A few weeks ago Jennifer Waters posted the first blog entry dealing with certification and asked the question Does Certification Really Matter?. In the next post, she asks whether managers care about certification.
Let’s face facts. Certification is all about where it can get you. Most people don’t fantasize about studying or taking exams, so if it’s not going to help you get ahead, why certify?
Good question. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto, and the days of getting your MCSE and expecting to command a decent salary simply on that basis are gone. Technology and the people that use it have grown up.
While I don’t expect to see the same kind of feverish scramble that we did in the late 90’s and early 2000’s for certification, we are coming out of a down cycle in the industry in general.
Canada is currently experiencing a substantial IT skills shortage and over the next 5 years there will be a need to fill approximately 90,000 jobs.* We have heard from Microsoft partners that they simply do not have enough staff to fulfill all their business needs and partners are poaching from one another .
Combine this with the new products being released from SQL Server 2005 to Windows “Longhorn” Server and there is a real and growing need for people who know their stuff.
And that, is where certification comes in. I’m not saying that it will enable you to live a life of extravagance a la Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous or MTV Cribs (anyone see Missy Elliot’s insane sneaker collection?) but it is like having a BA or BSC after your name. Sometimes experience trumps it, but quite often it is a tick box and if you don’t have it, it can be the difference between getting hired and being passed over.
Here are some facts to back that up:*
• 63% of Hiring Managers feel that certified individuals are somewhat or far more productive than their non-certified counterparts
• 55% of Hiring Managers consider employee certification as criterion for hiring
• 46% of Hiring Managers consider employee certification as criteria for promotion
If you are not sure where to go to get certified, or exactly how to upgrade to the New Generation, check out the links below. Or ask me – I would be happy to help you navigate through this.
Next blog – I’ll go through the New Generation of Certification and hopefully dispel some of the confusion around upgrading to these new certs.
Jennifer Waters started her career at Microsoft 8 years ago. After studying Ancient Greek and Roman history (that’s right, this is not a typo), her career path was an obvious one and she began in product support at Microsoft, supporting Office. From there, she became a Technology Specialist, within Microsoft US. This position involved a lot of travel to such glamorous spots as Poughkeepsie, NY. Jennifer has managed the CPLS (Certified Partners for Learning Solutions) channel and the Learning and Certification program in Canada for the past 4 years.