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CompTIA Reneges, Reconsiders on Lifetime Certifications

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the had-our-fingers-crossed dept.

Education 245

garg0yle writes "Recently, it was reported that IT certification house CompTIA had changed their A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications — rather than being 'for life,' there would now be a recertification requirement through continuing-education credits (and an accompanying fee). Needless to say, this made a lot of people very unhappy, and today it was announced that CompTIA has reversed their decision. Basically, any certification obtained before 2011 will still be 'for life.'" Ars notes the coincidence that CompTIA contacted them about the change of heart an hour after Ars's story about CompTIA's initial switcheroo went live.

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245 comments

CompTIA (5, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908748)

CompTIA certs are the community college diplomas of the IT certification industry. Who cares, unless you're going for an internship or level-1 helpdesk position?

Re:CompTIA (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908822)

It's like getting a re-cert for global studies in 9th grade. Who cares?

Re:CompTIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909120)

Global studies includes Africa, so nigger jokes apply. Speaking of which, what are three things you cannot give a nigger? A black eye, a fat lip, and an education.

Why do black men make such great gynecologists? They are already used to curly hair, big lips, and bad breath.

Why does a nigger carry a turd in his wallet? ID.

How do you stop a bunch of niggers from jumping on the bed? Put Velcro on the ceiling.

You laughed, even if you are too chickenshit to admit it.

Re:CompTIA (4, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908836)

I agree. I had to take the CompTIA Linux certification several years ago to teach a class and thought it was odd that there was no re-certification requirement. I passed it the first try without too much studying, just taking the sample test and finding out where I needed to brush up. I didn't have to pay for it, so I really didn't think too much about it, it was just one of those things I had to do to make a little extra spending money.

After I took it I found out that an NT guy with zero Linux experience passed it simply by studying for it.

CompTIA certs only impress people who don't know anything, and are helpful to get you through the HR screening by pasting it on your resume.

Re:CompTIA (3, Informative)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908872)

CompTIA certs only impress people who don't know anything, and are helpful to get you through the HR screening by pasting it on your resume.

That accurately describes most college IT degrees, actually.

Re:CompTIA (0, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908910)

Yup. Unless it's an MBA, a degree doesn't mean crap in my industry other than you have student loan debt.

Re:CompTIA (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908956)

What field are you in ? I am a network tech making a decent slary with just a 2 year and 4 year degree and got hired over everybody.

Re:CompTIA (2, Informative)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909216)

possibly because they were looking for someone that can lend extra hand, not necessarily someone with experience?

Decent salary or not, I'd venture the say you were one of the more economical candidates too. People with years of experience demand to be compensated for that experience, whether they deserve it or not.

Re:CompTIA (1)

sabre86 (730704) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909004)

And what good is an MBA?

Re:CompTIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909044)

And what good is an MBA?

... HOLY CRAP IT'S ALL A GIANT SCAM!

(Filter error: Don't use so many caps. Filter error: Don't use so many caps. Filter error: Don't use so many caps.)

Re:CompTIA (5, Funny)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909072)

And what good is an MBA?

You avoid standing with the Liberal Arts undegrads in the unemployment line, i.e. you get your own special Hell.

Re:CompTIA (0, Flamebait)

TDyl (862130) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909078)

And what good is an MBA?
The ability to screw-up the world financial services industry and put many people on the streets?

Re:CompTIA (4, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909142)

Don't you mean accountants & PhDs in Economics?

Maybe you are right, but I don't work in banking. The MBAs I know are mostly small to medium business owners.

Re:CompTIA (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909094)

They are the guys that are running said companies for the most part.

Re:CompTIA (3, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909752)

If you are looking to the academic world to teach you about the business world, you are already two steps behind.

Re:CompTIA (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909064)

CompTIA certs only impress people who don't know anything, and are helpful to get you through the HR screening by pasting it on your resume. That accurately describes most college IT degrees, actually.

That accurately describes most college degrees, most of the time they are necessary to get past HR screening, but tell you nothing about the qualifications of the individual in question.

Re:CompTIA (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909352)

CompTIA certs only impress people who don't know anything, and are helpful to get you through the HR screening by pasting it on your resume. That accurately describes most college IT degrees, actually.

That accurately describes most college degrees, most of the time they are necessary to get past HR screening, but tell you nothing about the qualifications of the individual in question.

