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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Default Is certification really necessary?

    In certification we need to cram a lot of different data like arguments of different commands, port numbers and so on. In reality - why would I need that memorized in real world if I can easily google that?
    Another problem is that when I read book on certification I need to delve into every sentence, because I have problems with concentration of attention. This makes me reread the sentence, sometimes for 5 times before I can move on. This kills motivation and take much time and effort. Do I really need to understand certification subject in that detail level? Because we have now a lot of technologies which are rapidly changing and it's simply not enough time in life to understand every technology in that detail level.
    However I am perfectionist and it's hard for me to move on before I fully understand the sentence. Should I suppress my perfectionism?
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  3. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #2
    "Perfection" is not found in Google, but in ourselves. A true perfectionist would know that.
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  4. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by link087 View Post
    In certification we need to cram a lot of different data like arguments of different commands, port numbers and so on. In reality - why would I need that memorized in real world if I can easily google that?
    I don't think companies want people are who going to just Google everything that they do as they would be an extremely huge waste of their time and money. Yes, most still need to lookup things, they just better not have to look up most of what they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by link087 View Post
    Do I really need to understand certification subject in that detail level? Because we have now a lot of technologies which are rapidly changing and it's simply not enough time in life to understand every technology in that detail level.
    However I am perfectionist and it's hard for me to move on before I fully understand the sentence. Should I suppress my perfectionism?
    For certs you need to understand the topics on the exam... If it takes you 5 times reading something to actually understand it. Yes, you would have to read it 5 times.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by link087 View Post
    Do I really need to understand certification subject in that detail level? Because we have now a lot of technologies which are rapidly changing and it's simply not enough time in life to understand every technology in that detail level.
    Do you need to? Of course not but your competition for jobs will do this so your choice to do so or not.
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  6. Senior Member yoba222's Avatar
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    #5
    Totally agree with you. I remember in the 3rd grade when they told me I had to memorize multiplication tables. I told them that was dumb and I could just use a calculator. Then I dropped out of school.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by link087 View Post
    1. In certification we need to cram a lot of different data like arguments of different commands, port numbers and so on. In reality - why would I need that memorized in real world if I can easily google that?

    2. Another problem is that when I read book on certification I need to delve into every sentence, because I have problems with concentration of attention.

    3. Do I really need to understand certification subject in that detail level? Because we have now a lot of technologies which are rapidly changing and it's simply not enough time in life to understand every technology in that detail level.
    1. Using Google is great to perform general lookups especially on specific topics, however it is not going to teach you how something interacts with other technologies or dependencies that might be implied. Would you hire a surgeon who only uses WebMD and YouTube?

    2. You should get over that very quickly...that would take you forever to read 600+ pages. Why don't you take notes....

    3. You should understand the technologies that you deal with at work...don't start going down the path of trying to "get everything."
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  8. Senior Member stryder144's Avatar
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    #7
    TechGuru...one of my students, a career changer who worked as an EMT, told me a story about a doctor he worked with once. A patient came in with a male-specific issue and the doctor looked at the x-rays and was able to diagnose the issue. What he couldn't do was remember how to fix the issue, as he had only ever seen the problem when he was in school. Sooo...he found a youtube video that showed him what to do. Unfortunately, it was both a painful procedure (requires pulling and twisting) and unsuccessful.

    But, to your point, you are correct. When I teach my students I tell them to research the problem so that they can understand it. Watch videos if that helps, but take notes and refer to them. After a while, you should be able to do whatever you need to without help...which is the ultimate goal.
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    #8
    I think that asking in a certification forum if getting certification is really necessary. It's like to ask in a NRA forum if gun control is good
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    I see two main reasons to get certifications:
    1) To validate the skills you already have.
    Why does one need to do this you ask? Can't I just explain what I know in the interview? Sorta kinda. You might be asked some technical questions in the interview, but if you've passed all 3 grueling series of the MCSA Windows Server 2016 exams, then the hiring manager doesn't really have to make sure that you know the basics of Active Directory, GPOs, or OU.

    2) To act as or supplement training.
    As someone with no experience, this is where I'm at. I'm a Help Desk technician. I'd dearly love to work with Windows Server and really get into scripting and Powershell, given that programming was my original love (but regrettably, I picked IT rather than CS as a major due to inadequate research). No sane person would let this new guy anywhere near their servers, but if I were to make some decent headway into the MCSA Windows Server 2016 and demonstrate both an interest and a commitment to learning about it in the form of making demonstrable progress in getting the certification, then they might be willing to ease me into it as I go along, with supervision.

