General discussions => Certifications and IT jobs/Salaries => Topic started by: jackiechan on April 26, 2007, 02:58:41 PM

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: jackiechan on April 26, 2007, 02:58:41 PM
Let's face it certifications no longer mean much these days. Having a truckload of certitcations doesn't translate to more money these days. An MCSE just means you have given more money for Billy Gates.

Title: RE: Certifications Devalued
Post by: Tekhead79 on April 27, 2007, 04:37:50 PM
I hate to burst your bubble but certification hasn't translated into money without experience to back it up since the Dot.com bust of years ago. That is a very common misconception that passing a computer based exam = more $$$.

Ask yourself this, would you pay a desktop engineer extra money for passing the CCNA who has no hands-on experience with routers extra money because he passed an exam.

Its a Simple formula
Experience + Certification = Compensation

A howler monkey on meth can read a braindump.

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: Kasor on April 29, 2007, 11:50:42 AM
Certification only help you to enhance your ability and knowledge on specific product.  

I had been saying that for the past six years...

Good Luck on finding a job.  Job is out there..

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: mikearama on May 03, 2007, 03:56:09 PM
I've been in IT since 2000, and the exact same comments were made then.

All I can tell you is, almost every gig I've had has asked for a minimum level of academic knowledge, and the only way to assess such level is via certifications.  I don't think I've had an interview where my certs wasn't brought up and commented on.  Further, I was at an interview after my last contract where I was told that my MCSE in 2000 was insufficient.  My current contract mandated having a CCNA.

So while certs may not equate to more/better money, it most certainly can open doors that will otherwise stay shut.

Be clear... certs are valuable.  They just might not translate into better money.


Title: Certifications- More Money?
Post by: EllenD2 on May 14, 2007, 06:44:03 PM
Not if you are a black female.
In today's political climate,
certain races and genders are
being driven out of the IT
industry (after you answer your

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: mikearama on May 15, 2007, 08:38:28 AM
Being "driven" out?  "Driven" out?  Leaving... sure.  But "driven" out?  Please, humor me.  How, in our day and age, would it be possible to "drive" out a gender or ethnicity?  

Especially a black woman!  Not only does that appear to be political suicide, but almost all black women that I know are incredibly militant when it comes to their rights, and are quick to point out any injustice/inequity, even if just perceived.  Would you let yourself be driven out of the IT field?

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: yanqui on May 17, 2007, 11:55:37 AM
I was shortlisted for about five different jobs in desktop support in about a month.  I'm a female, not black, but what I was seeing was that despite all the cry about "offshoring" there are some regions where there are shortages of entry-level or just past entry-level people.  There are fewer high school graduates seeking training and education in IT than in previous years.  Women are underrepresented in IT, and always have been, which is a shame, because it is a field where I've always been welcomed.  In my experience, most IT managers I've interviewed with weren't looking specifically for a woman, but it's kind of a novelty to find a woman in our profession.  Women tend to excel in the "soft skills" like commnication, which makes them excellent desktop support people.  I capitalized on that in my resume and in the interviews, along with my tenacity and research skills.  So if I was one of four people considered for a couple of jobs, three for one, and two for two others, that means that in our region, for this time frame, there were a maximum of 15 people considered for these five positions.  And even fewer than that if you consider that I was a candidate for each of those five jobs, and there were probably other jobs where candidates overlapped.

What sort of "survey" are you having to complete that discloses your gender and ethnicity BEFORE an offer is made?  Here in the United States, that's ILLEGAL.  An employer can't even require a drug test until after an offer is made.

Title: Re: Certifications- More Money?
Post by: drago762 on May 19, 2007, 09:34:25 AM
Quit your whining already.  Most of the women that I've seen in IT have been given special treatment.  Often they have no passion for computers and are in it for the money.  Usually someone who is actually productive has to settle for a lower salary to accomodate them.

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: jackiechan on May 21, 2007, 06:58:29 AM
Let's face it if you are dark skinned, you are disadvantaged period. Also having an anglo saxon name like Richard the lionheart bumps you up the job queue than a name like Osama. Prejudice, discrimination exists even though it is unspoken. So what does one do? Give up living?

