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    December 18, 2015

Are Certifications a Waste of Your Time?

Eva Chase
Global, Sr. Marketing Manager

What a headline! 5 Reasons Certifications Aren’t Worth It. 
This definitely got my attention.  I had to read more.   The 5
reasons according to the author, David Bolton are:

1. Software
Technology Moves Too Fast

2. The Certifiers Are… Who?

3. Employers Don’t Really Care

4. It’s a Rip-Off

5. It Only Proves You Can Pass Tests

We believe certification isn't a waste of your time.  Here's why.

If your business is in IT
Services or Support
keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date is critical. The fast pace of technology is actually a good reason to
stay-up-date with your certification.  There's great personal risk of
becoming obsolete by not keeping up with new features and new technology. 

An Oracle Certification is
industry recognized, We have 2 million people across the globe who have
achieved an Oracle certification credential.  This is a certification that
won’t be worthless when the next big thing comes along.  97% of the
Fortune 500 companies run Oracle solutions.

Our experience is that employers care very much about
.  Your
personal reputation definitely helps, but what about when you are trying to win
business or go for a new job?  We learn in many ways these days but
certification is still an industry recognized benchmark of knowledge
and technical skill. 

We try hard to keep it fair.  It’s true some people are
better at test taking than others.  In
all our exams the odds of passing are low without hands on experience. 
Oracle Certification exams are developed by a group of Subject Matter Experts
who follow the strict industry standard process.  A lot of work goes into
building an exam.  Exams are repeatedly reviewed following psychometric
guidelines to ensure only the best questions are used. 

According to “Value
of IT Certifications,” CompTIA, October 14, 2014,
93% of hiring managers believe an IT certification is worth it too. 

more recent industry statistics including salary differences on certified vs.
non-certified here
and here.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 10 )
  • Matthew Morris Saturday, December 19, 2015

    Whenever you read an opinion article like this, step one should be to determine who the article author is to decide whether their opinion *means* anything. Many technical articles these days are written by people whose business is... writing articles. Some sites have gotten so bad about this that I read about the author bio first before deciding whether it is worth my time to read the article. I don't need certification advice from someone who does nothing except write articles all day and has never pursued a single IT credential.

    The author of this article is David Bolton. The fact that his bio on this article is blank and that the hyperlink on his name leads to a list of articles he's written for Dice -- but still no data on David -- is a red flag. A Google search led to a website for David that indicates he does part time development work and part time website work. The site is geared towards pointing out the articles he's written, so I'd suspect that's his primary job.

    None of this is a *bad* thing... but which of those endeavors would IT certifications help him with? If IT certifications would not help him professionally, then it is no surprise that he does not see them as being useful. However, why should his opinion hold any weight for people in career paths where certifications ARE useful?

  • Matt Thursday, January 14, 2016

    I like certifications and if someone wants to consider educating and testing themselves a waste of time that is their prerogative. I got the OCA Java SE7 certification one year ago, my only problem with this particular certification is that Java 9 is already on the horizon. How am I supposed to keep up? Why not have the OCA and OCP exams somewhat agnostic to the version but still update it every few years?

  • Brandye Barrington Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your feedback. This is an interesting perspective.


    Brandye Barrington

  • guest Friday, January 15, 2016

    I absolutely believe they are worth because it PROVES to the potential employer that I know my subject matter but also it's a way to TEST myself and see ALL of Oracle's product (in my case PL/SQL, and SQL). And since getting my OCE-SQL, OCA-PL/SQL, I'm able now to negotiate higher hourly rates as a consultant, along with my years of experience and degrees in computer science.

  • Siva Krishna Saturday, January 23, 2016


    I just got the OCA 11g, certificate. I want to know how to use the certificate

  • guest Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    Siva, you can search on job sites for positions that require this certification. I suggest you do a little research. You could also ask this question of your peers in the Oracle Certification Community https://community.oracle.com/community/technology_network_community/certification.


    Brandye Barrington

  • guest Wednesday, February 17, 2016

    In my opinion, the most interesting part of David Bolton's article is the comments below that show the different opinions and help to feed the debate with very valuable arguments.

    As far as I am concerned, I think that certifications (and especially) could be useful as a bonus way of showing some technical expertise but it does not show your reasoning skills because if you are an Oracle DBA for example, you cannot solve a problem by just knowing Oracle products: you must know everything around: OS + SAN + network + security + third party tools....

    I've been thinking for years to sign up for an Oracle certifications but each time I saw the huge amount of money you need to follow courses, buy books, do the exams, I just gave up thinking "how people can afford that?"...especially if you need to do this for each new version...

    I am also very conflicted because Oracle DBAs are the ambassadors of Oracle products everywhere in the world but you must pay Oracle to help Oracle making money...something does not make sense.

    Some people will tell you that it costs money to organize trainings and certifications but if "2 million people across the globe who have achieved an Oracle certification credential.", how can Oracle say that Training&Certification is not a profitable business on top of Oracle users who defend Oracle products every day ??

    What do you propose to people who like Oracle products but cannot afford the certifications&trainings?

  • guest Friday, February 19, 2016

    There are indeed, significant costs associated with developing and maintaining a certification program, and I don't think that Oracle is unique in wanting to run a profitable business, but our costs are in line with industry standards.

    One area that increases cost significantly is the training requirement. Understandably, this requirement may make certification inaccessible for some. Many candidates have their companies pay for the training. If that is not an option for you, There are some options you may want to look into - workforce.oracle.com and academy.oracle.com.


    Brandye Barrington

  • guest Monday, April 11, 2016

    To Matthew Morris, the same motive skepticism should be placed with this opinion piece as well. Oracle has money on the line, so of course they think certifications matter. I don't think it's right to apply that standard to someone writing for Dice but not to someone writing for a company that sells certifications.

  • guest Friday, April 15, 2016

    Matthew Morris,

    Hello again.

    I clicked on your name to see what your URL leads to and it seams you are a bit disingenuous about your response to this article as you clearly have a large stake in seeing that folks train to certify. So your opinion is every bit as INVALID as you claim the Dice opinion is.

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