Ok, more talk about Certifications going on from Kirk, Duncan and Joshua talking about certifications. I have some certs, and I plan on getting some more. Mostly because taking those tests is a personal goal with a definite results. Right now I'm aiming for finishing my MCDBA, but I'm slacking because the tests I need to pass are admin related. Well, I'm not much of an admin. Yet. I have tons of resources available to me because of my job (MCTs get all the MOC courseware to download), and lots of talented people around me to pick their brains. Hopefully the end result will be a smarter, more admin-savy Phil.
Now, I'll also try to get my MCSA after that. Do I think anyone will hire me to be the sysadmin because I know have my MCSA? No, of course not. But it still something I'd like to get under my belt. Perhaps being a developer with some good knowledge of Active Directory will open some doors for me.
Now comes the problem of people complaining about not getting a job because some talentless hack had their MCSD and they didn't. Well, I'm willing to bet that talentless hack was just as qualified as you, but that MCSD is something tangable that the HR person can look at and make a judgement call on. And you will probably also find that 99.99% of everyone out there with one of these certifications (especially the MCSD) obtained it via working with the product and learning that, not memorizing questions. I also have a CS degree, and I can tell you with certainty that there is a larger portion of people coming out of college right now with CS degrees that cheated and slacked their way through that than there are MCSDs cheating and slacking. I'm not saying anyone out there is guilty of this, but with so many universities and colleges adding computer science departments and so many in coming freshmen thinking they'll be making $80k plus coming out of college, the quality of your average CS degree has definitely been degraded.
I think we are about 4 years away from people who go to grad school being the same as people going to college for our parents. Actually, we are probably already there. Maybe I just went to the wrong college.
I'm not taking a shot at anyone here. Read Joshua's piece on certification. He makes a much better case for going out and getting your certifications than I could. My suggestion is if you are pissed of you are getting passed over because you don't have your MCSD, well, get it. Obviously it has value if it can get your job. It's easier to sit and complain about people with their MCSDs and hope that they somehow get devalued so you don't have to get one, but that probably won't happen anytime soon. Josh is right, most people are afraid to take them because they can easily knock you off your pedistal. I'll admit it, I failed the SQL Server Developer exam. I can make all kinds of excuses (just worked a 75hr week, hardly any sleep. Had the flu too), but really it mostly came down to me not being too comfortable with creating cursors and some admin stuff. Shored up my knowledge and proceeded to kick the exam's ass (scored 930/1000 I think) the next week.
Cowboy up and take some exams.