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Get A Job Without Certificates?

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January 1, 2016

Given that certificates such as CompTIA, CCNA, MCSA, CEH etc. are only valid for 3 years, and have to be paid for each and every time, I was wondering if one can get a job without them. Are they really necessary? I've heard that some employers test you on the spot if you do not have them. Also, would it be possible to work as a freelance pentester? I think its absolutely possible to get a job without taking the tests. I think your chances are better if you do take the tests though. I'm actually redoing my Website \[Computer Services Company\] taking out the S.E.O. section and replacing it with Security so I can do pen testing for people that want or need it. Most things are possible. :) Certificates helps a lot in case of getting jobs. Most HRs prefers it. But if you can show your skills without certificate you can still be hired. you can get, all depends. Usually, having a cert or two will make it easier to consider you for employment. One of the things employers are going to look at is education and experience. Certifications count as education as all of them require courses, studying, training, and testing. When employers are looking at your resume, they want to see a mix of education and experience. If you have certs, the amount of experience you have may not need to be as high since you have proven that you know the material. On the flip side, if you have a good chunk of experience (Let's say 5-10 years) and no certs, it's still possible to get that cushy admin job since you've shown you can stick with something and you probably know more than most people straight out of college. In short, yes, you can get a good IT job without certs. It just may take a while longer. Hollywood27kt is right. Usually having a few certs makes obtaining employment easier. They not only count as education, but certifications also show an apititude to grasp difficult, or complex, material and concepts. One really important aspect that hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread is that with certain certifications like Cisco's certs for example, when employers hire people with Cisco certifications, Cisco gives them a discount on products for hiring employees that have their certification. Its a win-win for both employers and you. You have something desirable for your own educational purposes, and the employer has a two-fold reason to want to hire you. 1) That certification is a validation of a baseline of skills that you possess, and 2) They get better deals on licensing, support, and products from Cisco. It really depends on the job description. Most will say either the certification is required or preferred. Even the ones stating "preferred" will give your resume a closer look if you hold the cert and might land you an interview. The certs typically get you through the HR screening and then the interview should give the employer a reasonable level of assurance that you have those additional skills they are looking for. Personally, for the amount of time and and money I invested into certs, I'm not about to let them lapse. :) That is just me though! As far as the pentester question - you can certainly be a freelance pentester, but be very careful that you have your agreements in order that protect you in case anything goes wrong during the pen test. Most companies would probably prefer to outsource to an actually company, but I am sure there are those that don't mind working with a freelancer. It matters where you land. Some friends of mine are working without certificates and they are really good at what they do. Sure it is possible but ofc a bitter harder to get their interest. But once you are able to show them what you are capable of and what you know it should be no problem to get a job. Yes, you can get a good IT job without certifications. You better have ample experience though. I started working for the "DOD" 3yrs ago and was hired without any certs. Must employers make it a requirement to obtain the certs within a 3-6 month time frame, and they pay for your exams as well. I had to get: A+ , Sec + , and MCP @profe where did you work before you worked at the DOD that you got the experience. Other than fixing my own and friends/family computers it seems as if everywhere wants experience at a company before hiring for basic IT. I'm assuming it would be much more difficult to get experience for infosec and work at DOD. Tal3123, Prior to my DOD position I had my own Computer Networking Repair Business for at least 2yrs and did contract work for recruiting firms. If you post your resume on, IT recruiters will contact you for job opportunities. Also, while going tech school I was an intern for a year and half working under the system admin. Internship and volunteer work do work for getting your foot in the door. If you go to my profile, I posted my resume. Feel free to ask questions or take ideas. Anybody is welcome. Bottom is we are all here to help each other advance ! I had a certificate for MCITP, Server Networking Infrastructure. It helped me to get a job in IT (helpdesk, at the time). Now I'm working in a networking security role with that one (now expired) certificate, and no others. So yes, it's possible. After a while, your experience becomes king. It comes down to the demonstration of skills because they are many people who have certifications and there are some that do not have certifications yet both types of people have the ability to do the job. During the stages of obtaining an interview or during an interview, most employers attempt to get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate so technical assessments are often used to "gauge" the candidates. Always remember this: certifications show that someone can complete something while experience shows that someone can do something. I got a Novell CNE and a Banyan CBS (shows you how long ago) but haven't bothered re-certifying or getting new certifications since. Just learn it and do it. You'll be fine. Just be good in that skills, with experince and so on, you are good to go.There is this guy who was good in hacking not script kid, but good in hacking. He got to this bank,without no certificate,they just tested him and he performed more than those with the certificate. Today he is highly paid, they even negotiate his salary
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