I am aspiring to become a software developer and I have relevant skills in Visual Basic, Visual C++, ASP, MS-Access, SQL Server, Windows 98/NT4/2000. I have done a three year diploma in Computer Application and I have two years experience in teaching these languages and in-house software development.
How much do you think, certifications like MCSD and OCP would help me (or for that matter, anyone else)? I am still an undergraduate doing BCA though distance education.
Given your existing knowledge and experience, a bit of research before pursuing certification may be wise. Programming certifications are not as widely requested (or known) in the working world here in the US, and the same may be true where you live and work. I'd urge you to examine job postings and classified advertisements for developer jobs in your area, and perhaps even talk to some local placement firms, to understand the value-add that a developer certification might convey before obtaining same. Only if such credentials are explicitly requested, or if they can lead to measurably higher rates of pay would I recommend pursuing them.
Your background and experience as they currently stand (or will stand once you finish your diploma) may be sufficient to get you work, so why bother with certification if that's true?
This was first published in February 2002