Certification – Which certifications to pick – Tech Levels
We are exploring key considerations for when you are choosing a certification. Today’s consideration is the disparity between levels of technologies.
So, when you’re looking at a certification you may be forced to choose between new technology and current technology. It can get quite confusing. New technology is bright and shiny, and it is often easy to get the passion to study it. However, the problem with this is your career path may not wind up heading in that direction. New technology is fickle and can change or even vanish before it gets stable enough to become mainstream. Consider the risk. If you think that this technology will be around for at least five years, it may be worth learning deeply enough to get a certification. If not, you should probably keep an eye on it and see where it goes.
Current technology has the opposite problem. It’s easy to tell if it’s on your career path, but since it’s been around for a while, it may be hard for you to get up the passion needed to succeed. Also, you run the risk of deprecation. Many technologies (basic languages in particular) expire after a certain period of time, so by the time a technology stops being “new”, it has also lost a certain amount of it’s lifetime.
Of course, it’s never possible to foresee the future, so in the end, you will just have make a best guess and go with it. However, there are a couple things that you can do to mitigate the risks. First, try to pick a general technology, not something overly specific. The more specific something is, the bigger the risk that you are specializing in the wrong area. That said, don’t pick something so general that it’s so watered down that it is useless. Secondly, you might want to hedge your bets. If you see the industry going down two possible paths, pick a certification in each path. That way, you will gain learning that will help and still have a good story to tell.