Which IT/Network Certs are most valuable on a resume.
June 22, 2008 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Which IT / Network Certifications are most valuable on a resume?

In my search I'm finding mostly uninformed articles and 3rd party sites trying to sell me Certifications. Specifically I'm looking for certs involved in Network Administration, Network Engineering. Which have the best cost/time vs value in the workplace ratio. Thanks!
posted by huxley to Work & Money (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: CCDE/CCIE/CCNP

Each are worth 20-30k on top of a base salary based on experience in most work environments.

However, none of them is worth anything (in my humble opinion as a hiring manager) without experience to back it up.

CCIE's who have 5+ hands on proven RECENT experience get the biggest offers. CCIE's who have no experience are essentially worthless and are treated as junior...
posted by iamabot at 7:01 PM on June 22, 2008

Cert's aren't worth much without extensive experience to back them up.
posted by SirStan at 7:27 PM on June 22, 2008

I've found that the one cert that's valued even in small shops that have no respect at all for Cisco, Red Hat, or MS certifications is the CISSP.
posted by mendel at 7:36 PM on June 22, 2008

The Cisco certifications are valued more than any of the others (MCSE, A+, CIW) based on my experience. Whether or not a CCNA/CCNP/CCIE is required depends on the shop, but all places generally require actual experience for anything other than a junior position.

That said, if you are set on going for certifications then either the CCNA/CCNP/CCIE track or the CCNA/CCDA/CCDP track is probably the right way to go.

Most of the places I've worked hold little or value on certifications, but they are effective at getting your resume past the HR and the hiring manager's first look.
posted by stovenator at 8:44 PM on June 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

For networking go for CCNA, you didn't say what your current level of experience is but it is possible to self study for this exam if you put the hours in.

Without experience it isn't worth much though so you need to put some thought in to how you are going to get this.

Find some worthwhile project to volunteer on maybe?
posted by Giant luck at 6:05 AM on June 23, 2008

Best answer: Snarky answer: whatever potential employers are looking for.

I'd also not put too much value on certs that you hear advertisements for on the radio, and/or the certs that you can pick up at a community college 6 week course. They may be requirements, but only in a zero-sum kind of way. You gain nothing by having them, you can only lose by not having them.

These days, it seems to me, any and everything Cisco. The higher level MS certs. Novell, if only to prove that you're old-school and that you understand a real server OS. If there are Linux certs, I'd think they are valuable.

The CompTia certs aren't worth the paper they're printed on, in my opinion, because the tests only really test your memory, not your understanding. The only people who seem to care about those are the Dells and HPs, and then only as prerequisites for their own certifications.
posted by gjc at 8:01 AM on June 23, 2008

The first thing a person in it should go for is a degree. MY current job and my last job i got hired because i had a degree and everybody else just had certs.

Companies like people who are well rounded and know more then just it. My 2 year degree was network administration and my 4 year degree was Management of info tech. Companies love the fact that i have a big business degree along with a tech degree. It shows that i know how companies truly run and not just it.

I say work on a degree first. Your better off in the long run.
posted by majortom1981 at 9:38 AM on June 23, 2008

Yeah, "five years configuring Cisco routers at Verizon" would mean more to me than some acronyms or exams done online at home.

It's not just that experience trumps certifications, it's that everyone has seen people with umpteen certifications, zero real-world ability, and no communication skills beyond "look I have letters!"
posted by rokusan at 10:20 AM on June 23, 2008

Echoing the above- in my experience certs guarantee you nothing, but without them people might not even look. Experience is key.

I also think CISSP can be valuable when paired with the right experience. VCP is probably going to be a moneymaker here soon if it isnt already (VMWare certified professional).

Ethical Hacker certs can also be good, but again- you need the experience to back it up.
posted by zennoshinjou at 7:28 AM on June 24, 2008

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