Is it true that all the paper MCSEs out in the job market have wrecked my chances for employment?

A. This is a fairy tale. The MCSE certification is alive and well! It is important to realize that on any given weekend, thousands of people are going to SAT, teacher certification, contractor license, and insurance license prep courses so they can pass the tests for their particular license or certification. Every industry with certifications or licenses faces these same issues. If the certification had indeed lost all its value, then the salary studies would reflect a sharp downturn in the average MCSE salary. The opposite has been true: The salary figures have been stable.

If someone wants to cheat the system, or companies want to turn out lists of actual test questions, neither you nor Microsoft can stop them. Their efforts to shortcut the certification process only further validates the value of the MCSE. If the MCSE were a dead certification with no employer value, these people would find another target.

You can call the cheaters vapor MCSEs because they will soon be discovered and dismissed. Most employers have probation periods and few impostors will survive these trial periods. Employers might be more cautious about hiring today because of the impostors, but that doesn't mean companies aren't hiring anyone with MCSE after her name. If you can do the job, you will succeed. Let's stop worrying about the vapor MCSEs. Let's focus on what we can do and not worry about the pretenders.

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