Letter to the editor
Following is a response to an FCW.com poll question that asked: "Do you think federal information technology workers should be required to earn a systems security certification?"
Let's face it, our business is "communication." Regardless of whether we are sending e-mail to a co-worker or sending sensitive messages to hostile entities, we communicate.
This communication is done via the Internet or some other electronic source and must be protected. Rules need to be established regarding safety and security. To ensure those rules are followed, training must be given and tracked. Tracking of that training in most cases is in the form of a "certification." There's nothing wrong with that; in fact these days, I expect nothing less from our government agencies.
As far as certifications for applications or operating systems, these serve as a measuring stick to determine a person's ability to learn and his or her aptitude for the work being sought. Sure, these test are often incorrect. But they are still one good way of determining potential or earned knowledge.
Having said that, there is no substitute for experience, which should always be a higher determining factor for employment or advancement.
Name withheld by request