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Questionquestion regarding certification vs. degree relevance Pin
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Steve Maier19-Jan-11 6:50
professionalSteve Maier19-Jan-11 6:50 
Adding to what both of the other replies have....

I do have alot of certifications. I started looking at them after I had a MS but wanted to continue my learning. A pHd was not really an option for me, so certifications were the direction I went it.

Certifications will NOT get you a job. I have talked to many people about this. As others have pointed out, certifications show that you can take exams and that you know how Microsoft wants the answers. For example, on database questions with a cross reference table, many/most DBA types will just put in the indexes of the other tables. Microsoft expects you to have a separate index for the cross reference. Neither is "wrong" but you need to know how to answer to pass the exams. Other people point to the "paper MCSE" that exist. These are people that have never managed a server or network but took all the exams to give them the cert. Children at the age of 10 have gotten this cert. This really makes people uncertain if you are just good at taking tests, if you cheated, or if you really know your stuff.

Could certifications move your resume to the short pile when job hunting? yes. Some people like the fact that you are working on this stuff and learning it on your own or with your company and are willing to keep you around for a formal interview.

Could certifications get a promotion? yes. I know that my certifications have helped me to get promotions in the past. I am constantly learning new things and using them in my day-to-day responsibilities.

Overally, you need to practice the topics that you are going to test on. You need to know how to really do the things they are asking about, such as localization, security, etc. Not everyone knows those topics that well. As it was suggested, build up a portfolio of things. It could be articles on CP, a website for your softball team, or some little software project that you have a passion about.

One of the things told to me while I was going for my BS. There are some things that you are going to learn that you will be using every day and those things you will memorize. The school will then show you how to find out or research the rest of the information needed. Knowing how to look things up and how to complete things is something that a formal education shows you. And it shows potential employers as well. Some people will say that even a BS is out-dated in the age of the internet and that people can do just fine without it. But without something, projects that you have done, a degree, certifications, then there is no way for me to determine if you are the kind of person who will stick around or just decide the work is too hard and will leave.

I vote for a portfolio with certifications on the side. The certifications will help you to look at other parts of the topics and do more than just what a project will do.

Disclaimer: I have taught college before as well as was used by the Microsoft learning group as a subject matter expert. So I have seen both sides of this.
Steve Maier

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QuestionECM as in electronics countermeasure training sources wanted Pin
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QuestionWhat was your first programming job like? Pin
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