Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Certifications For High School Credits In Australia

timothy posted about a year ago | from the vocational-training dept.

Education 126

kanad writes "High school students in Queensland, Australia would be able to do Microsoft certifications online and get credits. The exam fees will be free for students and courses include Microsoft's products like Sharepoint and SQL Server. Ostensibly this is for making kids ready for the workforce. but Australian IT entrepreneur Matt Barrie CEO of freelancer.com has criticised it for vendor lock-in and Microsoft's influence in the educational system."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

More worthless paper! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45484593)

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

[CuIdAdO] = EMERGENCY! READ THIS *NOW* = [AcHtUnG] (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45484807)

-=[MoD PARENT uP]=-

Re:More worthless paper! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45485931)

Next up... PhD in burger-flipping from Mickey D University?

Sharepoint and SQL? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45484631)

I've been hearing that high school curriculums have been increasingly dummied down, but I had no idea it was this bad.

Re:Sharepoint and SQL? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#45487561)

I've been hearing that high school curriculums have been increasingly dummied down, but I had no idea it was this bad.

Its worse than this. Many of them are using Mac's.

Accepting Microsoft certifications as credit is a vast improvement.

Not good (5, Insightful)

bravecanadian (638315) | about a year ago | (#45484647)

Certifications are no substitute for fundamentals.

The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

Re:Not good (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45484691)

The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

Of course. A high-schooler getting a MS certification now will be ready to spend a hefty chunk of student-loan cash to get the up-to-date version as soon as their next graduation rolls around, just to avoid looking like they've been ignoring the real world while in that ivory tower.

Microsoft comes away profiting and looking like a hero.

Re:Not good (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#45484927)

Any company that requires current "certifications" for people who have been working years in the field deserves exactly what they get. I haven't been certified since my Novel days, and haven't even been interested since. IF people doubt my qualifications based on what I have been doing for the past 20 years, fine by me, I don't want to work for them.

The exception is people who are outside hires for tech support, who want to toss out "We only employ certified people". Okay, that's great, but again, you get exactly what you should expect, marginal competency and "by the book" work. Do not expect creative solutions to impossible problems.

Re:Not good (2)

ausekilis (1513635) | about a year ago | (#45485521)

There's a good argument for getting a certification, but only certain ones. For example, most major contractors as well as the DoD look to Security+ or the CISSP. It provides a common ground for all IT focused personnel and ensures they have a strong knowledge base. Is it closed minded? Definitely. A Masters in CS, CE or even an MBA (with IT focus) will be completely ignored, even if the individual proves to someone with a CISSP that they know their stuff. However, the CS program is different than CE is different than MBA, and certainly differs from school to school.

IT has certifications. Medicine has certifications. Education has certifications. Child care has certifications. Some of those are used in conjunction with degrees and further pad the salary, others are used to ensure that the person has had training commensurate with the duties they are/will be performing. In others, failure to have a certification or ability to acquire it is grounds for legal action or termination.

If not for a certification, how would you propose that I, as an employer for a large corporation, filter through the 1000s of resumes coming across my desk without having to interview every single person?

overall we need to move to some kind of badges sys (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45487181)

overall we need to move to some kind of badges system if just to make the over all certification and degrees systems more flexible and less of stuff that can get padded out to fill an credit or have stuff jammed into an credit to make it fit.

The A+ in theory was to be about hardware but has been loaded with windows questions. Now under an badges system it should be more hardware based and less os based. As in an pure Linux peoples should not get any penalty for missing windows stuff in an test.

Same thing for dell, ibm and other vendor hardware certs.

For stuff like windows / OS vendor stuff pure software people should not fail hardware based questions.

Also due the way enterprise uses software times tables for tests / new ones repleting old ones should be based what is in use over all in most enterprise use as well having some tests still in the system for people who want to get an badge covering legacy os and hardware.

Also MS should not be able to make it so an enterprise pro fails an windows test due to metro based questions that cover stuff they don't work with or use.

Re:Not good (2)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#45487611)

The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

Of course. A high-schooler getting a MS certification now will be ready to spend a hefty chunk of student-loan cash to get the up-to-date version as soon as their next graduation rolls around, just to avoid looking like they've been ignoring the real world while in that ivory tower.

Erm, three things wrong with this.

1. Australia does not support the idea of predatory student loans.
2. We're talking about high school, which means the student is too young to apply for any kind of loan (including HECS).
3. Given the number of "exam prep" programs out there that allow you to rote memorise the questions and pass the test without actually studying any of the course material for free, this isn't really an effective revenue stream (doubly so considering the exam fees are waived for high school students).

