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The Almighty Buck IT

The IT Certs That No Longer Pay Extra 267

Posted by samzenpus
from the changing-values dept.
snydeq writes "Overall employment in tech is improving, but the certs you could once count on for a job or extra pay are losing their value, InfoWorld reports. 'Businesses no longer value what are increasingly considered standard skills, and instead are putting their money both into a new set of emerging specialties and into hybrid technology/business roles.'"
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The IT Certs That No Longer Pay Extra

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  • by sanman2 (928866) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:08PM (#38911357)

    I think that the ability to succeed in a hybridized programmer-businessanalyst role depends on how complex the business and its processes are, as well as how complex its IT platforms are. If you're a more simpler company with simpler business processes and simpler platforms, then it's doable. But if you're in a complicated business environment with complex IT infrastructure, then creating these hybridized roles is asking for trouble.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:12PM (#38911393)
      But a hybridized role offers the possibility of leveraging the perspectives of both, creating synergistic opportunities resulting from such unique dual-paradigm exposure.
    • by pooh666 (624584) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:58PM (#38911673)
      btw, this BS term, its real meaning, has been true since back in the pocket protector days. Just more of stupid infowadd trying to come up with something that sounds new out of the same old.. Ah duh I need to know about the business to program and build systems for it. YES like as it ALWAYS has been.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:48AM (#38912139) Homepage

      It's the good old "jack of all trades" vs "master of one" all over again, and I call bullshit. The largest companies I've seen have had business liaisons and IT liaisons and the business divisions were trying to align their demands and the IT divisions (central + specialized) trying to align their deliveries and the idea that one person could do everything was ridiculous. It's got nothing to do with being capable, it's that time is limited and one resource can only cover so much ground while staying updated on the technology, the business needs, the organization and plans and everything else that's constantly shifting. You need specialization and communication, the latter is obviously important so you don't get "islands" that act on their own but thinking everyone should be generalists is just as flawed.

      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Friday February 03, 2012 @04:58AM (#38912795) Journal
        Not everyone should be generalists, sure. However, IT in the past decade or two has in fact shifted towards the idea that everyone should be specialists, and that's wrong as well. Not just for small outfits where people will fill several roles out of necessity; it's true even in large corporations that can afford to retain numerous specialists. Some of those large corporations now see an increasing need for generalists who are able to keep an overview of the tech landscape as well as the business landscape. You don't just need communication between the various specialists and between it and the business, you need coordination, and for that, neither a manager nor a specialist will suffice; you'll need a generalist techie with good business knowledge as well.

        Being such a generalist can be a great deal of fun (it's what I currently do), but there is a snag. Good generalists are hard to find, perhaps because so many choose to specialise. It takes a good deal of searching to fill a generalist position, or one has to tailor the role slightly to the person that one finds, which goes directly against the idea of ever increasing specialisation, and the parameterisation and compartimentalisation of IT work. As a results, generalist roles are often poorly understood and perceived to be hard to manage. The work's great and if you do it well, everyone will wonder how they ever did without having someone like you. But in my own experience it is very hard to carve out an actual career for yourself this way. For the aforementioned reasons, not because there is no need for generalists.

        By the way, the trend towards ever deeper specialisation does not only exist in tech work; I see it happening in many other fields as well. And it isn't just the result of the maturation of professions; I suspect that there is another important factor: our managers and the methods used for running our companies. These days it's all management-by-the-numbers, spreadsheets and dashboards. The managers behind those dashboards love managing resources, but in general they hate managing people, and there is a difference.
        • The managers behind those dashboards love managing resources, but in general they hate managing people, and there is a difference.

          Of course there's a difference :) I don't mind managing technology, but I wouldn't really like to manage a large team of people.

          Plenty of geek types enjoy RTSes, and 75% of those games seem to be resource management (I don't really play them myself).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by db10 (740174)
      Lol you're joking right? When's the last time you encountered a competent BA or programmer, let alone the holy grail, the perfect merger! The only thing to make him holier is if he has an HB-1
  • by afabbro (33948) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:09PM (#38911363) Homepage

    There are really own two certs I respect: Cisco's CCIE and Oracle's OCM. Both require hands-on lab demonstrations of skill. (Is RedHat doing that now, too?)

    All other certs are undervalued by dumps. Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco - you name it, all you need to do is buy or torrent the questions online, memorize the answers, and go in and take the test. Literally, anyone with zero knowledge of the material can do this. It's laughable.

