What is the value of cramming in training, certification and career development? “Paper certification” refers to a person’s ability to cram and pass a certification test. The question I have is that: Is a certification you cram for worth the paper it’s printed on?
In my book, “paper” certification has no value. Certification arose from the need to have competent professionals that could deliver value in specific IT areas in the workplace. It validates what you have not what you don’t have. Certified individuals that acquire their certifications by study and deliberate practice rather than cramming generally perform better on the job.
Unfortunately “paper” certification is a growing nuisance in the IT industry. IF YOU ARE PAPER CERTIFIED, PLEASE GO AND TEAR THAT PAPER. SHRED THAT PAPER!! Certification can’t give you what you don’t have. And it is not about the paper but about the value you can add. The Information Technology space has no place for “paper” tigers. How will you resolve the network security affecting our clients? Show them the paper? What will you do to configure the network infrastructure for efficient performance? Show the paper? Or how will you develop the web application to improve customer service? Show the paper?
The industry needs your knowledge, your skills, your ability to solve problems, think creatively and solve problems – the certificate is secondary. Unfortunately, many still worship the paper. “The paper is more important than the expertise?” Give me a break!
THERE IS NO REWARD FOR “PAPER TIGERS”. Cramming for exams may get you certified, but it doesn’t make you a professional. And opportunities from such efforts alone usually don’t last. Passing an exam in this manner means you are a good test taker, but how does that help your client or employer? How does it help you? Please answer this question – is industry looking for good test takers or for contributors? Organizations don’t want network engineers with outstanding paper certifications who can’t network their way out of a paper bag.
It’s one thing to take the exam; it’s another thing to apply the knowledge. Remember your contribution is your value. Without the ability to contribute, the certification is a worthless piece of paper. EMPLOYERS AND CLIENTS ARE NOT LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN PASS EXAMS – THEY ARE LOOKING FOR CREATIVE THINKERS, PROBLEM SOLVERS AND SOLUTION PROVIDERS.
Certification is meant to indicate initiative and effort. But if you’re cramming it’s obvious that you have adopted the “by-all-means-the-end-justifies-the-means” mentality to short-circuit the learning process. How do you really hope to solve real world problems with such an attitude? Some of us still need to grow up!
Certification is meant to be practical. If it doesn’t indicate your ability to demonstrate command over a body of knowledge and apply that knowledge productively, it isn’t helping. What is paper certification? Pointless and worthless.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting