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Get Certified… with Insurance

3571102858_54d5b5f58c_mHave you been thinking about getting certified?  Are you close on finishing your studying but aren’t quite sure if you are ready?  If so, then check the Certification Packs.  With these you can buy one exam with a second shot option, you fail and you get to retake for free.  Or buy a few exams and get a discount on your first shot on the exam.  Have your manager pick up 5 or more for the department and head in to get certified as a group.

The great thing about second shot is that you it removes a lot of stress from the taking the exam the first time.  If you aren’t sure if you are ready, you can go in and see if you are.  If not, you get a piece of paper afterwards that tells you what to study.  If you aren’t sure about the questions, go in and take it to get a good feel for how the exam is.  If you don’t pass, you get to go in again – but without that fear of the unknown.

All too often, I talk with people that are all worried before an exam.  “What if I don’t pass?” is the general consensus.  Then afterwards, they come out and say, “that was easy.”

Why Get Certified?

Now you might not see any value in getting certified.  In some cases you could be in a position where there isn’t any value in it.  But think about some of the following situations:

  • You’re unemployed. Ok, this is an easy one.  Many hiring managers will use certifications to filter candidates.  If you’ve been unemployed for a while and you obtained a certification in that time, to me that’s motivation.  I would want to bring you in.  To me this shows that a person is interested in their skills.
  • You’re a consultant.  If you are at a consulting company that’s a Microsoft Partner, being certified is a large component to earning competencies.  If you want to raise above the fold and being the guy off the bench more often, then you need to increase your value.  Certifications is one more way to help get you out there.  Do they say you’re an expert, no.  But they do point to an awareness of the options.
  • You’re a contractor.  In these cases, certifications can help show potential engagements that you are keeping up with the times.  Suppose your last engagement was on SQL Server 2000.  Things have changed since then, what have you done outside of professional work that shows you can work on SQL Server 2008 Integration Services.  A certification can help demonstrate this potential.
  • You’re a full-timer.  Admittedly, it’s hard sometimes to see value in certifications when you are full time at a company.  But then again, is there any chance you’ll be in any of the positions above?  Lots of people that thought they were in a good full time position have found out otherwise in the last couple years.  When should you be planning for that possibility.  A certification can help keep you in the door.  Given the choice between retaining two employs of relatively similar skill, I’ll keep the one that invests in him or herself. 

Certifications won’t keep your job.  They likely won’t get you a job.  They will demonstrate your interest in self improvement.  They will show you took on a challenge and completed it.

What do you think?

Related posts:

  1. Your 2nd Chance End June 30
  2. Microsoft Certification Second Shot Exam
  3. Microsoft Certification Second Shot Exam, It’s Back…

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