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I was thinking about the subject of certification and was wondering if it is worth the time and effort and do employers really look at certification?

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Last Post by J_Kay
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Certifications will definitely bolster your CV. However, do not get certified until you really do know the material in the books. I've worked with MANY certified techs that don't know their a$$ from anything. It used to be VERY easy to become text book MCSE etc, but the tests have gotten a lot harder, especially for the Cisco certs. Really, a certification should do exactly what the word says, certify what you know, not what you just memorized some answers for. You should have working knowledge of your certification.

Andy

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Thanks for the advice Nicentral I will take it into concideration and when I'm sure that I know what the hell I'm doing I will proceed in taking the test.

Thanks again

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Would you agree though that there are some questions on the exams that are unneccesary? I know people that have years of experience with computers that would stumble on some questions on the A+. There are some questions that, if you did not prepare for them, would cause even an IT guru to stumble. Cisco certs have some really ridiculous questions on them. In my CCNA class only 10% of the students passed the CCNA exam, even though the average grade on the quizes were in the lower a upper b range. I agree that people should not just memorize potential questions and take the test, but even experienced IT people may need to to some degree. Unfortunatly I have met both types. I once knew an A+ certified tech that didnt know there was a battery on a motherboard *sigh*.

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if nothing else a certification will help you get your foot in the door. i recently landed a job as a mssql dba; i don't think i'd have been invited to the interview if I hadn't got the certification.

whether you'll actually learn anything useful while taking the courses (i've only ever done 1 mcp in SQL Server Programming so i can't speak for them all) is a seperate issue entirely.

we got free food while on the course though, which made it all worth it :)

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I've been looking for work for the past 4 months and the experience has been a very mixed bag. At first I didn't have any current certifications (I had a CCNA at one time, but let it lapse) and I thought my experience would get me in the door (I've been in the business for about 12 years). Employers wouldn't even call me for an interview.

Then last month I bit the bullet and took and passed the Network+ exam.

To be honest, a large number of the questions on the exam were dated and the chances of running into the scenarios in the real world are slim (thick-net, thin-net, token-ring, etc.).

But since I got the cert, I've had three calls for interviews and one call-back.

The cert only gets you to the interview. It's up to you to sell yourself and show your skill knowledge during the interview. If you only know enough to pass the test, then it'll show during a good IT interview.

mtc
tuck

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Look at it this way. You are more likey to get the job if you have the certification.
There are many companies that offer to pay for your certification, but you are required to study for so long each day while at work and on the clock ;)

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I've been looking for work for the past 4 months and the experience has been a very mixed bag. At first I didn't have any current certifications (I had a CCNA at one time, but let it lapse) and I thought my experience would get me in the door (I've been in the business for about 12 years). Employers wouldn't even call me for an interview.

Then last month I bit the bullet and took and passed the Network+ exam.

To be honest, a large number of the questions on the exam were dated and the chances of running into the scenarios in the real world are slim (thick-net, thin-net, token-ring, etc.).

But since I got the cert, I've had three calls for interviews and one call-back.

The cert only gets you to the interview. It's up to you to sell yourself and show your skill knowledge during the interview. If you only know enough to pass the test, then it'll show during a good IT interview.

mtc
tuck

Thanks for the info Tuck, I've decided that it would be in my best interest to get certified, just recently got A+ cert software and hardware. And when I'm done with school I go for the the bigger certifications. :cheesy:

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Look at it this way. You are more likey to get the job if you have the certification.
There are many companies that offer to pay for your certification, but you are required to study for so long each day while at work and on the clock ;)

This is so true lighting, I work for a cable co that will pay for certain certifications,along with a pay raise I can't see any reason for me not to go for it, just need to find the time between work and school to do all the studying that will give me the wisdom. :)
Thanks

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Hello,

I am not a hiring manager, just an IT guy that is 8 years out of college.

Certifications go nicely to complement experience. But if you look at a fresh-out-of-school guy with some certs vs. someone who has worked with the technology for several years without them, I am willing to bet they will hire the seasoned guy.

Ideally, you have a balance of experience, and certs. Don't try to cert in something you have no experience with.

Christian

(3 for 3 on cert exams)

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You have to get an interview to get the job. I don't know about a lot of areas. But around here. If you don't have atleast one certification you don't get the interview.

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Check out http://actualtests.com --> one of the best and cheapest site available.

$99 gets you access to all test questions and study material for hundreds of Certs

Great,Great sit Lhawk, it will help me out tremendously.:)

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Hello,

I am not a hiring manager, just an IT guy that is 8 years out of college.