    When I've been involved in hiring, I've never really paid attention to someone's certs. I'd certainly hire someone with several years of hands-on experience in a technology who wasn't certified over someone with no experience who was.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:13PM (#38911399)

      Both require hands-on lab demonstrations of skill. (Is RedHat doing that now, too?)

      Back when I got my RHCT they certainly required it, and I cannot imagine that they stopped.

      • by txsable (169665) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:03AM (#38911939) Homepage

        Correct, the RHCT/RHCSA and RHCE certs do require a hands-on lab exam. I've done both of those--actually, all three since the RHEL5 to RHEL6 update happened between when I got my RHCT and RHCE, I had to take the RHCSA for RHEL6 before I could take the RHCE.

        (wow, I don't usually type that many initialisms in one sentence...)

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @04:42AM (#38912755)

          In 2000, my company flew 20 system administrators to a week-long course all day Monday to Thursday. On Friday, we had to take the exam: a four-part lab and long test (100 questions if I recall correctly). The four-part lab was hard. Everyone had one computer assigned to him. The instructor would load a disk image onto each computer. The OS was broken or mis-configured in some way. For example, it might not boot, or you couldn't logon, or it might not load a webpage. You had to figure out how it was broken and how to fix it on your own. We had no access to internet, but I think you could use the manual (not that it would help you directly).

          I had studied every night for a month before the class. I studied again every night Monday through Thursday during our class. During Friday's exam, I think it took me around 30 minutes on average to fix each of the four broken OS images. By the time I finished, many of my coworkers were still on the first or second problem. When the results came back, I was the only person who passed. Our of 20 people our company paid to fly across the country and put up in a hotel, I was the only person who earned a RHCE certificate. My conclusion: I respect anyone who has it. It certainly has no resemblance to a certificate that requires only a multiple-choice exam taken at some Prometric franchise.

          • by philipmather (864521) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:45AM (#38913175) Homepage Journal

            Seonded, and it still is the case in 2011. I'd done the RHCT on RHEL 5 under my own steam and my company paid for me and a handful of others to do the RHCSA/RHCE on RHCE 6. I would have done the same course as you and sat both exams on the Friday, RHCSA in the morning and RHCE in the afternoon. I passed both and at least 4 of my collegues did as well (although one used to work for Redhat as a trainer so it was a bit of a given), however we have several perfectly/very good sysadmins who failed.
            It's not a gimme and requires actual hands-on expiriece, the course is crammed with around an average of 40-60 pages of material a day.

          • by slaughts (50394) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:54AM (#38913679)

            I couldn't agree more. I used to think that the RHCE was a joke, and anyone could get one, but after taking the exam last year, I definitely respect anyone that passes it. I've been using Linux for 15+ years, and I found it very challenging. I struggled with a few of the things I don't do on a day-to-day basis, but having years of experience I was able to work through them.

    • by cashman73 (855518) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:14PM (#38911407) Journal
      I thought that the only certificate that tech employers cared about was the H1B?
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:17PM (#38911433) Journal

      I took some of the Microsoft certification Windows 2008 server courses, and I came out of understanding how these guys with their shiny certifications can be such incredibly ignorant idiots. I was astounded. How exactly any of it resembles in any way a proper education into something as multifaceted and at times complex as building, administering and troubleshooting an Active Directory environment was beyond me.

      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:45PM (#38911601) Journal

        It doesn't.

        The last time I bothered was for Windows 2000, and only then because the employer at the time demanded it. Not sure if it has changed, but back then you only needed to know that according to Microsoft, only a Microsoft-based solution to any given problem was considered sufficient. This was in spite of the fact that it often didn't make sense.

        I suspect things haven't changed much, and in my humble-but-professional opinion, someone with only the cert (and little-to-no experience) usually meant that they were superbly trained as marketing zombies, but were absolutely worthless as sysadmins.

        (...example? Clicking "cancel" when Task Scheduler demands a password in Server 2k8 will lock out an AD account in a hurry. Neat little bug, but one of the zillions of subtle things a sysadmin would know, but an MCSA would not.)

      • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:04AM (#38911709) Homepage

        Hi. MCITP, MCSE, and MCDST here.

        Microsoft certifications are about proof of concept and best practices along with familiarity of the product in question. That's it. It does not teach best business practices or optimization. It also doesn't teach advanced troubleshooting beyond looking up event logs and searching KB articles.

