3 Surprising Reasons to Get Certified in Microsoft Server (or any other technology)

So you’ve heard the banter and the opposing opinions about certification. Some folks are all about certification, and others are practically antagonistic towards the MCSE, CCNA, and other certifications. The reasons why people are for and against certification are numerous (and often completely arbitrary or due to the fact they failed the tests), but here are 3 surprising reasons why you should consider getting certified in Microsoft Server (or any other technology, really):

1. Certification is a goal for learning: Pareto’s Law of 80/20 shows up everywhere, including the use of technology. The old adage in IT is that 80% of users only use 20% of any given application or platform. The same is true in Server–shops only leverage what they need, and no one needs 100% of any given platform. In the day-to-day operations of an IT infrastructure, technicians and system admins only learn what they need.

Studying for certification exposes you to technologies and capabilities that your company already has but may not be using. If you don’t encounter new features, you don’t learn about them. When you’re studying for your certification exams, you have to encounter these new features and technologies, like Dynamic Access Control and Direct Access, and learn how to implement them to get past the test.

2. Certified Techs get the job done faster: When the CIO, CEO, or VP of <insert random area of expertise here> goes to a Microsoft event or Lunch N’ Learn to see a new technology in action, they often come back and say, “We just saw X (where X equals a new feature of your platform in play), can you implement this tomorrow?”

(You know this happens. You might have even done this yourself.)

Certified Techs have the edge in getting stuff implemented, because there’s a solid chance they have already done it while preparing for an exam. Studying for a certification exam isn’t just about reading a book–in fact, if that’s all you do, you’ll most likely fail in a huge fireball of faildom. (Is faildom a word? Well, it is now.) You’ve got to have hands-on experience in the technology, even if it’s just in a sandbox or lab environment. Since a Certified Tech had the goal of learning that certification presents, he/she already has the foundational experience to get the desired features working, and yes, sometimes by tomorrow (depending on the technology).

3. Certified Techs are “upgradable”: platforms don’t change that much. Microsoft Server 2012 is still Microsoft Server–but it has new toys!

For example, a server administrator that is certified in Server 2008 already has the skills to get started in Server 2012. Aliens did not come down from Alpha Centauri and morph Server 2012 into something unintelligible. The core of Server 2012 is still Server. Yes, the interface has a new paint job and there’s new functionality, but seriously, you can still open the MMC for Active Directory users and computers, right click and create new users, groups, and computer accounts. You can still delegate control of an Organizational Unit to a junior admin using that cute little wizard.

And sure, a training class to learn the new toys is going to be useful, but Certified Techs have a MUCH shorter learning curve, because they can build on the skills they already have.

So to bring this in for a landing, Certified Techs are way more valuable to any given company because they can typically get the job done faster, can upgrade their skills more quickly, and have a broader and deeper knowledge base than their non-certified counterparts. Yes, on-the-job experience is still valuable and still needed, but who would you rather hire–someone who has hacked their way through and may or may not have the training to implement and maintain the lifeblood of your business, or someone who has intentionally taken the time and effort to get the guts of the technology and can hit the ground running?

Your call.

For more Microsoft Technical Training information visit www.directionstraining.com or call 1-855-575-8900.