The certification is one of the proofs with an aspirant which allows to manager to make sure the candidate’s ability, through a very competent way. Certification does not mean merely printed paper or card, signed by some authority, telling about your expertise. Rather certification is a process in which you prove your tecnical skills through the serious of tests. The desire to start and go through this process is the most valuable part of certificate. This shows me determination and ability to complete a task. It basically shows that one has accomplished the requirements of, and may perform in an area. There are many organizations offering certificates but reliable one is not so hard to choose.

Prepare Your Case

A certificate does not mean to introduce you as an educated or experienced with some high prestige institute, company and organization. It depends upon the nature of your qualification. Suppose you are certified by Microsoft. It is great but it is obviously not enough to get even junior position at Redmond based giant. From my point of view a certificate doesn’t show your exceptional ability or ensure the selection authority that you are more competent than any one else. Certificate is the way to highlight your motivation or cover some basics in no crucial areas.

To illustrate here is the real life example. Senior developer is interviewed for ASP.NET C# developer position. The position might require porting old Java code into C#. On the question about his Java experience interview answered that while he worked only on one Java project he was so interested in learning this technology that he completed training and received SCJP (Sun Certified Java Programmer). At the end of the week, after we narrow down our search to two candidates, SCJP made significant case for hiring this particular candidate and we extended our offer to him.

Would it make any help, if he didn't have strong C# skills? Absolutely not, we have been looking for strong C# developer in the first place. Would it help if he has C# Certification? Probably not, we were looking for strong hands-on experience and three of our lead developers tested his C# coding skills. Certificate or no certificate we knew where he stands in this area.

There are also times when you might show your certificates then you are not sure at the nature of all the job aspects. Although it is recommended that you must be sure about the nature of the job and prepare your self for it prior to go out for interview.

Microsoft launched a very good system for specific certification, particularly in IT, even if you don’t know what you are? Are you eligible for certification? You may test your level by just playing a Game (see the link below).

Are you certifiable?

To verify your eligibility visit http://www.microsoft.com/click/areyoucertifiable/


Most valuable from my perspective certification paths:

Microsoft Certified Professionals Program

As Microsoft offers certification to flaunt your exclusive talent, abilities or proficiency and legalize your knowledge and experience by attaining a documentation that harmonizes your present or preferred career position. Microsoft says:

“Microsoft Certifications not only recognize and validate your real-world skills, but they also provide you with access to unique resources and offer you a life-long career path for developing your IT skills. Choose a certification track that matches your current or desired job role”

Microsoft Certification Overview: Microsoft Certifications

Numerous advantages of Microsoft Certification, as expressed by authentic Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs), who reveal their own official recognition knowledge, and the constructive impression that it has had on their line of business. Watch video.

As another example Jorgen Thelin recently posted very good article on Path to .NET 3.5 Developer Certification which includes a great diagram showing the .NET 3.5 developers certification paths.

Exam cost: Pricing for Microsoft exams through Prometric and VUE testing centers is $125.

Sun Certification Program

Recognized industry-wide, Sun certification demonstrates you have the competency, dedication and motivation that is valued in the highly competitive technology field. Sun's philosophy is that certification is central to the learning process as it provides validation of skill sets for specific job roles. Sun certification also offers a natural progression to support your career goals.

Sun certification Overview: http://www.sun.com/training/certification/index.xml

Exam cost: The exam costs vary depending on the country in which you live. Price for US residents is about $300 for most exams.

IBM Professional Certification Program

IBM Professional Certification is a way for skilled IT professionals to demonstrate their expertise to the world. It validates your skills and demonstrates your proficiency in the latest IBM technology and solutions.

The mission of IBM Professional Certification is to:

• Provide a reliable, valid and fair method of assessing skills and knowledge.
• Provide IBM a method of building and validating the skills of individuals and organizations.
• Develop a loyal community of highly skilled certified professionals who recommend, sell, service, support and/or use IBM products and solutions.

IBM Certification Process: http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/process/index.shtml

Exam cost: Exam prices vary, depending on the exam. The testing center can provide you with the current price.

Vouchers

Instead of paying directly you can save significantly by purchasing vouchers. Look on resale websites and on eBay.

Statistics of salaries depending on degree/certification

Salaries differ very much depending on the amount of years, experience you have, from one place in the state to another, and your enthusiasm to change companies. Look at yourself as your own business. What skills does your company need to try to win and how much should it rate for its services. There are numerous websites, telling you the value and worth of your skill and you can estimate yourself. Such as

http://certification.about.com/library/bl_salarysurveyresultsd.htm
Or just take a look on pure statics from job search website for most common certifications:


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