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Re: Certifications are dumb.

by zentara (Archbishop)
on Apr 08, 2008 at 21:02 UTC ( #679075=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Certifications are dumb.

Couldn't we extend that to "College Degrees are dumb"? Especially since most people crammed their way thru, or passed on outragoeus curved grading. Additionally, there is no mandatory 5 or 10 year test to see if you retained any knowledge, or even know what you are talking about.

As is true with the Skill Certification, the only people making out on college degrees (or certifications) are the issuers, who have effectively created a monopoly on employment. I.E. Pay $100,000 for that 4-year piece of paper, or you don't work. Funny, most college grads don't get work in their fields anyhow...... there are alot of lawsuits out there, by parents who forked over huge amounts of dough, only to have their kids unemployable.

I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum

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Re^2: Certifications are dumb.
by mr_mischief (Monsignor) on Apr 08, 2008 at 21:32 UTC
    Most colleges at least make you pass a minimum of 100 to 130 semester hours. At all the schools I was interested in attending, a schedule was 12 to 20 semester hours each semester. An hour's credit meant an hour in class and typically two hours of outside work each week. That's 36 to 60 hours a week for 2.5 to 5 years.

    Where I went to school, every professor thought their classes were more important than the others, so a credit hour actually meant about 4-5 hours per week. That's 48 to 100 hours of work each week. Most people got a minor or a second major, and did about 15 credit hours a semester for 8 to 12 semesters.

    I, personally, left early due to illness and started my career with no degree once I was well. I don't think people who got their degrees are silly, though. I'd like to go back and finish a Bachelor's degree, but probably in a different field now.

    Most of the entry-level certificates require a bright person a month or less of study in their spare time. Yet people in the HR department don't know that. They see "A+, Network+, CNA, CCNA, BrainBench Perl, BrainBench PHP, BrainBench HTML", and they often think they're getting a well-rounded network and web development guru. Little do they know that some of those are drop-the-hot-rock easy and others can be done by any random friend of yours on your behalf with a reference open in another window.

    Some certifications do mean something. The CCIE is one. The bar exam for a state is another. A college degree means a lot in most cases, although the college and the student are both variables in just how much.

      I agree with most of what you say. Based upon my observations, it's natural intelligence, and a desire to be correct,that is more important than a degree. I would say that 90% of all jobs only need an 8th grade level of education( basic reading writing and arithmetic). Sh*t, in nearby Detroit where only 25% of students graduate high school, they can fill all the jobs they need because the kids have a natural intelligence, and can be trained in a few weeks to pickup things. For instance, on a tool setting control, they don't need to know what cm means, just put marks on the scale with a marker pen and tell them " put it on marker 1 for this task and marker 2 for that task".

      The other 10% of jobs go to the people who know how to make the marks, or design and develop the tools. But how many of those people do you really need? We are graduating so many useless college graduates( who all expect cushy high paid jobs), that the old saying is now true...."too many chiefs and not enough indians". This is creating a corporate welfare class, where they are hired into meaningless positions, and do not earn their high salaries.

      It reminds me of what happened in France about 20 years ago, IIRC. They said they were going to limit the number of Phd candidates admitted each year, because there were too many already.

      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
        In a big corporate marketplace, you may be right. In general, I think the one to ten person company is much more common than your scenario admits.

        Specialty retail shops, transmission repair and rebuilding garages, accounting firms, law offices, schools, dance and gymnastics academies, and all sorts of other smaller, more local types of businesses far outweigh your 10% average with skilled or educated workers. You can't take a kid drinking Capri Sun and make him a wine steward in a week, and it takes years to be qualified to practice law or medicine. Even real estate agents in many states have to take a class and pass standardized tests to be licensed (I should know -- I took the class for my state).

        The problems with graduates not being placed are many, and not just centered around the number of graduates. For one, colleges and high schools overemphasize current shortages in particular fields, then there is a glut five years down the road in that field. For another, the markets in some fields fluctuate rapidly. The H1B visa program is used to artificially flood certain job markets.

        One of the biggest issues with graduates not finding work is that not enough people are being taught even basic business skills as part of any non-business curriculum. If you're wanting more jobs available for well-educated and well-trained people than the current market provides, you need more small, niche businesses. Yet people who go to school for most degrees aren't taught basic marketing, basic business law, and basic accounting. They stop at trying to find jobs with existing companies so that someone else takes care of those essential areas. They aren't taught that risk and reward go hand-in-hand, and are always encouraged to play the safe side of any decision. The best time, in fact, to take risks with your finances isn't during a mid-life crisis, but when you are young and single without much to lose and have plenty of time to make it up.

        If people want more programming jobs or IT consulting jobs, in particular (since this is Perlmonks), then more people need to start programming or IT consulting businesses. Yes, it's risky, but so is working for a big company (with big layoffs) these days. The secret, as in all businesses, is to offer someone something they can't get elsewhere. Higher quality, lower price, or a completely unique product or service that meets a need nobody else is covering can make a market. Ideally, you can come up with a product or service that people don't even think about wanting until they see it. Realistically, there is lots of room for cheaper, faster, better, or more local. That last bit matters much more to some people than the bit-bashers like us tend to realize.

        One of the best side effects of more small, specialized businesses in a field is that more of the decision makers in the hiring process actually understand the field. That makes certifications less valuable and the portfolio evaluation and interview process more valuable.

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