College is about having goals, meeting deadlines, and dealing well (i.e. obediently) with authority figures, your willingness to allow them to determine the use of your time, your ability to follow their detailed instructions, and your willingness to be a cog in a large institution. Those are the qualifications employers find desirable. They likely know that in this industry, a degree does not necessarily indicate skill or ability and that many of the most skilled developers and technicians never went to college. What they do know is that it demonstrates you are willing and able to jump through hoops of the sort that they find useful.

Re:CompTIA (4, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909694)

This is such horseshit. I found my time in college to be uniformly exciting and mind-expanding. I can't even imagine what kind of personality it takes to have never found a single college class be educational. It's like the whole "mentor/student" concept has a been a hideous gaffe for what, 4000 years?

Re:CompTIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909774)

The kind of idiot who texted his way through class - or someone who went to a POS school.

Re:CompTIA (2, Interesting)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909884)

You are only partially right and the GP post is indeed very insightful. For most people, myself included, there were always the few very enticing intellectual "carrots" to offset the very many "sticks" in the academic environment. For every exciting subject, where I had a lot of fun and where I could indeed participate in a mentor/student dynamics with excellent professors, there were at least 5 "jump-through-the-hoops-and-keep-your-mouth-shut", compulsory, no opt-out, (and frankly utterly pointless) subjects. I hear that some colleges of 1960s era (the generation before mine) were far more fun and far less "follow the authority figure or else" places. But serf-mindset-indoctrination was well advanced (and rapidly expanding) in the place I went to by the time I enrolled. I hear it was not an isolated situation and the whole world of academia has been steadily evolving towards efficient manufacture of corporate serfs, complete with egregious advances in the indoctrination into "intellectual property" regimes and the concept of (publicly funded) corporate ownership of all research and student ideas.

Re:CompTIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909724)

You are a dipshit.

Re:CompTIA (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909746)

And getting laid. Oh, sorry, wrong room.

Re:CompTIA (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909792)

You could easily replace "College" with "The Army" in your description. But i don't think ex-Army guys with 4 years in are expected to be picked up as a techie making 50k US$. HR will still ask, what is your Degree in? oh, no degree, do you have x many years of experience? "Yeah, i'm a good shot"

There has to be something else employers want with college graduates than what you listed.

Re:CompTIA (3, Informative)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909504)

As an engineering major, I'll assume that I fit in to the exception to your 'most' qualifier.

Re:CompTIA (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909856)

As an engineering major, I'll assume that I fit in to the exception to your 'most' qualifier.

If, after you get your degree, you actually work as an engineer, then probably, but not necessarily. I know a story about a waste water treatment design by an engineer, for a company that my father worked for, that I could see the flaw in when I was in high school, but they needed plans signed off by an engineer, so that was what got built.
But, generally, an engineering degree actually indicates that the person holding it has been taught some practical knowledge that applies to the job they are hired for.

Re:CompTIA (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909104)

In pursuit of my engineering degree, I learned useful things I would not have "discovered" on my own. I understand how things work under the hood. I also learned finance and communication skills.

A diploma from a real college means something.

(oh and I got to build robots!)

Re:CompTIA (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909486)

last i checked, Engineering wasn't considered IT.

Re:CompTIA (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909992)

last i checked, Engineering wasn't considered IT.

Well, most people can't tell the difference between EE, CS/Soft. Engineering or IT Computing. We are all IT, the "tech guys" you know?

Re:CompTIA (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909816)

Yeah, but were they *evil* robots?

Where's your Evidence? (1, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908862)

What company do you recommend? Personally, I've found CompTIA certs a useful part of my portfolio of credentials. Not the only part, of course, but worth the money. I've heard people complain that all certifications are worthless, or some are, but I've never seen any evidence. Where's your evidence? Or is this less about evidence and more about polishing your knob?

Re:Where's your Evidence? (4, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909050)

Certifications which mean something tend to vary by specialization. Cisco certifications mean something if you work in networking. GIAC or ISC2 certifications mean something if you work in security.

CompTIA certifications don't command respect anywhere, except maybe to differentiate yourself from the other entry-level candidates with no experience. After your first job, mentioning your CompTIA cert is like talking about where you went to middle school. Who cares?

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909262)

So, what? Leave them off entirely? It's been, oh, seven years since I last took a CompTIA cert. I feel old now. I've got five of the damn things, and a pile more other certs since then, so do you really recommend not mentioning them at all?

And, dare I ask again, what are you basing this on? Not to be a dick, but without some kind of evidence, it sounds like you are playing little dominance heirarchy games, "look at me! I'm so much better than CompTIA certs, if you have them, what a loser!" So, seriously, besides your own enlightened opinion, care to cite something meaningful, or do you just want to keep knob-polishing?

