back to article Trevor and chums tackle IT certification

Trevor Pott, along with his friends and colleagues, explores the benefits and pitfalls of training and certification. Do they think certificates are a good thing and worth the paper they're printed on. Or are they just a way for the less talented to get a bigger pay cheque? Listen using the player below or download the MP3. …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. robert_raw

    I think alot of the certification, especially the Microsoft Stuff isn't necessarily about learning how to use a computer etc, you are learning how to answer Microsoft's exam papers.

    I have worked as a techie for over 10 years and still struggle to understand how they get some of their answers. I know alot of people just brain dump the lot which is a shame as my windows 2000 MCSE used to be quite a good qualification

    1. Anonymous Coward

      So true

      or other certifications too.......

      I wonder if they are not just a money making racket, in non-IT fields even government sponsered and required by law.

    2. jake Silver badge


      I've been in the biz since 1977. I'm with you.

      Certification is (in my mind) a means unto it's own ... it only exists to provide the folks offering up the exams a job, near as I can tell. That and giving HR something to filter on ... and HR is almost as bloody useless as unions when it comes to IT.

      I almost always trash c.v.s and resumes that lean heavily on certification ... After half a lifetime in IT, it's painfully obvious that there are those who can do it in the trenches, and those who can learn how to take tests by the numbers.

    3. Arrrggghh-otron


      Worse still is some of the more recent exams and their official MS Press study guides. I've been dipping in and out of 70-662 (Configuring Exchange 2010) for the past few months after completing the study guide and discovering that the guide only covers (at best) 60% of the exam topics - not enough to pass.

      Sometimes 'brain dumps' are the only way to pass these things as you rightfully state, you are learning how MS expects you to answer these questions.

      When you find yourself ranting at the mock exam questions about how you know a quicker and easier way to fix the apparent problem, it's time for a cuppa...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's more to passing an exam than reading the book?

        Next you'll be telling me you need more than one brick to build a house.

        1. Arrrggghh-otron

          Sure there is...

          ...but if the book bills itself as an exam study guide, given that fact, I expect it to cover all of the topics that are likely to crop up in the exam. Otherwise it may as well have been 900 blank pages with a link to technet. Previous exam study guides clearly matched the content the exams tested.

          I don't expect a study guide to cover every topic in detail, (as is particularly true of the EMS commands), but there are whole topic sections missing from the book that are present in the exam.

          And I'm pretty sure you could build a house with one brick... it's just gonna be tiny (you didn't say 'build a practical house' (Sounds like MS Exam semantics!)).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Register is a media partner of Microsoft Virtual Academy."

    Well, that explains the "eight" fawning here of late. Does that entice me to listen to, well, more of that? Am I interested in bits of paper that show I know all the answers that'll make redmond the most money? Not really. I think I'll pass, thanks.

  3. Big O

    That reminds me, I'm going to start the Linux+ course tonight..... would the good minds here advise against it?!

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Big O

      Take the course, if you feel the need. You *might* actually learn something. Maybe. If you have no actual knowledge of Linux before you start the course.

      Just don't lean on it on your c.v. ... You'll be flagging yourself as a rookie.

      1. Big O

        Not an absolute novice, but I could stand to learn more. I'll look to balance it with some experience... volunteer work etc. Thanks for the advice!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want my MP3?

    Apologies if I'm being completely dim but where's the download link?

    Surely I'm not the only one who listens to podcasts in the car, on the train, while running - pretty much anywhere except sat in front of a computer screen?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RIAA took it

      Downloading MP3s without paying is illegal, remember?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Annoying rising interrrogative inflection warning!!!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Virtual Academy

    I'm a skilled techie. Why would I want to retrain to become a commodity?

This topic is closed for new posts.