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Certifications are not useless

Here I come with a common question that many people don't want to answer: are certifications in computer science useless? My answer is NO! Let's see some pros and cons of taking a certification. They don't guarantee you to be hired by any company but sure they will give you great preparation and expertise on the topic of your choice.

Pros

  • You will be an expert on a certain field, technology, or programming language
  • No matter how the final exam is structured, be prepared, and become an expert anyway!
  • A big challenge will wait for you when you will take the final exam

Cons

  • Certifications are NOT insurance about finding a job for sure for many reasons!
  • Certifications will let you become an expert but don't expect the real-world will be 

Common scenario

You spend money and time studying technology and then take a final exam. You pass the exam and you are very happy! That's right: you sure are an expert on this technology and you can do more to become an expert in the real world too.
After these steps, you say that many companies do not require a certification or you don't find any company that wants to hire you because you have this certification. This happens every day, especially in software development.
A PHP or MySQL certification would be great and it can prove your knowledge but  

When certifications are really required?

If you work on networking or cybersecurity, having a specific certification would be great and I think a company cannot ignore it. Be aware that all or almost all certifications on these topics expire and you have to renew them by taking a new exam.
Another good example is the Agile workflow field: having a Scrum developer or Scrum Master certification can be also great if you want to work in a company that uses and believes in strong Agile practices. Even these certifications expire and you have to renew them.

About certifications that expire

Well, that's a good issue and a question you will ask yourself before even thinking to start study for a certification: do I have to renew my certification after 1 year for example, and do a new exam? Some certifications need to be renewed some others not. You will easily search this information on the Pearson Vue website or the platform that will give you the exam voucher.
If you have a topic that you like very much and the related certification will not expire, you have won! I love PHP and years ago I have taken the Zend PHP Engineer certification. It always valid for a specific PHP version and you can choose to renew it by upgrading the certification for the newest PHP versions.