Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
IT

Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get? 444

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-recommend-terminator-repair dept.
Hardhead_7 writes "Our recent discussion about how much your degree is worth got me thinking. I've been working in the IT field for several years now, but I don't have anything to my name other than an A+ certificate and vendor specific training (e.g., Dell certified). Now I'm looking to move up in the IT field, and I want some stuff on my resume to demonstrate to future employers that I know what I'm doing, enough that I can get in the door for an interview. So my question to Slashdot is this: What certifications are the most valuable and sought-after? What will impress potential employers and be most likely to help land a decent job for someone who doesn't have a degree, but knows how to troubleshoot and can do a bit of programming if needed?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get?

Comments Filter:
  • Vodka! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Monday May 30, 2011 @11:52PM (#36292984)

    Probably depends a lot on where you are.

    Around here, certifications mean very little. Employers are generally more concerned about the kind of work you've done at previous jobs. A few good references who will tell people how awesome you are and an impressive list of "my duties included" does you more good than a sheet full of "ABC+ Pro Certified" here.

    That said, I've talked to friends elsewhere that have related the exact opposite.

    I'd say ask around your local area. No point in getting a plate full of certifications if they mean nothing to the employers in your area.

    • CISSP

      ISACA

      Bound to do you head-and-shoulders above your peers in the field.

      Enjoy trying to pass.

      When I stood for CISSP 11 years ago, there were no "boot camps" and only two books on the shelf. CCCure.org was just starting up...

      Now, it's doable.

      • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @03:55AM (#36294180) Journal

        What "best" means for certification would depend on your objectives, I suppose.

        Here's a nonobvious alternative: get yourself certified as "not mentally competent". This may not be as difficult as you think, although canceling the certification later could be quite a challenge...

        If you're certified incompetent in a civilized country, a bureaucrat will be appointed to look after your finances (at no charge to you), ensure you get every bit of welfare you might be entitled to, and defend you at public expense against fraud or serious rip-off attempts. You can still work, if you want, without greatly reducing your welfare entitlement (amazing what a certificate can do). However, you now have a license to kill/maim/etc. without fear of punishment since you are not responsible for your actions. Some places don't even remove passports or driving licenses from such people.

        Frighteningly, I knew one such person in Canada. A sociopathic, psychopathic, manic-depressive, evil genius, and unrestrained by the legal impediments which would limit a sane person's actions. Acts of violence repeatedly went unpunished by the criminal system, and attempts for redress were rejected by the civil courts. The legal system was trumped by the certificate of incompetence.

        • by vlm (69642)

          Frighteningly, I knew one such person in Canada. A sociopathic, psychopathic, manic-depressive, evil genius, and unrestrained by the legal impediments which would limit a sane person's actions. Acts of violence repeatedly went unpunished by the criminal system, and attempts for redress were rejected by the civil courts. The legal system was trumped by the certificate of incompetence.

          I expected a politician joke a the end of this, what a let down.

        • by Ash Vince (602485) *

          I would strongly recommend not trying this in the UK.

          We have a special way of dealing with this in our criminal justice system called "Detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_Her_Majesty%27s_pleasure). You will probably be let out in the end, but you have no idea when that will be. The insanity defence is not so popular in the UK as it is in the States, I think this might have something to do with it.

    • by ron_ivi (607351) <sdotno&cheapcomplexdevices,com> on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:46AM (#36293306)

      It's far more impressive to be the guy that certifies people than the guy who gets a cert.

      And that way you can give yourself all the coolest sounding ones.

      And if you can convince a few people to buy your cert, it'll not only make you money, but give your certification body even more prestige; because everyone who buys your cert will be hyping it as "really valuable" on /., etc.

      • by hendersj (720767) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @02:30AM (#36293818)

        The parent here is perhaps meant to be funny, but there is a nugget of truth in what he says.

        Actually creating a certification takes a lot of work - I spent the past 5 years working as part of the team that worked on IT certification programs and exams at Novell. But to understand what certifications hold value in the industry, it does help to understand the process by which a program is created, because if a program isn't built around sound principles, then the certification will be worthless as anything other than a wall decoration.

        First, you have to certify based on something people actually do. Certifications that have real value start with a job task analysis (JTA) and the program is built around what people actually do for a living. It doesn't do you any good to certify based on criteria that don't map to a specific job function.

