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If you are seeking entry level positions, certificates can help you get more interviews. Some companies prefer to interview the person who has a certificate. However, you still need to have a good performance in the interview. Nobody will give you a job simply because you have a certificate. I have ever witnessed a Sun certified Java 2 programmer being fired within her first month. I myself am a Sun certified Java 2 programmer. I don't think this certificate is a burden for me, but I have to say it does not help me much in job hunting. In my job interviews, I am always asked some questions about my former projects, softwares, ...., seldom about my certificate.
One thing I wish to point out: Don't think you have grasped Java if you have a Java 2 certificate. In addition, I wish to say MSCE does not make much sense because there are so many MCSE people. In any case, it is
not a bad thing to have some certificates.
Rather than spending time on Java 2 certificate, I would like to run 10 Java demos
dowloaded from internet.
CCNA and CCNP are two certificates that have a higher reputation. However, the employer still needs to know what kind oof experiences you have.
OCP and MCSD are also good certificates.If your company would like to encourage you to have them, it will be worth of your efforts. However, if you are still outside IT world, I suggest you learn some true skills. One of Jabber's female student got a MCSD last year, but it took her 7 months to get a job in Chicago! The reason is that she has never done some projects, even demos.
For us new immigrants, most important things are to master some true skills and earn a living. Not some certificates.
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