IT education: knowledge vs certificates


Our company is a system integrator established at the market since 2010. Availability of skilled and experienced specialists is the main factor for any IT company.

PC Mag: It has been said that certificates and knowledge level are almost not connected… Do you agree with this declaration?

VL: The question “Do we need certification?” does not even matter for consulting companies. First, the number of certified experts defines company’s positions in vendor ratings (e.g. you cannot receive Silver or Gold status at SAP without specialist with proved SAP certification). Certification is also necessary to participate in tenders.

СAnd second, certificates of developers or consultants indicate to a customer that integrator can resolve the business tasks and fulfil the project.

PC Mag: Are there many customers who can contract a company without checking their available certificates and expertise?

VL: Certificates are even more important when company starts working with a new product. E.g. now we see SAP cloud solutions available at Russian market. It’s natural that integrators need to certify specialists to be able to work with these new software applications.

However, we understand that certification aims at already skilled specialists – some tests are just to complicated for regular employees. Therefore, before certification tests the team has to go under training for certified solution or application.

And still, we can see quite many certified specialists on the market who look baffled when facing real challenges.

PC Mag: How would you assess the average level of knowledge of a typical person answering your job posts?

VL: Hard to tell that we have a typical specialist. As a rule, candidates for different positions (grades) show different theoretical and practical skills. However, in consulting we have a set of non-formalized job requirements directly related to their work: they need to handle stress situations, follow deadlines, adapt to non-standard project environment.

These standards are also adopted in our company. And if compared to them education and certificates of a future employee go into the background.

PC Mag: Which education centers do you cooperate with? Satisfied with quality of education?

VL: Predominantly we cooperate with SAP training center. The quality of training depends on a trainer: his/her experience and personal skills.

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