I made a tweet yesterday about how once every so often I get obsessed with certifications. Even though I normally get around to studying let alone sitting the test. I was wondering if this is a problem for any one else. Certifications to me are so tempting, but finding the time to actually do it is another thing. If there is an multiple choice exam for a certification given time any one can take the test, so why isn’t every one qualified?
I can’t speak for every one but I know why I don’t hold as many certifications as I would like.
Firstly money comes into play. Even if you self study, buy books or from reading free certification guides and objectives online you still have to pay for the exam. This is a big factor when coming to get certified. Even if sponsorship from an employer or other organization is available this can still be a problem.
I for one do not like to fail exams, therefore I like to study to make sure I’ll pass. Making the time needed to study for an exam is often a challenge. Things come up which distract me from studying, or scheduling an exam.
This is one of the major reasons for obtaining a certification. Whats in it for me? After all why am I going to get a certification if it is no benefit to me. The return on some certifications is not measurable. Its hard to look into the future and say,
“Wow, it was a good job I got Linux+ certified”
When or if the time comes for a job change certification’s are a great tool, even if they are not well respected in the industry. For example take MCSA and LPIC, if a systems administrator holds just one of these certifications and is applying for a position that requires Linux and Microsoft experience, their chances of getting assessed for the position by human resources would be less than the chances of one who has both. I also think that the return is a major reason I don’t hold more certifications. If everyone knew that taking an exam would be of great benefit who wouldn’t study and sit an exam?
Some people say that most certifications are a waste of time, but I don’t think that they are if all of the above factors are reasonable. Any one else have thoughts?