Earning IT certifications to gain entry into the information technology industry is all well and good, as is certifying to gain a better position in the future. However, have you ever worked a job where you were required to certify just to KEEP your job?
One of my past positions was serving as an IT director for a private high school. This place was what is known as an Apple Lighthouse School; all of the students and faculty carried Apple laptops. Pretty cool, eh? Well, what wasn't cool was how often the dadgum computers broke down.
Sure, the school had an AppleCare protection plan, and a robust arrangement with a local Apple service provider. However, it became clear within one school year that we (meaning our department) needed to begin servicing the laptops ourselves in order to turn 'em around as fast as possible.
Like Dell or HP or any other original equipment manufacturer, in order to perform warranty repair on its hardware, Apple required the school to jump through several hoops, including requiring me and my staff to become Apple Certified Professionals.
Have those Apple certifications benefited me in any way, shape, or measure since I left that position? Absolutely, 100 percent NOT. They make for good conversation pieces, though. :)
On the other hand, I needed to study for and pass those exams in order to fulfill a job role and attain a milestone for our organization.
Remember when I told you about the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 8570 program? That is another good example of a case where if you want to do IT business with the Federal government, then you had better have the appropriate IT certification(s) under your belt.
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