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909702)

So, what? Leave them off entirely? It's been, oh, seven years since I last took a CompTIA cert. I feel old now. I've got five of the damn things, and a pile more other certs since then, so do you really recommend not mentioning them at all?

And, dare I ask again, what are you basing this on? Not to be a dick, but without some kind of evidence, it sounds like you are playing little dominance heirarchy games, "look at me! I'm so much better than CompTIA certs, if you have them, what a loser!" So, seriously, besides your own enlightened opinion, care to cite something meaningful, or do you just want to keep knob-polishing?

Granted after a few years in the field you'll hopefully acquire vastly more useful and valuable skills. Anyone shit talking the certs are just assholes that have honestly convinced themselves that they deserve whatever it is they already have.

Maybe I'm just more humble than I previously thought I was, I don't think I deserve anything. Not even opportunity. Sixteen years after obtaining my A+ from CompTIA I'm a Sr. Sysadmin, and I'm being coerced by my employers to use more of my hobbyist db and programming skills at the office.

It's truly a matter of perspective, which is relative. I was still a teenager when I got my A+ and I never intended to make my living with it, but I certainly planned on using it as a foot in the door to the rest of my career path. Looking back on the last 16 years, I'm glad I did.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (-1, Troll)

ifwm (687373) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909744)

"Not to be a dick"

Your defensiveness and pathetic attempts to turn this into a wikipedia article have made that an impossibility.

It's tremendously funny though, you genuinely think your "computer G.E.D" isn't a joke...

Pot, meet kettle (-1, Troll)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909854)

Folks, if you want a good laugh at a real hypocrite, just take a look here: http://slashdot.org/~ifwm/journal/ [slashdot.org]

Nice Ad hom (0, Troll)

ifwm (687373) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909928)

Which just about proves my point in it's entirety.

"not to be a dick..."

TY

I always get a laugh at how crazy and defensive you get when you're obviously and irrefutably wrong and shown so,like you were here.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909066)

Evidence is mostly anecdotal, but I bet you could find enough to justify an opinion that certs are worthless on the job; they're only helpful to get the interview.

Thanks to braindumps people can just memorize the questions so you'll have MCSEs wondering why DHCP isn't working and they forgot to authorize the server.

Only certs that mean anything are the ones that give you a practical situation and other people grading you, like the CCIEs.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909282)

Well, I don't give a great God damn how useful my certs are on my job. I already know I can do my job. I don't need a cert to prove that to myself. I thought the whole point of certs was to help get a foot in the door.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909764)

I thought the whole point of certs was to help get a foot in the door.

Except people use their certs as an excuse for their idiocy. I've dealt with these people. "I'm an MCSE! I know what I'm doing!" and they clearly don't.

So if you know your job more power to you. You're one of the few.

Jesus, liar, which is it? MOD LIAR PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909858)

First you say

"I've found CompTIA certs a useful part of my portfolio of credentials"

then you say

"Well, I don't give a great God damn how useful my certs are on my job"

Of course, that bit of mental contortionism makes perfect sense to you, but you also think CompTIA certs aren't worthless...

Reading comprehension: you fail it (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909966)

Let me explain it, for those who have gone 'full retard.' I said, "I've found CompTIA certs a useful part of my portfolio of credentials" meaning, I have found those credentials helpful in getting my foot in the door. Chirst on a fucking pogo stick, some people are dumb.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (2, Funny)

bdmorgan (805289) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909738)

Thanks to braindumps people can just memorize the questions so you'll have MCSEs wondering why DHCP isn't working and they forgot to authorize the server.

Thanks, man. I've been fighting with this DHCP issue for, like, three weeks now.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909716)

"I've found CompTIA certs a useful part of my portfolio of credentials" Well, that's nice, but some of us don't think help desk jockey is a worthy career peak like you do.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (0, Redundant)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909824)

Senior System Administrator of New Mexico Child, youth and Family Development Department. I oversee 2,500 employees, with over 50 different servers under my direct control. I've got 24 IBM Blade servers running VMware, with Windows, Linux, and Novell Netware running under that. I've saved the state over $200,000 a year in licensing fees by moving from HPUX/Sybase to SLES/MySQL (It was MANAGEMENT! I wanted PostgreSQL!)

So, what do you do for a living? Anything remotely useful or important, or is it your job to whine on Slashdot all day long?