Certifications go nicely to complement experience. But if you look at a fresh-out-of-school guy with some certs vs. someone who has worked with the technology for several years without them, I am willing to bet they will hire the seasoned guy.

Ideally, you have a balance of experience, and certs. Don't try to cert in something you have no experience with.

Christian

(3 for 3 on cert exams)

Sounds like a double edge sword, THANKS for the insight. :-|

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You have to get an interview to get the job. I don't know about a lot of areas. But around here. If you don't have atleast one certification you don't get the interview.

Trust me. Christian's advice sticks more in my area than anything. The market's so slim in our area, we've got people with 8 years administration experience going out for entry-level "cable monkey" jobs.

...That was 2 years ago, at least. I'm celebrating my 2nd year with my company. I have no certs, but I've made it all the way to a coach in the technical support division. I'd say that having certs might help push your foot a little further into that door, but they're certainly not going to be what keeps you there. I've met so many "paper" CCNA's, MCSE's and CompTIA certified folks that it makes me sick. What else makes me really sick is that those same people might get more job opportunities than me, simply because "they've got certs".

I have certs, too-- it's just mine have Retsin!

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Certs no longer get you a job, there are so many useless ones that they're no longer a sign of excellence.
What SOME certs will do is get you a foot in the door, get your CV past that first screening in which all the obvious crap is thrown in the paper shredder.

After I got my SCJP 1.4 cert earlier this year (and started working on SCJD) and updated my online CV I noticed a marked increase in headhunters cold calling me.
This may well have been chance though as the economy started to slowly thaw out of the deep freeze of the last 4 years at around the same time, but it can't have hurt.
Now those are relatively rare certs (especially SCJD) around here.

The same doesn't hold for MCSE and MCSD, those are so common and useless that there are companies (and I used to work for one) who won't even invite anyone who has them unless they also have 5+ years' experience (of course I now have 10 years' experience with my SCJP so that helps a lot as well).
There are so many MCSE holders out there who don't know an RJ45 connector from a DIMM that the cert has lost all value.

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Certs no longer get you a job, there are so many useless ones that they're no longer a sign of excellence.
What SOME certs will do is get you a foot in the door, get your CV past that first screening in which all the obvious crap is thrown in the paper shredder.

After I got my SCJP 1.4 cert earlier this year (and started working on SCJD) and updated my online CV I noticed a marked increase in headhunters cold calling me.
This may well have been chance though as the economy started to slowly thaw out of the deep freeze of the last 4 years at around the same time, but it can't have hurt.
Now those are relatively rare certs (especially SCJD) around here.

The same doesn't hold for MCSE and MCSD, those are so common and useless that there are companies (and I used to work for one) who won't even invite anyone who has them unless they also have 5+ years' experience (of course I now have 10 years' experience with my SCJP so that helps a lot as well).
There are so many MCSE holders out there who don't know an RJ45 connector from a DIMM that the cert has lost all value.

reading this is depressing, i have a b.s. in Information Systems that i got in '03 and I haven't had one job in IT. May of 2006 will make 3 yrs out of school w/o a job in the IT Field. I did have an Intership as a Tech Support/Mainframe Op. but that's it. I don't have any Certifications, but I am reading the A+ and Net+ book. WHAT DO I DO???

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reading this is depressing, i have a b.s. in Information Systems that i got in '03 and I haven't had one job in IT. May of 2006 will make 3 yrs out of school w/o a job in the IT Field. I did have an Intership as a Tech Support/Mainframe Op. but that's it. I don't have any Certifications, but I am reading the A+ and Net+ book. WHAT DO I DO???

No reading that is depressing.

Look. I'm not even out of my Technical College and I've already been offered 3 jobs. I also live in the middle of no-where.
I'm no genious either. I actually know just the basics of computers. But I love to learn and I love to work.

One thing you might try out. Monster.com or whatever it is. They send me an email everyday with different jobs that I can apply for. Another thing is try to do some freelance work.. Go fix a friends computer a few times and get a reputation, BUT don't do it for free. You have about 6yrs of schooling behind you. You've earned the pay :)

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That's good that you have job offers already. I am waiting to go to tech school to get my MCSA/MCSE for free. The agency (a government agency for people that qualify for training to help them re-enter the work force) that is paying for it is going over my application. Its a good chance that my app. will be denied because I lack experience. Successful applicants are normally those that 1) have been laid off, like me, 2) Have the education, like me, and 3) have the experience. The main thing they look at is the experience, because they know IT is such a competative and congested industry right now, only experienced people are getting hired. Sucks right? I'm reading the A+ and Net+ book on my own though.

