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Why Should I Get Novell-Certified? What are the Benefits and What Can I Expect upon Completion of the Process?

This question cuts to the core of the Now what? issue. When this question is asked, Now What? could be interpreted as Why bother? I pursued the Novell certifications for three reasons:

  • I needed to know how to install, administer, configure, and manage a Novell network. I can say without hesitation that I came away from the certification process with this knowledge. I have installed, configured, and managed dozens of Novell networks—including the one that I was initially charged with—since beginning the certification process in 1995. What I have learned is invaluable.

  • I needed something to put on my resume. The certifications validated my baseline knowledge and set me apart as an IT professional, authorized by a premier company. I had something that concretized my knowledge and experience. The Novell CNE and Master CNE (MCNE) were the initial hooks on my resume to dozens of job offers. Before being certified, I sent out hundreds of resumes and was hard-pressed to get any responses. With the CNE and MCNE, I was the one making the decision, not the HR people.

  • Professionally, I anticipated a higher salary and many doors to open. My employer considered the certification process to be devoid of value. When I broke away from my employer, several months after being certified, doors opened and my salary began to rise. In the first year as an independent contractor, my salary doubled with just the CNE and MCNE. This was at a time when the CNE was well-respected and held in high regard. If I were doing the same thing in today's market, I would anticipate my salary to increase one-and-one-half times.

In the current market, most IT professionals consider the Novell CNE and MCNE to be elite certifications. If you are applying for a job that is Microsoft-, UNIX-, or Linux-oriented, but you only have the CNE or MCNE, you might think you have no chance at being hired. You might be surprised. Often, CNEs and MCNEs will get those jobs because employers recognize the value of the Novell certification process. Your new employer might well offer to send you for the additional training that you need to do the job they want you to do.

If you already hold another vendor's certification, such as the MCSE, there are two reasons to pursue Novell's various certifications:

  • It is a known fact in IT that those who are certified by a single vendor can do very well financially. Those that are dual-certified do better financially than those who are single-vendor certified. Dual-certified people have more bargaining power.

  • Virtually all networks, especially enterprise networks, are made up of multiple network operating systems. For example, companies will use Novell for file and print services, and use Microsoft for Web services. To be able to function in such an environment, employers seek people with a broad range of skills and knowledge. One way to validate that knowledge and skill set is with certification. Those who are dual-certified are generally more adaptable to a variety of environments and more attractive to potential employers. Employers will not come running out of the bushes just because you have the CNE or the MCNE. The CNE and MCNE are not guarantees of success. However, they are definitely a flag that HR people look for when evaluating a candidate's skills and talents. I just did a search of Monster.com for the CNE, and I got 275 ads returned that mention the CNE certification. That is admittedly not as many as the Microsoft MCSE returns, but is still a significant number.

So, why should I become Novell-certified? What are the benefits, and what can I expect upon completion of the process? The short answer is: Novell's certifications help to open many IT doors. In my case, they escorted me into the world of IT and improved my ability to make a good living.

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