Now the real problems are:
1. Vendor lock in. Microsoft is trying to get kids locked in at a young age, so is Apple. Both are just as bad for students, Apple's slightly worse as Mac skills are useless in the job market. I've done some hiring in the Aussie IT market recently, we've learned one of the key questions is "do you use Windows or Mac at home" and if it's Mac, they go to the bottom of the pile. We've hired to many people without basic computing skills not to do this.
2. Students aren't actually learning the fundamentals, yep they might be able to point and click their way through a sharepoint install but they dont understand what its doing.
3. As I said above, the students can simply download the exams off the internets and memorise them. Easy course credit without any real work (or real learning).

Re:Not good (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45484767)

This isn't about the certs as much as it is getting kids programmed to use Microsoft products.

Like drug dealers, they need to capture the next generation. The first is always free.

Re:Not good (2, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#45484939)

The core concepts in Word and Excel apply to other free and commercial word processors and spreadsheet software. Yes, the certifications benefit Microsoft more than other vendors, but the important question is whether the MS-based certifications are a net benefit to society as a whole.

Re:Not good (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#45486337)

And the important answer is "no".

Re:Not good (1)

nzac (1822298) | about a year ago | (#45488185)

This is a poor example as the alternatives copy Microsoft Office. No one is copying T-SQL so a MS chosen curriculum will encourage lock-in.

Re:Not good (2, Insightful)

hamster_nz (656572) | about a year ago | (#45484983)

Like churchs, they need to capture the next generation. The first hit of relegious salvation is always free.

FTFY.

Re:Not good (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#45485663)

To further the comparison, at least in the US, the numbers I found indicate $97B annual donations to religious organizations [usatoday.com] , which also includes a substantial amount of aid organizations who provide charity services besides "spreadin' the faith."

Microsoft's annual revenue in 2013 was $78B [wikipedia.org] , for pure selfish capitalism. So, Microsoft rakes in a comparable amount of money to all religious-affiliated donations (including legit aid/charity work) combined in the "highly religious" US.

Generally, I'd rate Microsoft's accumulation of wealth and power (to spread their own "religion" of lockin to Microsoft products) as a greater threat to global wellbeing than all religious institutions combined (who at least do a reasonable mix of altruistic good alongside self-serving power grabs, which is 100% the goal of a for-profit corporation).

Re:Not good (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#45485921)

This isn't about the certs as much as it is getting kids programmed to use Microsoft products.

Granted they will learn on Microsoft products but many of the skills and concepts will be easily translatable to other products, the real question is why hasn't the Linux foundation (or any of the other free software foundations) gotten in on funding and providing courseware for high schoolers?

Transfer of skills (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45486285)

Sure, that is technically possible but if you grow up with a 'brand' you will tend to stay with it for life.

Re:Transfer of skills (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#45486339)

So you think the idea here is that companies will change their products to microsoft ones to suit the graduates?

Re:Transfer of skills (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45486797)

If you are too stupid to understand how brand loyalty works, i am not going to waste my time explaining.

Re:Transfer of skills (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#45487189)

I understand brand loyalty but this is about training users for the workplace, the workplace doesn't adapt to graduates, it's the other way around.

Re:Not good (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#45487299)

the real question is why hasn't the Linux foundation (or any of the other free software foundations) gotten in on funding and providing courseware for high schoolers?

Are you for real? You want free software _foundations_ to fund high school courses?

Perhaps the companies that use free software could... you know, like Red Hat (oh... they do?), IBM (wait, they do too?), and Microsoft (wait a minute....).

Re:Not good (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#45487467)

You want free software _foundations_ to fund high school courses?

Well to produce a curriculum and courseware, it's all a valuable contribution to furthering the cause.

Perhaps the companies that use free software could... you know, like Red Hat (oh... they do?), IBM (wait, they do too?), and Microsoft (wait a minute....).

In that case perhaps they need to get into high schools too, or maybe they already are.

Re:Not good (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#45486327)

And just like drugs, Sharepoint can cause irreparable damage to the brain.

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486559)

Oh just shut the fuck up already. When I was a lad my school was filled with Apple computers because Apple was doing the EXACT SAME THING as Microsoft. Ever since then though, I used mostly Windows and sometimes Linux machines because I preferred them. Apple wasn't able to "capture" me in anyway useful way, because I made my own decisions later. People can do the exact same thing if introduced to Microsoft products. Heck it's not as if LibreOffice is comparable to MS Office anyway (Impress is so fucking buggy compared to Powerpoint, no self-respecting student would bother - it's better to just pirate it if you don't have the money).