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1)

Durks (1710974) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909974)

Do those 2500 employees report directly to you? Do you really "oversee" them or are they case managers, counselors, and the REAL employees of NMCYFD? By 'oversee' you really mean YOU report to 2500 employees don't you, you trolling self-important cog.

Re:Where's your Evidence? (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 3 years ago | (#30910006)

"So, what do you do for a living? Anything remotely useful or important, or is it your job to whine on Slashdot all day long?"

No, based on your overt defensiveness and total willingness to openly attack people, you seem to have taken that position on a volunteer basis.

As to what MY job is, instead how about what it's not? It's not a dick measuring contest, unlike yours apparently.

And honestly

"Senior System Administrator of New Mexico Child, youth and Family Development Department. I oversee 2,500 employees, with over 50 different servers under my direct control. I've got 24 IBM Blade servers running VMware, with Windows, Linux, and Novell Netware running under that. I've saved the state over $200,000 a year in licensing fees by moving from HPUX/Sybase to SLES/MySQL (It was MANAGEMENT! I wanted PostgreSQL!"

That describes a help desk job 100%, nice try dressing it up.

See, some of us are well adjusted enough not to need to go on the internet and aggressively defend our jobs, because we're capable of defining ourselves without them.

Re:CompTIA (1)

bigdadro (452037) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909098)

This comment really shouldn't be marked as flamebait. It might be sad but it is true. A+ certifications in particular carry 0 weight in the US job market.

Re:CompTIA (1)

motorhead (82353) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909320)

Suckers

Re:CompTIA (1)

DJLuc1d (1010987) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909446)

And a level-1 help desk is a shitty place to work, but if you plan on having a career in networking, it is an excellent place to cut your teeth. And while some places will hire just anyone, an A+ makes it much easier.

Re:CompTIA (1)

ProfanityHead (198878) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909580)

More like a GED.

More examples of why certs are useless (1, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908764)

Get a real degree or don't bother. Certs are 100% useless as a metric of anything other than memorization and having had a little money to spend.

Re:More examples of why certs are useless (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908860)

I don't know when you were in college last but most degrees really aren't much better. Except to show that you have a lot more money to spend.

Someone shouldn't have to go to a university to prove that they have what it takes to work on the Geek Squad.

Re:More examples of why certs are useless (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909100)

Yes, but they do need to show they have a degree from an ABET certified college in order to design vehicle engines, aeroplanes, pacemakers, or power plants.

Thankfully not everyone desires to work for the geek squad after completing a 4-year degree.

Re:More examples of why certs are useless (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909684)

And not everyone can afford a 4 year degree. I guess those people are just dog shit and should be scoffed at?

Re:More examples of why certs are useless (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909962)

Those people should move to places were it is cheaper. The US education system is just a nice way to keep the poor poor and the rich rich.

Re:More examples of why certs are useless (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909622)

Not that long ago, but I went to a pretty serious college. Even undergrad IT labs were an 80-100 hour a week commitment. On the other hand I know of plenty of folks who attended other colleges and cannot even use wireshark or diagram a packet or know how netmasks work. Also many of them seem to get 0 programming experience. I had C, C++ and java classes, plus unix scripting courses.

wow ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30908802)

Explain to me how getting a degree is any different?

Re:wow ... (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908884)

You have to jump through far more arbitrary hoops for a degree, even a measly four year. That's what employers want to see. Not particular skills, but arbitrary hoop-jumping ability.

Re:wow ... (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909022)

It takes longer and costs more.

Re:wow ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909046)

Certs teach you how to deal with specific cases. Degrees teach you how to figure it out.

Re:wow ... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909276)

Explain to me how getting a degree is any different?

You don't have to blow an obscene amount of money and years of your life just to get the same entry-level job?

Eventually, even certs are fairly worthless. They'll prove you had a verifiable start, but I'm very sure that my old MCP in Exchange 5.5 wasn't what my current employer was looking at when they hired me on.

Re:wow ... (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909416)

In most cases, you're required to study OUTSIDE of your area of focus. A degree tells me that not only did you understand the core subject matter, you also didn't have a piss-poor showing in other topics. In other words, you know how to learn, not just pass tests. When I earned a 4-year CS degree, I also studied quite a bit of physics (earning a minor, in fact), and took some real gem classes such as "Alpine Environments," "Prehistoric American Cultures," and "Introduction to Chaos." I won't dispute that there aren't some really bad 4-year programs out there, but that's the idea.