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: yanqui on May 21, 2007, 12:51:44 PM
Originally posted by jackiechan
Let's face it if you are dark skinned, you are disadvantaged period. Also having an anglo saxon name like Richard the lionheart bumps you up the job queue than a name like Osama. Prejudice, discrimination exists even though it is unspoken. So what does one do? Give up living?

I live in the DEEEEEEEEP South, and we have a really diverse IT profession.   Diverse in ethnicity, diverse in gender (all three!), diverse in age, diverse in background, diverse in experience.  Minorities will be in the minority in IT because they're in the minority of population--that's probably not going to change, and it follows the natural order of things.  If 12% of your population is non-white, it follows that only 12% of your IT dept will be non-white.  If you have 10 people in your IT dept, that translates to 1 non-white person.  Those are just numbers I pulled out of the air, by the way, as an example. If a company receives 100 resumes for one position, around here, anyway, they feel really fortunate.  And our experience has shown that someone with a non-traditional, non-european name is NOT going to be preferred out of hand, because our profession has broad appeal across racial, gender, and age lines.  By the time someone figures out what it takes to work in our field, they've got to get some training or experience somehow.  Jackie Chan would be likely, in my area, to get interviewed before Joe Smith.  Why?  Because Jackie Chan's heritage would have instilled in him a strong work ethic.  Joe Smith's heritage would have been what Americans have experienced over the past couple of decades; life hasn't been too bad, we haven't been called on to really make any significant sacrifices as a nation, we've gotten used to having what we want or at least being able to get it eventually.  I have a friend who has a business and he hires LEGAL immigrant labor--and I stress LEGAL, because he goes to great lengths to make sure of it--because they WORK.  His business entails a lot of hard physical labor and the labor force around here won't do it; not "won't do it for what he'll pay," but WON'T DO IT period.  Those that do complain all the time.  The fellas he hires from central america work all the time, are extremely loyal to him, are in church every sunday, are good neighbors, would be good citizens.  

So maybe ethnic Americans still have a lot to prove, and that's not the way it should be.  PRogress has been made, but it's been slow.  HOwever, the slow progress tends to keep, and the gains achieved with the "shock therapy" approach doesn't last.  Women in general have made great gains in IT, but still only making about 92% of the salaries of their male counterparts. still, that's a smaller gap than just about any other profession.  I haven't seen any salary reports regarding ethnic differences in IT, I'd be interested in seeing one if anyone has a link.

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: Kasor on May 24, 2007, 07:01:51 PM
Certification is used to enhance your skill. Knowledge is the most important value you get for certification.

Title: You all got it so wrong.....it isn't what you all think
Post by: depamo on July 08, 2007, 03:13:14 PM
Reading this has just made me want even more to put my two cents in here.  I have been working, hands-on, in IT for over 15 years now.  As I do consulting, I have been in the position a number of times to be completely in charge of hiring and firing IT employees.  And I have just a few things to give you all adivce on it.

When your resume comes across my table, I get more than one - due to on-line and recruiting services out there - they all want to get some of the action because there is a monetary gain if they fill a position most of the time.

I will usually know exactly what I am looking for - either an experienced hire or I would like to train someone with basic knowledge (these jobs are rare these days though - mostly, I hire experienced people).

Pile 1 - You have already successfully done and completely understand what I need to hire someone to do.  If I plan to have this position be up-ward mobile (leading to management) then I would also like College - a bachelors at a minimum.  If it is in your area, great if not, your experience can push you through if you are hot.  Pile 1 is the list of candiates that are perfect in every way - also remeber - if you are an a$$, you will be pushed to the next pile - work on your telephone interview skills.

Pile 2 - People that have done related work successfully, have a history of getting the job done and not complaining about nasty hours, vacation, or general whining of any kind make it to Pile 2.  Still, in this pile, I would prefer college, but I can start to look around if your experience is really good.  I usually get most of my hires from Pile 2.  Don't expect the world as in this case - I am usually doing you a favor, your skills don't exactly match but I am willing to work with you to get you there with training, certs, and in-house experience.

