IT Best Practices

Why Tech Certifications Trump Tech Experience

The logic seems misplaced, that a certification would be more crucial than actual on-the-job experience. Maybe in backwards world this would work. But Subhash Tantry, president of Mettl, believes this is exactly the case in an interview with Don Tennant of IT Business Edge. Of course, as Tennant points out, anyone who makes a living marketing certification platforms (as Tantry does) might be compelled to overstate their cause. Yet Tennant walks away convinced.

Old Skills are Not Skills

What makes certification so important in this digital age, argues Tantry, is the incessant change occurring in the field of technology:

What you’ve done in the past is not necessarily useful for the future. Like in the financial realm, where it’s recognized that past performance is no guarantee of future performance, it’s also true in the work environment. When you look at past experience, it’s already dated, from a technology perspective. So there needs to be a renewal, in terms of an upgrade of the technical knowledge to cover the new technologies that come about. And the only certitude you have that a person knows anything about the subject matter of the new technologies would be a form of certification.

Tantry’s is certainly a valid argument. Hiring managers want employees who are ready to do the job right, right from the start.

The College Try

What about a college degree? Certainly those expensive diplomas are still worth something for the millions who receive them each year. Not so, says Tantry. A college degree may be educational overshoot in his opinion. For instance, if a company needs someone skilled at configuring routers and switches, or at creating architecture for the web, he or she would only need a set of certifications to fulfill that job function.

For IT, the only roles that might require a college degree in Tantry’s opinion are that of code writer, algorithm inventor, or program developer for distributed processing.  Perhaps the idea that certifications trump job experience isn’t so backward after all.

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