Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whither Certification?

An interesting series of posts appeared on Larry Daniel's blog regarding certification.

"The problem with certifications and most licensing exams, as mentioned in the post, is that they have little to no correlation with real world work."

As I was reading the post, I was thinking back to when I was training for an MCSE in the NT days. I remembered the first words spoken by the instructor, "This class focusses on giving you the knowledge and tools to pass the MCSE tests. Before you say it, I realise that much of what you will learn in this class is wrong, from an operational standpoint. With that in mind, absorb the materials for the test, then forget it all and stick with what you know works once you get back to your office."

From my own experience, certifications tend to be a revenue addition for a particular vendor. They have little to do with proficiency. For some groups, maintaining your status as "certified" requires that you pay annual membership dues. Some focus on a single vendor's product line. For others, the certifications expire shortly after new versions of their app are released to the market.

I am hoping that the trend will change soon. I've heard good rumours coming out of the IAI and the AFMA regarding vendor neutral certifications for video/image analysts. I wholeheartedly support these efforts.

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