How to make sure IT certifications actually matter

Has the certification golden ticket become nothing more than fool's gold? Here's how to get real value as a employee or employer

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What I would have liked to see is the exam itself written a little better. I'm not allowed to disclose any exam material, but I was not pleased with some of the wording and the lack of detail in some of the questions. But a pass is a pass, and I'd like to thank both MeasureUp and Transcender for helping me to prepare.

Hiring? Determine experience the old-fashioned way
If you aren't sure if a person has what it takes to work for your organization, and he or she comes to you with passed certification exams and a few letters after his or her name, you might just make the candidate prove his or her value by giving him or her a server (or servers), the software, and a list of criteria. Tell the candidate you will come back in eight hours and see how far he or she has gotten. If you walk back in, and the candidate is still figuring out how to install, you have your answer. If he or she is kicking back with a chicken Parmigiana sandwich, get out the checkbook -- you've found a new employee.

After digging in and studying for this latest exam, I'm more convinced than ever that certifications are still a valid way of pushing a person to study the technology beyond his or her comfort zone and explore features he or she might never even know about.

What do you think? Do you find these exams to be a waste of your time, or do you still see some value to the certification process?

This article, "How to make sure IT certifications actually matter," originally appeared at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows servers and tech careers at

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