Certification in IT: to receive or not to receive?

    Over the course of my relatively short career in IT (5 years), from time to time I have been witnessing discussions about the importance and benefits of various kinds of certifications (Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, etc.) and their real need. In this regard, all my many acquaintances with whom I studied together at the university or crossed paths at work can be roughly divided into two camps:

    • Those who fully support the idea of ​​certification;
    • And those who, to put it mildly, do not see any sense in this.

    In this article, I tried to collect the most popular pros and cons , in order to try to answer the main question for myself - do I need certification or not?

    Arguments FOR IT Certification

    Question: Why do I need certification if I already have a specialist and master's degree in IT?

    As I see it:

    • Show your importance in the eyes of the employer.

    If from time to time to confirm your knowledge and skills using certificates from , the likelihood of promotion is becoming greater, especially compared to non-certified colleagues. Thus, you kind of show your employer that you are not stopping there and want to learn new things.

    Plus, you have an additional argument for the faster implementation of a new solution or a new version of the solution within the company.

    • Increase your relevance in the labor market.

    The labor market has not been canceled. Now you may think that there is no need to undergo a new certification, because the current employer is quite happy with you. However, this is still a labor market, and anything can happen: during optimization, your work can be outsourced or, on the contrary, it can be decided that fewer employees will do the same work. In this case, certification here acts as an impartial indicator of your current level of knowledge.

    • Keep up to date.

    I already wrote about the degrees of specialist and master's degree in IT, received a certain number of years ago. From this point of view, certification is a relatively inexpensive way to keep your knowledge more or less relevant.

    Summing up all of the above, certification:

    • Shows that your knowledge is relevant;
    • It shows the desire to study, provided that certification is not a mandatory requirement at the current place of work;
    • It makes you stand out among colleagues;
    • It serves as additional evidence for your leadership that your knowledge and skills are relevant;
    • Confirms your importance during cuts or shifts within the company;
    • In the end, it increases self-esteem as extra evidence that you were able to do this;

    Arguments AGAINST IT Certification

    The second group of my acquaintances, just the one that does not see the point in obtaining numerous certificates, usually cites the following as the main argument: certification does not matter in comparison with the basic education of a specialist (university), years of experience and real skills.

    • Some people can memorize a large number of different facts, but without practical application, all this is useless. If you tensed once and passed a test or a series of tests, this is not an indicator of your knowledge.
    • Nothing can replace real work experience.
    • Technologies change so quickly that while you are gaining experience with a technology / product and preparing for an exam, by then, most likely, a new version of the same technology / product will be released.
    • Now on the market there are too many certified specialists who in reality cannot work.
    • If you have a specialized higher education, you do not need certificates.
    • Certificates are just an extra way to earn money for large companies.
    • I have been working in this company for the nth number of years, and certification is a biased indicator, both for me and for my employer.

    I agree with some arguments AGAINST; however, I am more inclined to believe that certification is still a useful thing that helps to systematize knowledge, so to speak, “put it on the shelves”. In addition, you never know exactly when the next time you will be forced to look for work, and the need for certification helps once again not to relax.

    I would be interested to hear your opinion on this matter. From the height of my experience, is it worth getting involved in this whole story, wasting time and money? Or is it better to focus on other, more priority things? (if so, which ones?)

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Do you see the point for yourself in passing certification?

    • 52.1% Yes 481
    • 24.4% No 226
    • 23.4% Don't know yet 216

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