I like technical, but I like money more
Certs are nice, but you learn ; trial by fire once you get in the door. The cert just gets you there !!!
Exactly - Noone would even call me back on my applications until I put MCSE:Security on my resume - then they started calling me without me needing to apply. That is how I got my current position.
I had 5-6 years Mirosoft AD experience on top of a few years of NDS at teh time but was unable to get an interview for anythign paying more than ~12/hr. At that time I attended an MCSE boot camp to get past the tests. I also took a CCNA course at that time but did not pass the test (i didn't have the previous experience to understand what was going on) I got a job and got some access to the equipment for a year, retook teh test and passed with no additional studying. The point is i've tried both ways (testking and personal knowledge) and it feels WAY better passing based on knowing the material and not just the answers.
As far as ROI on certifications, while I wouldn't turn down a job at twice my current rate, my actual goal is really not THAT much more than what I make (based upon information i've read, it's pretty much only what i SHOULD be making for what I do, but y'all know how that goes) so i'm more interested in moving towards things that interest me more than resetting activesync profiles when a salesperson screws up thier blackberry's calendar.
I have most certainly had my share of "trial by fire" situations.
1) learn NDS and ZEN on the job, with no help from the people who were supposed to be doing that ****.
2) We fired our "#1" network engineer and "#2" quit - had about a week to learn as much as possible about AD, SMS, and RIS as possible to take up portions of their duties (my title at the time was "PC technician," even after above NDS/ZEN experience with same employer)
3) First day at current position the ONLY system drive on the only domain controller suffered catastrophic failure. Of course nothing was documented, and I didnt' know it took out the SMTP filter with it.
4) second day, I show up early to try and fix the DC and find out both T1's are out. There wasn't even documentation or bills to let me know who our provider was to call and report the outage. I had a hell of a first week.