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Hi All,

I met with some people from a private firm that has been hired to automate some data flows from PDF files to Excel and then to SharePoint. I wrote some VBA code for them to brute-force-test and they were impressed with what I had accomplished. The one fellow, who I believe is the project lead, asked me if I had my MOS Certification and I said no. Now I'm wondering if that is something that I should be aspiring to obtain? I don't know much about the MOS certification and am wondering if there are any certified people here at daniweb and whether or not the certification is worth getting? Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated.

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Last Post by LastMitch
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    Certification was really big between 1998-2004. Everyone was promised high paying salaries after completing a 6 week boot camp program. Many people were becoming paper certified by getting access to exam dumps, memorizing questions and answers with no experience. Alot of organizations started to look at certifications with less value … Read More

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    >so many people tried to ‘fake’ their way into IT jobs back in the day! People still try. Its amazing to see when you are on an interview panel and people come in with a bunch of certification documents, and they have trouble answering basic questions. An applicant is better … Read More

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Now I'm wondering if that is something that I should be aspiring to obtain?

MOS certification is more administration work not really programming. If you are intend to major in business and finance and planning to work in that field then yes it would be helpful to get certified.

But if you are interested in getting any IT certification. I would suggest getting Network + certification (CCNA) or Database (Oracle etc) certification.

I have a Network + certification not CCNA.

So it comes in handy if you are apply for IT jobs.

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I really appreciate your input on this
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Thank you LastMitch, I appreciate the feedback. I've been checking out the SQL Server Certification, I think that will be my first that I go for. I am currently working on 2 degrees, Information Systems and a general Business degree so MOS certification may not be a bad idea either. There seems to be a lot of certifications out there and the more I have (imo) the better off I will be. I know that I most likely will not get a Network certification because I had a really hard time with the Computer Networking course I took in university (did not like it).

Anyhow, I've a lot to think about.

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Certification was really big between 1998-2004. Everyone was promised high paying salaries after completing a 6 week boot camp program. Many people were becoming paper certified by getting access to exam dumps, memorizing questions and answers with no experience. Alot of organizations started to look at certifications with less value because people were being hired and they werent able to perform when they were finally on the job.

Not saying this is your scenario...I see that your situation is quite different.

I think that certification is a plus. For those that do not have the experience yet, my recommendation is that the focus should be on completing school work and getting their bachelors/masters degree and build up experience. Certification is icing on the cake by letting your employer know that you are serious about keeping up with the tecnologies.

Dont hold yourself back. While networking may be challenging for you now, it may not be in the future. All aspects of IT are all integrated one way or another. You can be even more proficient in SQL, if you are very familiar with networking. Same goes with programming and scripting...you'll write better T-SQL.

I'm not saying certification is a waste of time, on the contrary, its another tool for you to continue developing your career. I have many IT related certifications.

Edited by JorgeM

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Thank you very much for your insight here, I really appreciate it!
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That’s all very interesting JorgeM. I didn’t know that so many people tried to ‘fake’ their way into IT jobs back in the day! That must have been horrendous for the companies that were hiring them. Did this happen primarily because of the whole Y2K problems? Back in the late 90s I wasn’t as savvy as I am now (although I could do more with a pc than most lay-people could) and I was told in 2001 (ish) that the IT industry was flooded with IT personnel, was that true? If it was true, was it because of the ‘fake’ IT people? I was interested back then in the IT field but didn’t bother because of the apparent flooding of IT personnel.

My focus is still my BSc in IS and if I would have passed my Networks course I would be graduated already :(. As it is, I have to wait till next spring. I’m going to heed your advice and not worry about certifications until I have my BSc.
Would you say that certifications are a good way to keep up with Industry changes in hardware and software?

Thanks JorgeM, your post really got me thinking and I appreciate that a lot!

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so many people tried to ‘fake’ their way into IT jobs back in the day!

People still try. Its amazing to see when you are on an interview panel and people come in with a bunch of certification documents, and they have trouble answering basic questions. An applicant is better off coming into the inverview and being honest by saying that have limited or no experience, but have taken the time to go through a certification process because they are trying to learn and get their foot in the door. That would be more respectable and acceptable. When technical people are sitting on a panel, the "fakes" are evident within minutes of discussion.

That must have been horrendous for the companies that were hiring them. Did this happen primarily because of the whole Y2K problems?

Y2K was definately part of the equation. This also had to do with a booming IT industry. There were a lot of startups as well as companies investing in IT during this time.

that the IT industry was flooded with IT personnel, was that true?

Sure was... one organization that I know of well had rougly 800 IT staff, now they are around 575. Lots of money was spent during that time. New projects, lots of new servers, SAN storage, network upgrades, etc...

I’m going to heed your advice and not worry about certifications until I have my BSc.

You'll find that there are a lot of challanges in life. One thing that can never be taken away from you is your education. everything else comes and goes...money, relationships, jobs, stuff, etc...