They probably ought to decertify me, actually (4, Insightful)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908804)

I got my A+ about a decade ago. Tech bubble burst and I couldn't get a job doing A+ work around here. Then I didn't own a computer for a few years and I haven't done anything with Windows in years at this point. They probably ought to de-certify me, quite frankly. On the other hand, I'm not applying for any A+ jobs anymore, so I suppose the question, in my case, is moot.

Re:They probably ought to decertify me, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909152)

In my experience, an A+ cert only helps you get the interview. It does nothing to help you get the job. To get the job, you better know your stuff, and if you know enough to get the job, the A+ is a cakewalk you could do backwards with one eye shut.

Re:They probably ought to decertify me, actually (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909530)

but the key is that you could. with lifetime certs, I'd hope any employer would ask for certificate and date earned. that would indicate something if there was no intervening work, training, or schooling related to the cert.

Non-renewing certs are worthless (4, Insightful)

Spittoon (64395) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908816)

If the certifying authority doesn't require renewals, or some sort of ongoing training in order to stay certified, then the hiring managers will/should start requiring it. "When did you get your certification? What have you done since then to maintain your current knowledge of the field?" IT isn't like Ancient Literature. What you know today will likely be obsolete tomorrow, and any body that wants to certify qualifications in such a changing environment needs to take that into account. Sounds like they wanted to realize that, but people who just wanted a meaningless cert on their CV wouldn't let them do it.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909074)

"When did you get your certification? What have you done since then to maintain your current knowledge of the field?"

Well, I'm not sure about you but the fact that I've been steadily employed in the field in roles that require skills far beyond what the cert is proof of for over a decade, a list of references as long as my arm, and a professional reputation solid enough that interviews are usually just a formality. But that's just me.

I'm sure you require proof of passing Drafting 101 for all your Architects/Engineers/etc too.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909128)

No one other than an intern gets hired off of a simple certification.

The general progression is that you get a cert and find work in the field. Then, you have two sections on your resume; certifications and experience.

If someone has a CCNA and 4 years working on switches and routers, why should he go back and take the CCNA again? Just so he can verify he knows RIP or CIDR? Two or three simple questions can determine that at interview time.

The people who work in IT generally stay up on current tech better than the certification mills. Those who don't will end up on a hell desk and it will be reflected in their resume.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (1)

rwalker429 (1452827) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909138)

While I agree, the Comptia certs are typically looked on as entry level certifications. They're a starting board before moving down more useful certification tracks, the best of which do require continuing education. Turning the Comptia certs into a renewing structure seems rather silly. Who would bother renewing them in the midst of the constant cycle of the more advanced certification. Let's look at the initial move by Comptia for what it really is... a grab for money. Comptia should leave the A + Net+ and Sec + alone and push advanced follow up tracks that DO require renewal and continuing education. It'd be a lot easier to earn professional respect for newer specialized certs meeting those conditions than to change the community view (whether good or bad) of the + certs. After all, "certifications" are more often about perspective and appearance than actual education.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (2, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909286)

While I agree, the Comptia certs are typically looked on as entry level certifications. They're a starting board before moving down more useful certification tracks, the best of which do require continuing education. Turning the Comptia certs into a renewing structure seems rather silly. Who would bother renewing them in the midst of the constant cycle of the more advanced certification. Let's look at the initial move by Comptia for what it really is... a grab for money. Comptia should leave the A + Net+ and Sec + alone and push advanced follow up tracks that DO require renewal and continuing education. It'd be a lot easier to earn professional respect for newer specialized certs meeting those conditions than to change the community view (whether good or bad) of the + certs. After all, "certifications" are more often about perspective and appearance than actual education.

More importantly, skills that aren't used don't just rust, they rot. Even if you pass your Microsoft exams, if you're not doing it every day you'll simply forget things.

This is one of the reasons why I think certs don't quite work the way industry wants them to -- you can get the cert and it doesn't mean you know what you're doing and it doesn't mean you retain anything a few years later. But doing like Cisco and making you retake the same frickin' exam after your previous cert expires is not the right answer. I find the exams arbitrary and stupid right from the start. The studying part is useful but the exams themselves, ugh. You can study out of Microsoft's own books and be blindsided on the exams.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909428)

Who would bother renewing them in the midst of the constant cycle of the more advanced certification.

You didn't put a question mark at the end, and didn't treat it like a real question, when you were slamming certs, but I'll answer anyway:

Consultants.

