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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Thumbs up How much does certification help you in your career?

    Hi all

    I know a lot of you have managed to attain dozens of certifications.

    Are they really useful in your career advancement apart of knowledge and skills gained through those certifications?

    Thank you
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  3. Senior Member Phalanx's Avatar
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    #2
    I don't actually have that many certifications. Last month I landed a job as a Technical Consultant for an IT firm, and they said it was my experience that sealed the deal. I do the certifications to validate my own skills, not to get jobs. The experience is where it counts after a certain point.
    Desktop: MCSE: Mobility | Server: MTA | Cloud: None | Networking: MTA
    Security: None | Linux: None | Service Management: ITIL 2011: Foundation
    Currently Studying: 70-740 - Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016
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  4. Member
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    M.S. Cyber Security, sec+, Linux +, CCNA RS, CCNA Sec, OSCP
    #3
    I'm young, 25 so I got my CCNAs in college to get my foot in the door. It worked. Now I have 3 years of IT experience, mainly network ops and the whole infrastructure stack too and I'd say from here on out, it will be about the experience. The OSCP cert got my a jr pen tester role, but I turned it down. Again, I had no experience, but I had the OSCP so they gave me a shot.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    When you don't have directly related work experience, certifications can help to land an interview. And once you have an interview, it comes down to technical knowledge, not what tests you've passed. But that piece of paper puts you in a position to show the interviewer what you know, so it does have its benefit.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by EnderWiggin View Post
    When you don't have directly related work experience, certifications can help to land an interview. And once you have an interview, it comes down to technical knowledge, not what tests you've passed. But that piece of paper puts you in a position to show the interviewer what you know, so it does have its benefit.
    agree with this statement, also sometime to negociate the salary
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  7. I'm Batman clarkincnet's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by EnderWiggin View Post
    When you don't have directly related work experience, certifications can help to land an interview. And once you have an interview, it comes down to technical knowledge, not what tests you've passed. But that piece of paper puts you in a position to show the interviewer what you know, so it does have its benefit.
    Agreed. For most of my 18-year IT career, I didn't have a single certification. I started IT as Novell certifications were on the way out and everyone said you needed the Windows NT MCSE... I saw too many paper certs and commercials from training companies saying my life would be complete if only I had (fill in the blank here).

    Recently, I too have been taking certifications that validate my own skills and experiences.
    2015 Goals: CISSP [X], 2016 Goals: CISM [X], 2017 Goals: CRISC [X]
    2018 Goals: eCPPT [ ]
    Five Year Goals: CSXP, OSCP, GPEN, eWPT
    "Distrust and caution are the parents of security" - Benjamin Franklin
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  8. Senior Member CryptoQue's Avatar
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    #7
    Certifications have opened the door for me to get into interviews, but I had to elaborate on my experience in order to get the job. Sometimes having certifications can help with salary negotiations. For example, a network engineer with 10 years of experience & CCIE certified has more leverage to ask for a higher salary than a network engineer with 10 years of experience & no certifications. Overall, experience weighs more than certifications the higher you go up in the IT field. The majority of CIO, CTO, and VPs have no technical certification but have a wealth of experience.
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  9. Senior Member Gorby's Avatar
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    #8
    Certifications can help when HR or technical recruiters screens through resumes and decides which resume's to forward to the hiring manager. Even though I agree certifications don't determine technical knowledge, it can help get you to the interviewing table and/or be the deciding hiring factor between candidate A & B who are otherwise similar.
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  10. Senior Member
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    CISSP, B.S.-IT, A.A.S.-Computer Forensics & Security, CSA+, A+, Network+, Security+, Six-Sigma, Solarwinds SCP
    #9
    Agreed with most above. Certs will help get you in front of the interviewer. You experience and personality will get you the job. Certs can also give you leverage in your current role. I got my CISSP and a few other smaller ones along the way and asked for a raise. I was substantially underpaid for my role with my credentials and experience so I spelled it out to my manager and he fought for me. It took awhile but about a month ago I was rewarded for my hard work after they saw my commitment and dedication to the job.
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  11. Senior Member
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    GSLC, GCIH, Security+
    #10
    In the DC area, certifications are everything.

