Certificates more important than degree?

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34 Replies - 4138 Views - Last Post: 14 February 2016 - 08:42 AM

#1 O'Niel   User is offline

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Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 02:57 PM

Hello

I was wondering if companies rather look at your degree or your certificates.
Is a degree important?
Because, when you have a certificate (or even multiple) you have proven that you're good in a very specific specialization. While a degree can be specific, a certificate is often more.
To clear up, I'm talking about certificates which are serious. Like e.g the ones from EC-Council. I'm not talking about the W3Schools certificate.

And if you get a degree. Does the university matter? Why would a company give something about a degree I got in Belgium which ain't a high-tech country at all? Don't they rather look to prestigious universities like e.g Stanford?

I could guess that for a freelancer certificates are more important. Because people want to know sure the freelancer is good in the specialization they're hiring them for. No?

Is a diploma (secondary school) important? I'll have mine next year. But I'm glad I have done and am doing a lot of self-education because I don't feel like I'd be able to work for a company with only the stuff they teach there.

Anyway, is a degree really that important like some say it is? Ain't certificates not more important?

Thanks!

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Replies To: Certificates more important than degree?

#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM

Quote

Is a degree important?

Yes, I found it to be so in my situation.

Quote

Does the university matter?

To some people, yes. In general, yes.

Quote

Why would a company give something about a degree I got in Belgium which ain't a high-tech country at all?

Ah, what?

Quote

I could guess that for a freelancer certificates are more important. Because people want to know sure the freelancer is good in the specialization they're hiring them for. No?

Maybe? It depends.

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Is a diploma (secondary school) important?

Having a high school degree is typically important... or a GED.

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Anyway, is a degree really that important like some say it is?

Yes.

Quote

Ain't certificates not more important?

No
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#3 xclite   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:15 PM

I find the reverse to be true. Degrees are a basic requirement, and certificates are mostly ignored.
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#4 O'Niel   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:18 PM

Thanks for your reply.

View Postmodi123_1, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

Quote

Why would a company give something about a degree I got in Belgium which ain't a high-tech country at all?

Ah, what?


Well, I've got some friends doing Bachelor. And having a degree in IT in Belgium, is actually a 800 paper saying you can start-up a computer. Of course that's exaggerated, but schools/universities like for e.g the US or even just the Netherlands seem to cover more advanced topics and maybe that also looks better to companies.
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#5 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:18 PM

That's a bummer.
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#6 O'Niel   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:19 PM

View Postxclite, on 11 February 2016 - 03:15 PM, said:

I find the reverse to be true. Degrees are a basic requirement, and certificates are mostly ignored.


Didn't people got higher salary for certificates?
Doesn't it look better at the homepage of a freelancer if he has multiple certificates instead of only a degree?

This post has been edited by O'Niel: 11 February 2016 - 03:19 PM

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#7 Atli   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:25 PM

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Doesn't it look better at the homepage of a freelancer if he has multiple certificates instead of only a degree?

For freelancers, reputation is everything. On freelancer websites customers will mostly be looking at reviews, not credentials. Others will get the bulk of their work from word-of-mount; customers recommending you to friends/colleagues.

A diploma/certificate can give you a certain edge, everything else being equal, but it won't necessarily get you the job. The best thing you can have for that is a range of previous work they can examine. Being involved in open-source projects never hurts either. Experience wins over everything.
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#8 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:53 PM

The only people who are impressed by certificates seem to be the folks who offer certificates. Perhaps those who got duped into shelling out money for them.

You average HR director will understand standard education degrees, Associates, Bachelors, etc. That education requirement will also be standard in the job listing. How may job listings say "must have Certificate X" and how many ask for a BS?

Worse, people who actually work in IT know the value of a certificate: um, it's not usually considered a high value.
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#9 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:03 PM

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Worse, people who actually work in IT know the value of a certificate: um, it's not usually considered a high value.

... and here's your certificate of completion.
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#10 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 05:37 PM

If you want a cert for you, go for it. They are generally not needed, but some do look favorable on you. I will be taking an exam for one shortly, my entire development department will follow, partly because I want to do it. The company wants it so they can inform clients that we are X and Y certified.

As a whole, if you are deciding between a degree and a cert, go for the degree.
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#11 KYA   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 06:12 PM

There are two instances where certificates are generally viewed as a positive:

1. In your own mind, hooray I accomplished something.
2. On certain government contracts, they will count as a year of experience. Why? It's kind of dumb, especially if the same contract doesn't count a Master's degree as two years of experience.

Several years ago I took the Oracle Certified Associate and Professional certs for Java as my employer paid for it. It doesn't hurt, but doesn't always help.
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#12 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 11 February 2016 - 06:31 PM

One thing that's important to keep in mind is that you will never find agreement on this sort of question because there are many people hiring, and they do not all have the same feelings on these matters. You really can't get a sensible answer to "what do employers want" because there are many employers who want many different things. The trick is to pursue the things that you think you need to be better at the things you want to do, and to be ready to tell people about what you've done and show people what you can do.

You might be able to get more useful answers by asking about what different employers want in smaller segments of the market. For example, a company whose main product is not technical will have a different view on this than a company whose product is the technology itself. A company that wants you to maintain infrastructure is going to be different from a company that sees you as developing new tooling. So if you're looking at a database administration position at a financial services company, they might be very interested in your microsoft certifications, because they mostly want you to keep their microsoft doing what it's supposed to do. On the other hand, if you're looking at implementing quantitative trading algorithms for a people who make money gaming the derivatives market, they're mostly going to be interested in knowing that you can turn hard math into fast code quickly, and there's no certificate in the world that will help you get that job.

But really, every opportunity is a case of a particular human being with particular preconceptions and predispositions, and there isn't a single answer to "what does that person want".
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#13 O'Niel   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 12 February 2016 - 06:25 AM

Thanks for the answers all.
I guess I'll do academic bachelor in the Netherlands (or maybe just Belgium), and then master. Maybe I then even have the money to get master in Stanford. Because certificates don't seem that important, I think the only certificate I'm going to get is CEH. Just for those few employers/renters who want to see it.
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#14 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 12 February 2016 - 08:11 AM

Wait, what? Your option are "well I could do a fist full of certs, or go undergrad then masters.. either/or.. both are a'boot equivalent".

It sounds like you have a wee bit skewed view of what a Masters is for. Typically it is higher level thought and advanced views over an undergrad degree. It's not like they teach you java in your BS and then c++, fortran, and python in the masters. Typically it's more theory and "big thought" work. Very much not like following some cert path.

https://upload.wikim...cation_Path.gif
https://borntolearn....A-Cert-Path.PNG
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#15 Treze   User is offline

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Re: Certificates more important than degree?

Posted 12 February 2016 - 09:12 AM

Maybe...

I graduated in december 2004 as a computer engineer, but i never worked as an engineer.

Since i gratuated i worked as support analist, nothing related to engineering.

And as the years went by I noticed that companies in Brazil who prefer to have certified.

I am from Brazil.

Regards
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