Originally Posted by Groove75
Honestly, I think the value of the certs depends on the person's situation. I think what most people will find when they try to get into IT, is that you are many times interviewed by IT managers or HR managers who curiously don't know a great deal about the various technologies, but they do know a great deal about management. Paper and certs tend to impress them and give them a sense of confidence in your abilities. Certs gives them the impression that you are staying on top of current technologies and that your knowledge base isn't antiquated. On the flip side, the value of certs fluctuates rather drastically and I found that it was only valuable when someone initially was trying to get into IT for the first time, or trying to jump from one facet of IT to another. After you get the foot in the door, nothing can replace experience and I found that certs were rarely needed for anything other than if you wanted to learn or hone a particular skill set. I don't think anything can replace the value of a good 4 yr degree (just my opinion) , but it's certainly not needed for many types of jobs. I worked with a programmer with no formal academic education whatsoever past high school, and he probably made around 75K. He was a very smart guy and talented at what he did which carried him pretty far, but I wouldn't say that's the norm.
Anyway, in my case, I had an unrelated degree in chemistry when I jumped into IT, so certs definitely helped me out in getting my foot in the door so to speak, but they didn't help at all past that.
Fair enough, my previous boss didn't think they were worth much, when I applied for the job to work under him I had to fill out a questionnaire testing my knowledge and problem solving capabilities, despite the fact many of the other applicants had plenty of certs, my score was the highest. Similarly when I applied for another job recently I was given a very thorough test (over an hour long) and then had to half build a PC, and then asked to run various parts of the PC. If I'd got that job, it would have been because of the knowledge I demonstrated in the interview plus the experience I from previous jobs.