    In 2013 I was part of a mass layoff. I had over 20 years in IT and IT Security and was unemployed for a year. As soon as I got my GSLC cert, I started getting job offers. Before that, interviews were scarce. Of course it was also during the period of government shutdown and budget sequester.

    HR and recruiters only looked for one thing - CISSP. I had to educate them on the DoD 8570 workforce certification chart for them to realize that CISSP was not the only cert in town. They were wondering why it was hard for them to get a candidate with CISSP for an entry level HelpDesk job!
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  12. Member Nutsy's Avatar
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    #11
    I would say BillHoo has a notable underpinning to his theme which is: know the labor market for your skill set. In addition, even know we are IT professionals how the market works for a network engineer vs a security engineer may be different. So, nicheing it down can also lead to insights.

    With that said, one moniker that I use when talking with people is this: A Degree will get you past HR. A Cert can get you an interview. Your experience will get you a job.

    With that said the underlying theme with certs is that they can be a leaver to get you to interviews at companies where your professional network does not extend to.

    Lastly, the aforementioned sentiment of, "A Degree will get you past HR. A Cert can get you an interview. Your experience will get you a job." is a guideline, not a rule. IE: I do not have a four year degree, just two year, but work in a hot labor market (DC). Thus labor demands outstrip requirements for certain pieces of paper. At the end of the day employers do need some butts in chairs.
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  13. Passion For IT
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    #12
    Certifications are a checkmark on the resume and HR sheet.

    However, the knowledge I've gained from going through the training, labbing, work experience, and taking the cert exam and passing - much more valuable. That's what helped my career the most. You can do all that without taking the certification exam, sure. It's easier, too (and cheaper). But, it's a nice personal and obtainable goal.

    I want to learn xx technology. Sure, when do you consider yourself knowledgeable? Having that certification sets a certain standard. I want to be at xx level. It's a set goal. Some people don't need that kind of goal, others do. I use certs as more of a personal goal. I got my CCNA due to a personal goal. I wanted it back in 99 but decided to skip it at the time... I went back several years ago and got it. Just for shits and grins. We run mostly Extreme and our networking stuff is managed by another company (damn).

    Even the more relevant certs don't help with pay or anything. The knowledge helps out a lot and validates that I know. Good for doing better work and expanding my horizons at work.
    A few certs here and there and everywhere...
    AAS: Computer Security
    BS: Information Technology - Security (WGU)
    MS: Information Security & Assurance (WGU)
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  14. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #13
    Not so many certifications here either however I 100% attribute them to the foundation of my success in IT so far. Mostly like what has been stated for an associate / professional level I will keep those current as a validation of my current skillsets. However when I go after CCIE I firmly believe I am going to learn a TON more and elevate my career to might higher levels.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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  15. Junior Member
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    MSc in IT, CEH, FEMA / DHS Cybersecurity Certifications, ITIL v3 Foundations, CDRE, CIHE, CDFE
    #14
    I will admit that at first I was against certifications and thought they were just an IT Education Money Making Scam as I thought experience always trumped a piece of paper.

    However, after having done a few and seeing that my knowledge has increased greatly and employment prospects have increased because of the certs, I realise that they have their place.

    A combination of certs, experience and practice is necessary to develop into an overall better IT Practitioner and becoming the ultimate Kung Fu Master
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  16. Junior Member
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    CISSP, Prince2 Foundation, CCNP R/S, ITILv3 Foundation, CCNA R/S, CCNA Sec, Fortinet NSE 4, BTech E&C
    #15
    Like many have already mentioned in this thread, certification is the best way to validate your experience. Look at it this way, who would you rather hire: an employee with experience but no certifications or another employee with equivalent experience and relevant certification. Also I feel that anything that gives you an edge over another employee should not be overlooked.

    On the flip side, currently I'm working on certifications in which I have no real world experience, this is so that I can show my current/future employer that I'm ready to work on the tech and have acquired sufficient exposure to it.
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  17. Not a Senior Member
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    #16
    MCITP - Windows Server 2008 enterprise & CCNA - got me into a NOC and also a junior server admin tole
    VCP5/VCAP5-DCA - Got me in to Intermediate/Senior Server role

    working on my OSCP then CISSP to get into a security role
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