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The Value of Becoming Certified

July 7, 2009

People that are already on the expert level and beyond may see no need for certification. Their experiences attest to their skills. If any, certification for them could just be embellishment on their résumé. In other words, they don’t need any certifications to speak of their accomplishments or prove the depths of what they know.

Experts and the like do not need certifications. Although they can choose to get certified, it is not necessary for them to be certified on their field (unless required by their company). For the rest of us, certification might be a necessity.

Brad McGehee (Twitter | Blog) in his book, “How to Become an Exceptional DBA” (now on its second edition), has identified the following key benefits of becoming certified:

• Broadens your Knowledge
• Distinguishes You from Other DBAs
• Company Recognition and Rewards
• Peer Recognition
• Can become a Microsoft Certified Trainer
• Potential College Credit
• Microsoft Specific Benefits

I think the most important item in the list above is the “Broadens your knowledge”. Rightly so, “certification exams force you to study technology areas that you might otherwise ignore.” [McGehee]. Studying for the exams compels you to step outside your bounds. It introduces you to topics that are not usually listed on your daily tasks.

Becoming certified is not all about the recognitions or advantages you can get from it. It speaks not only of what you *already* know but also proves that you are *capable* of further knowledge. Certification proves also that you are serious about getting better on your chosen field, and that you are capable of doing so.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2009 2:22 PM

    Great site…keep up the good work.

  2. July 8, 2009 10:25 PM

    Nice post – And I agree – I think certification can be great for broadening your tech horizon, while demoing you have the ability to learn.

    I posted “Certification vs. Burnination” http://bit.ly/2oK2yl recently. In this post I am cover some of my peev’s about how a LOT of weight (too much) can be applied by recruiters and employers to certifications. Is this a good thing? As a developer, I have found developing to give me more “real” experience than a certification.

    An interesting discussion.

  3. July 8, 2009 12:18 PM

    I totally agree about certification, I have used the Microsoft Training Kit – http://www.amazon.com/Self-Paced-Training-70-431-70-443-70-444/dp/0735623775/ – for SQL Server 2005 DBA and plan to do the same for SharePoint administration.

    ~JL

  4. July 8, 2009 9:28 AM

    Nice post. The question is now, how do you study for certification or how would you recommend studying for certification?

  5. July 8, 2009 8:05 AM

    I definitely agree with you on certifications. It isn’t necessarily the exam that provides all of the benefit of the certification but the studying that you do to make certain your knowledge is broad enough for the exam.

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