Why Certifications

I’m not usually one to champion certifications of any sort. However, I am working through my first professional certification program right now (SUSE’s Certified Linux Administrator) and while it can be a slog (especially at this level), I have come up with some justifications for why certifications exist and why a person might find them beneficial.

TrainingI’m hoping this is what happens when I’m on the higher certifications. Sadly, I probably don’t even consider myself good yet. I just wanted to get an image in there.

Alright, back to what I was talking about:

  • For one thing, a certification can mean more money. I consider this maybe the least of the reasons for myself, but I can’t deny that it is a reason … and sometimes a really good one.
  • It sets a baseline for terminology and understanding within a group of people. This is mainly a benefit when working with others. That could be in the larger community, for support, or just in your own job (if you have coworkers doing the same thing). This one might be primary for me. Getting immersed in the terminology of a community is one benefit.
  • You might just learn something. It might not always be what you expect, but so far I’ve learned some rationale for decisions made within Linux (and SUSE/openSUSE specifically). This is the secondary reason in my case.
  • To set yourself apart … maybe. You’re willing to do the work to get a piece of paper. Essentially this is the “get a college education” reason as well. I’m not sold on it, but it is there.

Those are the four I have right now. It is going to be different for each person, and I have labeled the two which are most important for me, but there are reasons. What other reasons can you think of?

Leave a comment and let’s keep the discussion going!