Upgrading Your Career

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720952

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Upgrading Your Career

  • tony.turner

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 783

    Three comments come to mind, which do not invalidate your point, but does put it in perspective for some of us

    MCM is not really open to us in the third-world, where I gather a fair portion of your readership comes from

    Even were it to be available, the price (after currency conversion) relative to salary or contracting rates would make it way unattractive. Any potential increase in salary or rate would need to be written off over way too long a period

    If I look down your list of MCMs, it is mainly big corporates, or Microsoft itself. Wake me up again once it becomes viable for people in their personal capacity; I could just become interested if I am still young enough

  • James Stover

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3363

    Certification isn't just a "nice to have" - it's a hard requirement for certain partner levels. For example, if you want to attain MS Gold Parter in BI, one of the options states:

    Your organization must employ or contract with four unique MCP's who each hold at least one of the following certifications:

    - MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008

    - MCM: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

    Effective May 2012, certification requirements will be:

    -Two of the four MCP's must each hold the MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 certification.

    -The other two MCP's must each successfully complete one of the following:

    --MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008

    --MCM: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

    --Exam 70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications

    See how the MCM certification has been inserted as an option? I would not be surprised if this becomes a hard requirement in a future version of the Gold partner program.

    Anyway, having a certification in no way qualifies you for anything but it does have tangible benefits and has value in certain circles. In this context, it's definitely a worthy career goal.


    James Stover, McDBA

  • Andre Guerreiro

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7319

    tony.turner (2/12/2012)


    MCM is not really open to us in the third-world (...) Even were it to be available, the price (after currency conversion) relative to salary or contracting rates would make it way unattractive.

    Unfortunately I can't agree more. When I read about Brazilian MCMs I can't help but think that they must be rich guys or have a rich family to support them.

    Best regards,

    Andre Guerreiro Neto

    Database Analyst
    http://www.softplan.com.br
    MCITPx1/MCTSx2/MCSE/MCSA

  • James Stover

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3363

    codebyo (2/12/2012)


    tony.turner (2/12/2012)


    MCM is not really open to us in the third-world (...) Even were it to be available, the price (after currency conversion) relative to salary or contracting rates would make it way unattractive.

    Unfortunately I can't agree more. When I read about Brazilian MCMs I can't help but think that they must be rich guys or have a rich family to support them.

    I have to say I'm a little perplexed by the MCM certification. The feedback from a big slice of the partner community has been....less than receptive. I can understand the MCA to an extent (for very big partners, MS Consulting or select MS Evangelists doing things like SQL Parallel DW w/Hadoop proof-of-concepts). But the MCM...meh. What's in it for me? I'd love to hear some thoughts on it.


    James Stover, McDBA

  • Mike Palecek

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1560

    I have always held that having certifications in general do not mean anything, however NOT having the certifications means a whole lot.

    Having them: yeah...great...you took an exam... so what.

    Not having them: You cannot even be bothered to take a silly exam and pass? Especially when the next three candidates have them.

  • TravisDBA

    SSCoach

    Points: 15780

    Mike Palecek (2/13/2012)


    I have always held that having certifications in general do not mean anything, however NOT having the certifications means a whole lot.

    Having them: yeah...great...you took an exam... so what.

    Not having them: You cannot even be bothered to take a silly exam and pass? Especially when the next three candidates have them.

    Those two cancel each other out in my opinion. As long as braindumps are available to pass these exams, I give very little weight to them.:-D

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720952

    codebyo (2/12/2012)


    tony.turner (2/12/2012)


    MCM is not really open to us in the third-world (...) Even were it to be available, the price (after currency conversion) relative to salary or contracting rates would make it way unattractive.

    Unfortunately I can't agree more. When I read about Brazilian MCMs I can't help but think that they must be rich guys or have a rich family to support them.

    Perhaps, but in the US it isn't large companies that have all the MCMs. Simon Sabin and Denny Cherry are independent consultants. They either viewed this as a way to bill a higher rate, or perhaps just a milestone for their careers. Jonathan Kehayias worked for a hospital. Argenis works for Coinstar, not a huge company.

    There are some that work for MS or large companies, but many haven't. Whether they view this similar to a degree, prep for more billing, an investment that pays back later, or a hobby/personal goal, it's up to them. If you think the $3k for the tests is an investment that needs to pay you back $3k this year, you're looking at it wrong.

