Certifications Are (Not) Important

Are certifications really that important?

June 16th, 2016

     In the iT industry, you’ll see an alphabet soup of certification names tossed around, especially when you start asking questions about how qualified an organization or contractor is. With all the possible certifications out there, how do you know which certifications are needed, and do they even matter?

     The short answer is maybe. Now I know that doesn’t sound like much of an answer but I can explain. Certifications can be “vendor neutral”, meaning they deal with theory and no specific products, or they can be “vendor certifications” which means a person passed a certification about a specific program or product. Neither of these certifications are really necessary.

     The certifications prove the organization or contractor you are working with has proven experience with the products, methods, or technologies they reference. Just because an organization or contractor doesn’t have a certification, doesn’t mean they don’t have the same experience, it just means they didn’t bother to pay the certification agency for the certification.

     When it comes to choosing a provider of services, it is important to make sure they are qualified, which can be done by asking for examples of previous works. Equally important is making sure they have the correct amount of insurance to cover losses in-case something bad does happen, and that the contract you sign with them allows you to properly recover your losses.

So do the certifications matter? They can be a good indicator, but they are not a deal breaker. The true performance indicator is in the examples of services they have provided for other clients. So don’t always judge by how many certifications an organization or contractor holds, because you could be missing out.