Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MCSE Certification - Purpose Or Profit

In this article we're going to take a shot at the entire MCSE certification process to determine if there is really a purpose to the procedure other than for Microsoft to make a profit.

When networking was in its infancy certifications were a luxury to say the least. Only a very few were certified, with Novell being the leader in the field. In the early days the Novell system was very stable and didn't change much from year to year. The reason this is brought up is because when Microsoft worked its way into the networking arena, stability was the last thing that the Microsoft systems had. From year to year their systems would change so drastically that within a very short period of time, an MCSE certification was close to worthless.

Some would argue that the constant change, or as they would like to call it, improvement, in systems was simply to provide purchasers with the best possible solutions for their businesses. While there may be some truth to that, one can't deny a very simple fact. Microsoft is in the business of making money. By constantly improving their systems, they not only require businesses to purchase new equipment but in turn, they also require the technical people who work on this equipment to get re-educated. All of this translates into more money in Microsoft's pockets.

But there is more to this than just making money, though ultimately that is the bottom line. Beyond that there is control and Microsoft has it. Because of the hype surrounding the MCSE certification and Microsoft's products in general, the companies who hire the technical people to work on their systems have latched onto the MCSE certification as an easy, no brains, way to accumulate as many resum├ęs as possible. As a result of this, an MCSE certification has become sort of a guild license. This in many cases is simply a false measure of competence, especially for someone with no experience, that ends up denying a qualified person with no certificate a job. While many MCSEs are competent there are many people out there who don't have that piece of paper but who are more than qualified to do the job. Ironically, many of the people who contribute to Microsoft's own Windows 2000 magazine do not own certifications.

Another thing you have to ask yourself about these certifications. If they are indeed so important, is why are so many courses and exams offered for huge discounts and in time frames where you can't possibly learn everything there is to know to do the job correctly? The answer can only be that Microsoft is simply concerned with making a profit. Otherwise they would not allow people to complete courses and exams in time periods that in no way would leave them qualified for employment.

No doubt the arguments will go on and Microsoft will flatly deny that this is the case. As to whether we will ever really know if this is purpose or profit, it is impossible to say. But the evidence does point to Microsoft simply trying to line their already bulging pockets.


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