    Any certification you study for, or even any skill you practice on and learn, is an upgrade for your career and an investment in improving your skills. It doesn't necessarily pay back right away.

    That being said, if you think it's not worth the certification in your country, that's fine. Don't sit for it, or lobby MS to change the pricing based on your economy.

    The point of the piece was to get you to think about improving your career, not necessarily sitting for a certification.

  • Peter Maloof

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1733

    Mike Palecek (2/13/2012)


    I have always held that having certifications in general do not mean anything, however NOT having the certifications means a whole lot.

    Having them: yeah...great...you took an exam... so what.

    Not having them: You cannot even be bothered to take a silly exam and pass? Especially when the next three candidates have them.

    That's an interesting way to look at it. I agree that the certificate itself shouldn't be the goal. I made the point here that what's important is being able to discuss what you did to learn the material en route to certification, and how well you know it. That's what sets you apart from the other 'certified but inexperienced' people.


    Peter MaloofServing Data

  • TravisDBA

    SSCoach

    Points: 15780

    Perhaps, but in the US it isn't large companies that have all the MCMs.

    They have most of them though. Of the 47 current MCAs and MCMs in SQL Server in the US and Canada that are listed on their public directory site, 33 of them are Microsoft employees alone and I highly doubt they are paying the same prices for the MCM and MCA certifications everyone else is paying. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720952

    TravisDBA (2/13/2012)


    Perhaps, but in the US it isn't large companies that have all the MCMs.

    They have most of them though. Of the 47 current MCAs and MCMs in SQL Server in the US and Canada that are listed on their public directory site, 33 of them are with Microsoft alone. 😀

    Most of those occurred before this was a public program, or when it was a $30k+ cost.

    Of the ones that have been certified since the price and structure changed, it is well split between different statuses and structures of employment.

  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004484

    tony.turner (2/12/2012)


    Wake me up again once it becomes viable for people in their personal capacity; I could just become interested if I am still young enough

    I live in the 3rd world and I intend to pay for the cert out of my own pocket (well, when I finish the current studies). It's doable, not easy and will require sacrifices, but it's far from impossible.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Brent Ozar

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2423

    James Stover (2/12/2012)


    codebyo (2/12/2012)


    But the MCM...meh. What's in it for me? I'd love to hear some thoughts on it.

    When I got my MCM (makes it sound like I'm so old, hahaha) it cost around $20-$25k plus three weeks of your time, which can be pretty darned expensive for consultants. I was working for Quest Software at the time, and I signed an agreement that said if I left within X months, I'd have to repay the costs entirely out of my own pocket. I'll be the first to tell you that I was nowhere near rich - I was living paycheck to paycheck just like everybody else.

    Within a month of getting the MCM, I had new consulting clients that were literally asking, "How much money will it take to get you onsite?" I quit Quest and paid them back for the MCM personally, out of my savings, and made it all back within a few weeks.

    Another good example - in my rotation, another DBA paid for it completely out of his own pocket. He was totally frustrated with his day job as a DBA, and he wanted a better opportunity. Shortly after getting his MCM, Microsoft hired him. When he tired of that a few months later, he went to work for a private company making *killer* money and got an ownership percentage of the company.

    The MCM opens doors - it's as simple as that. You still have to walk through 'em, but the MCM just makes it easier to gain entry. Most clients don't know what the MCM is, but they understand when you say, "There's only about a dozen of us consultants in the US who have this certification." It doesn't get you gigs, but it gets you a better rate and better clients. Since getting my MCM, I've been able to quit my job, start a company, and keep my friends ridiculously busy. Would all of this have happened without my blog, too? Probably not - but the MCM helps much more with companies than my blog helps.

  • James Stover

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3363

    Thank you Brent for the feedback. I find your opinion valuable because of your standing in the SQL community and also because you have put the certification to practical use. I think I need to reconsider my position on the MCM. I'm a pragmatic type and I need to know there are rewards for putting in so much time, effort and money (real rewards, not imaginary MS marketing rewards).

    So...when are you doing the MCA 🙂


    James Stover, McDBA

  • Brent Ozar

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2423

    Ha! Thanks, sir.

    I can't see myself doing the MCA anytime soon. I'm not sure if I could pass it, but I'm quite sure I don't deserve to pass it. I don't do enough ground-up architecture work to feel like I could defend that certification personally. I have tremendous respect for guys like Christian Bolton who've earned that cert the hard way. 😀

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