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Which exam is more recognizable - SCEA or IBM Solution Designer?

Jacek Bialecki

Joined: Aug 24, 2007
Posts: 4
Hello Everybody!

I plan to prepare and pass one of these:

- IBM Certified Solution Designer
- Sun Certified Enterprise Architect

Which of them is more recognizable and valuable on the market? Which one is harder to prepare?

What is your opinion?

Best regards!

$> cd /pub
$> more beer
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

You might want to change your name to match the rules around here.

But that aside... I don't know that the IBM SD certification is necessarily better known in the workplace. I think that it would have some name-recognition factor with a company that's an IBM partner, but otherwise, I've found that SCEA has quite a bit of recognition with Java-based companies. It gives more of an impression in the general environment that it's not itself vendor-specific, since it's from the company that puts out Java, and not one of the larger application-server vendors.

But, all in all... certifications are only worth what you and the other party can come to an agreement on.

Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
Zulfikar Dharmawan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 01, 2002
Posts: 74

The IBM Solution Designer certifications are bound to a certain product, i.e Solution Designer for DB2 UDB, Solution Designer for Websphere MQ, etc, while SCEA are more JEE in general. Thus, it depends on what is the purpose of the certification. To put an edge in your CV for more general JEE position, I would prefer SCEA but for more specialized product in IBM, go for IBM's.

Just my 2 cent.

Zulfikar Dharmawan
SCJP1.4, ICS DB2, ICD Websphere
Alfred Jayaprakash

Joined: Jan 11, 2008
Posts: 10
Not completely true. There are two kinds of IBM Solution Designer certifications. Ones that are bound to a specific IBM product (like DB2, Websphere etc) and another that are quasi-general topics like SOA, RUP etc.

Now, my answer to the original question on SCEA or Solution Designer would be that the strength of these certifications would depend on where and how you want to position yourself. For example, if you were to position yourself towards SOA projects, SOA Solution Designer is certainly a good bet. SCEA is good if you still want to be on the Java/J2EE development as SCEA is not really directed towards SOA although J2EE deals with a bit of webservices. RUP Solution Designer is more a process oriented certification and certainly some companies look for RUP experts and this certification will really be useful for a prospective candidate. But RUP Solution Designer cannot stand by itself and needs to be complemented by another certification like SCEA or SOA Soln Designer.

To cut this lengthy mail short, i will say that SCEA + SOA Solution Designer + RUP Solution Designer (plus other things like Scrum Practioner or ITIL certifications) is a very good package for an architect to be and anyone looking for those juicy architect jobs. But as always, a certificate itself does not make you an architect; A Certificate can just complement your skills and experience that you have acquired over years. This is my own thoughts on your question.

[ September 28, 2008: Message edited by: Alfred Jayaprakash ]
[ September 30, 2008: Message edited by: Alfred Jayaprakash ]

Alfred Jayaprakash

Sun Certified Enterprise Architect
IBM Certified Solution Designer - RUP 7.0
Call it 'Component' when others understand what you have coded
Call it 'Framework' when you don't understand what you have coded
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Which exam is more recognizable - SCEA or IBM Solution Designer?
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