Would you say that certifications are a good way to keep up with Industry changes in hardware and software?

Yes, most definately. A certification program can help you get focused and master a track if you really take it seriously. Once you become stale and stagnet in this industry, you will not be as valuable as an asset to your organization. I find that in this industry you must continue developing.

This development will consist of further education, reading books, self-training, and even helping on forums...

Edited by JorgeM

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Certification has come under a lot of scrutiny in Canada lately. There is a recent flap over temporary workers coming in from India and displacing Canadians from existing jobs. There was a loophole whereby foreign workers could be brought in as temps (on projects). The loophole allowed them to obtain immigration status (bypassing the normal immigration queue) and also allowed the local companies to pay them 15% less than they would have to pay a Canadian worker. In some cases, employees were being asked to train the people who would replace them. The Royal Bank was the most high-profile company to be outed.

How this relates to certification was that many of the foreign workers were found to have purchased their certification without any training. In one case, a worker was certified as a senior systems engineer even though he was only 22 years old and had just graduated college.

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Certification was really big between 1998-2004. Everyone was promised high paying salaries after completing a 6 week boot camp program.

I got mines during 2003. Wow, I wish you didn't mention the years because I feel old now. Plus my first few jobs are not really related to IT but mostly finance jobs. It's the past 5 years that I actually used it.

I don't need to renew my certification.

I have many IT related certifications.

I don't want to be nosy do you need to renew your certifications?

Edited by LastMitch

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Most vendors will "retire" certifications after some period of time. I recall that in the past Microsoft certs were set up where if you didnt renew/upgrade the cert it basically became invalid. After much outcry from prople, they changed that around 2001 where your cert is still good for only the technology you certified in. During that time i got certified with all of the typical ones... CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, and Citrix. I kept all of my certifications up to date till about 2009 mainly because I was teaching... courses related computer repair, OS, cabling, and networking.

I've thought about getting my Microsoft certs up to date again since I did put a lot of effort into those (back since NT 4) but I still study and keep up in the same manner without taking the exams. I guess I would if there was a job opportunity that required me to have it. The point that I'm at know, it's my experience and connections with people in the industry that I have that is of most value to me.

Edited by JorgeM

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Most vendors will "retire" certifications after some period of time.

I agree.

The point that I'm at know, it's my experience and connections with people in the industry that I have that is of most value to me.

I feel you are beyond that you don't need to get certifications. You have a lot of expereince.

I've been checking out the SQL Server Certification, I think that will be my first that I go for. I am currently working on 2 degrees, Information Systems and a general Business degree so MOS certification may not be a bad idea either.

I think Stuugie might have to study hard to get that certification and also plan ahead to make sure to renew it every 3 years.

It should be the same requirement in Canada. I think. I'm not sure maybe the requirement might be more strict base on what** RJ** mention regarding about get those IT certification.

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Y2K was definately part of the equation. This also had to do with a booming IT industry. There were a lot of startups as well as companies investing in IT during this time.

yes, and the massive increase in companies offering certification programs was in part a response to that, an effort to weed out the incompetent who were pulled into IT during the Y2K programs in order to provide hands on keyboards to quickly churn out relatively simple code (fixing Y2K related things in a Cobol or PL/1 codebase could often be done by careful copy-paste replacement of code fragments, anyone who could remember how to do that was hired almost and on leaving those projects would have 1-2 years of "programming experience" on their resume while actually knowing nothing).

Certification has come under a lot of scrutiny in Canada lately. There is a recent flap over temporary workers coming in from India and displacing Canadians from existing jobs. There was a loophole whereby foreign workers could be brought in as temps (on projects). The loophole allowed them to obtain immigration status (bypassing the normal immigration queue) and also allowed the local companies to pay them 15% less than they would have to pay a Canadian worker. In some cases, employees were being asked to train the people who would replace them. The Royal Bank was the most high-profile company to be outed.

That's how the US H1b system has worked for a long time as well, and especially Indian shops abuse(d?) it on a grand scale to flood the market with cheap labour.
Customer pays the US subsidiary of an Indian body shop consultancy fees at a rate that's just high enough that it is legal to bring in non-US workers, they bring in their Indian people on Indian wages plus a living allowance and shove them 10 to an apartment, then bill them rent and travel expenses.
And they still make more than they would working in India...
To do this, they push so many H1b applications through the system that it's next to impossible for anyone else to even get an application filed before the application process closes because it's overflowing 10-15 minutes after it opens for the year.

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Customer pays the US subsidiary of an Indian body shop consultancy fees at a rate that's just high enough that it is legal to bring in non-US workers, they bring in their Indian people on Indian wages plus a living allowance and shove them 10 to an apartment, then bill them rent and travel expenses.

In the states, native american indians gets alot of benefits from the US government more than any group because of their status and history in the country.

I don't quite understand why you mention Canadian government having qoutas to decide which person should take a test.

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