Is certification really valued

  • I agree heartily with the guy who said to do it for personal satisfaction. I consider it a personal challenge to be able to pass the tests simply because they are there. Ya don't see em on my resume though. I think there is still too much "bad taste" in too many places to rely on them for much. I have a BS that I don't bother mentioning on my resume for that matter as well. Its funny I guess, but I swear the dumbest man I ever met in my life, held a Doctorate in Computer Science. Even used the Dr. in his

    name and on his business cards.

    As far as getting past the Low Tech guys to someone who would care, I honestly wouldn't want to work for ANY company who would trust the screening of technical resume's to a low tech in the first place. HR has their place, but if they are to live in a technical world, they should have some idea of what they are looking at. I've worked for many companies who hired based on buss word or catch phrase. Can't honestly say they were good jobs in most cases. Given my druthers, I'll take the job where technically minded people take care of the technical responsibilities.

    I think that mcapodici has some excellent points as well. A lot of discussion has been given to certs and degrees but adaptability, interactivity, and an honest enjoyment of your work go a long way in my opinion. And we all know the one about just a plain ole good attitude.

  • i have to agree with both mcap and scorp. THe jobs I have been happiest with and currently am at:

    Hired on personality, eagerness, and the ability to see the potential worth to the company and team. I was hired at AT&T based off my resume (no degrees, certs, or college) and 1 phone interview. The people I spoke with on the phone were the people I work with NOT management OR HR. It says a lot when a company would like to have the people you work with interview rather than someone who would never see you.

    Thanks for reading my 2 cents


    AJ Ahrens


    Custom Billing AT&T Labs

    Good Hunting!

    AJ Ahrens

  • After years of leading successful projects I notice who I liked to work on my projects. It was the guys with the know-how AND the make-it-happen attitude that helped make my projects successful and allowed the team to stay happy.

    It takes education and experience to build a good track record. Track record means a lot, but I would also look for personality.

    The real source for education is books. It may be nice to have a professor teach you (from books!) but a few dedicated people have taught themselves.

    Experience comes from similar tasks (not jobs), and is required to build relevant skills.

    Attitude comes from passion, a supportive team, and good past experiences.

    I look for people who are easy to work with, helpful, share their knowledge, are dedicated to the team, driven for project success, a good attitude, and have relevant knowledge, specific education, and a proven track record.

    Right now, certification doesn't show capability, nor does education. The best have successful track records.

    What should a rookie do? This can be a new (helpful) thread.

    I'll start:

    Gain knowledge, skills with utilities and administration and some programming, collect and database cool tips, save solutions, know the best sources for help, build a library, be helpful, and weight and measure the advice to follow from others.

    Good luck, have fun, and share!

    Network Design Engineer for process monitoring & control (wireless) with SQL Server and VB .NET programming.

  • I remember reading this same tread months ago.

    Good attitude, experience, and knowledge. But if you really want some insight, put your self in the hiring managers position. Will a cert with no experience impress you? Maybe, if that person has a lot of other key strong points. How about experience without a cert? Maybe.

    And, yes, experience can be both good and bad. Get a cert for personal satisfaction, and to learn a few new topics. Get it if you think it will get you a job. No matter what you do, don't start complaining.

    Also: if you want BOL in Book Form, it is available. At Barnes & Noble search for

    "Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reference Library":

    What's the business problem you're trying to solve?

  • I don't have a degree in CS so therefore I am excluded immediately for applying for jobs which state that a degree in CS is essential. My degree is in a completely different discipline but that doesn't mean I can't do the job as well as another candidate just becauase they do have CS. Degrees in the UK are for the most worthless - doing work experience during my degree taught me this. When being interviewed, no-one asks about my degree, they always ask me about the jobs I have done, the projects I have worked on, what skills I used.

    I am currently moving from a web development background in SQL Server, having been encouraged by my (rather significant) other half who is an experienced DBA. He has encouraged me to take the SQL Server exams, because he realises that employers see a certification as making a candidate 'worthy'. If a manager has no experience of SQL Server, all they may be able to use to judge your ability is the fact that Microsoft have given you a certification and therefore you must be able to do the job. At least with a certification you learn about a specific skill set, whereas degrees are too general. I think having an MCP or MCDBA can only help in improving your knowledge and your salary. Never mind the people who are certified but can't do they job, their lackings will soon be obvious. I am taking the exams more to learn about SQL Server and use it to get me a job where I can gain experience and put what I have learnt to test in a real environment. An MCP won't make me an expert but it will help make me employable and in this day and age of few jobs, and that matters. Oh, and I might actually rather enjoy doing it too 🙂

  • It comes down to a company by company basis. In my experience, studying for certifications (MCSE, MCSD and MCDBA) has taught me things I didn't know and helped me understand things better that I thought I knew. In my case, my employer paid for exams I passed so all it cost me was my personal time to study (and it was significant!) However, I can say the time I put in has paid off more than 10-fold for all 3 certs.

    I personally value my certifications, even if my employer doesn't place monetary value on it. My extra ability and extra knowledge sets me apart from would-be peers come promotion and raise time. In these tough times, I'm glad I have it.

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