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45487493)

Rather major difference here. You weren't getting certifications with those computers, merely building up familiarity.The keyboard layout of a PC is quite similar and the favored GUIs are pretty similar (or were). Anything they teach on computers at schools is mostly going to apply everywhere. Meanwhile, while some of the fundamentals will be the same, the goal of a certification is to teach you all the details of the particular product (and as few fundamentals as possible), which expires whenever there is a new version.

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45484863)

Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

Agreed. Too bad public schools don't help anyone understand much of anything. These worthless certifications will just exacerbate the problem.

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45488043)

Public schools teach *most*people to read, hand-write, write formally (e.g. essays, letters), handle basic mathematic equations, and other things Ican't recall offhand.

Idon't know about schools elsewhere, but in the US, our public schools have to take every student brought to them and do the best with what they've got -- they can't cherry-pick students or increase tuition as needed to attract top-notch teachers like private schools do. They're not perfect, but it's kind of surprising they're doing even as well as they are under the circumstances.

Re:Not good (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45484899)

Certifications are no substitute for fundamentals. The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go. Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

Which is why you will be employable in ten years and they won't. So hush, don't tell them! ;-)

Re:Not good (1)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | about a year ago | (#45486175)

The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

I'm a Certified Novell Engineer, you insensitive clod!

and the over load of theory and big blocks of time (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45487093)

and the over load of theory and big blocks of time in the college system lead to people who can be clueless at doing the hands on work.

Why the negative? (4, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45484681)

How is getting an MCSE any more or less useful than taking any other elective in Shop or Band or Home Ec'?

They still have to take the three R's to graduate. You don't get to skip your civics class to take one of these...

Re:Why the negative? (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45484707)

Generally speaking, a shop class will teach you skills that are useful for tools not made by Dewalt, band will be useful for playing instruments not made by Yamaha, and Home Ec will provide skills that are useful outside of Rubbermaid products.

Re:Why the negative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486733)

Ah, but very few people will be spending most of their working hours with tools, or musical instruments, or home activities. A very large proportion of people will be working in front of a computer, using Windows and Office, and will often go back home to a computer running similar software. Microsoft products are far more pervasive and used by the majority of people compared to the niche areas you mentioned, hence there's value in focusing attention on them. Even when newer versions are different in some way, the basics very rarely change (Office 2013 has the same ribbon style as 2007, Windows 8 has a near identical desktop to Windows 7 - the start menu is just one small component, etc).

Re:Why the negative? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45487583)

How to use Windows and Office are going to fit that category but AFAIK, there are no certifications for those. But I think that you'll find more people are going to be using tools or raising kids than using sharepoint.

Re:Why the negative? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45487511)

While I'm not a fan of the idea but it really depends on how the course is written. If there's more to it than navigating a twisty GUI that is going to vanish in five years then it may convey some stuff that will apply to other things. When the MSCE came out there was a lot of criticism about it being rote learning with zero understanding but I doubt that still applies.

Re:Why the negative? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45484713)

*rabble* *rabble* Because it's not open-source... hate anything Microsoft... *rabble* *rabble*

Re:Why the negative? (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#45484759)

This isn't just about Free Software.

There are other brands of commercial software too. Microsoft isn't the only commercial software vendor in existence. Even their own payware applications suffer from severe UI churn.

Even if you have Microsoft blinders on and love them, fixating on a single release of a single brand of product is problematic.

The "hate anything Microsoft" approach does not require Free Software.

Re:Why the negative? (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45484991)

*rabble* *rabble* Because it's not open-source... hate anything Microsoft... *rabble* *rabble*

I didn't get a HARUMPH! outta that guy...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN99jshaQbY

Re:Why the negative? (0)

just_another_sean (919159) | about a year ago | (#45484727)

Why the negative?

Because it's Microsoft. As soon as I read the summary I thought - of course it was criticized, it's Microsoft!

But I do understand the knee jerk reaction to any and all things Microsoft, it's simply been ingrained in the IT industry for so long now.

But on the other hand, I agree with you, if some student is interested in learning a real world work skill than let them. It would be nice if they would offer Red Hat certifications or some other competing certifications as well but, who knows, maybe if this goes well they will.

Re:Why the negative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45484745)

If it was Apple or Linux, it would be the greatest idea since sliced bread.

Re:Why the negative? (3, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45485009)

If it was Apple or Linux, it would be the greatest idea since sliced bread.

Ya think? :)

If the title were Linux Certifications For High School Credits In Australia people would be shitting themselves in glee. [More so than usual...]

Re:Why the negative? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45487661)

The linux stuff is more likely to be able to be applied more generally than a tightly focused MS course - for instance a book on unix shell scripts I got out of a discount bin in a bookshop in 1998 is still useful while a book on MS Access 2.0 from around the same time is a doorstop. You've got a point if the linux cert was on Gnome3 (or Gnome2) or a similar tight focus. If it was I'd be right there with you with the criticism.