        Second, the testing methodology needs to be sound. People laugh about paper certifications, but paper certs are a real problem in the industry. This can happen because a question pool is leaked and a 'braindump' is created. Dealing with braindump sites is like playing whack-a-mole. So the testing methodology should resist braindumps, either through adaptive testing or through the use of performance based testing (sometimes called 'practical testing' or some variation of that). Practical testing tends to be more resistant to braindumps because that type of resource gives you the answer - but in a practical exam, you have to demonstrate the application of the answer. So if the braindump tells you "do x, y, and z", those are the steps you need to do to complete the tasks.

        If a certification is ISO 17024 compliant, then it has increased value as well. That ISO standard specifies a number of things (which are adopted by other organisations, like ANSI) about how a certification is built. Vendor-specific certifications tend to not be ISO 17024 compliant (there are a few exceptions) sometimes because of cost or resource requirements. As I understand it, there are pieces of the standard that specify, for example, that the people who create the exam and the people who create the course materials cannot talk with each other about the content. The JTA information can (I think, it might be required or recommended) be shared between the two groups, but they must derive their own information from the pool of information about the topic. The purpose for this is that it's the knowledge that's needed, rather than the specific course materials created by the certifying body. In some cases, the certifying body just publishes the objectives and leaves it to others to create the courses around those objectives.

        I'm also of the opinion that the value is higher if rather than relying on recall for answers, the exam requires cognitive skills. Exams like this tend to be much more labor intensive to create and evaluate properly to ensure they're fair, but that value is significant as well because then the certification shows that the candidate knows more than just the answer to the questions on the exam, but how to apply their knowledge in a useful way. Performance-based tests are really the best way to do this in my opinion.

        The exams also must have gone through some form of psychometric analysis in order to be legally defensible. If a program uses multiple exam forms (which is generally the case), then the psychometric analysis is used to ensure the forms are fairly balanced and if a candidate can pass the exam on form 1, that they would most likely pass it on the other forms as well.

        Thirdly, a properly built certification program is going to have continuing certification requirements. Some organizations (like CompTIA) used to certify "once and forever", but certifications like that really don't have that much value over the long term. I hold an LPIC-1 certification that I got in 2003, but that doesn't really tell anyone what I know about modern Linux distributions.

        Certifications are helpful if you're going through the 'front door' trying t

        • what do you think of the mass of people on this comment board saying that ceritifications are worthless?

    • by ksamnic (2216114)
      It depends on the job you are after. Certs are extremely specific. If it matches the job - like they want an Oracle DB sys admin and you have that certification - it might help get you the interview. But it is so bloody specific. I tend to try and hire people with more general experience who can learn the product I use right now. They are way more deployable in 3-5 years when the certification becomes obsolete.
  • by mikeroySoft (1659329) on Monday May 30, 2011 @11:59PM (#36293014)
    Experience does. Build something, or contribute to an Open Source project.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Certifications don't impress, however they do get you past the HR filter so you get to speak to someone to whom your experience is relevant. No Certs, no interview, no chance to shine.

      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        ding ding ding, we have a winner
      • HR filter: he's sunk (Score:4, Interesting)

        by r00t (33219) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:29AM (#36293212) Journal

        HR expects a Bachelor's degree even for the office help, admin assistant, secretary, etc. It's the new high school diploma, since high school diplomas have been rendered useless by local control and selfishness. (a town has an incentive to pass every student in the local school system)

        His only hope is to avoid HR.

        • HR looks for what the hiring manager asks them to look for. I tell my hiring specialist to look for a few key words thy indicate a passion for the job. That plus experience is all that is necessary. Then we phone screen. If I hear or my team leads hear what we ate looking for an office visit is scheduled.

          Some examples: mobile web developer - backbone.js, Sencha touch, WURFL - if you've got one of those on your resume, I'm interested. QA lead - regression testing, continuous integration, unit testing, ANT, M

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        I have no certs just real world experience and I never have trouble getting an interview.

    • Certs impress HR people. And they're who're hiring, at least in big companies (i.e. where you can actually earn big money).

      Let's face it. Certainly, to you and me being the head dev of a valuable and well known OSS project is a recommendation that blows every cert out of the water. Not so for HR. They probably never even heard of that OSS project and they can't verify what you did on that project. And don't even think about impressing them with your source code.

      They do know, though, that there are "independ

    • When I graduated with my CS PhD several years ago, the first job that I landed was 95K, which is a bit low in today's market.
    • by TheMCP (121589) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @10:06AM (#36296374) Homepage

      I am a senior software engineer with 23 years of professional experience. I've built web sites and web applications for Fortune 500 companies and major nonprofits and for the air force and joint chiefs of staff, and my past clients included all but one of the top 50 largest financial institutions in the country.

