Does Certification Matter? | SQL Server Performance Forums

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Does Certification Matter?

I was catching up on my RSS feeds today and I can across a post on SQL Server Certification Statistics. What I found interesting about this post was how few people are certified for SQL Server 2000 versus SQL Server 2005. There are over 150,000 people certified for SQL Server 2000 whereas there are only approximately 50,000 for SQL Server 2005. Back around the dotcom boom, having Microsoft certification was almost a guaranteed ticket in order to get a job in the IT sector. In fact, an entire industry formed to support people gaining Microsoft accreditation. There were even companies that would run boot camp style programmes for certification so that even people that had never used a computer could pass the exams. As a result, the value of having certification was diminished, as it was no longer seen as a way to distinguish people who knew their stuff versus those that simply passed a test. I would be interested to know what your thoughts are towards certification and whether it is still a valuable barometer to assess somebody by.
– Peter Ward

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Everyone I’ve worked with that treasured certifications were good plodders.The best of them, with 1 exception, didn’t have certs and weren’t interested in them.
No, it doesn’t matter. It seems people fall into one of two catagories… when considering resumes for both junior and senior DBAs, I received tons of candidates with certifications and few with real world experience. Now, I expect someone that is going to tout certification to know what they are talking about at least in theory – that is the point behind certifications; especially in lieu of experience, no?I gave more serious consideration to candidates that had confessed to lesser experience, with certifications who clearly absorbed material and needed that "foot in the door."
The sarcastic side of me feels that certifications are way for the vendor (and others) to make some "easy $$$$". Of the people who’s opinion I respect that have gone through the certification process, they’ve all come out indicating that they didn’t feel the materials or the test reflected the "real world". On the flip side, if you’re new to an industry, a certification shows a level of dedication to complete the process. So even if you don’t have the experience the employer knows you’re willing to take on new tasks and complete them.As an independent consultant the cost and time involved in the certification process is certainly a drawback. I’ll look at them more seriously when I lose a project to an equally qualified person that is certified.
I would have to agree with the comment about ‘real world’. I remember doing one of the simulation questions and I was asked to perform a routine Task using SSMS. I was stumped for a few minutes even though the task was simple, as I would always use TSQL to perform the task. I think simulations should focus more on the end result – as there are a lot of different ways to achieve the same end result.

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