I got my MCSE and CCNA and CCDA before ever taking a Comptia test. But I worked for a consulting company, and they needed people that could work on the state's stuff. You had to have A+ to touch a workstation owned by the state. Period. Same with Networking+ for routers and switches and Server+ for servers. I'd be surprised if Security+ wasn't required for firewalls now (vendor specific certs were required then, and I'm not even sure Security+ existed then). So, I went back and skimmed a couple prep books and took all three. Not because I couldn't get a job, but because I already had a job and they wanted me to get them.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (1)

rwalker429 (1452827) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909666)

I wasn't bashing certifications, just putting some perspective out there for these specific programs. I carry the A+ Net + and Security + myself. Your statement about the state not letting you touch equipment without the cert backs up my point. It is the industry PERSPECTIVE on the certification that is important. The state you referenced felt that the strength of those certifications was strong enough to make that policy. That includes the consideration that they are "for life" certifications without a renewal cycle. The certifications themselves are still designed for people with around a year or less of experience in the related disciplines. It just does not make sense for a certification geared at that level to be renewable.

Re:Non-renewing certs are worthless (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909620)

IT isn't like Ancient Literature.

I dunno. Have you ever taken a peek at some JCL or COBOL card decks?

Sanskrit, Hieroglyphics and Cuneiform programmers are still around.

I haven't seen an SNA critter around these parts in a long time, though.

Warning! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30908878)

The new terms on the "for life" certifications give them the right to kill you as termination of contract.

Renewing would be hard (2, Insightful)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908954)

The first thing you do to prepare for a CompTIA test is forget everything you know about computers. Memorize vague and even incorrect answers. Sit in front of a 10 year old CRT that you can feel and see humming. Pass the test. Get a paper certification in the mail a month later and throw it in the safe next to other certs and college degrees... I don't think I would like doing the CompTIA's over again, so I won't.

that would be so much bullshit (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908964)

Certs already have a natural shelf life. Stuff like A+ and Security+ get you in the industry's door. Microsoft certs naturally expire as new products come out. You don't have to say MCSE NT is expired, employers will ask you for your MCSE 2008. And of course you'll try to explain to them that there's no MCSE anymore, it's an MCITP and they'll say "Yeah, well you go and get your MCSE 2008 and get back to us."

Re:that would be so much bullshit (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909156)

Agreed, with one small caveat:

I haven't had to bother with any sort of Microsoft certification since I got (courtesy of a way-previous employer) the Windows 2000 MCSE knocked-out... in 2001. I still have an ancient Exchange 5.5 MCP loafing around in my file cabinet at home, though I just finished building an enterprise-grade Exchange 2007 infrastructure from scratch. When it comes to *nix? I usually just ask them for a sandboxed shell prompt and/or ask them where their test is so I can get it out of the way. (most competent employers do exactly that for *nix-oriented positions).

There comes a point in your career where your resume, work history, and previous employers say a hell of a lot more about what you're capable of than a piece of paper ever will (and considering the mass of cheat mills / brain-dumps / whatever out there, it'll probably give you a better edge than simply saying 'I gots my Em-See-Ess-Ayy' ever will).

If it ever gets back to having to get a cert to get a new job? Then something would really have to shift radically out there, IMHO. Most jobs nowadays are contract-to-hire, which means they honestly don't care what bits of paper you have, since they'll find out in short order what you're competent at during the contract period.

In other words (4, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908976)

They have taken this policy change and turned it into an advertisement.

"If you act THIS YEAR, your certification will be good FOR LIFE! Act NOW!"

They can imply that certifications earned this year will have more value than certifications earned after 1 Jan 2011, because the ones earned this year never expire. Neither cert will be worth bupkus a year after it's granted, but one that never expires probably feels more valuable than one that does, even if the actual knowledge really does expire.

wow (2, Interesting)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908978)

Here in NY the degrees acan include the cisco cert classes. So, besides learning the tech you learn business skills and other things that you don't learn in a cert course.

Experience (2, Informative)

SirBigSpur (1677306) | more than 3 years ago | (#30908980)

I have always considered experience more important than CompTIA certs. Not to take away from the ability to get these certifications but I found the 3 years of IT experience in internships I had accumulated before graduating with my BS in CIS to be a more valuable asset.

My 1337 386 skillz are still valid! (4, Funny)

Tmack (593755) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909012)

W00! this means my A+ from 1995 is still good! Im gona make mad $$ since I know how to boot DOS and unplug keyboards and monitors... I even know how to install a 386sx and 30pin simms!

