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Certification myths - Good stories

Interested in developing a career in IT? Certifications are hugely popular but please you need to maintain perspective. Certifications, no matter how many you possess, do not equal an IT career. Training and certification will take effort and most of the time you will learn in the process. But, and this is a big BUT, nothing is guaranteed. Certification will improve your skills and knowledge but it can't give you what you don't have. Certification myths make for good, interesting stories but believing and acting on them is bad news for career development. The question you need to ask yourself is what is more important to me - building with a solid foundation or building castles in the sky based on crowd popularity? True education opens your mind; it guarantees nothing.

Gain the certification advantage but drop the myth. It is a fairy tale to think that certification can replace work experience. Is experience about studying for and taking a proctored exam? Don't make me laugh! Take the gains but reject the lies. In fact let's reason this out - how can passing an exam (certification) or exams (certifications) replace the need to get your hands dirty on the field? There are many things you will learn in the workplace that can't be covered in any test or exam. So what really are we talking about? It is weird and certainly a wrong headed belief to think that because you have acquired several popular advanced level certifications means you don't really need work experience. Where is that coming from? Does that make sense?

Another hugely popular “tale by moonlight” is that acquiring popular certifications is the passport and guarantee to jobs, and work experience. It's good to be ambitious but you must also be wise. Don't allow anyone to exploit you because of your desperation for that “good job”. I don't mean to sound harsh, but there is more to getting a job than passing a technical certification exam. Gain knowledge, build skills but at all times, be wise. Keep desperate desires in check. The plain truth is that getting a job in IT requires more than certification. So don’t be misled. Open your eyes and get understanding.

Training and certification shows initiative but top gun certifications and first class training are no substitute for experience. Please ignore the adverts, and GET REAL! Experience has no substitute. Acquiring advanced level certifications will not automatically translate to “good” - high paying, high level - jobs. This has nothing to do with your background. Without experience, myths are simply good stories and nothing more. In your career journey, you are making choices all the time. It is always in your interest to make sound choices. Don't get carried away with the noise and razzmatazz.

Embarking on training and certification? Start from the ground up. Identify your training need. What is the sense in paying for high level training and certification when you are not solid on the ground? If you are a beginner are you strong in the fundamentals? Solid foundation means solid career. You may be certified but do you have a secure grasp of the basics? Or does starting with advanced make more sense? Give me a break! I come with all humility but what do you make of Oracle Certified developers who struggle with Microsoft Access? Or Certified Microsoft experts who need support for with simple tech support? 

You are always making choices in career development journey. Take falsehoods out of the equation. The danger of these myths is that money is burnt, resources are wasted and the candidate still isn't moving forward. Bitter but true.

Jide Awe

Founder, Jidaw.com

Career Development. Web Content Provision. Training. Consulting.

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