To Certify or Not to Certify: Part 2
By Harold Green on Jul 18, 2008
Obviously you all know that I think certification is great. It can be an important career-building tool for people who take the process seriously (see my previous blog entry). However it’s my strong feeling that certification alone is only a part of the equation in building your career. There are other very important factors that you should consider if you want to advance and expand your career. Some suggestions are:
- Broaden your job experience - Volunteer for a tough new project at work or volunteer to manage your local junior soccer team’s website. Pursue things that expand your experience and help you meet (and impress) new people.
- Get additional training - You might need to take training in conjunction with your certification, but if possible don’t stop there. There are many opportunities for additional training - advanced courses, self-study CDs, online courses, white papers, etc.
- Increase your product experience - Download the latest version of the product, install it locally and become familiar with it. Don’t forget to review any accompanying documentation or white papers.
- Finish your university, college or technical degree (if possible) - If you are close, why not finish it up?
- Build your reference base - To get a good job or promotion, you need people who are willing to vouch for you. Work hard to build trust with your peers, bosses and associates. As a part of this effort, focus on improving your communication skills.
Getting certified is a great way to build your career. Going through the certification process will help you increase your knowledge, expand your skill-set and boost your confidence. However certification alone is not enough. You should include some of the items above to help expand your career even further. You never know - it might just put you on the fast track!
Note to Hiring Managers: Just as candidate should not stake their careers solely on certification, you should not hire someone just because they are certified. Certification is an important factor and should play a role in your hiring process, but you should also base your hiring decisions on experience, education/training and communication skills (among other things). Most importantly you should follow up carefully with the candidate’s references. By looking at the whole package and verifying the details with multiple references you will improve your chances of hiring the right candidate.
Paul Sorensen | Director, Oracle Certification