Re:Why the negative? (2)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#45487369)

As soon as I read the summary I thought - of course it was criticized, it's Microsoft!

Oh, FFS. You are blind if you think the reason Microsoft have been criticised and are still criticised is because it's a knee-jerk reaction. Look at their track record.

I say this as a Vista user, and I quite like Vista. No, honestly, there is at least one. I admit I used Windows 8 for the first time today, and have since changed my opinion. Now I believe every operating system is the equivalent of beatifically joyful tears of unicorns, except for Windows 8.

Re:Why the negative? (3, Insightful)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about a year ago | (#45484737)

How is getting an MCSE any more or less useful than taking any other elective in Shop or Band or Home Ec'?

They still have to take the three R's to graduate. You don't get to skip your civics class to take one of these...

It's less useful because you didn't take Shop where you only learned how to use Milwaukee brand tools. You didn't take Cooking and only learn to use KitchenAid products.

Re:Why the negative? (2, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45484853)

...and learning how to use SMS or SCCM or App-V gives you skills that translate to HP or BMC. Learning Hyper-V gives you skills that translate to Citrix and VMWare.

You can't be a certified Ford mechanic without picking up some of the skills to be ACE certified...

Re:Why the negative? (0)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45484923)

You pick up some degree of skills that are helpful, yes. You also pick up other skills that make it harder than to just learn from scratch. This is especially true if a company has a tendency to ignore neutral standards.

Re:Why the negative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45485367)

Current MS certs for server stuff are all about the PowerShell

Re:Why the negative? (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about a year ago | (#45485325)

...and learning how to use SMS or SCCM or App-V gives you skills that translate to HP or BMC. Learning Hyper-V gives you skills that translate to Citrix and VMWare.

You can't be a certified Ford mechanic without picking up some of the skills to be ACE certified...

Not really. Vendor-specific certification courses mix up the common basics with vendor-specific crap and focus a lot on the latter in exams. The point is to rush students to mastery of the one tools covered in the course. As a result, students don't know what to look for in other tools because they can't tell the difference between the basics and vendor-specific crap from the certification course.

Re:Why the negative? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45485913)

I've only taken a few certification courses in the last couple of years -- the certifications themselves weren't important to my employer, but the training was.

My most recent was for a vendor-specific identify management product, one that provided tap-and-go and reduced sign-on. While obviously the certification had countless vendor-specific pieces of information in it (their ports, their procedure to recover the console), it had concepts and ideas very similar to their primary competitors product, and to "how apps work in Windows" in general.

There will always be people who take a class, take notes on the ports and vendor-specific procedures who will always be a paper tiger, but people who actually get something out of classes can take broad concepts away from even specific classes (like vendor specific identity management products).

Re:Why the negative? (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | about a year ago | (#45487271)

Exactly.

All the people bragging about how they don't need certs make me laugh. As a router guy I have lost count of the number of uncertified engineers I've worked with who claim total competency yet somehow have major blind spots for things they've never implemented in production. Guess what, if you did your studies you'd at least know the basics and get up to speed quickly.

Esp in R&S the focus is often very strongly on fundamentals. I don't care if you learnt OSPF via CCNP or JNCIP both courses will teach you the fundamentals and the information is completely portable.

Re:Why the negative? (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#45487419)

Which is shitty. Frank Lloyd Wright could never have become an architect now, for example, no one would employ him.

Re:Why the negative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45487569)

Which is shitty. Frank Lloyd Wright could never have become an architect now, for example, no one would employ him.

why not?

Re:Why the negative? (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#45487711)

Because he dropped out of school. You'd be very lucky getting a job as a draftsman now without a degree, let alone not having other qualifications. Frank Lloyd Wright didn't graduate high school, yet still managed to get a job as a draftsman.

Re:Why the negative? (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45484739)

Shop, band, and home ec' classes are all general-knowledge classes, whose principles apply to many aspects of life later on, regardless of what career path you choose.

An MCSE certification is only useful in one particular field, under very particular circumstances. It looks good to parents, because every individual parent is going to be happy that their kid has a promising future in computers, but the reality is that most of those high-schoolers won't actually take a computer career, and most of those that eventually do will have another several years of college to learn other general skills before they'll (maybe) use that certified knowledge.

Re:Why the negative? (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about a year ago | (#45484901)

An MCSE certification is only useful in one particular field, under very particular circumstances.

