For the second time since its inauguration in 2014, NetAssist Services Pte Ltd, together with Ingram Micro Education, Lithan Hall Academy and Training Partners Pte Ltd, held its “Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Certkathon #borntolearn 2015” on 18th May at the Microsoft Auditorium.
The main theme of the event, “Microsoft Certification – Is there still value to become a Microsoft Certified Professional?” kicked off with more than a 100 IT professionals, including talks and panel discussion by several distinguished individuals:
- Chen Chee Sing, Sales Director for Learning Experience, Microsoft APAC
- Benjamin Teh, Co-founder, TheCandidateSchool.com
- Sarbjit Singh Gill, Microsoft Most Valued Professional
- Alfred Wu, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Singapore Pte Ltd
- Mary Lee, Executive Director, Netassist Services Pte Ltd
A highlight of the event also included a panel discussion, where the panel consisting some of the speakers above addressed a pertinent issue: “Has Microsoft Certifications gone out of value?” Mr. Lim Kok Ping, Partner Business & Development Lead, Microsoft Singapore, was invited as the moderator of the panel. The event reached its pinnacle with certification opportunity at a special promotional rate.
“From a management perspective, we can’t just go around asking our employees if they are skilled in certain areas – certifications help us verify that,” said Mr Chen Chee Sing.
Mr Benjamin Teh agreed, further building on this perspective with his 6-second stare sharing. He said, “For recruiters, screening through your resumes is a labor intensive activity. In 4 seconds, you need to convince the recruiter that you shouldn’t be eliminated, and certifications do just that!”
Managers are looking for skills that can be validated on paper and certifications provide a reliable gauge of skills assessment. This was nicely summed up by Mr Sarbjit Gill’s personal story, illustrating how with a certification stream, one can be propelled to corporate success in the marketplace, even without a relevant degree.
Participants also heard from the panel discussion, where on the topic of certifications for the Internet of Things (IoT), Mr Lim Kok Ping, the moderator, mentioned, “Microsoft is ahead, but because IoT is new, there are no courses for it yet.” Nonetheless, he suggested considering learning Azure (IoT-related content) in the meantime, as a good opportunity to stay relevant.
Mr Alfred Wu added that it is important to focus on where the data is headed as opposed to the hardware, in this case it is cloud, and be formally equipped in cloud-related fields. He urged, “It is vital to know what your core competencies are. Don’t let the hype drive you to the place where you lose sight of your own competency and where the industry is headed towards.”
The discussion was concluded succinctly with Mr Chen’s three points:
- Do the best and plan way ahead – certification validates your skills
- It is important to transform ourselves not just in technical skills, but also in soft skills that will help you stay aligned with your business groups and get you new jobs.
- Join the MCP program, as Microsoft is energizing it with partnerships formed with LinkedIn, and the commitment to the success of MCP program participants.
“Moving forward, having experience alone is insufficient, certifications are needed to complement it. Personally, even though I have 7 years of experience, if they don’t see the certifications, some of them might not actually know if I’m suitable.” ~ Jefferson from NCS, participant
Through some of the sharing by the participants, IT professionals are looking for ways to stay relevant and be better positioned for success. “The way we do training and skills development isn’t the same. We want to guide you with a customized roadmap to help you with your career for the 21st century,” Ms Mary Lee, Executive Director of NetAssist Services Pte Ltd.
NetAssist can help you get certified and stay ahead as Singapore looks towards building its pool of talent in technology, and its future as a Smart Nation. For more information, visit https://www.netassist.com.sg.