Pile 3 - If I cannot find anyone to fill pile 1 or 2 and the customer is ok with it, I will start to look at training to get the skills that I need and get someone that has at least certified in the right area and has the right attitude.  Phone interview has screened the person as highly promising in attiude and general knowledge usually but will still drop to Pile 3 if you don't have hands-on with what I need - a lot of risk here as I am introducing someone without a tried track-record.  I would normally wait before hiring from Pile 3 to see if any other candidates come forward to fill the other Piles - if not and I am desperate, someone might get hired out of this as a probationary hire or consult-to-hire.  Big issue is that you cannot produce for me when your feet hit the ground so I need to invest time and money to get you skills that you can easily take somewhere else - and usually do (see the catch-22??).

So some will ask why?  Business is about money in profit, how much is spent supporting the infrastructure of the IT Organization hits the bottom line.  There are more than enough experienced people out there right now that I usually never get to Pile 3.  In addition to all this - there are a lot of people out there that just flat out lie on their resume - as a warining to you all - you will get caught!!  Even if you get hired - if your working companions find-out, you will get internally black-listed - you will not have the ability to have good references (and we do check these days - especially with previous employers).  IT is a very tight community as the $$'s get higher.  One bad review going around - "Yeah I know that guy, what a piece of work!!" - you are done.  Never mind that, if you are working for me and I find-out that you lied on your resume - I have all the grounds that I need for dismissal.  I take notes on interviews and keep resume's around - with the money that companies fork-out these days - it is worth it to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for.

Here is an example of how it works now in the current world of hiring.  I have a need to fill an exising position or changes to IT or the business have required a new position to be filled.  After getting board approval for the budget changes to add a full-time position, I get to work with HR to determeine the pay brackets for the position which is based on current market research on fair pricing for the job skills required.  We look at off-shore and in-house first to fill the need (if the company has it in-house already, they will usually not risk going outside because they can trust the people making internal recommendations more than external resumes and head-hunters - it is also much, much cheaper to do all internal), if not, if the job is temporary, we get a consultant - only when I have a new permanent position do I even consider going out to the hire pool - it is the most complicated, consumes more resources and money and if you don't work out - it takes a lot of time get rid of someone these days.  Barring all that, they go and put out a job posting on Monster or some other job engine (yes, we really use the heck out of these sites!! - they are much cheaper than recuriting) based on my input for the position.  Most places have an internal review person or outsource the initial scrub based on my requirements which can include schooling, certifications, number of years of experience, with speicifc platforms and so on.....  The first scrub goes through another phone interview which they gauge answers to fixed questions and rate your personality (this is a big point, usually I get a hire position because I need someone that I will need to work with - so someone that I will enjoy working with) in alignment with the position needed.  After all that, a phone interview is setup with myself.  I push a technical pre-scripted screen, the questions are geared to weed out anyone that hasn't actually got a firm understanding of what is going on - trust me, at this point, I can tell if you have or have not been hands-on if necessary.  If the candidate survives all these, then expect to do a face-to-face interview, during which you will be expected to execute a hands-on or verbal exam on knowledge - I almost always require a hands-on - this will immediatly tell me if your resume is inflated or not.  It is very easy to see if you are comftorable with commands, procedures, and have your own pre-defined way of determining and working common issues.  During this time, I am also asking tough questions to rate your personality - I don't hire meger individuals for administration positions - they will never get anything done.

So once you get through all that - depending on the company, you will be offered a contract-to-hire position or if you did an outstanding job and you are a perfect fit, you will be offered a full-time position straight away.

Why so much pain with all this?  Why are these people so tough?  Put yourself in my shoes - I have a lot of equipment, projects, schedules that I need to keep - I will hire people that will compliment my team, not slow it down, cost me money, and additionally, keep me awake doing their job because they don't understand what is going on or make a mistake and bring the entire enterprise down.  If I hire you as fresh-meat, then I expect that.  Unfortunatly, there are so many experienced people out there, I don't hardly ever hire in-experienced people - although I have made some rare exceptions - attitude, schooling, and overall presentation have swayed me in the past (I am not talking about female, male, black, white, big boobs - I am talking about clean, well-mannered, confident, professional, receptive, knowledgable - if you got a bunch of tats and a piercing chain from your butt to your lip or just have a general gross presence - don't expect to do much in industry these days unless you run your own business - that or you need to be able to make Einstein look like like a idiot).

