Why IT Certs Dont Add Up
A study by Foote Partners, an IT compensation and workforce management firm in New Canaan, Conn., found that pay premiums for non-certified IT skills grew three times faster than for certified ones in a six-month period spanning 2005-2006.
Translation: Certifications arent what they used to be and may just be a high-priced marketing device. May the whining commence.
As one reader wrote in response to eWEEKs article on the Foote study, "I was told by a HR manager that I needed more certs even with 9 years solid IT work history, so now with an A+, MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, CISSP and CISM, I know the next time I go in for a job they will look at a list of certs and find the one I DONT have to use it to bargain for a reduced wage. Utter bulls**t."
Wah wah wah.
Its a hard pill to swallow for the folks that blew their dollars on certs, but the conclusion isnt all that surprising. Why? Take this short quiz: Which employee would you hire?
A) Jack Programmer, MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, CISSP, CISM
B) Jill Linux, MBA
If you answered "A" youll never be a CIO. You may just be a lowly code jockey forever. If you answered "B" you could very well graduate from the ranks of being a CIO wannabe.
Maybe thats unfair, but it is corporate reality. CIOs these days dont come from the world of certs. They are businesspeople first. Technology is just a way to hit business goals. Bottom line: If youre talking MCSEs, chances are pretty good that your CIOs eyes will glaze over.
Theres also a supply and demand issue. Some of the folks responding in Talkback reported that they had a ridiculous number of acronyms. How big of an achievement can these things be if everybody has one, or two, or 10?
The good news: You can move on from the certification-go-round. Here is some free advice from eWEEK readers.
Lesson: Speak plain English. Dont be a jerk.
Lesson: Dont get stale. Keep learning.
Lesson: Dont get pigeonholed by certs.
Lesson: Deliver the goods, not the certs. IT words to live by.
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