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Microsoft Cerification

I don't believe it, yesterday an agent called me about a job requiring microsoft certification, I have a post graduate comp sci degree, as well as an honors degree in mathematics.

When I asked if two degrees was enough the agent said that the microsoft certification was mandatory. On the basis of not having MSC the agent would not submit my resume to the company. She offered to 'set me up' to take the cert test and I dicovered that the agency also happens to sell certification courses. Of course I declined and told them I was not interested in going back to kindergarten.

A friend of mine later got offered the job via another agency without any microsoft certification.

How sneaky is that?

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

If you care enough about it, document it to the employer they may remember and not use them again, that is if they ever did publish the requirement through them.  The 'agency' may simply have picked up who the employer was some other way.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Yeh. People don't generally realise the extent to which recruiters are actually competitors competing against candidates.

The training / certification thing is indeed yet another avenue this occurs. Many large recruiters run large training operations too, where they put people off the street through often expensive courses, then put them into jobs.

They're putting those people into jobs at the expense of other people who would otherwise get those jobs. Needless to say, the new trainees will accept low rates of pay in return for landing a job. The recruiters get the fees from the training, plus the high margins from the placement.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

I'd just like to point out that 2 degrees in anything doesn't mean the same thing as Microsoft Certified.  I'm not agreeing with the practice of filtering based on certification alone, but  Microsoft Certification proves that you're at least somewhat knowledgeable with a specific set of technologies.  A degree (or 2) proves something very different.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Chris, I was thinking the same thing.  Likely the OP wouldn't pass because of the ways the tests are designed.  Perfect world answers required as opposed to what you would really do.  I DO NOT mean to say the OP is not smart and capable at all.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

That's a very old trick, Realist.

For years and years and years folks who wanted to publish books would contact disreputable agents who would send them off to "Freelance book doctors" who would polish up the book for publication.

It goes without saying that the book doctors would kick back some of their money to the agent, and the agent would use a variety of time-tested strategies to take the money and run.

flamebait sr.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Although it doesn't appear to be the case in this instance, sometimes a shop may be trying to attain the status of a particular Microsoft Partner, which requires so many MCSD's and do many MCSE's or MVP's or PDP's or BVD's or whatever. In these cases some sort of MS certification would be mandatory.

Geoff Bennett
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

So, why doesn't MSFT require certification when they interview?  Because its irrelevant.  Period.  I heard of some goofy crap, but this is really up there.

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

I first was going to say that there are jobs for which MSFT certification would be a better qualification than a grad degree in CS. 

I then re-read your post and saw that your friend had been offered the post w/o the MSFT cert requirement.

Two thoughts:

A - they are running a scam for their cert classes.

B - Cert is on the requirements list, but the other agency knows that the company can either be talked out of it, or ask otherwise qualified candidates to pass the test within a certain timeframe.

or C - the other agency is totally wrong about the requirement.

or D - your agency knows the jobs sucks or that you would be a very bad fit.

Contrary Mary
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

"not interested in going back to kindergarten"? 
Its quite possible that having a Microsoft cert is more akin to real world experience, where academic credentials are much more theory and science.  Now, its possible you have a bunch of experience working with microsoft technologies, and if thats the case, the recruiter is moronic. 
  Now, if you are just out of school, it might be worth getting a microsoft cert even if it is easy.  Sometimes having an advanced degree doesn't help until later in a career, where you'll be evaluated for a senior position or management. 

Vincent Marquez
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Yes, I think MS Certs are worthless for the main part. If there was some way of gauging real world experience and applying certification to that, then they would be worth something. There are simply too many ways to pass MS cert tests without actually having any experience. I'm sure there are heaps of us who have experienced so called "certified" professionals who couldn't find their "buttocks" with both hands. The unfortunate thing is, this poisons the certification for the few who genuinely have the experience and attained the cert.

For mine, the MVP program is about the closest thing to a genuine certification from MS.

Geoff Bennett
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Certifications are better than a college degree in preparation for the real world, but neither is really any indication of how well you will do. Someone who has a significant amount of experience needs neither.

Brad (
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

On the subject of Agents, how does one get out of the six month clause that says that any work for the client must go through the agent.

I've been at this current role for two years and the agents still milking it, and it makes me sick.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

"There are simply too many ways to pass MS cert tests without actually having any experience."

Just as there are many ways to pass a CS degree without actually having any knowledge (the Math degree is a whole different ballgame in my experience, and nothing to sneeze at).
Apples and Oranges I'm afraid. You might be a great apple, but that doesn't help when you want some OJ.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Since I passed my MCP for SQL Server 7 after reading 1 book and having never actualy used SQL Server iteself, I'm afraid it isn't exactly a good indicator of real life experience.

That was studying the honest way - it would have been even easier abusing brain dumps or transcender exams.

That said, the qualification did help me get a better job.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

My experiences are similar to Ged Byrne's. I took a class ("official Microsoft Cirriculum"), which basically went through a wordy (and expensive) instruction manual of sorts, with lots of bullet-points covering every feature of SQL Server software. Without ANY context to apply this knowledge to, it was very hard to retain it, let alone truly understand it.
Using BrainDumps and Transcender (thank god for transcender!), I passed the 4 exams required for MCDBA certification.
Now, having the certification has helped me a little bit (it's just "one more thing" to have on your resume, but I have never gotten a job based solely on the cert.
Having the cert. doesn't hurt, and it may help you edge out someone without one, but what really counts is your real-world experience. Of course I guess the same could be said for a CS degree...

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

The original poster doesn't say what the job or Certification was.

If it was a sysadmin job then his degrees are so much paper. I would hire somebody with five years experience over somebody with an MCSE and six month's experience any day, and would hire the MCSE with six month's experience instead of the Computer Science and Math double grad without blinking an  eyelid.

If it was for a programmer's job on the other hand it would seem a weird request.

For a DBA's job I would think it depends. Somebody out of college should know the SQL and database essentials, and would have the programming background to pick up the front end language easily, but would be pretty stuck on the vendor specific points.

As to the other person getting the job, it could be that the requriement was a scam, it could be that the requirement was put there by HR and the other recruiter knew how to get round it, or it could be that the other candidate had experience that made thei requirement moot.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Vomiter, it's difficult to avoid the 6-month restriction that recruiters place on working directly through the employer.

Mostly this is because they have a similar contract in place with the employer, and would take the employer to court if they discovered you had been hired directly.

However recruiters are full of hot air. Their businesses are based on excessive control and lies. Their contracts are often excessive and unenforcable. I know several cases where contractors have called their bluff and won in court cases.

Recruiters generally are loath to take court action because it forces them to reveal their business practices in more detail than they like, it angers the employer and it deters other contractors from working through them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

"Just as there are many ways to pass a CS degree without actually having any knowledge"

Just the point I was making. If you need a good VB coder, I would pick someone with at least 3-4 years of serious VB coding on similar applications. That way they are bound to have struck similar problems and possibly addressed them, as well as having found all the little gotcha's in VB development.

A guy with a CS degree is going to be all full of "but in college we did x", and an MCSD is going to give you "but the MS books say you should do x". What you want is a solution, not posturing.

Geoff Bennett
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

"For mine, the MVP program is about the closest thing to a genuine certification from MS. "

Does that mean I should ask you for a job? ;-)

I'm a MVP for Windows Server / Security

Robert Moir
Thursday, April 10, 2003

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