“Imagine; you know a very good pilot, but he doesn't have a pilot's license. Would you still get on the plane with him or her?” According to Patrick Kersten, Program Director at Computrain, this example shows the importance of certification in a nutshell.
Why is a certification important? In this article Patrick Kersten explains Computrain’s view on this subject. Not only from Computrain’s own point of view as a Dutch national IT trainer, but also from the perspective of customers and their employees.
“At Computrain, we greatly value certifications. After all, we are an educator and part of a larger organization that offers accredited training. When composing our training portfolio, we therefore opt for official, certified training, instead of third-party certifications”, explains Patrick Kersten.
What if there is no official certified training available in a specific field? “Then we will look for an alternative or will try to develop it together with a partner,” says Patrick Kersten. “After all, we always want to continue to meet the demands of our customers as best as possible. And if they are in need of specific knowledge and skills, we will try to offer these in the most appropriate certification training. To give an example: we have developed a T-SQL certification together with Knowledge Pillars. We have bundled this certification program with our SQL training courses, so that our students can continue certifying.”
In the eyes of Computrain, certifications are very valuable to customers. In the first place because of the reliability that radiates from certified employees. Patrick Kersten: “In the case of an IT administrator or architect, the same applies as with a pilot: do you want to put your valuable IT infrastructure in the hands of an employee who seems to be very good at his job, but cannot prove this with the required papers?” Certifications provide a common reference framework and are prove of an unambiguous level of knowledge in a certain area. When you combine a certification with practical experience, you will have a good foundation for professionalism within IT and related fields.
“Sometimes I hear from customers that they have doubts about the value of certifications. Can certified employees apply the theory in practice? And is the tested knowledge still up-to-date?” This certainly applies to IT, a field where new features follow each other at a rapid pace. “Fortunately, we can remove these customer concerns,” says Patrick Kersten. “Due to the popularity of cloud solutions, certifications are increasingly focused on a function rather than a specific IT solution. And once you have obtained a certification, you can update it periodically so that knowledge and skills will grow along with technological developments.”
“Today's certifications are more futureproof than those of the past. At Computain, we are dedicated to keep it that way,” says Patrick Kersten. “We support our vendors, such as Microsoft, in keeping exams up-to-date, both in terms of content and form. In addition, we contribute to finding the balance between basic and update certification programs: how do we keep update certifications attractive, without compromising the value of the certification?”
Because Computrain greatly values certifications, all Microsoft training courses that Computrain is offering and for which an exam is available, include the corresponding official Microsoft exam and a Measure Up mock exam. Patrick Kersten: “This way we encourage our students to actually convert the acquired knowledge and skills into an official certification. In doing so, we are ensuring that our customers have the right knowledge and skills in-house – and can prove this. That is important, because this remains the great added value of a certification; it is evidence of a personal ability.”
Do you want to know how learning partners like Microsoft are continuously improving their certifications? Read the article Microsoft: “Certifications support organizations in their digital transformation"
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