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How many too much?

 
dharma cris
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I was just contemplating a question, How many certificates are too much on resume? Or the more, the better?
Thanks.
Dharma
 
Ashok Talluri
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Here is my purely personal opinion.
1. Certificates add the same value what our educational qualifications do.
2. Certifcates is one way we can drive ourselves through the learning curves (while working on something) slowly and steadily.
3. We always wants to expand the problem space at which we could think about and find solutions at that problem space. For that we need to expand the technical know how. For example, currently we might be working on a enterprise application which utilizes J2EE architecure. Once knowing how to build J2EE applications, once naturally wants to know how to build portal. For that we cannot wait for another project. For that we need to think from a different perspective, where some learning curve is involved. Then why not take the road map of IBM for thier portal cert and follow through.
Ok, once we know how think about building portals, if we get a portal project we can put things in practice. What if we don't get another portal project but just another J2EE project. We just cannot wait for the oppurtunity come to us right.
The constant search to expand the problem space at which we think continues. Then we might be interested in knowing about how routers work and whole gamit of cabling to building a power house to deliver internet application. Then we might look at cisco's CCNA road map and that goes on like that.
4.So, there is no limit to number of certificates we could possibly can have on our resume. What matters is what and how we are learning during our process and is there any value addition by having a certificate. For example having two certifcates one for version1 and version2 won't add any value but infact looks redundant.
5. So, slection of certificates should clearly show whether we are trying to improve the probelm space at which we think or just adding certificates and I feel that matters.
6.We can always remove certificates from the resume once we reached certian expertise in deliveriing solutions to different problems.

That what my thinking goes ... you are free to disgaree and provide your thoughts ...
[ July 19, 2003: Message edited by: Ashok Talluri ]
 
stara szkapa
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If you have too many certifications it becomes difficult to:
a) Maintain it
b) Afford it
c) Benefit from it
Once you notice a) b) or c) it becomes too many.
Some of the reasons are:
1) Difficult to maintain acquired knowledge
2) Different certifications have overlapping objectives (limited benefit)
3) Product certifications have limited value if you are not going to use the product because they tend to get outdated relatively fast and don�t focus on concepts
4) High time Cost to acquire
5) High $ Cost to acquire
6) Certifications become outdated
 
Ashok Talluri
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What if we want to be expert in one area and wants to have knowledge of many areas ?
When we looking for solutions for different problems or troubleshooting a problem, I guess having knowledge about different areas helps to quickly identity, refer and solve the problem. I disagree with maintaining the knowledge that we have. I suggest we better not maintain the knowledge and let it be in the background thread. I agree it would be difficult to answer questions in the job interviews. But i guess the job interviews should mainly take into consideration on the job experience. They may be some wild questions on the knowledge side but I don't think it would be considered for decision making.
I feel that one should not try to maintain the knowledge that one acquired by learning. We should allow it to forget. Instead try learning something else if we have time. Over a period of time we will grow to be a better overall guy or a generalist.
At the same time we should not forget to keep the expertise in one area so as to clinch jobs. on the job, whenever possible try to convert the background knowledge to foreground experience by applying in solving the problems that we face on the job.
Also, I wanted to mention one mis-conception about product exams. I guess many product exams have atleast 50-70% practical questions which involve conceptual knowledge and high level of analytical ability. Atleast I could say the IBM Websphere exam (158) have lot of analytical questions and the jCert Enterprise Developer cert is better than Sun's Enterprise Architect for experienced people. For beginners in J2EE, SCEA is better, since it has assignment associated with it.
Overall my observation is IBM exams are more practical and analytical than SUN's exams.
I agree with your points based on appearing for interviews. But, I guess we can handle it by not mentioning the certifications on the resume till we get the on the job experience.For guys who have 1-3 experience it is better not to have too many certiicates on the resume.
[ July 20, 2003: Message edited by: Ashok Talluri ]
[ July 20, 2003: Message edited by: Ashok Talluri ]
[ July 20, 2003: Message edited by: Ashok Talluri ]
 
Billy Tsai
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some jobs want you to know so many things that its not funny i have seen many jobs require ppl have to know J2EE/SE/ME, MS SQL Server,crystal report, Oracle, UML, CORBA, XML, IBM etc.....
even with experience it is not possible to know every single one of them, so only way i think to make up for the lapse is certification in all the areas
 
dharma cris
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Well, a recruiter said he appreciates resumes with 2-3 relevant certificates but ones with long list of them, sounds superficial and amateurish!
So, may be no problem in getting many certies but only few on resume!!
 
SJ Adnams
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i agree with dharma. Go for something more difficult an Msc, CFA, CPA, MBA, ACCA, CIMA etc.
 
Theodore Casser
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Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
some jobs want you to know so many things that its not funny i have seen many jobs require ppl have to know J2EE/SE/ME, MS SQL Server,crystal report, Oracle, UML, CORBA, XML, IBM etc.....
even with experience it is not possible to know every single one of them, so only way i think to make up for the lapse is certification in all the areas

When I was out of work and applying for jobs, I saw a lot of these too.
The impression I've since gotten is that those skills are often a wishlist. It's unrealistic to expect someone to be an expert in all things. (For instance, the company where I am now employed had a huge list of skills they were looking for. It turned out they were looking for people who had a good span of skills - not necessarily all of them - as coverage for others in the company, and a concentration in a given area. In my case, I have some experience with different databases and application servers, but my concentration was servlet/JSP technology, and fortunately that's what was most needed.)
Certifications can help in the respect of showing some education in areas that your experience doesn't necessarily highlight. I've also found that it helps establish for potential employers/clients an ability to learn new technologies/skills and to apply them to some minimum level.
Certs are, in the end, only as valuable as you and the relevant people around you make them.
 
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