        You took the test. There was nothing deceptive about them that should have astounded you. Perhaps your false expectations were raised too high? Not to be snarky here, but seriously. How does Microsoft differ from any other company's product certification in this regard?

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:38AM (#38911851) Journal

          In other words, a reasonably experienced admin armed with Google and a basic knowledge of LDAP, DNS and Windows configuration is better armed for working with an Active Directory environment than someone who received a Microsoft certification.

          • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:59AM (#38911923) Homepage

            Correct. But the same could be said of any other certification too.

            Let's be frank about it. Certifications don't replace experience on a resume' despite what they may have you believe. If anything, it's the other way around. Certifications are obtained to augment someone with existing product experience. In my view, they're a resume' enhancement when combined with experience. Clueless HR people want them. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

          • by rinoid (451982)

            And I would add the same could be said for some *********MBA who comes in, thinks for the short term, doesn't nurture the topology or Design ... while many folk with experience can transition into strategic "hybrid" roles many do not get the chance to do so full on. An MBA doesn't make you smart, experience, judgement, and practice do. How this still gets past people is beyond me.

    • I remember the good old days, back with the MCSE certification tests, such as Windows NT 4.0 administration. It was almost completely of questions about integrating/migrating to/from/with a Novell network. My favorite, however, which was the Visual Basic Developer exam, which had no questions about code at all. There were just questions about the 'watch window' and the 'Package and Deployment Wizard'. I'm so glad work paid for those.
      • by afidel (530433)
        WTF are you talking about, I got my MCSE+I and never once had a question about Novell migration...
        • Then you did something wrong.

          There were so many Novell Netware questions, it was ridiculous. A fair portion of the MCSE NT 4.0 track detailed getting NT to play nice in heterogeneous environments, especially when NT was in the minority (in terms of deployment). I remember leaving one exam thinking that if I ever encountered a Citrix-based environment, I'd spray it down with gasoline and set it on fire.

               

        • by Pontiac (135778)

          That could be because of the adaptive tests they started using at the time..
          If you missed a question on a specific topic it would come back with more questions on that subject.

          I knew a few people who would intentionally blow a question on a well known subject to get the test to focus on that topic.

          Another point is everyone got a slightly different question set. I remember friends advising me to study certain topics they got lots of questions one but I saw none of them on my tests.

          The only MS test I was eve

    • Still worth having some of those if you study; if you get the CCNA the proper way youll interview a heck of a lot better than the guy who did a dump.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:30PM (#38911509)

      I never got this certification hate that seems to be everywhere. If you're worried about hiring someone with certs that have no knowledge, couldn't that info be sussed out during the interview? Are you unable to ask practical application questions to weed these people out?

      For someone like me, certs have gotten my foot in the door in this industry, with a company where there is plenty of room for moving up from desktop support to net/sys admin work. My hiring manager mentioned my certs and my knowledge as part of his reason for hiring me, and asked me the necessary questions to have me prove myself.

      But keep hating on certs, it seems to be the thing to do.

      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:54PM (#38911645) Journal

        If you're worried about hiring someone with certs that have no knowledge, couldn't that info be sussed out during the interview?

        If you know how, yes.

        Problem is, most folks don't, and those who do in the company aren't part of the interview process. Given this, most processes usually end up with half-clued IT managers who are easily impressed by buzzwords, interviewing someone who only needs to exhibit a knowledge spectrum just slightly deeper than that of the aforementioned managers.

      • by certain death (947081) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:22AM (#38911791)
        Well said...but you should have done it without being AC. I would have modded you up! BTW, the same goes for me. I have a CISSP-ISSAP, CCSA, JNCIE, CCIE and several other "C" credentials, I don't list them on my Resume to impress the technical folks, they simply get me past the HR guys. Once I get into the technical interview, I rely on my 20+ years of actually doing the job.
    • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:31PM (#38911515)
      Red Hat exams involve configuring, testing and repairing live systems.

      http://www.redhat.com/training/certifications/rhce/ [redhat.com]
      http://www.redhat.com/training/certifications/expertise/ [redhat.com]
    • by afidel (530433) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:50PM (#38911623)
      Another good one is VMWare's VCDE, it requires a written proposal and an in-person defense.

