Letter #2: Certifications and R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The people most worried about the new certification track are those without the years of experience that some IT professionals have. They may feel that there will be another glut of "paper-tigers," like there has been in the last 15 years, and that their certifications won't be accorded the respect they would like. Those experienced in IT, like myself, still value the MCSE (et. al.) certifications for what they demonstrate -- the ability to learn. Those who say that hands-on experience is still the most important factor are correct because the certifications only give the raw data of what to do in a particular situation. The ability to learn is what enables people to apply data to a situation that is similar, but not identical, to what they have learned studying for the tests. IMHO!

Having more than 30 years of experience in the IT (and related ) fields, I still feel that renewing and/or updating certifications is a worthwhile endeavor. I will be updating mine to MCSE and Security 2003 this fall in a month-long bootcamp, probably for the last time.

Larry Barnhill
Sr. System Administrator
Contractor, CACI, Inc
HQ, Task Force Falcon, G2-SYSCON

Click here to read the entire series.
This was first published in August 2005

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