IT Certifications, People Still Believe in Them?

Today I stumble across a guy who wanted to get his MCSE (Microsoft Certified System Engineer, just in case) in a forum i tend to frequent. As a Microsoft Certified Professional (for what exactly?) that I am, I'm here to share some thoughts and views on the IT Certification world.

Here are some quick pointers first. If you think getting certified would help you land that job, you are wrong. If you think been Certified will make you have a better salary, by the most part you are wrong as well. Should you have gone to those Microsoft Certified Education Centers, and you heard the talk of -"..The demand for IT Certified Professionals KEEPS GROWING AND GROWING!!” - Take it with a huge grain of salt. If you are looking for a career change, you like IT, and you think getting certified will land that Network Admin. Job, don't be so sure.

I feel like lots of people tend to get caught up with the whole IT certifications hype. This tends to be the case, if you talk to those guys at admission on those centers. "Computers is the way of the future/Microsoft is the king on the Enterprise World, 52,000 starting off on the first year, Certifications is all you need to get ahead in the field, Long live DCPROMO.exe/etc."

The values of IT certifications have, no matter what vendor, dropped dramatically these days. Getting an MCSE, is like getting the most well know cert in field, but doesn't hold the weight it use to have at point. Experience still is, and will always be the key to get your foot on the field. Most of the big network admin guys if they have an MCSE is in NT 4. They have been to busy dealing with the company's network to update their cert. And you know what they don't have to, they more than proven their spot with experience something a certification DOES NOT give you. You have to understand that getting certified proves that you crammed a book/notes/braindump in your head days prior to your exam.

You also have to understand that in the end certifications, just train you on ONE specific product, or related products, and narrow your work field a lot in the real world.

I mean not all companies you work for will run a 100% Windows network. Mainly because of cost, and at times company's policies or whatever. So you have get your hands dirty with linux, with config files, with getting older window machines into a domain, with replication issues, with routers acting up etc. All of the sudden your MCSE isn't all that helpful anymore, is it?

Let it be clear, a certification guarantees you nothing these days, mostly because today the IT world has changed a whole lot. It is not the IT world of 98-2000. You have 10 year olds getting their MCP, Cisco been taught in High School, etc.

Don't focus on just getting certified, that's a suicidal plan. Go and see University/College careers in the IT field first. Take certifications as a way to complement your higher education title. Get a job in the IT field, as crappy as it can be, and see if you like it, and then work on your certs at night. The IT field isn't the greatest field out there; keep that in mind as well.

That's all I have to say. To close it up, don't bet everything you have on IT Certifications.

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