Letter to the editor

Required certification does not guarantee knowledge. Required certification can give a false sense of security (it may tend to reduce the level of vigilance).

Most information technology professionals learn on the job. Changes in technology can make required certification training outdated within a short time frame. I'm sure providers of IT training would support this concept, but I personally believe good intentions do not necessarily translate into more secure systems.

Mandatory certification requirements tend to reduce the pool of available IT workers. This creates an artificially low supply of workers, which could spike compensation costs and force agencies to cut corners to meet deliverables in an environment of constrained budgets.

Certification programs tend to be of a higher quality when they are elective rather than mandatory in nature.

Fred Childress

Information and Telecommunications Systems Management Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Department

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