What is a "paper" or "vapor" MCSE?

A. Let's clarify the differences between a "paper" and "vapor" MCSE. The vapor MCSEs have used all the brain dumps and answer-specific study materials to pass their tests. They are living a lie and the real world of IT will flush them out fairly quickly.

The paper MCSEs have earned the certification legitimately but have minimal experience. They have followed the rules and deserve our respect. Realistically, we can't trust them to be working in a critical production environment for a while, but the fact that they lack experience should not classify them as dunces, either. With some sanity checking of their work and mentoring along the way, these folks can be contributing members on your IS team. They might bring some great qualities to the table from a previous career, such as people skills and troubleshooting abilities. Perhaps they will need to pay their dues on the help desk for a year or two, and the majority of them realize that, too.

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