And those circumstances won't exist anymore by the time they graduate. Way back in 6th grade, we were first taught DOS and Windows 3.11. By 8th grade, my elementary school upgraded to Windows 98. At high school, we were mostly taught programming and basic system administration on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. While I went to university, Vista wooshed by without leaving much of a trace. Before I graduated, even the biggest and most conservative corporations started switching from XP to Windows 7. And shortly after I got my first job, Microsoft released Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, the latter of which drives me crazy every time I have to touch it at work. Now tell me, how exactly is my knowledge of DOS, Windows 3.11 and Windows 98 relevant today?

Re:Why the negative? (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#45486637)

Because you can navigate the command prompt and write batch scripts, are familiar with driver configuration concepts (still relevant today if you're developing them, admittedly pretty useless just as a user of PnP hardware), know what Windows binaries look like inside (assuming you used the debug program available at the time), understand hierarchical file systems and the Windows registry, are familiar with Windows shortcuts files, are familiar with Windows' built-in programs (really, many of them haven't changed that much since 98), probably have pretty good keyboarding skills (that was one of the main things I learned in elementary school computer classes, and I'm probably within five years of your age), and plenty of other things, both vendor-specific and not? Computer skills don't just evaporate with each new OS release, or even switching between completely different systems (although it sometimes feels that way when I use a Mac, and yes, I use both Linux and FreeBSD...)

Re:Why the negative? (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45484955)

...but the reality is that most of those high-schoolers won't actually take a computer career, and most of those that eventually do will have another several years of college to learn other general skills before they'll (maybe) use that certified knowledge.

Good. Them most of them won't choose those electives over Jazz Band.

MCSE? (3, Informative)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year ago | (#45484755)

MCSE: Minesweeper Consultant and Solitaire Expert
---
They get school credit for that now?

Re:Why the negative? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#45485445)

How is getting an MCSE any more or less useful

Because Shop classes will teach you a skill which isn't connected to a sales force of marketing drones. Besides, once you learn how to use a table saw and glue clamps in woods class, you can build on that foundation to create irregardless of where you buy your wood or glue. That's not the case with Microsoft.

Microsoft is still doing certifications? (1)

H3lldr0p (40304) | about a year ago | (#45484753)

I thought we'd put that behind us finally. That everyone, including the HR drones and PHBs, understood that those things were meaningless.

Or am I getting another chance to play my favorite interviewing game again?

Educational insitutions and vendors (5, Insightful)

wumbler (3428467) | about a year ago | (#45484787)

Several years back, I gave a few guest lectures at some local univesities about network security. Intrusion detection was an important topic. There are some very nice open source IDS out there, Snort obviously being the most well known one. So, what does the university do? Instead of using Snort as a basic teaching tool, they instead went for a proprietary solution of some mid-teer vendor. As a result, they passed on a perfectly good opportunity to let students take a look 'under the hood' and see how the inside of such a system works by examining the source code, limiting them to just fiddling with the UI of the proprietary vendor. Shameful!

In the local press we can always read wonderful accounts how Microsoft "donated" millions of dollars worth of software to local schools. Of course, it's never reported that there is hardly any cost to Microsoft in doing so, definitely not millions, and that in return they get well-trained Microsof-monkeys entering the work force, knowing and demanding to only work with Mircosoft tools. Shameful!

It began a long time ago when Apple started to be "generous" with discounts and donations to schools. Microsoft and other vendors are following this "proud" tradition: Schools miss the chance to teach actual understanding of fundamental principles and instead degenerate their courses into nothing more than vendor training. There is too much lobbying, wining and dining and backroom dealing going on here. Where open source should make huge inroads, instead the vendors are doing their best to lock in entire future generations.

What's more dangerous than corp. vendor lock-in? (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45484811)

Career vendor lock-in. Microsoft wants to get 'em young and turn them into advocates in the name of self-interest, who will keep renewing their certifications and shelling out money to do it, and who will continually keep corporations from switching because it's what they know.

Re:What's more dangerous than corp. vendor lock-in (0)

CaptainAx (606247) | about a year ago | (#45485143)

Microsoft is the McDonald's of the IT industry.

Re:What's more dangerous than corp. vendor lock-in (2, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45485227)

I'm not sure McDonald's should take that insult from you.

One thing about McDonalds is that they continually bring in new products AND kill old ones that people aren't buying much anymore. They also change things up to fit demand, they compete on price, they are willing to vastly change their menu to suit locales (India is a great example), avoiding the ignorant push for a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.

I really wish Mcrosoft were mroe like McDonald's.

Re:What's more dangerous than corp. vendor lock-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486093)

and what will the Linux community do? nothing, just complain about it. its always the fucking same, microsoft or apple do something and the linux camp complains because they dont have a horse in that race. here's an idea: how about you compete with this sort of thing. we are always told about how innovative the open source is but they always end up last to market with a me-too product whether it is laptops, smartphones, tablets, games consoles, where is the revolutionary new product category that this "innovative" community has created and not just followed?

granted there are exceptional developer tools that have been produced but the results are just for developers, by developers but people *will* get excited about open source and want to contribute and build great stuff *if* they see somebody leading the way and producing real innovative products, instead that is drowned out by a mess of me-tooers, in-fighting and elitists.

