Make no mistake if you want to go far with your IT career, you have to get certified.
It doesn't matter whether you are working in a Cisco environment or are tasked primarily with Microsoft, IBM or Oracle products. You have to get certified if you want to truly advance in your career.
It doesn’t really matter whether you have handled all sorts of projects back in college involving HP or EMC. As awesome as these experiences may be, you have to remember that eventually you would have to quit your job to move onto a higher-paying position. This is precisely the kind of situation many IT professionals find themselves in.
Unfortunately, this is also the time where they discover, in the worst way possible, the importance of proper IT certification. Make no mistake IT certification, whether we're talking about EMC, HP Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco or some other platform, can give you a tremendous advantage as far as the job competition goes.
As you probably already know, in the United States, there is massive low unemployment. Companies are just bending over backwards to try to fill their payrolls and, unfortunately, they are having a tough time.
It seems that anybody who could get a job already has a job. In fact, a lot of people have two or even three jobs. This is why it’s really important for you to maximize your current position.
It is also true that despite this low unemployment environment, a lot of people have low wages. It is quite a paradox that as the job market in the United States heats up to the point that employers simply cannot find enough warm bodies to fill their personnel slots, too many people are making below the average pay for their particular role.
If you find yourself in this situation, you have to understand that you are not playing the game right. Maybe you have a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Perhaps you got a degree from the right school at the right time to produce the right results up to a certain extent.
Eventually, you would have to switch jobs and if you want to truly maximize your earnings potential, you need to get certified.
The Good News about Certification
The big challenge with certifying for EMC, HP, Oracle or what have you lies not in the subject matter. If you are well-versed in computer code and have already programmed all sorts of projects in the past, this probably is going to be child's play to you. You probably would be able to do this with a blindfold on. You probably already know this like the back of your hand.
This has nothing to do with what you actually know. Instead, it has everything to do with passing the test. A lot of people are thinking that these two factors are one and the same. No, they’re not. You have to understand that in most cases the practical knowledge of EMC, HP, Cisco, Microsoft and other platforms are very different from what is actually tested as far as certifications go.
I wish I could tell you that it's very easy to discount these certifications. It’s very easy to think that if you’ve seen one kind of certification program, you’ve pretty much seen them all. It would be great to have that casual attitude and not have to worry about the consequences.
Unfortunately, that's not true. If you take certifications too lightly, it's too easy for you to get overlooked. It's too easy for you to be passed over for one promotion after another. You may be thinking that these certifications really don't mean much because it really all boils down to your experience. Believe me I understand where you’re coming from. In fact, I agree with you 100%.
However, despite my agreement with you, the fact of the matter is employers are looking for awards, certifications or any other objective indication that they're talent pool is able to meet certain basic criteria. If they are able to do this, then they would be able to position their team to do more things or they might be able to get the higher-quality clients.
Certifications have a lot of consequences that a lot of people are simply blind to. That is the truth of the matter. I know a lot of people would wish that this is not the case.
A lot of people would rather think that it's all about experience and product knowledge.
Believe me, on a practical level, you are completely on point. You are 100% correct, but when it comes to perception of value, it's a whole different ball of wax. It’s easy to develop a dismissive attitude regarding these certifications because, after all, if you've seen one certification, you've seen them all.
Chances are you probably have worked with somebody with all sorts of certifications and it seems that they don't know how to solve problems. It's as if they cannot code their way out of a wet paper bag .We know these people. These people are all over the place. They have all sorts of degrees from all sorts of fancy institutions of higher education.
However, at the end of the day, they are really not all that practical. They don't really know how to apply the technology theory that floods their brain into things that actually boost productivity in the here and now.
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