(not really, Im lame cause I never got my A+, just a job as a sysadmin)

Re:My 1337 386 skillz are still valid! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909204)

Just pulled out my A+ card dated 4/7/98.
Still valid.
And yes the test I took was on DOS/Win 3.1.

(In 1998 they still didn't have the Windows 95 test available).

Re:My 1337 386 skillz are still valid! (0, Troll)

klocwerk (48514) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909212)

Same boat here. I have no certs, I've just been working in IT for over 10 years now with my 1337 skillz.

If a potential employeer overlooked my resume because it doesn't have any certs on it, it's likely not a place I'd want to be working anyway.

Re:My 1337 386 skillz are still valid! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909608)

If a potential employeer overlooked my resume because it doesn't have any certs on it, it's likely not a place I'd want to be working anyway.

And that's just stupid. The last job I got where I had access to those who applied for it, there were over 100 applications (I suspect that the job I have now was created for me personally and they interviewed one and only one person, but I'm not sure). If you are in there with claims of experience and no certs to back up your abilities, they'll push you to the side. Not because they think certs are required, but because certs show a dedication and well-roundedness that the companies like to see. And someone who runs around saying "I wouldn't want to do some arbitrary thing like certs or timecards because I'm above that bureaucratic crap and they should just see my greatness through my resume, even though it's lacking compared to others because I don't take effort to independently verify basic skill levels" isn't someone they'd like either.

OK, fine, but there is value to recertification (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909158)

By 2016, anyone with the lifetime cert without recent experience will be hurt.

I gotta hurry (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909172)

do they give cirtificates to people graduating high school in 2013 at the moment?

The new meaning of "Lifetime Certification" (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909192)

It used to be that CompTIA's cert never needed renewal.

Then someone realized that a "lifetime" technology certification is as valuable as 25-year-old bread, CompTIA changed to say you'd need re-certification periodically.

But, of course, that didn't fly with the armies of A+ drones who paid good money for their "lifetime" certification.

CompTIA's new position is, once again, the A+ is good for "lifetime". However, they're sticking to the position that technology moves too fast for an old cert to be still good.

The compromise position? Once enough time and progress has elapsed since your cert was issued, CompTIA's elite certification ninja team assassinates you. Your cert was, therefore, good for your "lifetime".

Re:The new meaning of "Lifetime Certification" (1)

DarkofPeace (1672314) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909324)

techs vs. pirates vs. ninjas. I love it.

Re:The new meaning of "Lifetime Certification" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909360)

>CompTIA's elite certification ninja team assassinates you.

Oooooo. How much is the fees for the elite certification ninja? I like the idea of getting paid to assassinate people with certificates. Even minus one of the ass from that is still good.

Microsoft had this same problem (2, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909278)

Being a Windows systems guy, I've kept my Microsoft certifications current over the years. (Say what you will...it gets you past the first resume filter if you ever find yourself in need of a job.) Back when the NT 4.0 certifications were rolling over into the Win2K versions, Microsoft introduced the concept of an expiring cert. Personally, I think part of this was due to the fact that Microsoft significantly increased the difficulty level of the Win2K exams to reduce piracy and try to revalue the credential.

People who had the NT 4.0 certifications freaked, saying that Microsoft had no right to invalidate their credentials. Microsoft reversed the decision, and made the certifications last as long as support for the product did. They still stop offering exams for new people, but people who have the cert keep it.

Does this matter? In my mind, no way. I can think of only one place NT 4.0 skills might be valuable today, and it involves embedded systems with no typical Windows user interface. (The New York subway system uses NT 4 for their fare collection machines.) Most places aren't using it for the general file-and-print server work that the certification was aimed at.

I think it's just the perception of value. Even in 2010, there are a lot of people paying certification mills...I mean, training schools...many thousands of dollars for certification classes so they can "break into the lucrative field of IT." Community colleges regularly integrate the A+, Microsoft and Cisco cert classes into their degree programs. Some of those thousands of dollars are still being paid for long after the cert is achieved. People just don't want to feel they're holding worthless paper. In reality though, things change way too fast to declare that someone is "certified for life" on PC hardware. I find that if I take a couple months to focus on some piece of software, I turn around and hardware platforms have completely changed while I wasn't looking. Imagine an A+ cert holder from 1995 put in front of a quad-core machine with SAS drives, a huge video card that's basically a mini-computer, and other interfaces that didn't even exist in 1995.

