Are Certifications A Good Investment?

illuminexilluminex Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Members, Constellation
<div class="IPBDescription">Unique situation.</div> A little background before you answer my question:

My father is VP of business growth for <a href='' target='_blank'>Allways On Wireless</a> and wants to hire me for a position at some point. However, he wants some little piece of paper that somewhat qualifies me for a position. He doesn't want to just "hire his kid," ya know?

Basically, I would be installing, setting up, and troubleshooting large wireless networks. They basically put up one antennae and "light up" up to a 5 mile radius (the usual is 1/4 mile to a mile).

I was looking for some real opinions on the usefulness and applicability of two certifications:

I know that A+ isn't focused on networking, but I believe it would be better to have two certs instead of one.


  • JaspJasp Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13076Members
    Having no idea what either of those certificates mean or are I cannot really comment.

    I do have this question for you, do you really want to follow in your fathers footsteps in his business or pursue your own dreams?
  • ZaziZazi Join Date: 2002-05-26 Member: 672Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor
    Certifications, IMO, are utterly useless. Take the A+, for example. A twit could've taken it in 1982 and it would still be the same certification today, even with the changing technology between then and now; it doesn't require the participant to retake it after X amount of years, unlike some other certs. The certifications I actually took seriously are my CCNA and CISSP certifications. Granted I will never take them again, because I don't have to, it was something to do.

    Anyway, the Network+ cert is, imho, useless as well. It does not go over as much as the CCNA, and doesn't look as good on a resume as a CCNA (if that's what you're going for (ie the entry on your resume)).

    I just hate the entire idea of certifications. It usually doesn't gague what a person actually know about the topic, it just simply demonstrates that some monkey with a tamborine could've crammed the night before, passed, and gotten the same certification as someone who actually knows his **** about the topic.

    So yeah. If you're going into networking, and having some sort of "official" mark on your resume is a must, you should probably look at taking the CCNA exam. After you get some experience in the field, start taking other certifications that build off of your expierence (ie the CISSP).
  • SpacerSpacer Invented dogs Join Date: 2003-05-02 Member: 16008Members
    God damn I hate qualifications so much.
  • DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Join Date: 2003-08-05 Member: 18951Members
    edited July 2005
    I know nothing about the subject, personally... but I hear a lot of things about being a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer...

    if you know what you're doing already and you don't need a certification, just prove it to your father somehow. show him what you can do. he can consider it an 'interview'. :> then maybe he'll give you the job without any piece of paper saying you know what you already do know...

    if you're just gonna be installing giant antennas, you probably don't need to know anything they won't teach you anyway...
  • Mad_ManMad_Man Join Date: 2003-06-13 Member: 17359Members, Constellation
    Were do you get the certifications? For I am intrested in obtaining a few out of boredom
  • DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Join Date: 2003-08-05 Member: 18951Members
    your local technical school
  • ThaldarinThaldarin Alonzi&#33; Join Date: 2003-07-15 Member: 18173Members, Constellation
    Talk to puzl. He works with wireless networking I believe.
  • illuminexilluminex Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Members, Constellation
    My dad wants me to have little pieces of paper saying that I'm "qualified" in some way, shape, or form. I've set up home LAN's and wireless LAN's before. Everything I will need to know will be taught to me in the first few weeks of training.

    He just wants me to have a better "background" before he hires me. He doesn't want me to be "Stu's kid" to everyone else.

    So, in this situation, would it be worthwhile to spend a few hundred bucks and get a Cert or two?
  • ZelZel Join Date: 2003-01-27 Member: 12861Members
    Youre gonna be Stu's Kid so long as you let them call you that.

    Dont be affiliated with your dad at work, keep it formal and no one ever has to know that you are related.

    The certs do look good on a resume, but dont really mean much learning. they will help get further jobs at larger businesses who have too many applicants to bother reading the 'unqualified' resumes.
  • MulletMullet Join Date: 2003-04-28 Member: 15910Members, Constellation
    Sell drugs you'll make more cash
  • ShoeboxShoebox Join Date: 2004-11-15 Member: 32817Members
    bah they offered me and Mullet a class in school to get A+ certified. we never did though <!--emo&:D--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • NuketheplaceNuketheplace Join Date: 2002-09-02 Member: 1266Members
    I went though half of mt A+ cert in school. I didn't finish because I had to take actual a PE class to graduate. Anyway from my experience in that class I would say don't talk it. Half the class is memorizing IRQ's and the other half is how printers work. Thats the hardware portion of it. I never did the software part, but I figure it would be just as simple and worthless.

    On the other hand I'm also taking a CISCO class. I'm about half way done and I've learned a lot of useful stuff about networks. If your going to get a cert take get a CISCO cert.
  • illuminexilluminex Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Members, Constellation
    How about the Networking + Cert?

    Also, just to clear up any misconceptions, I have alot of dreams and goals in life, and working for my dad for a few years is just a stepping stone to greater things. I work full time at a grocery store right now. Working for my dad gives me everything that my current job doesn't: flexibility, better income, and travel.

    Right now, I work 40-50 hours per week ordering an aisle and stocking shelves while getting yelled at for everything stupid under the sun. Nothing's ever fast enough, straight enough, full enough, etc. I'm not griping here; I'm just simply saying that my job sucks the life out of me and that I'm not going anywhere with it. I net only between 18k-19k per year. If I worked my butt off for like 5-6 years straight, I might get "promoted" to Class 50 (Head Clerk, Management's B1tch), which is $13.50 an hour starting, bigger bonuses, minimum 45 hours per week, if not 50, 2 nights closing, etc, etc. That's a crappy deal. I could, in theory, work my way up to Store Manager (Net 90K per year or so) or maybe even Grocery Supervisor (probably $150k-200k) over a 40 year period, but I don't believe that it's worth it. You see, by the Class 50 point, you're hooked in.

    As you can clearly see, working for my dad's a much better proposition for me, both short term and long term.
  • DOOManiacDOOManiac Worst. Critic. Ever. Join Date: 2002-04-17 Member: 462Members, NS1 Playtester
    edited July 2005
    As people have already pointed out:

    1) Certifications are mostly worthless. In fact, sometimes it can gurantee they won't hire you. I know of some places that will almost always dismiss from their consideration people who list dumb certifications on their resumes because of their experience with people who are certified but still don't know what they're doing.

    2) You can be the most qualified person on earth, but you're still gonna be "the boss's son". That said, working there will be better than the grocery store any day of the week. Just don't be a **** and be like "omg i will get u fired" and you'll be fine.

    3) Don't think that just because you've set up a LAN or two that you're prepared to create and maintain a large corporate network. It is loads more complicated when you gotta deal w/ VPNs and PIX's and etc. And since it looks like you're more on the ISP side of things here, that makes things even more complicated. You haven't said much about your skillset, so don't take this the wrong way if you really do know what you're doing.
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