Re: Certification/Degrees

Subject: Re: Certification/Degrees
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 08:39:55 -0600


>But it can...if an 30-year-old educated high schooler and a 30-year-old
>educated high schooler with a certification from a recognized agency both
>apply for a job as a tech doc'er, who's going to impress the HR director a
>bit more?

Answer: The candidate who best fits the experience, salary, skills, and
so forth required to make a match with the job prerequisites. Companies
view jobs and candidates for those jobs as to how they may contribute to
net profit on the products and services. Therefore, the learning curve
that each candidate faces directly affects that person's contribution to
the profit line.

If a candidate has the skills, education, background, salary
requirements, portfolio (or whatever is handed to the interviewer) that
are a match for the company's needs, I would say that they are quite

Employer: Have you documented C++ code?
Writer: No, but I am certified
Employer: Was documenting C++ code part of the certification?
Writer: No
Employer: NEXT!

>Further, over many years, educating HR personnel as to what goes
>into a certificate can substantially change the way our field is viewed. If
>HR departments know that we have established a minimal set of standards for
>a profession, they're likely to start looking for those things in new
>candidates. Until we can agree on the standards, though, how can we expect
>HR personnel to intuit them?

Do they really care what we establish for standards? They have specific
needs, budgets for salaries, job duties, and so forth. We seem to
forget who is hiring who! If a company needs someone to write test
procedures for electronic circuitry and would like the person to be able
to develop the procedures independently, they will look for a candidate
who has experience in electronics and writing. What do they care if the
candidate has a certificate stating that they know X, Y, and Z if the
job requires Q, S, and T? They may compromise on the TW requirements to
hire someone with some electronics knowledge. I can't emphasize this
enough -- it's a match between the candidate's background/skills and the
job requirements! Educate HR all you want. You are not going to sell
them a boat when they want to by a car!

Mike Wing

| Michael Wing
| Principal Technical Writer
| Infrastructure Technical Information Development
| Intergraph Corporation
| Huntsville, Alabama
| (205) 730-7250
| mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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