Careers – The value of certifications

ComputerWorldI’m a network administrator who is committed to keeping current with technology. Lately, though, I’ve been hearing negative things about certifications. Are they worth my investment of time and money, or should I pursue another course?

Page Petry Title: Chief information resources officer for the Americas
Company: Marriott International
– “Rather than look at the certification as a unique event, think about what you want in your career. A career is a balance between education and experience driven by what you want to pursue. Education comes in a variety of methods, be it a degree, a certification or specific hands-on training provided by your company. Companies view all of these components differently, so focus on what makes sense to you, including what you are most interested in (learning is a lot easier when we are excited about it), how you learn (online or classroom), your financial situation (does your company provide any type of tuition reimbursement?) and what your company looks for when hiring (if certifications are required, then make sure you have them as part of your total portfolio of qualifications).”

Editor – when I hire IT staff, certs are important. They make a résumé stand out and assure me the professional is keeping up and has initiative. People without certification go to the back of the line. Microsoft is especially strong on certs. I know of one case where the applicant jumped to the head of the queue because he had all the proper Microsoft certifications.

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