My view on IT Certifications

The topic of many discussions I’ve been involved in lately, are in relation on whether or not IT professionals should get certified. Many people are completely opposed to the idea, while others believe this is a great way to improve your skills and get ahead in your career.

I’m CERTainly on the second group, and I will explain what certifications did for my career. I started my IT career as a pc hardware repair technician. I was making little to no money, and had a very limited understanding of the software side of IT. Not knowing what other technical guys were talking about, drove me to pursue some certifications. After several months of studying hard, I was able to earn a couple of certifications, before I started to pursue college degrees.

POSITIVE aspects of earning certifications:

  • I was able to acquire the knowledge of other areas of IT
  • I was promoted to a better position with higher financial compensation
  • My self esteem improved
  • Became hungry for knowledge and resulted in many other certifications

NEGATIVE aspects of not getting certified:

Notice I used the word earned, in this post. Many people opt for brain dumps to pass certifications and are only hurting themselves. It is very easy to spot the cheaters from the ones that earned a certification. A person that is “certified” but does not know the basic information, presents itself as incompetent and everyone can easily infer that such individual did not earn the certification. In IT, there are many tight communities of professionals, and your reputation as an IT professional is imperative for career advancement. If your reputation is one of a cheater, you won’t get very far.

Interviews is another way to find the cheaters. During my career, I was involved in many interviews. I was able to discern the fake IT professionals within five minutes or less. Not only did those individuals not get the job, but would also get the negative reputation I previously mentioned.

Many people decide not to get certified for many reasons:

  • People that used brain dumps, gave the certs a bad reputation – don’t want to be part of that group
  • Too busy, don’t have time
  • No value
  • High Cost

I was once in this set of mind. Finding out that people with the same certs I had did not know anything about that topic, made me lose trust on certifications. I was also really busy with two little kids and going through my Master’s degree program. Although, I had some legit excuses (so I thought), I decided to keep getting certified. I’m not going to lie, it was incredibly hard to juggle all this things and study for certifications, but doing so I was able to obtain my a very satisfying position, where I get to learn new things, have fun, and of course; get certifications.