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Microsoft/Other certifications rejected in the IT industry

 
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Old-MCT-trainer
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Post subject: Microsoft/Other certifications rejected in the IT industry
Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:06 am
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I am sure this is going to get some attention. I use to teach these exams but sort of felt like it was a waste of time as more websites provided questions and answers to the real exams. Currently I hold about 25 certifications from MS, Cisco and a few others. Recently IT diploma's and other degree's now have these industry certifications as part of their subject matter.

As a PM and as a working professional I can no longer hire people based off these certifications anymore. When you have websites such as these (and these days there are so many) providing the answers to the real questions it makes the value of the exam worthless. When I receive two CV's, one from someone who cheated the exam and the other from someone who did the hands on labs and passed the exam without cheating, how can I tell who is fake and who is not from looking at a CV before they get to the interview stage? both people are students with no prior work experience, just certifications.

I am now rejecting these certifications as a number of IT agencies are also starting to do. I believe that instead of spending money on worthless certifications and classes you might be better to go directly to IT companies and pay them to teach you as a sort of apprenticeship.

Many New Zealand schools/Universities now use IT certifications in their degree programs as a fast way of creating degree programs and making money. Their number one targets seem to be foreign students and the government in NZ uses the skills shortage immigration lists for IT as a way to lure foreign students into the country. This is only going to compound the problem of certifications losing their value. (I would bet that a number of schools around the western world are doing this now to make money from foreign students)

Corrupt testing centers, this is not such a common program in western countries and not as common as cheating exams by downloading the answers, but when I spent some time living in China I did a few exams to keep up to date and the test centers I looked at where hopeless. Only 1 form of ID was needed, I could take my mobile phone into the room, the room door was not closed and was in full view of anyone coming in or out of that company, you could take anything into the room you like. The education industry in China is extremely corrupt, something the Chinese government is trying to address (without much success) this just adds fuel to the fire with regards to foreigners with these certifications.

If you are going to pay to do for example a 1 month course/class in any certification can I suggest instead you use that money and pay an IT company and get some real world hands on experience instead. It's going to have a lot more value for you in the future and if the agency has the choice of someone with a certification such as an MCSE or someone that has real world hands on experience with a good reference from a company they will most likely choose the person from the company, not the person with the certification.

For those of you who complain, I would ask you this, WHY would I as a PM accept any industry certification such as Microsoft or Cisco certs when someone with no computer skills at all can buy the answers to the real questions for the exam and never need to touch a computer accept for the purpose of reading the answers to the questions. When these CV's turn up in my Outlook client, they go straight from the inbox to the deleted box. I don't have time to screen hundreds of CV's. I don't have a choice but to just delete any student or degree holder now. I can only use past companies as a reference to someone's knowledge.

I have called a number of agencies and they tend to agree that these industry certifications are becoming more worthless everyday.

Before you spend thousands of dollars on getting certified call a number of IT agencies first. Tell them you are concerned about certifications been cheated so easy, and ask them if they feel its better to somehow get some real world hands on experience with a company such as working for a few months for free (the same time you would spend doing full time study for such exams as the MCSE's or longer for degrees) and use that money to support yourself while working or pay that company for some type of special training if possible.

Over time more people will reject these certifications, I just want to make sure that students and new people to the IT industry are aware of how little these certifications do really have in value these days. It's a shame that poor industry and government regulation has lead to this.
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horndog
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:19 am
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This has been going on since the 1990s, so it isn't anything new. That is what interviews are for.
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Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:05 am
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Horndog, thanks for the reply and confirming that certifications are a waste of time and money. With regards to interviews why would anyone need certifications for an interview if we all know these things are worthless.

Might as well just have the two candidates come to the interview, the one that knows something and the one that doesn't know anything. And choose the one that knows something.

Point is, if you can cheat it, why is it even there. Yea its been going on for so long. What I think is unfair is all the young guys and girls who put such blind faith into these things, spending so much money and investing into something that so many others can cheat.

And whats worse, schools and universities now use these things in their diplomas, maybe guys and gals such as yourself who have been around in the industry for a long time no better, but I am sure the training centers/Uni's are in no rush to tell their students that these certifications can be cheated with a few hundred dollars.

By the way, interviews as you say are for sorting out the good and bad. But CV's give agencies/interviews their first glimpse at what candidates have. Certifications before the cheat sites back in the early 90's did hold water, but now are worthless.

I don't know, maybe I am getting old. I just think that young kids out that shouldn't waste money on certs or degree's that others cheat so easy, making the value of them worthless.
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Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:09 pm
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I think you are missing a lot of it.

As long as there is an exam of any kind, there will be cheaters.

The exams are not worthless.
The certifications give you that extra credit in the eyes of the hiring managers, does it make you qualified? Yes and no.

The interview will determine if you are a fit.

If you are struggling to get even a phone call, maybe you should look at it in the eyes of a hiring manager that knows absolutely nothing about you except a piece of paper that is called a resume.

If your resume stinks and your cover letter is written in crayon, why would they want to hire you?

There is more to jobs than certifications.
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Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:55 pm
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Certifications are neither worthless nor the objective standard that someone is brilliant. The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Some certifications I would say are useless unless you plan to go a specific path. I don't see much use in a CCIE unless you plan on working for a Cisco Partner or doing your own consulting. Very few companies want to pay to have a CCIE on staff full time.

Other certs should simply be a reflection of relevant work experience. If the candidate is currently monitoring backups with a CCNP, then how relevant is the CCNP?

Finally, no cert recognized whether or not a potential employee is a jackass. Smile
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listen2me
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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:51 pm
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The value of certifications are going down every year sadly Sad
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Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:56 am
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listen2me wrote:
The value of certifications are going down every year sadly Sad


Usually the people that say certifications are losing value or are worthless are the ones that do not have any certifications.

Just like I interviewed a person when I asked them about scripting, they said, scripts are not helpful.
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Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:50 pm
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I have about 20 MS certifications. But I stopped paying for them once I found out I could get them free with a Macdonalds happy meal. Try doing an exam like PWB (Pen Testing with Backtrack) this is all lab based, hands on and online. The exam is simply you have to use all that you have learned to hack into a simulated company network documenting each step you take.

For your CV, put all your MS and other low end certifications at the bottom and put your most recent company you worked for at the top.

As for scripting, I would have to agree, if you can't script you are not going to be much good on an infrastructure in a place like a bank where you have thousands of servers that would require to much of a work effort using the manual GUI methods.
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Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:14 am
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horndog wrote:
listen2me wrote:
The value of certifications are going down every year sadly Sad


Usually the people that say certifications are losing value or are worthless are the ones that do not have any certifications.

Just like I interviewed a person when I asked them about scripting, they said, scripts are not helpful.


I am certified and I do not believe certifications are worthless. I know it taught me a great deal, but from what I heard from my seniors you know people who got certified in the 90's and early 2000's they say it is not valuable as it was before.
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