Re: Value of Certification

Subject: Re: Value of Certification
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 10:37:13 -0800

TechWriter wrote:
> I was wondering if people have any thoughts - pro or con - on the value of
> getting vendor certifications in some key areas as a means of building
> credibility. For example - the various MOUS certifications can be gotten in
> the Office Products and, similiarly, Adobe offers ACE certifications in
> Acrobat, Pagemaker, etc.
> Do these really add value?

Maybe. The trouble is, it's hard to know what level of expertise is
shown by certification. To take an obvious example, I know dozens of
people who can call themselves Microsoft Certified Engineers whom I
wouldn't want anywhere near my system.

When learning becomes a commercial product, there's an obvious
conflict. If the certification is really too easy, it doesn't mean
anything. However, if it's too hard, then people won't take the
courses, which defeats the purpose for the companies or learning

Perhaps the answer is an independently administered test, possibly
by a professional association. The trouble is, compared to
organizations for doctors, lawyers, or even accountants, the
existing writing groups are professional associations only in name.
Nor do they show any ability to do more than talk about issues like

Bruce Byfield 317.833.0313 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com
Director of Marketing and Communications,
Progeny Linux Systems

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