      When I'm looking for work, the #1 thing that generates the most calls about my resume (by a long shot) is the one product certification I have, which is (and all of this is indicated plainly on my resume) something like six major versions behind on the software I was certified in, was 11 years ago, and I've never done a complete installation of the product. Even knowing that fact, people are desperate to get me to do work for that product because I was certified in it and hardly anyone is.

      So, while smart companies look for experience and a track record of successful projects, it remains true that if you get the *right* certification, it will still get you more work anyway.

  • The first thing I look for is contributions to open source software projects. But, we do open source related IT services. And it's rare to find.
  • Get a CCNA if you want to make money. MCSE is a total joke nowadays.
    • MCSE doesn't exist nowadays. I think it's too early to dismiss MCITP as a joke, as I haven't come across swathes of total morons who yet possess that certification. Not saying that isn't the ultimate endgame, though. (remember MCSE used to be an impressive certification, too.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by jo42 (227475)

        MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solitaire Expert

        • Moves Computer Stuff Elsewhere. Substitute words are available for "Stuff" and are probably more appropriate. And yes, I have one of these, among a stack of other certs that are still needed to impress HR.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @02:47AM (#36293910)

      Reason is I think many tech types misunderstand who and what certifications are for. They aren't for you, or your peers. I don't go showing off my certs, I don't sign my e-mails with them, or that kind of shit. They are for the managers that hire people.

      While it is popular, particularly among Linux people, to hate on the MCSE, in my experience many jobs want one, and some require it. Managers like it, that is what it is for.

      So that you think it is a joke may not be all that relevant.

      Also I fail to see how it would be a joke and a CCNA would not. The CCNA is not a difficult cert to get. Hardest thing I had on the test was that the router simulation they use is Boson NetSim and it doesn't implement all the commands of real IOS (and I should add I still passed easily on the first try).

      If you want to get a cert for yourself, just as a guided learning experience, then get whatever interests you. Hell you don't even have to take the test, you can just study the materials and learn it if you like.

      However if you are getting a cert for professional advancement or to get a job, the consideration then is what management likes, in particular the management in the area you are interested in. It doesn't matter how much of a "joke" it is. The idea isn't to advance your skills, it is to have something to help your career.

      What that is could change over time too. For example I have my A+. I doubt anyone would care anymore, I've been doing IT for about 12 years now and do higher level stuff. However when I got it, in 1999, I was looking to be able to get lower level tech type jobs and it mattered. In particular, going for student computer support jobs on campus, it put me ahead of most students that had no certification. It was worth getting.

      These days were I to get something, I would actually probably look at the MCITP, the MCSE replacement, since Windows support is a major part of what I do. I wouldn't get it because I think it would help me be better at my job, I'd get it because it would make managers more likely to hire me for that sort of job.

  • by Rivalz (1431453) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:05AM (#36293050)

    My girlfriend is Double D cert' and I just pay her to sit at home.
    She doesn't even have a college education, I would be amazed if she even has a GED.
    Soon as I find out where she got the DD's I'll let you know.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:08AM (#36293070)
    Cert what you know. Whatever you do, get a cert in it. Don't be afraid to get a "vendor specific" cert. After all, CCIE is nothing more than just a vendor specific cert. Since you don't have a degree, having some certs to throw around help people believe in your abilities, even if the cert doesn't do anything other than reflect knowledge and skills you already have.
  • I could tell you all kinds of six-figure positions get shot out of something like a CISSP certification, but if you absolutely despise doing work in the Security field, then I must advise against it.

    Even in IT, no matter what you choose to do, always remember to look for something that gives you some form of reward or personal satisfaction beyond the monetary factor.

    Took me quite a few years to finally realize that personal satisfaction and overall happiness are much more important, not only to balance out

  • Around my (admittedly small-er) shop we don't count certification for anything. If we want a programmer we ask for an example code and talk with the applicant. If we want a web page developer we ask for an example web-page and talk with the applicant. The key begin: "we talk with the applicant". After a dozen years of doing this i can assure you there is *no* correlation between who we hired and whether they were "certified" by any private interest. I'm sure this isn't true for larger companies (YMMV
    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      The question stands: If a cert or a degree doesn't matter for who you hire, how do you filter your resumes to know who to interview? That's where both work. They don't get you a job, they get you an interview.
      • The question stands: If a cert or a degree doesn't matter for who you hire, how do you filter your resumes to know who to interview? That's where both work. They don't get you a job, they get you an interview.

