Certification program? (Take II)

Subject: Certification program? (Take II)
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 09:39:23 -0400

Ted Finch wonders: <<I don't see the benefit. A certification is only a
piece of paper that says you passed a test. Anyone can do that.>>

I'm with you on this one; a certificate test often (not always) screens out
the obviously incompetent, along with good candiates who simply suck at
taking tests, but it isn't necessarily a good measure of the skills of those
who pass. I've certainly suffered through tests in which I was beaten by
classmates who had memorized the textbook but who couldn't tell me what any
of it meant. And apart from what it says about American litigiousness, the
number of medical malpractice suits in the U.S. is also an indication that
AMA certification isn't particularly perfect. And let's not talk about
Accountants. Enron anyone?

But think of the question from the standpoint of Human Resources staff: many
don't have the time or the skill to understand what skills a job requires.
Lacking both assets, they'd dearly love to cut 300 resumes down to 100
during prescreening for a position by excluding everyone who doesn't have a
certificate. A really bad decision imho, but that's the reality we sometimes
face. If the industry begins to require a "union card" (certificate or
degree) for admission, it won't be our choice whether we obtain the
credentials. If we want to work...

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"Wisdom is one of the few things that look bigger the further away it
is."--Terry Pratchett


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