      I'm like you, most certs hold little value, show me what you've done and what you learned from it, that's the only thing that really matters. I kind of feel bad for freshly minted grads that went to a school without a coop program, they've paid all that money but are all but worthless unless a company is willing to invest at least a year in training them which costs about double their salary when you consider benefits plus the time of the people doing the training.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      certifications help the companies that sell the tests for the certifications. They make them money in lots of ways...first, from the sale of the tests. Second the "graduates" will use their equipment/software/whatever because they passed it, or because they are seen by some bosses as being at least competent in using that equipment, so that's what the company purchases. Third, neophytes see the certifications and decide they'll buy that equipment to learn so they can get the certification.

      But worst of all

    • by mikem170 (698970) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:17AM (#38911781) Homepage
      Most CCIEs I've met are sharp, however I've bumped into at least one glaring exception. He couldn't edit then copy/paste a simple standard access-list into a router - he didn't understand the access-list, nor did he know how to copy/paste into the session!!! We checked, his cert was legit as far as we could tell. I figured it had something to do with him working for a telco at the time (10+ years ago). I believe he had a lab. I also think he was grandfathered in - he didn't need to recertify or something. I changed my interview style after that. I ask a bunch of simple nitty-gritty tech question now, no matter how impressive the candidate sounds. You would be surprised how often someone whose resume looks stellar can't answer multiple simple questions - like what is a /24, a tcp reset packet, port used by http, etc.
      • by mcrbids (148650) on Friday February 03, 2012 @02:50AM (#38912387) Journal

        I changed my interview style after that. I ask a bunch of simple nitty-gritty tech question now, no matter how impressive the candidate sounds. You would be surprised how often someone whose resume looks stellar can't answer multiple simple questions - like what is a /24, a tcp reset packet, port used by http, etc.

        This oh yes this! Interviewing for programmer positions, I've seen gorgeous resumes by people with Masters in CompSci at reputable colleges and universities, with "accomplishments" like writing SQL language lexical parsers, who could not write even an approximation of a SQL query or even write a simple string replace function. (how do you get to lexical parsing without being able to manipulate strings?)

        This may seem a bit provocative, but this is very consistently the case with graduates from India. Having interviewed so many such people, so often having such beautiful resumes, you'd think I could have at least found a single one with enough programming expertise that I could hire, but that's so far not yet been the case.

        I really feel for these guys, because they've obviously spent lots of time/money doing something, and whatever it is that they're doing, it's not helping them much.

    • by Artea (2527062)

      All other certs are undervalued by dumps. Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco - you name it, all you need to do is buy or torrent the questions online, memorize the answers, and go in and take the test.

      Just today I did just that for my Microsoft MCITP cert exams. I'm familiar with the whole lot, been working with servers for many years now, but most of the questions in the exam has very little to do with day-to-day workings or even deployment of servers in most cases. Memorizing the answers is the only way to know you are going to pass the cert exam. I understand why these certificates are undervalued though, since anyone with no intimate knowledge of server environments can memorize a few terms and techn

    • by garaged (579941) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:34AM (#38911837) Homepage

      Redhat cert is pretty much hands on, and I can tell you that a lot of people think they have what it takes and fail on the exam at the very first steps

    • by mysidia (191772) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:46AM (#38911881)

      There are really own two certs I respect: Cisco's CCIE and Oracle's OCM. Both require hands-on lab demonstrations of skill. (Is RedHat doing that now, too?)

      Microsoft MCM certifications require hands-on lab demonstrations of skill. And there are plenty of other IT certs with similar requirements, that are not simple "pass a test, get the cert".

      Have you seen the requirements for the VMware VCDX [vmware.com] and Cisco Certified Architect [cisco.com] certifications that require prospectives to submit an application, have suitable experience shown, be accepted, build a design to certain requirements, and then defend their design choices in front of a panel?

      They kind of make Oracle OCM and IE look like like 'easy' certs by comparison.

      There are also things like CISSP-ISSMP, where applicants actually must have 2 years of job experience specifically related to the knowledge base and positive references to certify, in addition to passing tests, and they must show a fair number of hours of continuing education every year to stay certified; so holding the papers there takes a lot more than just passing a test too.

    • by iCEBaLM (34905)

      Cisco certs have labs which require actual configuration/troubleshooting of multiple emulated cisco devices, memorizing answers will not get you through them.

    • by riflemann (190895) <riflemann&bb,cactii,net> on Friday February 03, 2012 @02:18AM (#38912271)

      There are really own two certs I respect: Cisco's CCIE and Oracle's OCM. Both require hands-on lab demonstrations of skill.

