PM
NO RATINGS

@rnimmaka Yes. As a tool for the hiring organization certification is a good way to communicate relationship building as well the education to be recognized for the company. The organizations that practice this well and those certified should be able to clearly recognize its value and ethics with the certification practices instilled.

Re: Certifications improves Confidence !!
  • 11/30/2012 2:16:09 PM
NO RATINGS

@Hospice -- agreed on all counts!

 

Re: Certifications improves Confidence !!
  • 11/30/2012 2:07:23 PM
NO RATINGS

I did enjoy the chat. Great job everyone. This debate will still continue for a while.

Re: Certifications improves Confidence !!
  • 11/30/2012 1:01:50 PM
NO RATINGS

@rnimmaka, I'd love to hear more about the big-data analytics cert you received. Any chance you can join our e-chat, starting now

Certifications improves Confidence !!
  • 11/30/2012 12:57:16 PM
NO RATINGS

I think certifications certainly make us more confident while working or explaning about a problem to others. Also if you have been aspsiring for a new area and you really don't know where to start, any certiifcation exam for that matter would have step by step areas to be learnt inorder to be certified in that area. On job we might learn many things, all those things certainly don't follow a systematic path, everything will be bits and pieces and sometimes we might even take more time to cover basic things or we don't explore the whole scope of the subject. I have recently got certified in Big Data Analytics and it actually improved my confidence a lot while I am working on problems pertaining to big data and also gave kind of credibility amongst my colleagues that I am capable of handling varied assignments in this space.

Re: Certification Means Work Has Been Done
  • 11/30/2012 12:33:31 PM
NO RATINGS

Thanks, Noreen!

That would be my answer as well.

E-chat reminder!
  • 11/30/2012 11:35:24 AM
NO RATINGS

I hope folks can join us today for our e-chat on certification. You'll find us here at 1 p.m. ET!

Re: Certification Means Work Has Been Done
  • 11/30/2012 9:51:14 AM
NO RATINGS

Short answer: No. It just means they are a good test taker!

Re: Certification Means Work Has Been Done
  • 11/30/2012 7:51:04 AM
NO RATINGS

@kicheko,

"usually it takes so much trouble to pass that exam."

Does it mean that somebody who passes a certification exam is already fit for the job?

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