Cisco does it to. (3, Informative)

mcbridematt (544099) | about a year ago | (#45484963)

I was able to do the CCNA program as a unit [vic.edu.au] for my high school certificate (VCE) here in Victoria, Australia. It was delivered through Cisco's Network Academy - to get the credit you had to pass the tests on netacad, but you still needed to sit the formal certification exams afterwards if you wanted the actual CCNA certification.

Re:Cisco does it to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486447)

QUT does this too. Or well used to when I initially started there. Did CCNA/CCNP/CCVP.

Re:Cisco does it to. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45487729)

After going through that do you think it would have been better to do something general on networking or is the Cisco stuff portable enough?

Re:Cisco does it to. (1)

Jamie Ian Macgregor (3389757) | about a year ago | (#45487783)

I've wondered about the cisco certifications, did MCSE instructor led courses for the first couple of modules of win2kserver but really quickly realised only a small part of that would be useful in the future. are the Cisco certs better in this regard? ie, are the skillsets still relevant/translatable after 5 years?

Courses Include (4, Informative)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#45485067)

I think some slashdotters might need some fundamental reading education.

The summary says "Courses Include". It isn't just Microsoft.
Article actually says "including SAP, Microsoft and Cisco".

So long as there isn't exclusivity, the fact these are being offered free to students is a good thing. Yes there is a bit of lock in on the corporate side, that is why they do it for free. Why do you think there are "educational" copies of software for just about everything? Out of the goodness of their bleeding hearts? Heck I know we used Sun systems because they donated the lab to our University (not that I ever did again).

High School gives you the basics, University gives you fundamentals. College/Technical school gives you certifications. To get a job, many go get certifications post university, I did. I am looking at getting another (Oracle, ya ya I know). However the fact that you can do it in high school, it counts as a credit, AND it is free? That has got to be a good thing. So long as it is not exclusionary (though I would imagine to get credit you would have to be a little discerning). Yes you have to keep up on certifications, or work in the field, but they are probably more or as useful as some of the non-core garbage offered in school these days.

Re:Courses Include (2)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about a year ago | (#45485179)

SAP?!

Won't anyone think of the children?! This has to stop!

Re:Courses Include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45485337)

If you get SAP certification, is that equivalent to taking a semester of German?

Re:Courses Include (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#45487767)

I did some cisco and microsoft certifications in highschool.... more than 15 years ago. Not for credit.

They were super useful in terms of getting summer jobs, and some practical IT experience so that even if you don't intend to be an IT guy you aren't completely clueless about how all of this shit works. It's not like universities do a great job of telling students what IT resources are available to them or how to use them. It's all well and good to have free access to piles of software (either to use or through academic licensing) but most of the time students, even CS or software engineering students, have no idea what any of the corporate stuff is or could do for them until after they've done their co-op and are ready to graduate.

Being able to go into a lab as a grad student, and know enough about IT to know what the hell ITS was even offering (if only to know vaguely what all these things do) was hugely helpful. Most people have no idea at all, and knowing a bit about networking and hardware and various software options made a lot of difference throughout my years.

Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something better (2, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | about a year ago | (#45485103)

Of course the predictable chorus of anti-Microsoft content has popped up.

My suggestion to you folks is that if you have such issues with Microsoft offering course content to schools, go ahead and come up with an alternative and make it happen. It should be easy to come up with a course, develop all of the materials, train the instructors and keep it up to date.

Until then, deal with the reality that the large majority of the world runs Microsoft software. There is a Windows application to support practically every business process in existence. It might not be the best solution every time, but it is a solution.

When I was school, Novell was the dominant vendor. I got my CNA through an ROP program. That class exposed me to a lot of relevant information. Everything from the OSI model, to file system permissions, to client / server architectures, etc. I never thought, "Oh my God. I am being impoverished by learning about technology that companies are using in the real world!" At 16 years old I was excited to be working with servers and clients and learning more about computers than I was able to learn at home. My Novell specific knowledge is worthless now, but the fundamental information that I got from the class, and the real world experience that I got is something that I use daily.

Who cares if Microsoft is providing the curriculum? Kids are being given the opportunity to expand their knowledge of computers and networks. Kids are naturally curious. If the Microsoft way of doing things sucks, they will come up with other ways to do things.

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45485265)

O'Reilly's "Practical Programming" + a Python interpreter, even if it ran on MS Windows, wouldn't be the ecosystem lock-in that a Microsoft cert is.

