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To Certify or Not To Certify

 
Derek Grey
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hello all,
I am a recent grad with a Master's in Computer Science and a Bachelor's in Instrumentation Technology. So far I have not had any luck with jobs (for the past 1 year) except for some part-time stuff like Grad Asst./Research Asst. etc.
Ofcourse everyone knows the reason that any amount of degrees and certifications are useless in this kind of economy.
My question is that if I want to get certified (hoping that the economy will improve soon and that IT will get back) which one should I go for. As far as my knowledge goes Database and Networking are the 2 fields which are here to stay (I might be wrong too!!!). So is it a good decision for me to pursue something like an Oracle Certification?
To sum it all up...IT will come back and I'd like to be prepared...which field is the question
Please drop in some advice/suggestions.
PS: What do you say Mark??
Thanks for your time....
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by San Tiruvan:
Ofcourse everyone knows the reason that any amount of degrees and certifications are useless in this kind of economy.

I guess I didn't get that memo, what's the reason degress are useless? I figured my degrees from college were helping me get jobs; that if I didn't have the degrees, or maybe only had degress from, say, a community college, I would've had more trouble finding a job. But that's me. Maybe I'm just putting too much stock in my education. Personally I think there are good degrees/certifications and bad degrees/certifications. While the absolute value may vary over time, the relative value does not.

Originally posted by San Tiruvan:
My question is that if I want to get certified (hoping that the economy will improve soon and that IT will get back) which one should I go for. As far as my knowledge goes Database and Networking are the 2 fields which are here to stay (I might be wrong too!!!). So is it a good decision for me to pursue something like an Oracle Certification?

I don't know much about non-Java certifications. I have a vague impression that Oracle certification is useful, but that's really only 3rd hand info. So I can't comment on the value of the certificates. However, I do agree with your assessment that those technologies seema little more stable then Java, or whatever the flavor of the month language is.
--Mark
 
Angela Margot
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First, congrats on the degrees. I have an MS in CS, and a BS in Math (minor CS). I've also got my MCSD and SCJP - and hoping to get my SCWCD within the next few weeks.
Don't ever discount your degree. When you get employed in the field, that could make the difference in what you are paid.
The reason I got certs is because I wanted to show my employer that I am interested in continuing my education. Unless you go into academia you a PhD is really not something that gets you much, so certs were my way.
If you have free time and the interest, then go for the certs. It's nicer to have an employer who might possibly pay for them.
I don't know what type of experience you have, but experience seems to be a pretty important part of getting that initial job. Yeah, how can you get experience if you can't get a job? How can you get a job without experience? The degree could give you the edge here...
Good luck!
 
Derek Grey
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hey Mark & Angela,
Thanks for replying....
Mark,
I didn't mean to look down upon any degree or certification. Though I have a degree from CS and EE they are not from very reputed colleges (doesn't that make a huge difference?) and a degree from MIT is HUGE on the resume.
"While the absolute value may vary over time, the relative value does not."

I couldn't follow you on that.
I know it's tough to guess but once the market comes up...do you think there would be enough jobs for unemployed and recent grads in the IT field as developers?
Angela,
The reason I got certs is because I wanted to show my employer that I am interested in continuing my education. Unless you go into academia you a PhD is really not something that gets you much, so certs were my way.

...I totally agree with you.

I don't know what type of experience you have, but experience seems to be a pretty important part of getting that initial job.

...the only experience I have is being a Graduate Teaching Assistant...and in this process I have done some Windows Administration...which means in order to supplement my little experience I'd have to become an MCSA...when on the other hand SCSA is what I would love to pursue...but ofcourse I need a Solaris OS for that...expensive stuff!!!
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by San Tiruvan:

I didn't mean to look down upon any degree or certification. Though I have a degree from CS and EE they are not from very reputed colleges (doesn't that make a huge difference?) and a degree from MIT is HUGE on the resume.

Well, a degree from Arizona State U is HUGE compared to no degree. It's all relative. Of course, studies have shown that the university actually makes very little difference. The school correlates to success but often the causality works the other way. The bottom line, everything helps.

"While the absolute value may vary over time, the relative value does not."
A few years back, people were so desperate for bodies, they would hire anyone. Still an MIT person looked better then most state schools and those looked better then community colleges, etc. This ordering still holds true today. Again, degrees help--in all markets.
--Mark
 
Derek Grey
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hey Mark,
It's all relative. Of course, studies have shown that the university actually makes very little difference. The school correlates to success but often the causality works the other way. The bottom line, everything helps.

Thanks...that's a HUGE boost to my confidence on the dreaded job search....
..ST
 
Todd Killingsworth
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...when on the other hand SCSA is what I would love to pursue...but ofcourse I need a Solaris OS for that...expensive stuff!!!

San -
If you really want to explore this at home, a quick browse on ebay shows you could pick up a recent copy of Solaris, a sparc station 10 or 20, and a couple of extra parts (another CPU, memory, ...) for about $80-120 dollars. It won't be screaming fast for any GUI/CDE stuff, but it would be useable. For a little more you could get a Ultra1 or Ultra2.
Technically, if you can't afford this setup - you can't afford to pay for the exam voucher.
Go ahead and pursue your interest. It's much easier to study something you like.
Todd Killingsworth
 
SJ Adnams
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I have an Ultra 5 for home use. You hould be able to pick one up on ebay for 300UKP or so.
If you say in a job interview that you have a sparc at home then I think thats probably better than a cert!
my 2c
(If you want to install Solaris 9/Oracle 9i an Ultra is the minimum you should be thinking about)
 
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