It was around 20 years ago, major system and application vendors introduced concept of certification. The purpose was to evaluate candidates on the knowledge of handling those systems or applications and providing some basis for selection process to the recruiters who could be not as much tech savvy themselves but capable of managing and running IT or ITES industry. The certification would complement the qualification of the potential candidates and assuring recruiters of the IT skills possessed by them. So in a way having certification was more or less a sure shot way of getting a job in IT or ITES industry then. However as it should have happened normally with all such good initiatives, over the time myths started surrounding it and as a result today we see candidates bloated with certifications but failing to get jobs. Here we shall discuss some of those myths and the realities lying beneath them –
Certification is a qualification
It has been my personal experience that some students who come to me for counseling are found to be not able to finish their regular degree like BSc or BE and think that some certification like Oracle (OCA, OCP, OCM), Microsoft (MCSE, MCSD, MCP), CISCO (CCNA, CCNP), etc would substitute for the basic degree. This is due to the fact that most campaign material publicized by training institutes attached to certification exam centres not only point to such chatter but also their counselors or front office keepers, use it to lure the students into their institutes. The truth is that the certification does not prove your expertise and much far from being considered as a qualification.
Certification is necessary for a fresher
Though there is nothing wrong for a fresher doing an IT certification, but being called necessary is not only myth but an exaggeration. Actually there is no preference either as the fresher might be thinking of an advantage of certification at its minimum. Certification is only a means of indicating an ongoing study, for candidates already working on the relevant systems / applications. Working candidates find reason in doing certification, of getting accustomed to “What’s New” and staying current with the versions of the system. Industry has already realized the futility of certification obtained through bookish study of guides and / or brain dumps.
Certified faculties Vs Experienced Faculties
Most institutes are found harping on “Certified Faculty” in their advertisements. There is nothing wrong in coaching being provided by a “Certified Faculty” but is the faculty also experienced? The most important is experience, because providing training means transferring the knowledge faculty has gained through experience and not gained through techniques of passing an exam. Remember, a faculty who has been working or has worked for considerable years is more valuable and reliable than the one who has just been certified how-so-ever high grade he/she might have achieved in certification exams. You will observe that such “Certified Faculties” would guarantee you passing a certification exam and never would guarantee you on the knowledge that could be put to use in real life.
Certification is a permanent achievement
Certifications, which cost heavily, have a very short life. They are version centric and so life of certification is only until a new version is introduced. So are they really worth their price is a debatable question. Remember that the knowledge gained through experience does not have a shelf life particularly when you keep pace with the advancements in the systems you are working on and the knowledge would always show, whether you are certified or not.
Certificates are provided by vendors and hence they are prestigious
The counselors at the institutes which attract the students on the basis of providing certification would tell you this to define the value of certification. A simple argument can bowl them over – If that is true then why those system vendors would not use their own list of certified candidates in their recruitment? For example if Oracle provides OCP or OCM certifications, then why Oracle Corporation should not recruit their development staff from the list of certified candidates and instead go hopping from one top institute campus to another to recruit fresher but not their own “Certification Holders”? There would be no answer from them. This is because talent and ingenuity is believed to come from original working and not passing through an exam.
The truth is that there is no overseeing body to monitor the whole process. Another question you may ask yourself in such situation is – How come your engineering degree or science graduation is less valuable than mere certificate obtained from studying a set of exam crams for 2-3 weeks and no practice?
We have considered only a small number from vast band of myths surrounding the value of IT certifications. However they should be enough to guide the reader to make a fair decision. There is nothing bad in going certified but, there is nothing glorious about it either these days to tell the truth at very least. The major reason behind waning interest of employers in certified candidates is that there are really too many of them in the market but not found up to the mark or who can satisfy the requirement of the industry. They are considered too exam oriented rather than practical oriented. However, certification may prove beneficial to indicate an ongoing study for people in work and also a reason to keep pace with changes and advancements. They should not be considered as passport for a job or even for a promotion.