Do the certifications add value?

  • PBirch

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8483

    With the rise in the cost of certifications, and, with Yukon, the number needed to become a MCDBA, is there a value to the certifications?

    I know that oft-repeated phrase "If two people have the same qualifications, and one has a certification they would probably hire that one." Has anyone been involved in such a decision or is that an urban legend?

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a major appliance.

    Patrick

    Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720383

    It's somewhat true. A certification shows that you have proven you know something about the product and that you've spent some time learning about it.

    Doesn't measure practical experience, nor whether you'll do the job.

    That being said, some companies, like mine, require an MCDBA to get an interview. It's a basic requirement for the job. However I didn't have one and got an interview and got hired. So it depends. I could easily have been thrown out by the HR guy and never had the interview.

    Steve Jones

    sjones@sqlservercentral.com

    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/sjones

    The Best of SQL Server Central.com 2002 - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/bestof/

    http://www.dkranch.net

  • SQLBill

    SSC Guru

    Points: 51440

    Some companies require a Bachelor's Degree (especially Fed Government jobs), but will accept a Certification along with experience in place of the degree.

    -SQLBill

  • Frank Kalis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 111183

    As a somewhat unbiased follower, it seems to me that Americans are somewhat crazy about additional certificates.

    CPA,CFA,MCP,MCDBA....and whatsoever.

    To a certain degree I agree with Steve in that you have proven you spent some time to learn something. But what and how?

    A passed test or certification only shows IMHO that you have shown that you've learn the stuff the way the originator of that test what it to be. No matter if it is right or wrong; no matter if it is applicable to the real world or not.

    You are labeled something, nothing more.

    Sad but true that additional certifications become more and more a must-have.

    I have not the thread ID at hand, but in the past we had a superb thread 'Do you think education matters?'.

    I strongly believe in continuous education, but certification???

    Frank

    http://www.insidesql.de

    http://www.familienzirkus.de

    --
    Frank Kalis
    Microsoft SQL Server MVP
    Webmaster: http://www.insidesql.org/blogs
    My blog: http://www.insidesql.org/blogs/frankkalis/[/url]

  • PBirch

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8483

    Frank, yes, continuous certification. Laughing. Now that is a scary thought.

    I don't know that the certifications are a must-have. I have heard from recruiters that the MCSE, while it is nice to have, is not as valued or necessary because there are so many paper MCSEs walking around.

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a major appliance.

    Patrick

    Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue

  • Frank Kalis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 111183

    Well, Patrick, speaking for my professional area, it seems that being awarded the right to use the CFA designation (hope I comply with the ethics code of AIMR ) is more respected than having a university degree. There are certain areas in institutional asset management (maybe international oriented) where you can't do without.

    IIRC in Singapore this certification IS mandatory before you can start working in a bank.

    I tried this certification, but decided that I value having my own mind more than having some sh*tty additional letters on a business card.

    Just my $0.02 cents!

    Frank

    http://www.insidesql.de

    http://www.familienzirkus.de

    --
    Frank Kalis
    Microsoft SQL Server MVP
    Webmaster: http://www.insidesql.org/blogs
    My blog: http://www.insidesql.org/blogs/frankkalis/[/url]

  • colin.Leversuch-Roberts

    SSC Guru

    Points: 52551

    we just interviewed a potential DBA who had just passed his mcp for w2k server ( 2 weeks ) he didn't know how to configure w2k to allow sql server to use memory above 2Mb

    [font="Comic Sans MS"]The GrumpyOldDBA[/font]
    www.grumpyolddba.co.uk
    http://sqlblogcasts.com/blogs/grumpyolddba/

  • Greg M. Lucas

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 782

    Morning Colin - I always have problems getting SQL to use more than 2MB too 🙂

    I'm a great believer in certification - as a means of structuring my continuing education. Then having done the education it would be a shame not to use what I've learnt so I'll do the exam.

