rank the IT certs

Oracle, MCP, MCSE, CCNA, CCIE, CCNP, CISSP, SANS GIAC, Linux+, Security+, RHCE, MCDBA, MCSD, Java, Solaris, PMP

We all know experience is the most important thing. But lets say you get guys with similar experience and they have all sorts of different certs slapped on their resumes. How would you sort them out in terms of value and respectability?

Also, do you plan to study for any?


very good. I've been very impressed by the few CCIE's I've read stuff from or interacted with.


vastly overrated. A cert that's going to jump the shark.

Too many people taking it, too easy to pass.

the 3 years experience required is it's only saving grace, but it's not enough.


the GSEC is better than CISSP, but not perfect. There are a lot of people who are somewhat unhappy with the cert, but they would probably all agree it's better than the CISSP.

the other SANS GIAC subject-specific certs are decent.


legalistic to the extreme, mainly about weeding out C and C++ programmers who want to do 2 weeks of Java and think they know everything.

not useful at all in determining if someone is a hotshit coder....


not the best cert, but most people with it have a lot more experience than the cert reflects and are old-school or young hardcore Unix-heads.


decent- more conceptual and general Linux, without a single distribution focus like the Red Hat one.


IMO, SANS GIAC, CCIE, possibly CCNP, RHCE, LPI are the only really worthwhile certs I've seen.

CCNA is good as a stepping stone.

I have not been impressed with CompTIA. Especially, Security+ sucks a fat donkey dick. I could have passed that after the first 3 months I started reading about security... that's not good.

My experience is only with Unix/Linux certs

1. RHCE. The only performance based cert. You have to really know a wide range of stuff to pass. Unlike MCSE's there aren't too many of them. I think it's the best Unix/Linux cert. So what if it's RH-centric? Every business uses RH anyway. (never taken)

2. IBM AIX - reputation for difficulty and scarcity make this one valuable. (never taken)

3. Sun SCSA and SCNA. Really "Solaris part 1" and "Solaris part 2", except they make you pass 3 exams for 2 certs. Medium difficulty. Easier than LPI II, for example. But you want it because Sun is everywhere.

4. LPI I and II. These tests can test your knowledge of esoteric details. For instance, do you know the option mount -o nolock? usermod -e? Even if you do, they're not common options. A lot of LPI questions are like this. People who have taken LPI I+II and RHCE think LPI is easier. This one is much cheaper to take, especially if you fail- $100 an exam (4 exams) vs. $700/exam. LPI I doesn't have a single focus, but DOES have RPM or DEB focus (this is new; when I took it I had to know both). DEB focus is basically debian focus. RPM is basically RH anyway. So I don't agree about vendor neutrality. LPI II is more vendor neutral and requires you to know pieces of both DEB and RPM. Overall worth it, but I'd rather have RHCE.

5. HP-UX - Scarcity of HP-UX makes this cert least valuable. Difficulty is about the same as Sun SCSA.

One of the most useful things about a cert may be that it drives you to study.

MCSD.NET = stud

hey seanster, how would you compare the MCSD.NET to the Java 2 exams?

Rob, honestly I haven't ever seen or heard anything about the Java exams. If I made my living hacking Java code, I would get those certs. IMHO, if you are a Java programmer and you get certified, it will help you to get the interviews. Experience is of course the best thing you can have, but certifications can put you on the top of the consideration list versus others who do not have them.

These are bigger in the Networking / Telecom World:


Nortel Certified Architect
Nortel Certified Design Expert
Nortel Certified Support Expert
Nortel Certified Design Specialist
Nortel Certified Support Specialist
Nortel Certified Technology Expert
Nortel Certified Technology Specialist


Service Provider

M/T-series E-series
Expert (JNCIE) Overview  
Professional (JNCIP) Overview Overview
Specialist (JNCIS) Overview Overview
Associate (JNCIA) Overview Overview

the SANS ones are very hard to get, well the silver not so much, the gold you have to write a practicum, and from what I remember, they are given a lil bit more respect than CISSP...


i'm starting to see the nortel stuff in my cisco world.


The Juniper certs arent too bad, well the FWV cert is which ill be taking in a couple of weeks...

I only really know the network side of things these days, but I'd say the CCNA is almost worthless despite being a pretty good cert. You have a good base if you pass the current test.

CCNP+ expreience seems to be the benchmark for network engineers at large companies these days.

Most of the CCIE's I've met are contractors. A well respected cert but most have years of networking experience. (FWIW I had to fix a lot of mistakes a CCIE made doing a redundant 6500 setup. A cert doesn't grant you attention to detail apparently)

Juniper certs are good but are respected by juniper shops. Cisco shops might recognize them or just go "huh?" HR folks will be 100% clueless because they aren't known outside of networking circles.

I got a lot of hits on my resume after getting PMP

Tell me more about this pimp thing ;)

ppl still care about certs these days?