* Insert Vendor Here * certification – A big deal?

by | Aug 28, 2014

Source: Pixabay

So one of OptimalBI’s SAS administration service selling points is that all of our SAS admin’s are certified, which meant I needed to pull finger and sit the exam (Yay – I am now certified in SAS Platform Administration in SAS 9).  This got me thinking, what is the big deal about certification.
For me, I have never placed an emphasis on being certified.  Is that because I absolutely hate exams? Maybe, or just because I have never had the need in the past.  I suppose I was in the camp of nothing beats experience, but now I see the benefit of being certified (with the relevant experience).
Being certified or having certification

  • Gives someone with experience some credibility that they know a particular level in a subject.

I have around 15 years’ experience using SAS many of which focused on SAS administration, but how much of that is relevant today?  Well now that I am certified is SAS platform Administration I can back my experience up with certification in one of the latest releases (the exam was based on SAS 9.4 M1 – another story – make sure you know what version the exam is based on, I thought mine was for SAS 9.3).

  • Encourages upskilling and training.

While studying for my SAS admin certification I stumbled across a SAS option that I didn’t know existed and the previous day was asked how to do something which this option solved.  If I wasn’t studying to be certified I would never have found this option and our customer wouldn’t have had successful outcome.

  • Gives the industry a universal standard for measuring subject knowledge.

However, just because someone is certified doesn’t mean they are an expert in the topic, it may mean they can prepare well for an exam.  In the past I have been involved in candidate recruiting process and have seen candidates with relevant certification but couldn’t apply that knowledge in the real world.
For me certification is not a big deal on its own, however paired with the relevant experience can be useful to demonstrate and give confidence in someone’s understanding of a particular topic. 
Barry Stevens, Preventer Of Chaos

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