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MS certifcations...worth it?

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  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Is it worth getting my employer to buy me some books to take the tests? It would be nice to have a certification to put on my resume, but I don't know if it would add any value for my employer.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Unless you contract our your services to other companies who read your CV and care about MS qualifications, you'd be wasting your time and your employer's money.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    @evildictaitor: Kinda, I agree.

    If you want or need some motivation to work with the areas covered by the various certs, it might be worth it, though.  Me, personally, I'd rather worry about what is required for the job and/or interesting to me.  While I was 'on the bench' recently, I was able to start working on the 70-536 which is the generic .Net starting cert that'll take you into other specializations.  I honestly did learn a few esoteric things that would likely never have come up otherwise, but the training/books/tests were godawful boring.  Unfortunately, we are strongly encouraged to take the cert tests, so meh.

    As a side anecdote, every interviewee I've seen that talked a good game but couldn't code worth a crap had lots and lots of certs...

     

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    If you have Silver or Gold with Microsoft your employer can save money on stuff like software. It's a worthwhile investment.

  • User profile image
    Tati

    It always worth it to have sth that testifies your knowledge in a field. Especially when we talk about MS.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @spivonious: I am self employed and have worked for several employers in a very short space of time and am inured to interviewing, and getting the job. In fact sometimes I am hired over the phone.

    In general I tend to get every job I apply for having being rejected only once or twice because for it is all about experience.

    I think it more important to show you have resolved a variety of problems for whoever you work for rather than certification. That almost always bolsters your employability prospects.

    If you don't have a college degree, then certification is a way to imporove the certification section on your resume, but I am sure even Microsoft will not employ you if you have 10 of their certificates without a degree, which is a shame because they do teach you quite a lot of useful stuff nowadays, unlike years of yore..

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    The most important part of getting certified though...you'll learn a lot.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    @Harlequin: +1

    Also, I personally find a bunch certifications on recent technologies a lot better indication of someone's practical skills than two 15 year old degrees in computer science.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Bas wrote

    @Harlequin: +1

    Also, I personally find a bunch certifications on recent technologies a lot better indication of someone's practical skills than two 15 year old degrees in computer science.

    Except many certifications, such as MCSE, are devalued by employers because of the sheer number of people who pass the test thanks to braindumps and other people who have the certification but lack any real working experience.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    @W3bbo: Weirdly, I've never come across these ubiquitous employers who apparently find certifications a drawback.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

      Smart, Talented and Experienced w/Cert = Hire
      Smart, Talented and Experiened w/o Cert = Hire
      Not Smart, Talented, or Experienced w/Cert = No Hire
      Not Smart, Talented, or Experienced w/o Cert = Management

     

    I kid....

  • User profile image
    Bass

    I think it is worth it if you employer is paying for the costs of the certifications.

  • User profile image
    exoteric

    , Harlequin wrote

    If you have Silver or Gold with Microsoft your employer can save money on stuff like software. It's a worthwhile investment.

    That's probably the biggest deal. I have the conception that a lot of the questions are about API specifics, which I tend to think is often easy to learn on the fly. Perhaps except for heavy-duty APIs such as WPF. I'd still like to get some more certifications, if only for the CV benefits it has.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @W3bbo: Some of them like the MCTS and MCSD are highly regarded. In fact if you have this certification and work in a Microsoft Certified Partner company, you will usually get between 5 and 10 thousand pounds extra on top of your salary compared to staff with just degrees. There is no harm in continuing to add certificates to your portfolio.

    I also think you should pick of one or two copies of the latest and see of you think you can sit the test in 2 days, you will find however that you have to do some studying.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    Except many certifications, such as MCSE, are devalued by employers because of the sheer number of people who pass the test thanks to braindumps and other people who have the certification but lack any real working experience.

    And you think that a degree is any different?

    If your employer is prepared to pay for you to get certified, they gain not only in what you learn but also from the motivational benefits of knowing your employer cares about your career progression. Never underestimate how much productivity suffers from employees who feel undervalued.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    How long are the tests? Are they web-based or would I have to go to a training center?

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    In case anyone is interested, I ended up asking for the self-paced books and plan to take the tests. The boss feels it would be nice to get any extra knowledge that was missed through experience, and the cost is minimal without classes ($200 for books, $125 for each MCTS test).

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , spivonious wrote

    In case anyone is interested, I ended up asking for the self-paced books and plan to take the tests. The boss feels it would be nice to get any extra knowledge that was missed through experience, and the cost is minimal without classes ($200 for books, $125 for each MCTS test).

    Keep an eye out on the official MSFT certification page.  They usually offer moderate to severe discounts on the tests if you take them within a certain time frame (usually 1 year). 

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