Downside of Certification

According to this eWeek article pay premiums for skills that don’t have a certification grew three times faster than pay premiums for certified skills.

I never really bothered with certifications for any of my skills because I was usually too busy working to set aside the time to study for and pass the exams.  I was more motivated to do that for things like grad school.  I always felt that experience was more valuable than a certification, but the counter-argument of “if you have the experience, certification should be no problem” is still a reasonable one.

Still, I hope the pay premium changes mean employers are choosing experience in favor of those who’ve passed an exam but have little or no hands-on experience.


  1. Dave says:

    Same here. I never got certified because I didn’t need it. I got close at USWeb, but when I missed a few too many on the SQL Server exam, I didn’t have time to finish it before the bonuses were dropped. So, I just never got around to it.

    Now, while it would be nice to have the certification, I don’t have the time, and don’t really see the point in my current position.

    I was also soured on the whole “certification” racket when I first started working in I.T. We had one of the middle managers who was Novell Certified, but was dumb as hell and even lazier. We, the lowly PC techs, did most of his work for him because he would routinely disappear during a crisis. He used to always brag about his certification, but didn’t really have a clue how to do things. Luckily, he was eventually found out (when the CIO changed) and was out on his butt very quickly.

    Having also hired quite a few tech people in my career, I also know that besides for H.R. people who don’t have a clue, the certifications mean little. I’m going to be looking for your experience and reading about what jobs you’ve done – not what letters you put down behind your name. And more importanly, how well you can communicate with me when we meet face to face.

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