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Certification as an aid in securing work RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I am considering doing a certification such as MCPD with the aim of finding a software development job utilising the .NET technology.  I've been a software engineer since 1997 working in the UK defence sector and in that time I have worked on a couple of projects utilising VB.NET and C#, probably amounting to I'd say 2 years experience.  I've also had experience (about 2-3 yrs) working with C++.  However, gradually over a number of years I have unfortunately let my skill set become obsolete with the result that I'm finding it hard, if not impossible to move into software related roles in other sectors such as finance because other applicants skills and experience is much more up to date.  A key problem seems to be that here in the UK, recruitment agents are reluctant to shortlist candidates whose experience with technologies is not an almost exact match for jobs advertised and also bang up to date.  Thus, like many others in similar positions no doubt, valuable software development experience gained over many years is overlooked.  So, in order to improve my own standing I am thinking that gaining certification might at least put me in a more competitive position, despite my .NET experience having been gained over 4 years ago.

    I know that many of you out there are IT/software managers with responsibility for recruiting developers/engineers and I'm keen to know whether you think this approach is likely to be successful.  The opportunity to find .NET related work in my company is almost non-existent so that route is not open to me.  The alternative, which I have considered is to just basically train myself by completing some "home projects" but then I've thought that having certification would stand out more on my CV.

    I know that I've waffled quite a bit here and haven't asked for anything clear cut but I would appreciate any of your thoughts and suggestions.

    Thanks.

    Marcus

    Thursday, October 6, 2011 9:31 PM

Answers

  • I think you're absolutely right: I started Windows development using SDK & API, the moved to RAD and finally to Microsoft .NET, that I've started learning in 2002 when Microsoft released version 1.0 of the .NET Framework.
    I've never thought seriously about certification (my commitments don't allow me to take my time for studying and pass exams to get certified) but I think that it will be a mandatory step in the future.

    If you want/need to know something more about MCPD Certification, go to the following web address

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcpd.aspx

    Have a good studying!

    Bye.


    Luigi Bruno - Microsoft Community Contributor 2011 Award
    Friday, October 7, 2011 11:44 PM
  • Marcus,

    sad to say but recruitment consultants are very much prone to box ticking sometimes, and as you've noted if its not the latest skill you quickly fall to the bottom of the pile. obviously anything you can do in this currently climate to make your chances the same as or better than the rest will help. 

    I do believe its too easy to say "oh yeah im working towards XYZ" when everyone else is saying that, but (and im an MCITP tech, not a programmer) surely if you were to get some of the MCPD exams this should back up the fact that you are indeed working towards xyz, within recent history, + going back to the rigid criteria your adding to your skills with something credible and quantifiable, and that you can learn new skills which should at least open up some more discussion with recruiters, and employers. of course that is only the start then theres their own technical tests/interviews etc to satisfy that you can actually do what your saying you can do.   

    cheer up though you do have several things going for you, having a decent work history, and notably for the defence sector which in itself will open more doors than close them, so  don't be too disheartened. 

    - alex mcitp 2008 server administrator (one away from MCITP 2008 enterprise administrator)

    Sunday, October 9, 2011 1:13 AM

All replies

  • I think you're absolutely right: I started Windows development using SDK & API, the moved to RAD and finally to Microsoft .NET, that I've started learning in 2002 when Microsoft released version 1.0 of the .NET Framework.
    I've never thought seriously about certification (my commitments don't allow me to take my time for studying and pass exams to get certified) but I think that it will be a mandatory step in the future.

    If you want/need to know something more about MCPD Certification, go to the following web address

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcpd.aspx

    Have a good studying!

    Bye.


    Luigi Bruno - Microsoft Community Contributor 2011 Award
    Friday, October 7, 2011 11:44 PM
  • Marcus,

    sad to say but recruitment consultants are very much prone to box ticking sometimes, and as you've noted if its not the latest skill you quickly fall to the bottom of the pile. obviously anything you can do in this currently climate to make your chances the same as or better than the rest will help. 

    I do believe its too easy to say "oh yeah im working towards XYZ" when everyone else is saying that, but (and im an MCITP tech, not a programmer) surely if you were to get some of the MCPD exams this should back up the fact that you are indeed working towards xyz, within recent history, + going back to the rigid criteria your adding to your skills with something credible and quantifiable, and that you can learn new skills which should at least open up some more discussion with recruiters, and employers. of course that is only the start then theres their own technical tests/interviews etc to satisfy that you can actually do what your saying you can do.   

    cheer up though you do have several things going for you, having a decent work history, and notably for the defence sector which in itself will open more doors than close them, so  don't be too disheartened. 

    - alex mcitp 2008 server administrator (one away from MCITP 2008 enterprise administrator)

    Sunday, October 9, 2011 1:13 AM