Should I Pay for Cisco Certification?

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 in reviews | 7 comments

I have been thinking about my life a bit more deeply these days since I am not working right now. Many of the positions that I have seen are now requiring some sort of extra certification that I do not have. I have a business degree with a focus on Information Systems but no experience in my field.

I have experience in other fields like retail, banking and of course education but zilch when it comes to formal IT experience. This has been a big barrier to me lately and I am wondering if I should go ahead and try to scrape together the money to get my Cisco certification so I can get a leg up on the competition.

Since it has become more widespread for people to go into some sort of technical field it is becoming even more competitive for those of us who have business and IT related degrees. This means that in order to stay up to par with everyone else I would need to get some kind of certification so that I can use that on my resume in lieu of all the experience that I don’t have because no one will hire me.

There is a  list of different certifications that you can get and they are all at varying levels of expertise in the area that you want to study. The first step that I would have to to take is to get the CCNA which is the basic requirements for the Cisco certification program. From there I could move on to higher levels of the program and end up with Expert certification in an area such as network security.

I am not ready to take that plunge yet but it is certainly something to look at for now so when the time is right I will be well prepared to make the best decision for my future.

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  1. Those certs are just entrance tickets or resume decorations. Why? Get brain dumps and ace the exams.

  2. If your career heart is pointing in that direction, then go ahead and do it.

    I, to, am at a similar crossroads now. I am thinking more along the lines of being a training professional. I called an institute yesterday and their certification costs and arm and a leg. I should be signing up pretty soon.

  3. I think those types of certifications help you land an interview, I don’t think they go a long way after that. I have a Master’s in IT and a Bachelor’s in Business. I think that having both degrees has helped open the door for interviews and consideration, but I have found that employers like to see real-life work experience over certifications.

  4. I concur with passivefamilyincome. Most companies I’ve worked for liked my experience more than anything else. I actually have two certifications and I usually don’t even list them. I like being hired based on my experience and knowledge versus my ability to take a test. Not to mention, the test is only a hundred bucks. Just grab the study material, buy some routers from ebay and go take the test after some study and practice.

  5. @ Eric:
    Well if the certifications are not going to help then what is the point of doing them still? While the test is ‘only’ $100 I don’t want to end up wasting it for that if nothing is going to come off it.

  6. People with experience get those certificates so that they can hang them on the wall or put the logos on their business cards.

    For those without experience, it’s better than nothing, again, nothing. At least employers won’t immediately throw a certified resume into the trash bin.

  7. I think you should get some sort of IT certification, especially CCNA, since oyu find yourself at crossroads. It is one of the most popular of the current crop of certifications available and would guarantee you atleast a few interviews. It depends on you where you take it from there.

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