      As someone who has interviewed over a hundred network engineers for a major tech company, let me just say that experienced candidates with CCIEs and experienced candidates without CCIEs have about the same success rate of passing a technical interview. The only difference seems to be that those without lean towards practical real world experience, and those without lean towards book knowledge.

    • by sammy baby (14909)

      Red Hat has had a lab-based exam forever. I was certified (RHCE) on RHEL 4, and at the time there was no written component at all: you show up, here's your system, fix it. They gave me a worksheet describing exactly the criteria they would use to check the system, too: when you told the proctor you were ready, he'd run some kind of script, then tell you how far along in the section you had completed successfully. You were allowed to do this as many times as you wanted up until the time limit. The exam too

  • Of making $150 seem to be over

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      its been over for nearly a decade when they started to sell them in strip mall "schools" on TechTV

  • by kramer2718 (598033) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:16PM (#38911425) Homepage

    I can't speak to networking/DBA certs, but I will say that in my experience hiring developers, programming certificates are relatively useless.

    In fact, when I read a resume, I am happy to see no certificates. The developers who highlight certificates on their resumes seem to be able to parrot back technical specs, but not to think dynamically about programming problems and that is what I am more interested in.

    No certificate will replace writing code on a whiteboard.

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:37PM (#38911543)

      In fact, when I read a resume, I am happy to see no certificates.

      Me too, the reason being: I appreciate persons that value their time (i.e. better do nothing - not even gain experience - than waste the time with the certification).

      • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:06AM (#38913011)
        This is great if you're the person doing short-listingof candidates. If you have an HR dept staffed by monkeys in suits, they're checking boxes. "Doesn't have $Qualification1? Bin it. Has $Qualification2 but not $Qualification1? Bin it. Never mind that in the "Further information" section the candidate has listed 15+ years doing exactly the things listed in the job description, citing specific examples and demonstrating significant in-depth knowledge of the subjects. HR "doesn't do computers."

        I've got over a decade in IT, but no certs. The only jobs I've gotten so far have been through friends, because they know I can do the job; They've spoken to me, I've helped them out. Now all I need to do is convince HR of the fact, and to do that I need a shitty cert which means precisely dick all to the guy actually interviewing you.

        I hate it.
    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      I've worked for almost 20 years without a single cert. But recently took a job as a consultant. We're required to get the certs so that the clients get all warm and fuzzy. I'll do it because I'm not worried about the tests (I'm pretty sure I can pass many of them "cold"), but I've know for years that there are good developers with certs and without....just like there are idiots with or without certs.

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:18PM (#38911437) Homepage

    Hay guyz, computers are easy now, let's hire more middle managers who know Excel!

    Not that most "certifications" weren't always only slightly above the "fraud" level -- they are given to people who passed crash course in some vendor's product use, and do not indicate any ability to do anything useful (or even safe) in practice.

  • The only really good certs are the CISCO ones. Microsoft ones are good, but only to get your foot in the door. Are there any other certs worthwhile?

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:24PM (#38911475)

    really?certified wireless network administrator? some pud to reset the router every once in a while and add new apple iToys plug computers whenever douche #43 cant eat lunch between two vending machines is in demand?

    • Maybe if you read about it you would learn it's much more than about consumer grade routers. My former company was in logistics but they often recommended to their clients that they get a site survey done by one of these guys. See it's not about that guy trying to check in Facebook. For us, it was to ensure that they guys in the warehouse who are running tens if not hundreds of wireless transactions a second on our systems are not hampered by dead spots.
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        yea its not that hard (as someone who was one of those guys but not under a narrowly focused marketing buzzword title)

    • Simply put, WiFi airspace is severely crowded. ISPs practically give away WiFi routers for free (Uverse and those damn 2Wire units). My guess is that a WiFi admin's purpose is to scope deployment and ensure a good SNR level for proper coverage without blowing the budget. Also to troubleshoot and isolate interference. Poor SOB. That's got to be a frustrating job.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:26PM (#38911483)

    Take the following statement: ""Pure-play [tech] jobs are on the decline," concurs Bill Reynolds, a partner at Foote. Where once the majority of tech jobs were in technology companies, now many organizations whose business is not directly related to tech have many openings that require different skills, he says."

    Bullshit. People actually working for tech companies have ALWAYS been far fewer than those that run the technology in customer IT departments. This is not some new startling trend. If you want a career in IT with high potential (as opposed to the tech industry) business skills have always been a valuable accompaniment to tech skills; the business-blind sysadmin geek has never been up for the higher reaches of IT, and never will be. Again, not a new trend that this sage wise man is now cluing us in on.

