Ask an MCT: Does Certification Really Matter?

Ask an MCT: Does Certification Really Matter?

Veronica Sopher - Microsoft

Does certification really matter? This is one of the most frequently asked and debated topic among IT pros and developers, whether they have college degrees or years of industry experience. You want to know if pursuing Microsoft certification is a good investment of time and money. MCT and Senior Consultant Jasper Kraak, who lives and works in the Netherlands, shares what he has witnessed in the industry, and why certification indeed matters. Read on:

Why Certification Does Matter

There seems to a lot skepticism on IT Certification and there’s probably a good reason for that. But that is not what I’ll be blogging about in this post. I’m looking for empowering reasons to DO get certified.

For individuals it’s always good to stretch yourself; life begins at the end of your comfort zone. The harder you need to strech the more satisfaction you get out of the result. Maybe that’s even better than a higher salary or bonus, although I do not underestimate those benefits. Certification makes it easier to search for new jobs, you can show that you’re up to date in your field of expertise. Passing an exam is also an acknowledgement for yourself of which you should be proud.

I also think it’s normal to stay up to date, looking at my closest relatives (neither of them are into IT), they all keep on developping their skills and knowledge about their respective jobs. Even my 82 year old mother as a biologist…. She blogs and is active on LinkedIn. But especially in IT, you’re out if you’re not up to date, it goes with the job. About nine months ago I blogged that the “serverhuggers” will be the first to lose their jobs. Last week I heard a CIO/CEO say: “What’s the difference between Elvis and a Systems Administrator? The Systems Administrator is really dead!”

For employers it seems logical that they only want to hire qualified employees to manage their expensive hard and software systems. I’m always very unpleasantly surprised to hear that they just “trust” their people but have actually no idea what they are doing for their money. It’s ridiculous to have untrained and unskilled people manage very expensive systems on which the company relies for it’s primary business processes. As employers invest in new technologies, training is hardly ever on the budget. It’s time now to take that business serious, IT has evolved enough to get rid of the sociologist who happens to know something about Windows. Windows is not manageable through therapy (most of the time… J). Employers investing in people have a more loyal workforce, no, they won’t run after they took their classes and passed their exams.

For outsourcers, headhunters, employer agencies and companies like that, you charge your customers big bucks so you’d better deliver. I do not only want to see an impressive resume with projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. I want to see a steady list of Certifications matching the position, otherwise we have no deal. So you should demand of your candidates a proper set of certifications, moreover, it should be the first thing to look for in any resume.

I take pride in being an IT Professional with an outstanding track record of certification and through that achieving great results in projects and training. And that leads to being reckoned as expert and guru in my fields of expertise.

 

About Jasper Kraak, in his own words:

My passion lies with Microsoft Technology, which started with NT3.1. Since then I’ve always be a frontrunner in investigating the newest versions of almost the complete product line of Microsoft, resulting in multiple MCSE and MCITP certifications. I love to share my knowledge as a Microsoft Certified Trainer, speaker and blogger.

Lately I mostly work with Vitualization, Collaboration and Cloud Services. In my job as a Senior Consultant for Qwise, I’m also responsible for knowledge, ambition and inspiration for my co-workers. Connect with me at http://www.kraak.com/  or https://twitter.com/jasperkraak .

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