So - does this mean that I will never get a job unless I get experience?  Overall the bucks come with the what you bring to the table - if you got nothing, don't expect to get a 6-figure salary.  Especially now with outsourcing, independent consulting, and other resources that come cheaper than a full-time resource, it is very difficult.  Think of it like owning a lot of cars - you don't just have to pay for the purchase price, you need to pay for the maintenance, fuel, insurance and so on....  If I have 3 cars and I only drive 2 of them - what is the point of the other 1 if it just costs me money but is never used?  If I don't have a use or a need - then I would probably not hire someone - so if you can't do the job you are hired to do, someone still has to do it and I am paying the overhead for your presence.

So where do I get the experience?  I would 'highly' recommend that you bit the bullet and find a friend or do whatever you can to get in what is left of the Big-5 (PWC, Accenture and so on - you will need a BS to make the cut though - good training, great experience and a lot of work) or shadow a friend that does this for a living or something to that effect - show your determination. Get that first entry level job and learn all that you can - get familiar with the products, the company that creates the products - understand how things work with the company at all levels so you can work autonimously.  Once your confidence is up because you know the product that you certified with, become a people person - this is very, very important.  It ain't about you, it ain't about me - it is all about the customer, finding the answers that make it run better, faster, with the most emphasis on doing what the company does, cheaper and better than anyone else.  IT is not there for its own gratification - it costs money so it should give it back 10-fold.  Those that know how to squeeze the $$'s out of what a company has invested and can work with an organization to properly implement change - are worth their weight in gold these days.

Ok - so notice that I said nothing about female, race, sexual orientation, handicap, in the end - I don't care - neither do any of the companies - in fact, most minorities or otherwise are more inclined to get a job as it makes the company look better to the government - altough I never cared about that crud.  In the years I have built successfull IT Organizations, I have hired, black, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, European, male, female, gay - (although I am a cracker myself).  If you come to the table with the goods, and act like someone that I can work with (you can be super smart these days - but if you are an a$$ - you won't get hired - who wants to work with someone that makes everything painfull)you will get compensated.  Nothing is for free in this world, it ain't going to just plop in your lap by some freeken fairy - you have to go get it - intelligently.

Thanks for letting me vent - overall I started like everyone else, I found that 6+ figure salary with some work and effort in IT so it is out there - and I still work every day directly on systems - and management if that is additionally needed.  I hire people in all the time that make amazing salaries and know what makes a good employee and a bad one - I also see all the inflated resume's, complete lies to get a job, bad personalities, people that think that the world 'owes' them something, the list goes on and on....so stop whinning, and get it done.  If you think that people are racist against you, chances are that you need to spend more time working and less time worrying about stuff that doesn't matter.  You can't tell me one boss that would remove someone from their position if you make them look good.  Make your boss look like an a$$, fail to do your job effectively, fill up everybodies day with your conjecture about how the 'man' is keeping you down - I would fire you also as soon as I could.  My job is about people, business and IT, if I am spending all my time babysitting a bunch of childish employees, what is the point of paying those people.  So grow the heck up....the world economy has made business one of the last places where race, color or sexual orientation doesn't matter - get the job done and you could be a friggen alien from Mars and nobody would care - well so long as you pay your taxes and have a SSN.

Also - in IT, promotion is pretty slow - expect to move around a bit until you get that cush job with big bucks where you want to kick back.  That or tool up with experience and make some real cash with Independent Consulting - but keep your options open, and your resume updated!!

Title: Certifications devalued?
Post by: Kasor on August 06, 2007, 04:54:35 PM
If you are good, then you will get something in return.  However, don't expect getting 80K if you are tech support or system admin.

Title: Re: RE: Certifications Devalued
Post by: DivxGuy on September 27, 2011, 04:14:28 PM
I hate to burst your bubble but certification hasn't translated into money without experience to back it up since the Dot.com bust of years ago.
That's why their popularity has waned.

I got my certs nearly ten years ago, and it's just this week that I have an interview for a position requiring one of them.

Title: Re: Certifications devalued?
Post by: Redstar on October 17, 2011, 12:53:34 AM
They are starting to make a come back!  :)