In addition to getting new certifications, like sales and technical, we are also under pressure from providers to renew them. So we need to invest as much time in staying up to date as in obtaining new certifications, often outside normal office hours.
If a company doesn’t have any certification, it will appear that its product isn’t good enough.
Of course there are different certification classes. I would categorize them in the following way:
Basic: these are the ones that we prepare through an online session and test, both for free. Little value, just a task.
Professional: the companies recommend classes (sometimes as an obligatory requirement) to study them, paying for the exams and a detailed blueprint. A good point to start from a technical and professional point of view.
Advanced: the advanced certifications mean another level including of course a high requirement of time, knowledge and experience. The exams are usually interactive and you can’t find their answers on the internet. You need to really know about the product and it defines a difference because there are not a lot of professionals with this type of achievements.
Elite: and finally the highest level of certifications, the exclusives ones (a long journey) that aren’t available to everyone because the higher requirements and also because of the time and money that we need to invest. You decide where you want to work.
How many certifications do we need to build an excellent professional profile? From how many companies? Are the providers demanding too much when they request their certifications? Is this situation forcing us to study `the wrong way’?
But up to what point does an IT certification make us more professional? I know great professionals that have practically no official certifications and neither do they need them to demonstrate their technical knowledge and experience.
However, when it comes to looking for or changing jobs, these certifications help significantly at the stage of initial filtration, that’s no secret.
Without forgetting that these certifications are also a business, they do open doors.
Finally, the set of certifications on the CV of an IT professional show a class of DNA from the perspective of a head hunter (of which there are many on Linkedin) or anyone in charge at a human resources department.
I consider that these certifications, if studied well and taken advantage of, don’t only help us to learn about the technology in question, but also open our eyes so we understand the product in its context.
The challenge is in making the best use of our time by choosing the optimal way forward. Quite a task…
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