Friday, December 21, 2007

Certification - Is it worth it?

For years I've toyed with the idea of getting a Microsoft certification. Usually I haven't actually done so because of time issues but also there has always been the question of "is it worth it". I know that ten years ago there was a huge problem with "Paper MCSEs", basically people who would go to brain dump sites and memorize the answers, take the test and get a ton of certs in a short time.

My thought on this is that times have changed and the new generation of certifications is worth pursuing. Now, to be honest, much of my belief comes from reading Microsoft's own marketing materials. Personally though, I've decided to pursue the MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications on the way to the more advanced Professional Developer: Web Developer. In fact I'm working through the MS Press study material now.

My question to everyone out there though are several:

  • What are your thoughts and experiences with Microsoft certifications?
  • Do they help you get a job or are they just resume fodder that no one pays attention to?
  • In the process of studying for the exam do you expand your knowledge into areas you didn't know a lot about (This is what I'm finding)?

So hurry up and answer, my career may depend on it :)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

John is a dork. :)

John Stockton said...

Well sure...

David said...

http://www.cs.kent.edu/programs/grad/phdprogram.html

David said...

http://www.computer.org/portal/site/ieeecs/menuitem.c5efb9b8ade9096b8a9ca0108bcd45f3/index.jsp?&pName=ieeecs_level1&path=ieeecs/education/certification&file=index.xml&xsl=generic.xsl&

foreme said...

John,

I have mixed feelings about certifications. On the one hand, I do think that studying for the certification is a good way to find holes in your current knowledge base. On the other hand, when I'm looking to hire someone, I don't look at the certifications as a big plus. Having a certification proves that you know how to memorize facts that may or may not have anything to do with real world development because the certifications are put together by a team that builds certifications - not applications.

So, I would look at getting a certification for yourself, but I wouldn't do it simply as a resume builder.

Does that make sense?

Josh Holmes

John Stockton said...

Josh,

Yes. I don't know if you had a chance to read all three posts in this series but that is pretty much the same conclusion I came to. The increased knowledge is good for me, might land me an interview, but won't get me a job.