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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Certifiable

    When did we become a country of bureaucracy? Why is certification such a big industry these days? Don't misunderstand me, I believe that certain industries do require some means of proving a professional's skills, especially in fields in which there are technological advances made on a regular basis or frequent updates to theories and/or methodology.  For example, a doctor should be up to date with the latest medical findings or the newest diagnostic equipment.  Engineers should have a grasp on the latest construction methods and materials related to their discipline, but why would an unarmed security guard need a license?
    Now, I do believe that they should have background checks, but how long could it take to teach someone how to use a timeclock or how to write an incident report? I was an unarmed security guard while I was in college and the only thing they taught me was how to dial 911. And if you look at the security guards out there today, dialing 911 is about all that they're capable of anyway. I personally would have little fear of a seventy year old man without a gun.  How many people are so into driving around in golf carts and wearing navy blue polyester that they want to make being and unarmed security guard a career?  But again, don't get me wrong, security guards serve an important role. I'm not knocking them. I'm knocking the entity that created yet another way to take hard earned dollars out of the pockets of those who work in these already low-paying jobs.
    Another position that I have difficulty justifying certification for is the nurses assistant. Of course they need things like CPR training, which is actually a prerequisite for the certified nurses assistant and they need to know how to roll a patience to make the bed, but does this really merit a three month course? What happened to "On the job training"?  What happened to "Candy Strippers"?
   And, for those who believe that certification promotes better candidates, I beg to differ.  My experience with certificates (all of which I have passed, so this rant isn't out of spite) is that too often there are ways to cheat the tests (which I did not do, but found a myriad of way in which to do so).  This fact forces the accrediting agency to finds ways in which to circumvent cheating, which sometimes entails asking questions that are based on topics not covered in the sanctioned course material.  An example that I can site is when I took one of the Microsoft Certification tests for Windows 2000. I passed the tests that I took, but only because of things that I had learned through experience.  I actually made a mental note of the questions I believed were not covered by Microsoft and scoured the relevant books to find any mention of these issues. . . Neither the questions nor the answers could be found.  Lucky for me, I had seen examples of the issue in question in the real world.  This was actually the reason I sought out an answer for this oversight, and what I found was that the answers for these tests were online.  This pissed me off to no end, because I studied my ass off and no longer felt a sense of accomplishment.  Because of this experience, I know why I have seen so many incompetent IT people in this field.  That is not to say that there are no good or great IT people . . . there are, I've met them and they admit to knowing of the high rate of incompetence exhibited by their follow colleagues.
    In conclusion, certification just seems like yet another way to make easy money off of those hard working individuals who don't make that much in the first place. I can't wait until McDonald's requires a cashiers certification.


Fabianmockian
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