“Mouse Click Selection Expert”?
Lately I’ve been seeing “Prefer MCSE Certification” in job postings. I’m unsure of why the sudden resurgence after all these years, but apparently people are hiring point-and-click admins again. Most in the industry remember how high MCSE admins were valued during the dot-com bubble around 2000…and then let go after the bubble because there was no value there. Most (not all) MCSE’s didn’t know what was really going on under the hood, so they really weren’t an effective admin.
Now people can say that I’m bashing certifications all they want, but I have a few certifications myself. The certifications alone won’t get me the job. In fact, I was a part of the CST Advisory Board at my previous school for two years and the members consisted of the largest employers in the Tri-City area (mid-Michigan) and they had nothing good to say about certifications.
One such member stated “All certifications really do is prove how well the person tests – it doesn’t really prove if they can perform the functions or not”.
I’d have to say I agree for the most part. I went to school with a person who obtained A+ Certification, but yet couldn’t tear down a PC and put it back together. For those that aren’t familiar with A+ Certification, being able to troubleshoot all components on a PC is half of the certification. The problem is, the A+ Certification process doesn’t require any hands-on testing. This is part of the reason why A+ Certification gets the same bad reputation as the MCSE Certification.
Please don’t get me wrong, because I do believe that some certifications are put together rather well. For instance, from the prep tests I have seen from CompTIA web site, the Linux+ test appears to be a good BASE test for Linux. However, there’s more to Linux troubleshooting than what’s in the terminal, so it’s fairly incomplete. It also doesn’t take into account questions like how to troubleshoot/repair (for instance) the GRUB bootloader if it should happen to become corrupted.
I have been thinking about the Security+ Certification exam, but again, it comes down to really just being able to test well. Sure you can answer questions you read out of a book as to what SSH and SSL is, but it doesn’t cover how to configure and implement either encryption method. It doesn’t come down to whether I’d be able to pass the exam or not, but rather, is it really worth it to have “Security+ Certified” on my resume?