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486097)

Well said. It is a great way for kids to get exposure to IT in the real world. Whether they are anti-MS or not, it is a good primer for what they will likely face with IT challenges in their careers. Whether you like MSFT or not, how many of us have had to get their *nix systems to work with Active Directory/LDAP? Mild experience with MSFT always helps...

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about a year ago | (#45486273)

"My suggestion to you folks is that if you have such issues with Microsoft offering course content to schools, go ahead and come up with an alternative"

The whole fucking reason for this 'free' offer is to keep alternatives out of Australian schools. How about the Australian educational establishment coming up with their own material, like they used do it BM, that is before Microsoft.

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (2)

SteveC5 (3440305) | about a year ago | (#45486713)

The industry will value an MCSE over a Austrialian educational "certificate of completion" any day.... Is MSFT also investing in trying to get people to keep using their products? Sure.... The whole industry does and has been doing this.... Cisco is doing it. I remember back in the 80's Apple had a program where you gave your school your grocery receipts and they would "donate" equipment based on how much in receipts were collected. I believe IBM did this as well... Students will either stick with MSFT or their IT passion will take them to other ventures regardless...

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (1)

wumbler (3428467) | about a year ago | (#45486887)

This is not a failing of the companies. When I said "shameful" in my earlier comments about this, the shame applied to the educational institutions.

The companies just do what they have to, somewhat without compassion, but still: Corporations are in it to make money, whether we like it or not. Fairness, morals, ethics and concern for the common good are completely irrelevant in that endeavour. We created corporations, now we need to live with the fact that they are going to do whatever it takes to make money, including using tactics we might consider "unfair". However, in some cases we have the option to resist their behaviour. This is one of those cases.

It's the schools who are too eager to go along with a commercial product. For some reason or the other: Sometimes outright bribery, sometimes ignorace, often a mixture of both. Unless you go to a trade school of some kind, I do not believe that it is the job of the public schools (and even universities) to push particular vendors' solutions on their students. Teaching and understanding the actual underlying fundamentals, issues and technologies is what should be paramount. And in the case of networking or any computer engineering/IT courses, these fundamentals are best illustrated with open source. Nobody says that the teacher can't also mention some examples of commercial implementations, but the exploration and understanding of the concept should not be tied to a particular vendor's product.

The industry will value an MCSE .. (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about a year ago | (#45487279)

"The industry will value an MCSE over a Austrialian educational certificate of completion" any day", SteveC5

Commonly known in the industry as a Microsoft Certified Sandwich Engineer Certification, for anyone not familiar with the term ...

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (1)

dave562 (969951) | about a year ago | (#45487123)

What free alternatives are they keeping out of the schools? I would be interested to see what OSS focus curriculum is out there.

What makes you think that they come up with their own material? I am having a hard time believing that they wrote their own history books, math books, etc.

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#45487291)

The whole fucking reason for this 'free' offer is to keep alternatives out of Australian schools.

What alternatives? Does Apple or the Free Software Foundation or the Linux Foundation offer some sort of training like this? If not then maybe they should, Apple certainly offers their products at significant student discounts and companies like Adobe do similar things. They invest in things like this and perhaps the Free Software crowd needs to as well?

How about the Australian educational establishment coming up with their own material, like they used do it BM, that is before Microsoft.

What makes you think that would be any different?

Re:Don't like Microsoft?Come up with something bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486471)

And perhaps we can have BP come in and teach classes in energy sustainability next...

Simpsons already did that (3, Interesting)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#45485109)

This reminds me of the future school in the Simpsons that was sponsored by Pepsi. I believe credit could be gained by answering any question with Pepsi.

Re:Simpsons already did that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486871)

The girl got partial credit for saying there WAS Pepsi displayed.

Beats taking "Seminary" (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45485125)

Could be worse. Could be like every school in suburban Arizona or Utah which has a Mormon/LDS temple built adjacent to it, offering Seminary as an elective.

You need something in the neighborhood of 20-24 "credits" to graduate high school these days -- that's 6 half credit classes per semester for 8 semesters/4 years. Of those 24, 16 or so might be actual book learnin'. The rest are PE and electives. Some of those electives are forced: 1-2 half credits of a foreign language, 1-2 half credits from (pick 1: shop, cooking, sewing), 1-2 half credits from music/art. And the remaining 4 are generally pretty open.

I'd rather them earn a Microsoft cert in even the dumbest of Microsoft technologies (Sharepoint?) than go next door for further indoctrination by the Mormons.

...or maybe not. Mormon make great neighbors.

[Aside: "Two" is the answer to "How many Mormons do you take fishing with you." If you take one, he'll drink all your beer.]