    It's easier if I committed to training in my off-time so I don't make rookie mistakes (i.e. thinking the 2008 server can't shadow a thin client based on the error message and missing the simple fix of turning off dual screens on the RDS). If I don't have to waste a senior tech's time by having him walk me through each individual step, he might be more willing to coach me.

    Google is a wonderful tool, but I would never want to use it to walk me through every individual step given that it would take forever to get any work done. I just want Google to answer a very specific question and fill in the gaps, not do my work for me.
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  11. Senior Member Phalanx's Avatar
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    #10
    For me, certification is validation, not learning. I learn the subject BEFORE I start the exam prep. Certification is how you validate your knowledge to people who hire you, not how you learn (although a small amount of learning does occur).
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  12. Senior Member scaredoftests's Avatar
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    #11
    in a nutshell..yes..especially if you want to work in DOD/government...
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  13. Senior Member mbarrett's Avatar
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    #12
    It's just a way of hopefully measuring someone's skillset, hopefully. Not really necessary but the industry has grown dependant on them as a quick filter. More important that you have the actual skills.
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  14. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by link087 View Post
    Is Certification Really necessary
    Fair question, reasons for Certifications.

    1. People lie, yes shocking, People come in for interviews and claim they know networking, IT security, server administration, etc, when in reality they know very little or may have read a book, but really have no experience. Certifications help an employer have a reasonable amount if assurance that an applicant has the technical knowledge they claim they have. It's true some may have cheated there way to a certification, but it provides at least some level of assurance you know what claim to know.

    2. While it's true you can "google" answers, often the answers are of limited help, you have to know enough what to google. lets say for example your network went down, how you going to "google" up the answer with no internet connectivity? I guess you could tether your laptop to your phone's hotspot to get internet connectivity, but what are you going to type in? My network's is down?

    3. Often the answers simply are not on Google, one example would be a recent Cisco 3850 IOS upgrade wasn't working on one of my switch stacks. The IOS would get an unable to verify IOS when I tried to install it, an internet search was able to tell me it was a known bug, but none of the work arounds they suggested worked. Me and my coworker tried for hours to get past this technical issue, we renumbered the switch stack, tried to deploy the install from different switches, verified the hash of the file uploaded, software cleans, copying the files on to the switch from a USB drive instead of TFTP file to switch. Finally I ran the install from the USB drive plugged into the switch and it worked fine. That answer wasn't on google, not at least far as my searching found.
    Last edited by TechGromit; 02-26-2018 at 12:54 PM.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    It depends on your skills and type of roles you are applying for.

    Analyst, Developer, Manager, Not usually.....

    IT Engineer, Admin, Tech most certainly

    That's my take......
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Some of my thoughts about why certs matter are below. Many overlap to some degree, but I think each point has individual merit.

    As many have presented here certifications are excellent for an employer to get a quick validation of skillsets. As others pointed out, studying for a certificate is actually learning the skills, and earning the certification is the validation that you learned them. I think having a certification isn't necessarily a guarantee someone is an expert on a subject, but it indicates they've had some exposure to some foundational information or a vendor's specific technology. If I am spending my money on a Dr. or a plumber or a course, I want to know I am getting the best possible resource of knowledge for my money, so the more I can validate it, the better. Same for employers of we IT folks.

    I also think studying for certifications provides a goal that enables me to stay focused on learning material for my career. If I don't have an end goal of earning a certification, like a grade in a college course, I will often get sidetracked studying a lot of different topics, and not really learn very deeply about any topic.

    Additionally, studying for a certification isn't just about getting that initial exposure to a technology. Often when I'm studying I'm reviewing topics that I may know to some degree, but don't work with frequently. So, taking that certification gives me that opportunity to review.

    Once you have a certification, getting additional certifications have a purpose in providing some CEUs.

    In one of my IT jobs with a reseller, having a certification was a prerequisite for promotions and pay raises. Now I don't think all pay increases and promotions should only simply be based on quantitative data, like how many certs someone has, because someone's qualities, like work ethic, mean something too. However, things that can be measured and quantified, like which certs someone holds, can be helpful for managers.
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