I stay in Atlanta and trust me, the IT Market is VERY competative out here. I use to use monster all the time. I rarely got call backs. When I did, I would normally get screened out because I can't compete with these laid off experts with 7 to 15 yrs of IT experience will to take the same job

You sound exactly like me when you said:

I'm no genious either. I actually know just the basics of computers. But I love to learn and I love to work.

On top of that, I am good at this stuff, I have always picked it up much faster than my peers in class, especially programming classes. Not 'cause I'm smarter, but because I love this stuff, so I know where you're coming from.

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A-town huh...? Well. Most of my job finds are in that area.

I live about 4 hours south of you in Douglas. My job offers are at a couple of smaller businesses.

Though one that I would like to try for if I move to Atlanta will be at Comnexia. I'm not sure I would get one, but it's worth a shot. I hear a lot of good things about them.

Honestly if you want a good IT job in Atlanta or the surrounding area. What you are going to want to do is:

1. Make up an unbelievable but true resume.
----They want experience, and even if you don't have any in IT make you you put it down.. i don't care if it was a burger joint. It shows that you've had a job.. a big plus :D

2. Be persistant. Keep calling and checking on possible potitions. Don't make them think that they're your only option, but don't over do it.

3. Go to http://actualtests.com and study for your exams.

4. If you have networking, desktop support, or just regular PC troubleshooting knowledge. Try one of the Many hospitals up there :)

----

First impression in an interview is everything too. Don't overdress but don't show up like a GeeK. I'm the only one that can pull that off. Because I know how to make them laugh about it and feel comfortable. LoL :P

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If you live in Atlanta, you may want to skip Monster.com and check out ComputerJobs.com. They have a large amount of IT job listings for the Atlanta region.

I'm just finishing up my BSIT from University of Phoenix. I plan on moving into an IT field once I finish with the Army in 2 years. I'm trying to decide if I should spend the next 2 years getting certs or obtaining a Masters degree in either Software Engineering or Project Management. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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I'd work on a little of both, but then I'm always overloading and I don't know your current situation.

But. If you are finishing up a career with the army I hope you signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill. That will pay for all of your college time after you get out of the army. Soo... you know, you have quite a bit of options to look at.

Just see which one you think you would have more fun with. Or would get you the job first :)

Whatever you're shooting for Good Luck with it.
You'll make the right desicion. You already made one by joining the army :)

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A-town huh...? Well. Most of my job finds are in that area.

I live about 4 hours south of you in Douglas. My job offers are at a couple of smaller businesses.

Though one that I would like to try for if I move to Atlanta will be at Comnexia. I'm not sure I would get one, but it's worth a shot. I hear a lot of good things about them.

Honestly if you want a good IT job in Atlanta or the surrounding area. What you are going to want to do is:

1. Make up an unbelievable but true resume.
----They want experience, and even if you don't have any in IT make you you put it down.. i don't care if it was a burger joint. It shows that you've had a job.. a big plus :D

2. Be persistant. Keep calling and checking on possible potitions. Don't make them think that they're your only option, but don't over do it.

3. Go to http://actualtests.com and study for your exams.

4. If you have networking, desktop support, or just regular PC troubleshooting knowledge. Try one of the Many hospitals up there :)

----

First impression in an interview is everything too. Don't overdress but don't show up like a GeeK. I'm the only one that can pull that off. Because I know how to make them laugh about it and feel comfortable. LoL :P

Yeah, that's good advice, i'll have to check out actualtests.com

You should send me a copy of your resume, without the personal inform of course. I think I need to start there, because I am not getting call backs.

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get your CV past that first screening in which all the obvious crap is thrown in the paper shredder.

KC0ARF is right, it's the balance that is important. I'm looking to add a MCSE course to my two years of experience running an IT office. Probably get a CCNA added to the deal.

Unlike Fasola, I need a new job to pay for that stuff. I'm already depressed, I only sent one email asking when a temporary contract was available from, and he didn't bother to respond. Sadly some of us are still trying to avoid the shredder.

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Just a thought.....I had some trouble with my resume and cover letters, so I went out a picked up a book. It's called Get the Interview Every Time by Brenda Greene ISBN: 0793183022 It covers everything from writing a resume, cover letters, things to do or not to do in an interview, submitting electronic resumes/cover letters. Overall a great book, should be able to nab it for under $15. It's gotten me my last two positions, one right out of college and then the one I'm at now. :)

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