In my moderately cynical view, vendor certification exists for one reason: To enable vendors to sell more stuff.
Cisco, Microsoft, Amazon and VMWare (and all vendors, really) need people to be certified in the use of their products because it enables their salespeople to be able to come into a prospective customer’s office and say, “Buy our stuff. There are lots of people out there who are certified to configure and maintain it.” The more people who are certified in the use of a vendors product, the larger the pool an employer has to pull from when hiring folks. That gives buyers (who are also our employers) a warm and fuzzy feeling, comfortable in the notion that they can safely write a check and then hire someone who know how to use the stuff.
One of the biggest ruses in the IT world is that the vendors got the recipients of the certification to pay for it. Think about it; you are actually paying the vendor for their ability to sell more product. We’re all suckers! It should be the other way around or, at the very least, an arrangement with more reciprocity.
Long ago vendors turned the tables on us and convinced many of us that we needed to be certified in their products in order to get jobs. But the reality is that they wouldn’t be able to sell product one if there wasn’t a trained base of people out there able to make their stuff go. In the process, they created another revenue stream (for themselves and others, yours truly included).
Noodle that. Let me know what you think.