    • the business-blind sysadmin geek has never been up for the higher reaches of IT, and never will be.

      Of course, that person probably doesn't want to be in those positions either. So I don't think what you say is a real weakness.

    • by pooh666 (624584)
      You gave a good example, but TFA is littered with generalizations that cancel out to being meanlingless, it is clear it was written to be as long as possible with maybe 5 lines of actual info, which taken out of context don't mean anything, still. I really wish people would stop posting infoworld and I am totaly sick of the popups AND on top of it a div hover add, the another popup on the next page. Gee I wonder why the word count was so important??
  • http://www.infoworld.com/print/185555 [infoworld.com]

    Why do we have infoworld articles so often? The site only seems to link to itself (except for ads).

  • by multiben (1916126) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:44PM (#38911591)
    I have certificate of participation I received for my recent attendance in an "Equality at Work" seminar. Still no job offers as yet, but I expect the big bucks to start rolling in anytime soon.
    • No, its working - the reason you don't see results is the job offers are being 'equally' spread out across the populace.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @11:58PM (#38911677)

    real job skills / apprenticeship / trades are needed in tech as like CS a lot of certs can be passed by people who can cram but have no idea on what they are doing also some of them cover stuff that you never see in a real work place or if you do it's like why are things setup like that any ways?

    CS is even worse then certs as it just covers high level stuff at least certs cover some basic stuff that you do use on the job.

    Now with a trades system we can get real certs that cover real system setup's.

  • Thank God (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baron_Yam (643147) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:02AM (#38911699)

    I had to get some Microsoft certifications to break into the IT world - yet I never bothered with my A+, Novell, additional MS certifications, etc. Instead, I picked up a few very specific certs here and there and specialized. Yeah, I'm useless outside my field, but I (was) a star within it. The only guy in the world doing what I did, in fact.

    You know what? When I changed jobs, the new employer didn't see my inappropriate certs, they saw my star status within my specialty and assumed I could adapt to a new one and perform just as well... and now I'm getting new very specific certs in a slightly different area.

    Nothing specific you learn in IT is going to matter in two years anyway, never mind ten, and the general stuff is amazingly applicable across moderate ranges of differing IT work.

  • when are we going to realize that the system's only purpose is to bend you over a bench and extract your intrinsic value for the benefit of shareholders and hedge funds?

    • by Swampash (1131503)

      Sometime around when IT workers realise they work in an industry with no barrier to entry and that the job they think is so important can just as competently be done by someone in India at 10% of the cost.

  • These types of articles are written by have never worked in IT one day of their lives. These people can't spell "I.T." And yet we are supposed to believe they are experts.

    From the article:

    So which skills are becoming more valuable, gaining the pay premiums IT pros seek? Certified skills that jumped by 15 percent or more included EC-Council certified security analyst, certified wireless network administrator, CompTIA Server+, and HP accredited platform specialist. (Notice how these are broader skills sets than those losing value?)

    CompTIA Server+ !? Oh yeah that's just one smokin' cert right now. Why not go to a job board and take a look at how many employers are demanding that valuable certification.

    • by styrotech (136124)

      My favourite bit was this...

      "...as did e-commerce skills like JavaScript, Joomla, and VBScript."

      huh?

  • In summary, the flavor of the month is different this month than last month... If you care, you've already failed.

    Specialization is falling out of favor a bit... Except where it isn't...

    And there's more jobs available this year than last year.

  • by Arrogant-Bastard (141720) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:33AM (#38913121)
    I sort resumes into two piles: those with IT certifications and those without. Those without are evaluated first, and those candidates given priority. Those with will be considered only if the first batch doesn't yield enough strong candidates.

    Why? Because anyone naive enough to think that certifications are anything other than cash cows for vendors lacks essential critical thinking skills. They're naive and easily scammed: in fact, they've put the evidence of the latter right in front of me. Such people are simply not up to the task for handling responsible security roles (which is what I hire for): the first competent phisher to come along will easily fool them.

    I already have a large number of clueless users who, just like everyone else's clueless users, will find numerous creative ways to get themselves and thus the IT infrastructure into trouble. I don't need staff members who are just as bad; I need staff members who are cynical, hardened, ruthless bastards to even have fighting chance of keeping this operation modestly secure.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.

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