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The Top 10 Problems with IT Certification in 2008

March 14, 2008

  • You really nailed HR right on the head. Certifications aside, the requirements that HR departments are putting on job description for a SR level .NET developer is ridicules. They are listing skills from all over the place that no one developer would have exposure to. If they ever manage to hire someone to fill this job, I would like to meet them. I have over 10 years experience as a developer and have not managed to do work in every area of application development. The same goes for all of the developers that I know. We have all worked within certain niches of development and have not been exposed to everything.
  • I would like to add the following Issues:

    1. Troubleshooting and Design get limited attention. The focus is mostly on Implementation. I have seen several folks with certification with poor or little exposure to troubleshooting or Design.

    2. Certification builds on top of the Individual's Profile. You have to be liked before your Certification gets liked. Certification does not plug the gaps in your career or Personality.

  • Well said. Gone through the certification process I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Did we ever needed to be certified in CPM or COBOL?
    For someone starting out with a degree, an A+ and/or Network+ would be a good starting point.
    I am no longer thrilled with vendor centric certifications. Does my networking knowledge disappears with my MCSE NT4? Is TCP/IP that much different in MS Server 2008?
    I have left the certification treadmill for 2 reasons, one my present employer is fine with my Windows 2000 certs and two, I am close enough to retirement that I just don’t give a rats tail.
    I still keep up with whatever is new out there and I am one of the first to try out what is in the pipeline but I am not inclined to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours following the next cert.
    I am done drinking Microsoft and other’s Kool-Aid.

  • Your article was the most succinct, well articulated argument that I’ve heard to date regarding IT certifications. It summarized everything that I’d been thinking and feeling for the past decade, then added significantly to that.

    As Jean-Luc would say, “Nicely done!”

    I’ll be using a copy of this article in my core set of reference materials for years to come. It’s not that I’m against certifications, just that they need to be recognized for what they are. And certainly not as a substitute for interviewing skills, background checks, etc. as they had come to be for a period of time.

  • You are dead right! I watched in horror from 1995 onward as the demand for certification destroyed my market. No amount of argument on my part made the slightest impact.

 

 

 


Now What? First Steps into IT, 2008 Edition

  • First and foremost, thanks a lot for coming up with very frank articles: "The Top 10 Problems with IT Certification in 2008" and "Now What? First Steps into IT, 2008 Edition", which addresses the issues related with Certification.
    I guess it's the only article of its kind. Very straightforward and honest articles, addressing issues in the way it should be addressed.


 


Master of Integrated Networking

The public announcement for this program will be published on InformIT.com in March/April 2008.

One course/program that I have proposed to several schools and publishers is "Designing and Administering an Integrated Network". A book proposal for this title was submitted to Novell Press in '06 just before they went through a round of budget cuts.

This course/program would require students to design, configure, implement and administer a real-world enterprise network that consists of NetWare, Microsoft, and Linux/UNIX servers and workstations, Cisco appliances, remote access solutions, and wireless devices. This program would take a student through introductory skills and concepts required to manage each of

these platforms as well as have them incorporate products such as ZENWorks, Identity Manager, an e-mail solution and finally an SQL solution that would make distribution of data and applications manageable. Incorporated in this network would be a Web server, a Proxy Server, a NAT solution, a DNS and DHCP solution and a firewall.

Depending on the time available this could be a single course, or a program leading towards a degree, i.e. multiple courses with the final project being the development, design and configuration of a working enterprise.

If a vendor were interested, this could be a vendor-based certification, or an "open-source", "Multi-vendor/platform" certification, leading to a Master level designation. Some would say this is overkill, but those are the folks who have not looked at HR requirements for recent Network Engineer, System Engineer type jobs. This type of curriculum and their associated certifications and potential degree are what is being asked for in the IT market place. It just does not exist. Not in a way that if you hire someone with a single certification/degree you are assured that that person has the qualifications and hands-on experience necessary to do the job in an enterprise. This degree/certification guarantees that the person will have the needed skills and knowledge. The certification or degree could be called "Master of Integrated Networking."

A possible degree/certification/certificate program might consist of the following courses and assessments:

(Prerequisite: Either the A+ and NET+ certifications, or equivalent documented knowledge and experience. Could be validated with an online assessment.)

