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Re: [Slightly OT]: Is certification worth it?

by Anonymous Monk
on Feb 28, 2005 at 15:27 UTC ( #435085=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to [Slightly OT]: Is certification worth it?

Ah, the old, reoccurring question. People never seem to tire to discuss this - see BOFs on various conferences, and even a wiki by someone from the NW corner of the US (Seattle?) I don't know whether the wikie is still that active, or whether it ever got much discussion.

Anyway, my point of view (shared by some, disagreed with others) is that is sometimes matters. I know from personal experience that certification (in general, not Perl specific) is a big advantage for consulting firms. It can be hard work for a consulting firm to get your first gig from a new customer - the customer doesn't know the consultants yet, and all the consulting firms have to show are CVs and certifications. If the choice of the client is between "Consultant A from company X without certification, and consultant B from company Y with certification" and the client has no experience with A, B, X and Y yet, the presence/absence of certification can make the difference. Consultancies firms know that, so it will play a role when hiring. How much of a role will depend on various factors - what else the candidate has to show for, how many candidates there are, the field (s)he is working/going to work in (Microsoft certification seems to be much more common than Perl certification), the work the candidate is going to do (if you're going to (re)sell equipment of vendor V, and V requires (re)sellers to have certification, it's kind of obvious not having certification isn't going to get you far), etc, etc.

For companies other than consulting firms, it may or may not matter. I've interviewed with companies where they ask whether I was certified (I'm not certified in anything). I might have missed job offers because of that - I don't know. OTOH, I've never been unemployed for longer than 2 weeks.

To sum up, I believe that certification can help - but you need certification from a 'good' agency (vendors are almost always 'good'). And with 'good', I mean an agency whose certification is generally accepted as 'good' by whoever finds certification important (employers).

Whether certification is worthwhile in the situation you describe, I've no idea. Don't know your market, don't know your skills, and don't know the agency.

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