        Last time we were hiring for a programmer (large international company), we had so few applicants that it simply wasn't worth it for HR to "filter" them in any way before handing them on to me. I set up interviews for each applicant and then asked them a bunch of questions. At no point did their certifications come in to question.

        And no, I didn't ask the typical "university knowledge" questions such as "which of these is likely to be the best sorting method for this set of data?" and other such bollocks; instead my questions were things more relevant to real world programming like, "Right, you've just written some really cruddy code as a proof-of-concept and Marketing want to start selling it next week as a real product, what do we do?" and "How long do you think it'd take you to clone the Windows Calculator in a language and environment of your choice?".

        To note, when we hire a programmer, we don't just look for drones that can churn out code exactly to a perfectly written spec written by someone that probably could've done the code themselves; instead we look for someone that can interpret badly written fuzzy marketing speak and then use creativity and imagination to meet what Marketing have asked for in the most elegant, flexible and maintainable way. So far, my little team is doing a great job and I'm pretty proud of them.

        Final side note: Yes, I say "my team" and I am indeed in charge there, but I'm a developer myself - not a manager... we have a manager (that sits in another office several hundred KM away) to look after paperwork, budgets and so on - I just look after "who's doing what" and passing the paperwork over to the manager (who tends to just approve anything I send his way, which I'm also very thankful for).

        • by IICV (652597)

          "How long do you think it'd take you to clone the Windows Calculator in a language and environment of your choice?".

          About ten seconds, unless you want the source code :)

      • the degree matters. the application material matters. the stated experience matters. OCP CCNA CCDP CCENT CCSP ACTC...http://www.all-acronyms.com/tag/certification/ [all-acronyms.com] doesn't matter so much (or in one case i know of actually weighed negatively)
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:12AM (#36293100) Homepage

    Some people look for experience and hands-on expertise and HR people look for words in a search list. I don't think I have ever been hired easily by going through HR filters but begged to work for companies who know what my resume actually means. Techs know other techs. And, frankly, I am equally skeptical of people who go out chasing every certification they can until their resume looks like a NASCAR racer.

    Actually, my wide range of experience leads people to ask me the same question(s) asked of people with a multitude of certs: "do you REALLY know all that stuff?" My answer is "I've been doing this a very long time and I don't put anything down there I can't prove. There's still LOTS I don't know, but I doubt there's much I can't pick up in a very short time." And that's the reality of it. Can you do it all? Is it "easy" for you? If it's not easy for you, then specialize and at least get really good in your speciality. But don't just go getting some labels if it's not in your nature to actually be able to do what you claim -- if you're not truly inclined in that area, you're not just disappointing your employer, you're harming the whole of IT out here by lowering everyone's expectations.

    Heh... someone above says "degree... seriously... degree!" Really? If you want to get into management, yes... get a degree... a BUSINESS DEGREE. Getting a degree in computer science or programming is... uh... a huge waste of time and money. I have been through some of that and I know what people come out of those mills. They can teach and test a lot of things, but they never seem to be able to insert that "spark" every good programmer has. That spark comes from somewhere else. And if we are talking about a degree in anything else computer and networking related? Take courses in various technologies, not a whole degree. Degrees in IT are useless.

    • by Rakishi (759894)

      Degrees in IT are useless.

      Unless you actually want to get hired or promoted. You may get lucky or persevere but you won't do as well as someone else with a degree (who put in as much effort).

    • by jonwil (467024)

      It depends on where you get the degree.
      If your CS degree is from a degree mill or a local community college, it wont matter to the employers.

      But if its from a reputable university (especially one often associated with "tech" and "computers" like MIT or otherwise with a reputation for computer science) it will likely help.

    • by wrook (134116) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @01:44AM (#36293622) Homepage

      A bit off topic, but you triggered something I've been thinking about for a couple of years. That "spark" is fluency.

      I swtiched jobs from being a computer programmer to being an ESL teacher in Japan. Japan is somewhat famous for churning out students who know a lot *about* English, but can't order a drink at Mac Donald's. We used to have a name for those kinds of people with regard to programming languages: language laywers. They can answer any question you put to them *about* a programming language, but couldn't program to save their life. These people often make it past job interviews easily, but then turn out to be huge disappointments when they actually get down to work. I've read a lot about this problem, but the more I look at it, the more I realise that these disabled programmers are just like my students. They have a vocabulary of 5000 words, know every grammar rule in the book but just can't speak.