Revision 03/2008

Course
Assessment
Introduction to Directory Services-covering eDirectory, NDS, ADS, LDAP, X.500 and more. Computer-based cognitive exam
Novell OES Administration Novell CNA Exam
Microsoft - Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment (Or the Appropriate MS Server exam for your area.) Microsoft MCP
Microsoft - TS: Microsoft Windows Vista, Configuring (or the equivalent MS Client exam for your area) Microsoft MCTS
Linux Server Administration LPI Level 1certification
Introduction to Cisco Routing and Switching Cisco CCNA
Introduction to E-Mail Systems (Exchange, GroupWise, Notes, Sendmail, Postfix or whatever the industry in your geographic area is using in the enterprise) Vendor exam for equivalent
Introduction to Enterprise Services- Apache, IIS, DNS, DHCP, NAT and Virtualization Project: On a single virtual server, install, configure and deploy and populate a Web Server, and deploy a DNS, DHCP, and NAT solution.
Security 101- Firewalls, Packet Filtering, Access Control Lists, Directory Service Security, File System Security

Either CompTIA's Security+, SCNP certification or a security certification from Microsoft or Cisco- depending on geographic demand.

SQL 101 Either the MS TS toward SQL 2005 or MySQL CMA certification.
Wireless 101-Optional CWNA certification
Final Project/Capstone Course- Master of Integrated Networking- 4 Credit/60 Hour Master’s Course

Design, Install, Configure, Administer, Secure, Use, Troubleshoot and Evaluate an Enterprise environment using geographically relevant platforms and skills.

Students would graduate with a possible degree, multiple vendor certifications, a Master Level Certification/Certificate, and real-world experience in an Integrated, Enterprise Networking Environment.

Those who might be interested in such a course/program, feel free to contact me at 3WsCertification.com. I will be glad to work with Colleges, Universities, Vendors and/or Training Partners to change the face of the IT Training and Certification Industry.

This program has been presented to and is being consider by Florida State University's College of Information. It is also being presented to the wider

community through an upcoming article on InformIT.com. It should be published in Q1 2008.

It has been reviewed by Emmett Dulaney in the August 2007 edition of Redmond Magazine. The review is called The Need for an Integration Certification. That review and Emmett's constructive comments can be found Here. My thanks to Emmett and Redmond Magazine for taking the time to review and present this proposal to the wider IT community. Any and all comments are welcome. Feel free to contact me at:

wyrostekw@threewscertification.com

For the most up-to-date, official proposal for this program please contact me at the above email address.

Several suggestions that have come in since the review was published in Redmond Magazine and that I am seriously considering include the following:

  • Include a section dealing with networking Macintosh computers
  • Include a section dealing with virtualization and VMWare- might be creating a test lab using VMWare
  • Include a section on PMP
  • Include a section on Oracle
  • Remove the section on ZENWorks
  • Remove the section on Identity Manager
  • Include a section on Network Troubleshooting
  • Include a section on Installing and Configuring a Blackberry Server
  • Include a section on Web Conferencing
    • Comments from an Instructor in the UK:
      • Yes this type of certification is needed. I thought Novell was going there with the CDE.
      • Fits more in to academia rather than commercial training. Commercial training is more related to job roles. ... A student though will want this type of training so they would be able to apply for a range of jobs and also be assured of their skills learning the many IT disciplines.
      • Vendor neutral is good, but products like IDM and Zenworks Configuration Management could be included as they are platform and directory agnostic.
      • I think covering both GW and Exchange is good, a real comparison thatmany techies never get to see; however maybe IBM's Lotus Notes /Domino server should be in here to help support for IBM
      • Web Services throws a spanner in the works as we move from administration into development. Admins should have some dev skills such as vbscript, bash scripting etc but the practical side of style sheets and xml do not fall into admin.
      • I would agree with adding in virtualization

    Addenda: This Program has also been cited in MCP Magazine: 8/2007 and Enterprise Windows Magazine online.

 


 

Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus!

 

  • Disclaimer: All information on this website, www.3wscertification.com and all associated pages, is provided to visitors to offer a fair and reasonable educational and informational service. Any errors or changes that have not been updated to coincide with vendor available information is not the legal responsibility of www.3wscertification.com or it principals. It is the responsibility of any and all prospective visitors to verify the information provided to their satisfaction. All information provided is the best and most accurate information available to 3wscertification.com.
  • LAST UPDATED 3/06/08

 

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