A perennial question among IT job seekers might be succinctly summarized as “Does certification help?” Anne Martinez and the crew at GoCertify.com posted an interesting set of numbers in January, 2009 that tally the job postings at Dice.com and Monster.com that make mention of specific credentials. These include MCSE, MCITP, CISA, CISM, CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE, Citrix CCA, CompTIA A+, RHCE, PMP, and GIAC (which lumps a large number of certs under a single category).
This article is entitled “Job Openings for the Certified,” and offers some interesting opportunities for observation and analysis. Despite its advancing decrepitude, the MCSE still leads the pack (M:839; D:1050, where M = Monster, and D = Dice). Other heavy hitters include the CCNA (M:566; D:751), CISSP (M:496; D:722), and PMP (M:572; D:1106). Of course, it’s not always clear that possessing the certifications in question is all it takes to get a job that asks for such credentials, but it’s at least an indication that some employers find them valuable enough to include them in their required or desired characteristics when describing open positions.
But as the GoCertify article itself concludes “Certification is a capstone to your skill set, not a replacement for skills that you must also have.” As I’ve said in this blog many times, the most important things about finding work include not just your milestone achievements (degrees, certs, honors, and so forth) but what you can do, what problems you can (and have) solved, and what skills you can bring to work with you when you walk in the door.