When its comes to achieving certification, only you can do the study. Making excuses for why you haven’t started or about how much it costs, are just excuses.
Only you can do the study
The most common complaint for not completing / starting / doing a certification is “my employer did not / will not pay for training”. I regard this as laziness ( or possibly SSA). You can buy text books for a couple of hundred dollars that will take you through the process, and the exams cost a couple hundred too. How much is your career worth ? Surely more than that.
Let consider some points:
- if you have the experience, then reading a textbook should be enough to focus your learning for the exam
- Networking requires you to read, study and learn all the time. If you can’t read a book ((or website, CBT, course notes or whatever)) to learn this stuff, then you possibly are missing a key skill for success.
- If you can’t be bothered to spend a few hours a week to progress your career, then don’t moan about not progressing in your career.
- And quit pretending that you “have been meaning to do it this year”.
- If you won’t invest in your own career, why should I ?
If you have no experience, then using only a textbook may be difficult and a training course is an excellent method to overcome this. It will get you started and help you with the areas that you don’t know you need help with. But don’t expect to get a training course for everything that you need to learn. Simply, training courses are an inefficient way to learn as the cost of the course and lost productivity are a double whammy from your employers perspective. You should not expect to learn everything from a training course, but use them for those topics that will be hardest for you.
For example, if your daily work involves firewalls but not IPS, then a training course on IPS would be more valuable than a course on Firewalls.
Passing Certification Exams Matters
This is why certification exams matter, do a course and pass the exam. Prove that you learned something.
Read a textbook, pass the exam, that proves you want to learn – your manager is likely to want to send you to the next training course.
When I am selecting people to be on a team, I am looking for people who are thinking, learning and improving. I don’t always expect you to know exactly what we are about, but if I know that you went out and paid for your own training (classroom or self taught), then you are the sort of person I am going to hire.
Making you stand out
An unexpected side effect of certification is that you are also demonstrating your ability to work alone and follow a project through. In most modern IT roles, you will be expected to work independently, and achieve completion without active supervision. How can you show this on your resume ?
Part One Certification Matters – Experience Less So of this article can be found here
Part Two looks whether knowledge or experience is more valuable when looking for a job.