Re:Microsoft had this same problem (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909366)

I think it's just the perception of value. Even in 2010, there are a lot of people paying certification mills...I mean, training schools...many thousands of dollars for certification classes so they can "break into the lucrative field of IT." Community colleges regularly integrate the A+, Microsoft and Cisco cert classes into their degree programs. Some of those thousands of dollars are still being paid for long after the cert is achieved. People just don't want to feel they're holding worthless paper. In reality though, things change way too fast to declare that someone is "certified for life" on PC hardware. I find that if I take a couple months to focus on some piece of software, I turn around and hardware platforms have completely changed while I wasn't looking. Imagine an A+ cert holder from 1995 put in front of a quad-core machine with SAS drives, a huge video card that's basically a mini-computer, and other interfaces that didn't even exist in 1995.

A doctor takes continuing education credits to keep up with the field but this doesn't mean his undergraduate degree expires. For anyone doing IT, the A+ knowledge will be kept current by being in the field. And for specific newer tech, there are certs to get up to speed on that. The VMware stuff is getting really hot right now, for example. A previous employer paid for A+. The class itself was a very thorough review of the PC from soup to nuts. It would help bring a young amateur up to speed in the field. I'd been doing this for years so it was really just a very thorough review for me. I think the best part about the class is it lets people see if they'd really enjoy the IT field. If you hated the class, you'd really hate doing this for a living. Learning that is worth the price of admission. :)

Re:Microsoft had this same problem (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909470)

Which is why, at the end of the day, for a lot of IT topics, the only reasonable measure of competency is experience. I have no certifications, but I've put together heterogeneous networks of Windows and *nix boxes over LANs and VPNs, built iptables routers, swapped out damned near everything right down to the motherboard, pulled paper jammed into places in printers that one wouldn't think it possible to even get paper into, programmed in various languages, and am now into the wondrous world of virtualization. I'm not bragging here, because I know plenty of guys in my boat, with no certifications or at least seriously out of date ones. I've finally reached a level of experience where I'm reasonably comfortable that I'd be a given shot at most IT jobs, though for some reason, a lot of firms still think that these certifications, often pumped out the by the bazillion diploma mills that seem to be out there nowadays, show some core competency. I will give a bit of a nod to Cisco and Microsoft certifications. I'm sure the average guy with one of these can bang around in IOS a lot more efficiently than me, or set up a Server 2008 domain with a bit more ease, but I can still guarantee that I can write a routing table or ACL in IOS or install Server 2008 and have workstations logging into it in a day.

Not News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30909298)

I don't know about the rest, but A+ was only ostensibly 'lifetime'. I got mine around '99, and as soon as the new test came out my cert number was no longer listed in the database online (making it impossible for anyone to verify that I ever got it.)
Besides, certs don't give any edge over actual job experience and employers know this. It's not like any combination of CompTIA certification by itself would get you a job at this point.

A+ (2, Interesting)

DarkofPeace (1672314) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909310)

Well looking at many entry level job positions, many still require A+ certification. I agree that if you want a job higher up the tech food chain, A+ is worthless, but then again, thats not what its designed for.

BS degree in Computer Science lasts a lifetime (1)

monk01 (1710518) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909502)

I am glad I went for the CS degree, which will last a lifetime. It took me seven years of hard work and tuition money but worth it. During those years, I worked full time. IMO, a college degree commands more respect than a certificate.

Most certificates are self-expiring (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909576)

I'm a CNE.

Like this cert ever mattered anyway. (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909788)

Certs are a joke. Im a highscool dropout, never taken any certs but I do pretty damned well. When I used to work for a consulting firm and we would get fresh college grads with plenty of certs but a lot of them just didnt have what it takes to make it in consulting. Now I am the the Sysadmin for a very well known private company and still consult on my off time through word of mouth from my previous clients. I specialize in Microsoft and Cisco. I do switching, routing and VOIP specifically call manager. Certs are a joke I have been doing this stuff since I was 14 kiss my ass you corporate mongers.

A+, Net+, Security+ (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909948)

I work as a contractor for a defense agency. Part of the requirements to work here include getting an A+ and/or Network+ and a Security+ cert. If I get deeper in this, I'll have to get a CISSP. Just more hoops to jump through to keep my job.

Certs that teach OSI/TCP model. (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30909970)

I will give a nod to Cisco certs as atleast they make you study the OSI/TCP models in depth with really gives anyone in programming / IT a solid foundation to build off. But I know that stuff already.
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