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Experience, skills worth more than certification

A person's experience, skills, overall education and personality are worth more than a piece of paper that says they passed a certification exam

Michelle Davidson, Site Editor,
Michelle Davidson
In his column last week, Bas de Baar questioned the value of certification for project managers, saying that having such certification does not prove your abilities as a project manager. He also said it is used by people more as a marketing ploy to get companies to notice them -- because those companies are requesting it.

This isn't the first time someone has questioned the value of certification. Earlier this year at the Conference of the Association for Software Testing it was a hot topic. Some people argued that passing the certification test means just that. It proves only that the person is book-learned and knows what was on the test -- not what the person actually knows or is capable of.

Certification pros & cons
IT certification is a hot topic. Some are strongly against it, saying nothing can replace real-world experience, while others see it as one thing you can do to improve your chances for being hired or promoted.

Read what some readers have to say about the subject.
In project management and software testing, there can be many ways to approach a task. And often you need to think creatively and outside the norm to do your job. Your solution may not be what was taught in the certification course.

It's difficult finding skilled, knowledgeable people to hire, so I can understand why companies would want job candidates to have "seals of approval." But people are much more than that. Their experience, skills, overall education and personality are worth more than a piece of paper that says they passed the exam.

What do you think? Are certifications valuable? Why or why not? What are the risks to being certified? Send your comments to me at

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