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Certifications - helpful? hype? useful? waste of time?

Warrick Wilson
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 04, 2006
Posts: 10
Do employers look at certifications these days? I know that we didn't when we hired a person earlier this year, and when I was the Engineering Manager at a small company in Canada, I hired a guy who didn't have any formal software development experience. He turned out to be a tremendous developer.

Is it worth pursuing the various Microsoft/Sun/whoever certifications for development advancement? I'm looking at things like .NET and Java, rather than network/security-related topics.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60975
    
  65

In every organization I have worked, certifications were/are meaningless with regards to employment decisions. In fact, at one place I worked (worst job of my career), they were actively sneered upon.

I think certifications are great personal goals to attain, but in my experience, they are not a factor in the employment game.


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arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
I share the same view as Bear. It is okay for the beginners, who don't have any experience to show that they are motivated and capable. If an experienced professional thinks that gaining certification is one of his/her greatest achievements, then the prospective employer should be cautious.

So, I would say

-- It is helpful to understand the basics.
-- It is useful to beginners and career changers.
-- It is a hype to think that certification alone will open more doors for you or make you standout from your competition.
-- It is a waste of time , if you are already an accomplished professional.


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Damodar Mukhopadhyay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 15, 2007
Posts: 98
Its really helpful. You will rock in the interview I can say that...


SCJP 1.5, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 5.0, next SCDJWS...
Sagar Rohankar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 19, 2008
Posts: 2902
    
    1

The importance of certification is discussed here many time, the recent one will be this:
http://www.coderanch.com/forums/posts/preList/451024/2008605

The bottom line is:
If you have some certification, its good, but its not necessary from employment prospective.

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Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
I think certifications are great personal goals to attain, but in my experience, they are not a factor in the employment game.



I agree



Sandeep
Hong Anderson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
Bear Bibeault wrote:
I think certifications are great personal goals to attain, but in my experience, they are not a factor in the employment game.

But in my experience, they are .

This could lead to endless discussions, because everybody has different experience. I think we just should not place ourselves in the center of the universe.
For me, I never paid a single penny for a certification, if I had to to pay myself, I might not take a certification.


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Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
Kengkaj Sathianpantarit wrote:
Bear Bibeault wrote:
I think certifications are great personal goals to attain, but in my experience, they are not a factor in the employment game.

But in my experience, they are .

Kengkaj Sathianpantarit wrote:
For me, I never paid a single penny for a certification, if I had to to pay myself, I might not take a certification.


If I understand correctly, I think these two sentences mean differently. In your first sentence if you mean certifcation adds value to employment and in your second sentence if you mean you will not pay for certification, I just want to understand why you do not want to pay for something which will give you more or better employment opportunity.
Hong Anderson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
1. I don't rely on certifications.
2. If the company pay certification fee for me that means:
1) I have an opportunity to get certified for free (in terms of fee of course)
2) The company supports employees to get certified.

I hope this is not difficult to understand, it's just like, something is good but it's not necessary and we have to pay to get it, but if we could get it for free, will we get it?
Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
I understand you got chance to do it free so you did it.

But my point is does certification is factor in employment?

you said
But in my experience, they are .


But you also say you will not pay for it if you have to.




Hong Anderson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
It does not affect much. If you know 100 things that will help you a little bit to get a job, will you buy everything? But if you could get it for free, will you get it?

From my experience, almost the interviewers/employers *feel positive* that I have some certs, but I don't think that I got jobs only because I've certs.
It's one factor, but not a big factor. And I used to mention this before in another topic, some companies increase salary if we have some certs.

Most of the companies that I have worked with supports employees to get certified, in my country this is usual, I think most people didn't pay the fee themselves at lease in my country.
For other countries, it might be different.

If you still don't understand, just forget about it. It's not important much .
Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
Actually,
I understood it at the first place. But I found it strange that someone in one single post says two sentences which mean opposite and now want to run away from discussion, it is just a discussion/debate nothing else, don't worry.

Note : Discussion is not about you and me. It is discussion in general.
Hong Anderson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
If you understood it at the first place. Next time, just don't ask.
Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
You are not moderator of this forum. Are you?
Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
I understand you did not like it because you did not have point.
César Guzmán
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 08, 2009
Posts: 29
arulk pillai wrote:I share the same view as Bear. It is okay for the beginners, who don't have any experience to show that they are motivated and capable. If an experienced professional thinks that gaining certification is one of his/her greatest achievements, then the prospective employer should be cautious.

So, I would say

-- It is helpful to understand the basics.
-- It is useful to beginners and career changers.
-- It is a hype to think that certification alone will open more doors for you or make you standout from your competition.
-- It is a waste of time , if you are already an accomplished professional.


I agree, certifications are good, if you are a beginner you'll have not only the basics but a deeper understanding on the technology, you'll get a job easier. Besides, knowledge is always welcome, it may saves you many minutes/hours of investigations at work.


SCJP 5, SCWCD 5
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30293
    
150

César: Definitely. Learning is very valuable.

Kengkaj, Sandeep: Guys - remember to be nice.


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Damodar Mukhopadhyay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 15, 2007
Posts: 98
They are very very helpful... You will gain lots of knoledge and good job...
Exp also required.
I got good job and 100% hike in this recsession. All this happened after my latest certification in EJB.

Thank You Java ranch...

Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16011
    
  19

It also matters on what country you're in. A lot of outsourcers like to use certs as selling points to prospective clients. Lind of like pasting sparkly stars on their CVs.

Unfortunately, only a very few number of certifications carry any actual assurance of deep and practical assurance of expertise in the certified subject, and a lot of them are too narrowly defined to be in and of themselves practical. Mostly those type are used for people who want sparkly stars and for vendors who use the number of people carrying those certs as a selling point as to the amount of third-party expertise you can allegedly tap.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
 
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