The New IT Benchmarks

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2008-06-13 Print this article Print

title=Fewer Certifications}

Fewer Certifications

In the years after the dot-com bust, many IT professionals stocked up on letters after their names in an effort to improve their job security. Their managers, who in turn used these accreditations to assure their value to the organization's penny pinchers, encouraged this.

But when speaking to CIOs, IT managers and analysts about what counts and what doesn't on an IT professional's r??«sum??« nowadays, one thing that stands out is an almost universal agreement that IT certifications don't matter the way they used to.

"While education, training and certifications definitely add credibility to a candidate's claims, there are a lot of other aspects that should be considered while hiring," said Sri Chikka, a project manager and senior solution architect in the Dayton, Ohio, area.

Barnes, the systems and IT security director at a Fortune 1000 retail company, expressed frustration after hiring candidates who looked good on paper but were unable to show more than book knowledge of technology skills.

"Certifications count for zero," he said. "Bachelor's degree in IS, zero. High scores on tests just mean you are good at taking tests. From my experience, people who only know tech from what they learned in a classroom will never be a great asset. They may be good at what they know, but they will never exceed their training."

IT recruiters find that experience and a history of executing projects successfully rank higher on the wish list of prospective employers than certifications.

"Certifications are not as in vogue as they once were," said Technisource's Ebner. "PMPs [Project Management Professional certifications] are nice to have on a r??«sum??«, but when [companies are] looking for someone to run a project, experience is more important. At a lower level, the certifications are more important because it's a way to filter. If [a potential employee works] in a technical environment such as Microsoft, that A+ certification is a way to measure their skills," he said, referring to the CompTIA A+ base-level technician certification.

Foote, whose management consultancy has been tracking the value of IT certifications for years, notes that a shift away from certifications coincides with a bigger focus on getting the job done.

"The hiring focus is much more about instincts and less about technology," he said. "The technology instinct is what matters. These days, a lot of our research has been heading toward the fact that it's mostly about execution."

The right people basically get stuff done, Foote explained, and become a predictable executor of just about anything a company needs.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel