Certification views from CIO's
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Networking/Security Forums -> General Security Discussion

Author: myhatisred PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 6:41 pm    Post subject:
supposedly the MS certs are one of the trickiest out there.

Author: delete852Location: Washington DC PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 7:06 pm    Post subject:
its all good, but experience beats it all. In my opinion certs are just a plus, not the main thing why they should hire u.

Author: Mongrel PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 11:58 pm    Post subject:
delete852 and prana

University degree? I think those are becoming what a High school degree (I'm in the US - sorry don't know what you call it in UK) used to be - a prerequisite.

Many companies can and do require 4 year degrees to walk in the door and interview for even the lowest level jobs. Symbol Technologies for one here on Long Island requires Administrative Assistants (secretaries in the old days) to hold a four year degree. It's almost as bad as smokers - don't bother to apply if you smoke or don't hold a BS in something.

Personally I'd go with the same comments given about certs - a degree shows that a person went the extra mile to advance themselves and speaks loudly enough to get you in the door. You still need to sell yourself to the company no matter how many pieces of paper or sheepskin you carry.

Look at it this way - two job candidates - one interview spot left - each candidate has five years equivalent experience in the same area - one with a BS degree one without. If you had to arrange Interviews, which would you bring in?

Of course there are always budgetary contraints though. The one with the degree will probably want more money. That puts the company in another spot because they could get the same experience for less.

Overall I'd still go with the degreed person just because they had shown initiative to do something above and beyond - a characteristic highly sought after.

Put a degree up against certs? That's another story. If the company is hiring a very specialized position - say network security - all other things being equal I'd put the CCIE against the BS Computer Science any day of the week. If the company wants a person who will move into management I would put the BS over the CCIE any day of the week.

Right place at the right time. It all has to do with tailoring your resume and experience base to what you what to be when you grow up. Some day I'll figure that out.

These statements coming from a person who spent several years hiring people and who does not hold a four year degree in anything.

Author: EricTheBald PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 2:21 am    Post subject:
I think those of us with certs like to think of them as being worth more than the paper they are printed on.

I also think we are often a bit too optimistic about it.

But there is an annoying side of it as well.

A person who is trying to move into tech from other fields and spends a significant amount of time studying and certifying doesn't seem to get the credit they deserve.

By that I mean, when a potential employer dismisses a cert as worthless when in fact the person with it actually worked very hard to get it and didn't just do a brain dump, it's insulting to the cert holder.

Of course the REAL problem is that it's not hard enough to GET these certs.

Personally, I think that any cert test that doesn't have a performance section does more harm to our industry than good.

Author: Mongrel PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 4:30 am    Post subject:
EricTheBald - I too hold certs. They got me my job, allowed my advancement, gave me the ability to gain real-life experience and, dare say allowed me to keep my job. Several times over my ten year tenure, the work I was doing went away. Certs or other outside training gave me the boost I needed to hang in there and the tools I would need should I have to move on to another job.

And yes, moving from a totally different field is very difficult. I spent ten years in field engineering with medical equipment. Lucrative but dangerous. Anyone who has ever had to go into an operating room immediately after surgery and repair equipment knows that drill. Bodily fluids everywhere. Did Lasers for a while but the companies couldn't pay New York wages and left. Did drafting for a few years. My specialty was phased out. I needed to relocate careers.

Along came CNE. 14 weeks crash course, test out and look for a job. Had four or five years basic at-home computer experience and a little on the job work as well but nothing to brag about. Sold myself - faxed, mailed, walked in to hundreds of places. My catch phrase was "CNE for less". Foot in the door. It's all in how you sell yourself.

Now I was NW4 CNE. Several years of that and NetWare was largely phased out in favor of Microsoft. Had to get up with it or leave to find another NetWare job. Took a few MS classes. Learned and advanced.

Along came remote access on a large scale. Web-based applications were in their infancy so we went Citrix. Got cert in Citrix (CCA I believe it was.) Became the expert in that. Now that is phasing away in favor of the more mature and stable web-based access.

Along comes Routers etc. The network was growing and customers wanted direct, private connections plus we went to the Internet on a larger scale. Began handling all Cisco routers and taking over maintenance contracts from outside. The company made large investment in network upgrade - 6509, PIX etc. Took a couple one or two-day crash courses to keep up.

Along comes Network security. In 1996 we had our first security audit. The client was new at it and so were we but they had a requirement. I was named security officer. Several later security audits, reading voraciously and now I handle all that. Hopefully Citrix will phase out allowing me to focus on security. The company has large need for it and it will look good for them when they mention they have CISSP on staff.

So, you see, I too believe in certs strongly - but for the right purpose and carefully chosen. I see certs as more of a tool than a money-maker. Well, that's not entirely true. I hope to be able to parlay my experience along with my CISSP into consulting work.

Author: delete852Location: Washington DC PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:12 am    Post subject:
well you are a dying breed of people. I hear about people who go to those little courses that take 10 days to take CCNA, and then in these places they just train the people the answers to the questions on the test and then they go pass it, and then get a job, and get fired after 3 months. People like that make the certs seem worthless.

Author: myhatisred PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 4:15 pm    Post subject:
I don't think that those are so much as people that are buying certs, I know people that got a BS diploma from some stupid little school, then go out and buy experience, get a job paying $80k, and pay some1 else to do their work.

Author: EricTheBald PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:41 pm    Post subject:
delete852 wrote:
I hear about people who go to those little courses that take 10 days to take CCNA...

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that anyone could learn enough in 10 days to pass the CCNA.

Author: myhatisred PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:54 pm    Post subject:
You never know, when I got my CNA, I studied for maybe 3 days.

Author: flwLocation: U.S.A. PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject:
You never know, when I got my CNA, I studied for maybe 3 days.

I assume this is true but are you telling the whole story? Like prevous experience etc...

I find it difficult to believe that you passed the Certified Novell Administrator cerification with only three hours of study and without any hands on experience.

Author: myhatisred PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 8:32 pm    Post subject:
3 days of cramming, my only previous experience w/ novell was as an end looser

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