      My current theory is that programming is quite literally writing. The vast majority of programming is not conceptually difficult (contrary to what a lot of people would have you believe). We only make it difficult because we suck at writing. The vast majority of programmers aren't fluent, and don't even have a desire to be fluent. They don't read other people's code. They don't recognise or use idioms. They don't think *in the programming language*. Most code sucks because we have the fluency equivalent of 3 year olds trying to write a novel. And so our programs are needlessly complex.

      Those programmers with a "spark" are programmers who have an innate talent for the language. Or they are people who have read and read and read code. Or both. We teach programming wrong. We teach it the way Japanese teachers have been teaching English. We teach about programming and expect that students will spontaneously learn to write from this collection of facts.

      In language acquisition there is a hypothesis called the "Input Hypothesis". It states that *all* language acquisition comes from "comprehensible input". That is, if you hear or read language that you can understand based on what you already know and from context, you will acquire it. Explanation does not help you acquire language. I believe the same is true of programming. We should be immersing students in good code. We should be burying them in idiom after idiom after idiom, allowing them to acquire the ability to program without explanation.

      • by mini me (132455)

        Interesting. You might actually be on to something.

        I was reading some justifications for code comments the other day, and I'm thinking to myself that when working on other people's code, I always go straight to the code and completely ignore comments, even when they are present and done well. Of the languages I am familiar with, unless someone tried really hard to go out of their way to obfuscate the code, reading and comprehending is as easily as doing the same with any english prose. It amazes me that peo

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        It is hard to test for that when hiring. Example code will be hand picked and doesn't tell you much about the process the candidate went through to write it. Did they just churn it out or was it based on something else? You can set them tests in the interview but some people are just not good at that sort of thing. I can produce some pretty good code IMHO, but I need to be "in the zone" with my head in the project and a context to work in, so tend to suck at test questions.

        I actually just landed myself a ne

      • by Drethon (1445051)
        I agree with your thoughts about people learning what a programming language is but not how to use it. So many people who come out of college knowing C/Java but their eyes would glaze over if you asked them to learn Ruby or Ada. Since I've left college I've learned C,C++,C#,Java (ok those are all similar), some Basic variants, DOORS DXL, Torque scripting language, Ada, Perl and touched a few other languages and found programming is the same in all of them.

        It may never happen but I'd like to get into tea
    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      Depends on your university. The CS program at UC San Diego took my existing talent, beat the stupid out of it, and took it to the next level. I worked as a coder before going there, but the amount of bugs I wrote plummeted after taking discrete math and having code audits on every line of code I wrote for two years.

  • It's received through participating in open source project(s). A few things look as good as this; just link to your github or the most notorious bugs you've squashed from your resume and you'll be noticed. Plus you might even make good friends with like minded people and or get a call to work for a company developing a solution on top of your favourite open source project!

  • SSL -- All others are pointless. They prove nothing.
  • by TooTechy (191509) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:40AM (#36293266)

    The issue with certifications from IT companies is that there are very few standards which regulate them. Essentially, all they mean is that you turned up and probably passed a test. If you have not used this knowledge since then the certificate is as good a useless. If you have that degree from a reputable school then that already speaks to your ability. Now you have to be convincing of the specific skills.

    Generalizations are impossible. There are so many areas of IT which require skills that you will never acquire in a classroom that the only way to see if a candidate is worth their salt is an interview. Here we come to your point of actually reaching the interview stage. The US is a country which largely works on a "who you know" basis. Networking is very important here. This differs in other countries. As someone who regularly reviews resumes for candidates I am shocked by the poor quality of the literacy in the resume and also the incorrect use of technical names, abbreviations and acronyms (and people who have no idea what this last word actually means). You can judge a great deal about the candidate from their resume. Do not try to use terms with which you are not 100% familiar. It is incredible the number of resumes from candidates who will incorrectly use terms because they are not proficient and try to over fill the skill section.

    Hopefully, if you are looking to move to an organization worth moving to, they will have good staff at the interview. If the position is looking for a particular proficiency and you don't have it then of course you are at a disadvantage. But an employer will consider paying less for someone who is bright, hard working and thinks the right way.

    Specific skill sets can be easily acquired in most circumstances. General skills can take a lifetime to acquire.

    Have your resume edited by someone else. Please. Then find someone who can deliver it to the right person. This is your best chance of getting an interview.

    • So can we discount college degrees too? Sure you do not learn real world experience, but you do learn the theory and basics about a profession and it shows dedication to the employer.

