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Welcome to the Certification Bubble

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Welcome to the Certification Bubble

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“A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed” – Peter Thiel

RIP Certifications

I’ve been mulling over this quote ever since Sarah Lacy included it in her article about our current perceived higher education bubble a few months ago.

It was in the back of my mind as I wrote a recent piece on how adding PMP to your title nets you a 12% raise.

It’s on the tip of my tongue ever time I read “CSM Required” and “CSP Preferred” on a job posting.

Let’s face it, our higher education bubble extends beyond the ivy league establishments and into the way we test, and yes, the way we certify.

Having trouble finding a job, perhaps this certification will help! You know those jobs are requiring these now, so without it you are really out of luck. These statements align with bubble mentality “do this and you will be ok”.

Even I feel this pressure as a rather well established member of the agile community. I currently have CSM which I paid for out of pocket and CSP which I also paid for out of pocket. I acquired these certifications because I felt they were valuable, but they aren’t that valuable. It shouldn’t be a world where I’m turned away because I lack 3 letters on my resume. I’m actually a really smart guy that should be able to get past the HR email filter.

This isn’t exclusive to Scrum certifications either, as this has been happening with PMP for many, many years.

So how do we break this cycle?

The limited value certifications have will be further devalued with an influx of new certifications.

A part of me is waiting until the bubble bursts, because this isn’t sustainable.

Update: Ok I’m not very patient, do you think a low cost, disruptive, online alternative to certifications would break this cycle? Let me know in the comments.

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