    I'm quite happy to admit that six weeks after the exam, I might only have retained a third of the knowledge I'd crammed for the exam - but that's still more than I would know without having studied for the exam.

    I'm sure that when job-hunting the certs may help get a first interview for some employers but I'm not convinced that vendor certs make much difference in the final stages.

    Greg M Lucas MCDBA, MCSE

    Greg M Lucas
    "Your mind is like a parachute, it has to be open to work" - Frank Zappa

  • kkeeffe

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 929

    Interesting discussion. I’ve got a little different perspective…

    My wife has a two year nursing degree, and had two executive level positions with large health care institutions. In each case she "worked her way up". She would never have been considered for those positions had she applied for them as an outsider. (Ironically, she is often required by her HR folks to list a Master’s degree as a prerequisite for positions that report to HER. Double-ironically, the only people she’s ever had to fire had Master's degrees.)

    She now gets hired on the basis of reputation alone. I think that there is a period in many careers when a degree or certification is valuable primarily because it gets you past the initial cut. IMHO oftentimes companies do themselves a disservice when a requirement like this is used by HR as a gatekeeper just to keep the number of applicants down.

    Regards

    k2

  • GF

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3774

    Good topic.

    I have been involved with MSSQL since 1994. During this time I got my MCSE and MCT certs. Not one time did these certs come into play when I went looking for a new company to work with. What mattered was a college degree and experience. I no longer have certifications and I have no desire to spend thousands of dollars getting them. To the point about a person not knowing how to configure SQL to use memory above 2 mb. Unless you are always reconfiguring you server(which I doubt), then this is something you won't use every day and if needed it can be looked up. To weed out a person just on that point seems a bit narrow minded to me.

    Just my take on all of this.

    Gary

  • stubob

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1839

    I agree with Gary, I wouldn't know about configuring SQL > 2mb, it's not the case in my workplace. However, I figure if the need arises I could look it up. The main point is the overall ability to handle the given technology. A broad range of questions may give a more accurate evaluation - not knowing a few is ok, especially if the applicant can indicate an appropriate strategy for finding the solution - or look up the answer in a few minutes.

    Data: Easy to spill, hard to clean up!

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720383

    Hell if you can configure SQL to use < 2MB, I'd hire you!!!!

    I agree with most of the comments above. I'd like to see the certs matter, but they really need to be changed so that they do matter.

    Steve Jones

    sjones@sqlservercentral.com

    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/sjones

    The Best of SQL Server Central.com 2002 - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/bestof/

    http://www.dkranch.net

  • PBirch

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8483

    My personal "senior" moment with SQL Server is anything to do with replication. I have worked as an App DBA for years and I have only worked on one replication setup. I have much more experience with clusters. Someone asks me an off-the-cuff question on the types of replication I'll find the answer in BOL.

    I have had an MCT and my MCSE, MCDBA and an MCSD are still current. They were fun to pick up but the cost of maintaining them exceeds their value.

    There was a time in my career that the certifications had value, but at that time money flowed through IT and spending $400 or so was not a big deal. With the budgets being tightened spending $1 200 or more on a certificationjust does not seem the best investment.

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a major appliance.

    Patrick

    Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue

  • Frank Kalis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 111183

    Btw, these M$ certification are they an all or nothing approach?

    I mean, when you fail, are you allowed to take it again or is that case closed?

    And what do they cost?

    Frank

    http://www.insidesql.de

    http://www.familienzirkus.de

    --
    Frank Kalis
    Microsoft SQL Server MVP
    Webmaster: http://www.insidesql.org/blogs
    My blog: http://www.insidesql.org/blogs/frankkalis/[/url]

  • mngong

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6167

    You can take it as many times as you want but there is normally a break if you do not pass before you are allowed to rewrite .The cost of a test is $125

    There use to be website called braindumps which had almost all the tests questions even if some of the answers were not right.The tests are great but little

    compared to hands on IMO

    Mike

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