      MCSE' tests are hard and those who say they are easy never took them. They are adaptive, which means as soon as you make a wrong answer it keeps asking you things related to the last question. I am not saying you can walk right in and work. But, if you passed all the MCSE and CISCO exams you can tell the new employee you need x

  • If you're a programmer, programming language certifications mean very little. After all, you're a programmer. IF however, you don't always want to be a programmer and want to find a way to parlay yourself into a more management related position then something like a Project Management certification (PMP) could do quiet well. Other certs that show a certain level of expertise or specialty can be effective too, but only if you're trying to branch out. Getting certified in something like Backtrack for secu

  • by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @12:52AM (#36293352) Journal

    What kind of job do you want?

  • What will impress potential employers and be most likely to help land a decent job for someone who doesn't have a degree, but knows how to troubleshoot and can do a bit of programming if needed?"

    I remember this place many years ago.. The choice you have now is which direction to go that will make you happy..is it money or is it self fulfillment.. it is not what certs to get my friend..good luck.
  • ...if you are working for consultancy or reseller, which works as a partner. Typically, as the number of certified people a company has, the higher their partner status goes and that means, if nothing else, discounts => employer gets a better margin on the stuff they resell.

    I have a CCIE, and if I go to a Cisco shop it pretty much means "hire me, and even if I don't do anything but stare at the wall all day you are still going to get more money out of this deal (provided you sell at least $X worth of har

  • Get a degree (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wolfling1 (1808594) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @01:17AM (#36293502) Journal
    Sorry if that's bad news. A degree is the most respected qualification out there. When I was going through uni, I scoffed at the mundane nature of the material they were teaching me. Joked about how I could get better value using it as toilet paper. 10 years later, it hit me like a brick. I was building 3rd normal form databases. Referential Integrity was a term I understood. I could build components with Lazy Evaluation, and I knew why I was doing it.

    Getting a degree also tells prospective employers that you're a finisher. You don't just start stuff and bail when it gets scary. You don't give up on a project because parts of it are hard or unpleasant. I know some employers who don't care what degree you've got, as long as you've got one.

    If you want an employer's respect, there is no quick and easy way to win it. You have to do the really hard stuff to prove that you can do the really hard stuff.

    Good luck.
    • by codepunk (167897)

      No, sorry it is not, your raw talent and resume is your most respected qualification.

      I am constantly interviewing and hiring both systems engineers and developers. If there is a degree listed on your resume I don't even bother to read it. The same goes for certifications they mean absolutely nothing. When I interview someone I am looking for natural raw talent and a proven background.

      • by jmcbain (1233044)
        What makes you think that people with a degree would want to interview at your company? I would certainly avoid it if people like you are doing the interviewing.
  • As a developer I mostly focus on MCPD's for whatever area I'm working on. .Net or Sharepoint. I then fill in MCTS's in the gaps for technologies like SQL Server and Biztalk.
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcts.aspx [microsoft.com]

    For system engineers there are specific exams too.
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcitp.aspx [microsoft.com]

    PMP is also a standard cert for management. I think most consultants/programmers should take this to understand the basics of how a project is put together.
    http:/ [pmi.org]

  • Most posts so far insist that certs are useless, well I would only say that you can lie about your professional experience (I have found this while interviewing people) but you can't lie about your certifications.

    I really find hard to believe that in a constrained job market people are not find it useful to demonstrate they are keeping up to date with technology .

    A lot of the posts above seem to be from programmers, and maybe on that field certain are non existent, but for DBAs, SysAdmins and in some area

  • I took this path (from hardware to desktop to network) many years ago and am pretty happy with it -

    based on your question it doesn't sound like you're starting from square one but doing hardware work - you take that hardware work and the experience you get with the desktop software and get the Microsoft equivlant or thereabouts - then you can sell yourself to an employer as a guy who knows both, even if you only have minimial experience in the cert category

    If you chose to go on to networking you'll have a m

  • A certificate or a dozen will get you in the door. You'll need more than that to land the job - but you'll never get to the interview if you don't have the certification that's on their checkoff list. A+ is good, as are the various Microsoft certifications. But don't go spending money on these certifications unless they're ones your target employers are looking for. Once you get past these hurdles, you're going to have to impress the HR people and the manager you'd be working for with your positive attitud
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @07:54AM (#36295252) Homepage

    Get experience and a basic degree BS is good enough and can be in anything. Certs only mean you were a sucker and paid the time and money to get the worthless things.

    the ONLY jobs that certs mean anything is entry level. You are not looking to "move up" to another entry level position are you?

One small step for man, one giant stumble for mankind.

Working...