I recently passed the VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization exam. The last VMware certification I took was in 2007 when I passed the VMware Certified Professional 3 exam. It’s nice to have the latest VMware certification under my belt.
VMware certification is a little bit unique, because it requires one-week training and hands-on experience. You will find it difficult to pass the test without hands-on experience. Most of the questions in the test are real life scenarios and you can only understand the questions if you have encountered them in real life.
Some people argue the value of certifications. They say that certifications are useless because most of those people who have them are inexperienced. I agree that experience is the best way to learn in the IT field. I can attest to this after almost 20 years in the field. But IT certifications are valuable for the following reasons:
1. Not all IT certifications are created equal. While some certifications are easier to pass just by reading books, most IT certifications such as VCP (VMware Certified Professional), CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), and RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) certifications need a high degree of experience to pass the tests.
2. Not all people are lucky enough to have access to expensive hardware to gain hands-on experience nor lucky enough to be assigned to IT projects to get the maximum exposure. Some people take the certification route to get knowledge and experience.
3. Not all IT knowledge is learned via experience since not all scenarios can be encountered in real life. Some are learned via reading books and magazines, taking the training, and passing certification tests. For instance, if your company’s standard is Fiber Channel for VMware datastore, the only way to learn about iSCSI datastore is to read or get trained on it.
4. IT certifications are solid evidence of your career. It will be very useful, for instance, when looking for a job. Prospective employers do not have a concrete evidence of your accomplishments, but a solid and trusted IT certification can prove your worth.
5. And finally, seasoned IT professionals, just like me, take certification tests to validate our knowledge.