Your Experience with IT Certifications? Do They Help and by How Much?
March 29, 2011 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm seriously considering PMP, CBAP or ITIL v3 certification routes. I've worked in IT management and business analysis roles over the past 20+ years. I was excessed last June. Owing to a stinko job market (until recently), and a five-month stint caregiving my dad, I haven't been an aggressive job searcher till recently. I'd greatly appreciate any comments, anecdotes or any other oddments you have about these and other IT-related certifications, to help me determine which (or whether any) are woth the powder to blow them to hell with. I have funds for potentially all three (though I'd pick no more than two), and the rest of the year to go before it's Friskies for dinner. posted by nj_subgenius (4 comments total) [!]
posted by nj_subgenius to Technology (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Oboy, it really is not my day....Sorry for the very clumsy cut-and-paste, which was from originally (and most incorrectly) posting this question in blue.
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:57 AM on March 29, 2011

I worked with a few people with the PMP certificate and from what I could tell it wasn't especially hard to get or that rigorous.

One person was very bright and said that the PMP exams were a piece of cake, the other two seemed to have much more trouble with them.

I guess it really depends on how well you can study a corpus of material and prepare for an exam. Pass rates for the PMP exam(s) are, I think, fairly high.

I don't know anything about the other two things you linked to.
posted by dfriedman at 10:59 AM on March 29, 2011

Just a note: PMP is changing their exam in the fall, so if you do want to go that route, you might want to do it sooner than later because it will be easier to prep for. You do have to have documented experience project managing to get the certification.

It's a good thing to do if you are serious about project management. There are a lot of people out there who really don't know what they're doing, and having that certification will give you a heads up as will your technical background.
posted by Kimberly at 11:04 AM on March 29, 2011

For what it's worth, check the requirements on those certs. I'm pretty sure that at least PMP requires you to have a current PM job.
posted by rhizome at 11:05 AM on March 29, 2011

OK, I don't know what I'm talking about. Disregard my comment.
posted by rhizome at 11:06 AM on March 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks rhizome, the PMP and CBAP require work experience but I don't think they require current employment, just a documented history that can be third-party verified. But I will check.
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:08 AM on March 29, 2011

I took ITIL v3 Foundation training through work -- it was basically a 2.5 day course which entailed the instructor reading through a binder of materials to study, with a couple of labs / activities / quizzes to help students stay awake / confirm understanding. Then cram study the materials for the test of 40 questions, where I had to get at least 65% correct to pass.

It's not clear to me how beneficial this training actually is. I suppose it opens the door to further ITIL certifications. These in turn allow you to actually practice ITIL. I haven't seen many jobs requiring ITIL certification. Still, it's probably a good cert to have for IT Support / Management.
posted by indigo4963 at 11:39 AM on March 29, 2011

I know that this question is already marked as answered, but I wanted to throw my two cents in regarding PMP and suggest that you also consider getting CSM.

PMP certification is definitely worthwhile (though not a cakewalk!) and, as Kimberly said above, can help employers separate wheat from chaff.

Consider getting certified as a scrum master. Agile methodologies are all the rage now, especially in IT project environments. The requirements are 16 hours of coursework (usually done in 2 full-day sessions) and an almost insultingly easy exam. The benefit is more from getting versed in the method than the prestige of these 3 particular letters after your name.
posted by bluejayway at 1:48 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks Kimberly and bluejayway, I really appreciate the comments. I'm wide open to any other feedback you all might have.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:35 PM on March 29, 2011

I've hired a variety of PMs, BAs, and operations people. If you were applying for a PM position, a PMP would count for something with me. My experience with PMs that have the cert has been positive. I can't recall seeing anyone show up with the CBAP cert, so it would be neutral. ITIL would also be neutral. I work in an ITIL v2 shop, but knowing how ITIL works is by no means a pre-req to work inside the process framework; I'm more interested in whether you will follow the processes we've already laid out.
posted by kovacs at 6:57 PM on March 29, 2011

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