The Bloom is off the Certification Rose

December 21, 2006

From a recent Computer World Career Watch Article:

Pay for some certifications plummeted in the six months from April 1 to Oct. 1, according to a wide-ranging Foote Partners LLC survey covering 129 certification categories and 124 noncertified skills. The following are some particularly hard-hit certs:
     CompTIA Linux: -43%
     CompTIA Network Technician: -36%
     CompTIA Security+: -33%
     Cisco Certified Design Associate: -22%
     Cisco Certified Network Professional: -22%
     CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer: -22%
     Certified MySQL 4.0 Professional: -22%
     Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator: -20%
     Microsoft Certified Trainer: -20%
     Microsoft Certified Database Administrator: -20%
     Cisco Certified Design Professional: -18%
     Microsoft Certified Systems Admin: Security: -13%
     Linux Professional Institute certification: -13%
     Cisco Certified Network Associate: -12%

I don’t know that I’m surprised by the trend – as Scott Blake pointed out on our recent teleseminar (podcast up in the next couple of days), the future of IT isn’t really the certified IT pro as much as it is someone who can translate business needs into computer systems.

I once had a long talk with a mentor of mine who asserted that, 100 years from now, the IT staff was going to be the equivalent of operations staff: that IT would be in the same department as facilities, HVAC and the security guards at the door. While I didn’t quite agree, I definitely can’t say that I disagree – at the point that the level of abstraction is high enough that the value added is at the business/contextual level rather than at the level of content, it seems that IT becomes part of the a maintenance function rather than an executive-level business driver (beyond the COO and VP of Operations).

(Aside: I wonder if I should worry, given that I have my CCNA and LPI certs. )

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Comments

2 Responses to “The Bloom is off the Certification Rose”

  1. Ross Brown on December 21st, 2006 12:22 pm

    A long time ago, as a consultant on partner programs and go to market strategies, I was asked by a client to model how much incremental revenue they could make off their services division by offering a certification program and then mandating that partners take it and recommending to customers that they take it for ‘career growth’.

    Almost all certifications are designed to enrich the vendor, not the student.

  2. Kevin Burnett on December 21st, 2006 1:17 pm

    It’s already happening in the Operations/Supply Chain areas. IT is viewed as an operations tool to to increase visability and speed up the movement of information across the chain. The latest mantra is, “Substitute information for inventory” and IT is the way to do that.

    That said, the IT pro who understands the bigger business picture and how IT can drive objectives, will be very valuable.

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