Re:Beats taking "Seminary" (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#45486839)

Could be worse. Could be like every school in suburban Arizona or Utah which has a Mormon/LDS temple built adjacent to it, offering Seminary as an elective.

Here in Georgia, the high school I went to shared part of a lot with a small church (no street between the buildings, and separated only by a few yards). Eventually the school bought out (or emminent domained?) the church and it got turned into the electronics/robotics and theater building.

[Aside: "Two" is the answer to "How many Mormons do you take fishing with you." If you take one, he'll drink all your beer.]

Down here in Georgia, we say the same thing about Baptists. And I went to a Baptist university :)

Sharepoint and SQL Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45485189)

How much does it matter which specific word processor, spreadsheet or database a student at high school level is taught? Even if semantics are different between vendors most underlying concepts are universal and transferrable. If curriculum focuses on basics of databases rather than TSQL semantics I don't see a problem.

As for SharePoint... other than being a lesson in what happens when you allow office monkeys lose to solve their own problems in the most locally optimal way imaginable I can't imagine what the educational value of SharePoint could possibly be.

For more (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#45485519)

Why not do this for all certifications, CCNA, CCNP, Linux+, A+ etc... Just for Microsoft certifications really is showing a large bias towards other systems.

Next, Next, Finish (1, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45485841)

And now you have a useless certificate falsely claiming that you know something about computers as a MSCE

The brilliant part is that Australia tax money will pay for this trash!

Re:Next, Next, Finish (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486303)

yes it is from microsoft so clearly it must have nothing to do with computers and you wont learn anything because it is microsoft and not GNU/Linux herp derp

if you believe the australian government is paying for this then that really makes GNU/Linux look sad: you cant even give it away.

Re:Next, Next, Finish (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45486813)

First fallacies, let me see how many I can find. yes it is from microsoft so clearly it must have nothing to do with computers Straw man. The company that it comes from has no bearing on what it is, nor does it have anything to do with the value. and you wont learn anything because it is microsoft and not GNU/Linux Red Herring. Linux was not mentioned, also see your first fallacy. herp derp ad hominem.

Finally, you end with a fabrication and yet another straw man! TFA states that the certifications are "free for students", not "free for the Australian government/school systems.

Congratulations, you have created two whole sentences lacking any grammatical correctness. Even better, in those two limping sentences you have five easy to spot fallacies. I'm sure your parents are so proud of your idiocy!

Re:Next, Next, Finish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45487257)

it seems a fitting response to your baseless trash but feel free to explain how it is a useless certificate falsely claiming that you know something about computers as a MSCE and how the australian government pays for it and we shall see how many falsehoods you come up with.

Re:Next, Next, Finish (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45488049)

You write so poorly I have no idea what you are really trying to state or ask. Are you trying to ask how the certificate is useless? Simple, ask any IT employer what they place value in for certificates. Almost any employer will tell you that what a high school educated person would qualify for, is useless. Many employers will decline people with such certifications simply because it provides people with a false sense of self worth. As an entry level person having a RHCE, RHCA, CNE, CISSP, etc.. are worth something to employers, and none of those are Microsoft certifications. Very few entry level people would ever have such a certification however, because they are all tests of real world knowledge.

Are you trying to claim that Microsoft is giving away certifications without any cost to Australia? Prove it! The article does not make such a claim, and Microsoft does not have a history of giving away certifications. Making such a claim is absolutely baseless. The article states that "students" do not pay, it does not claim that Microsoft does not receive funding from other sources for both training materials, software licenses, or the certificates and registrations.

It appears by your comments that you lack any formal education, so it is safe to conclude that you have no "real" job experience. It would also be safe to assume you believe or hope that having a Microsoft certification will make you a "Professional". I know the TV and Radio commercials tell you that, so it must be true right? (Don't answer that question, it is what we call a "rhetorical question" in the real world).

More likely however, is that you are just an anonymous shill in some foreign land being paid to argue how great Microsoft certifications really are. Go eat some rice and bother people on Reddit.

Re:Next, Next, Finish (1)

SteveC5 (3440305) | about a year ago | (#45486845)

How many recent highschool grads are you going to hire for a critical IT role regardless? I'd rather have something I could put on my resume to get my foot in the door. May even help get a part time "helpdesk" job while going to college. As long as they know this doesn't guarantee "guru" status, I don't see how this hurts them...

Microsoft: the Scientology of technology .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45486199)

How Cults Work [cultwatch.com]

It all makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45487287)

Corporations, especially the big ones, never do anything unless there's money to be made either directly or indirectly. Yes, even acquiring goodwill is a method of potentially increasing sales.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?