So I thought this would be a good topic to discuss since many people have various opinions about the topic. How valuable is your certification in terms of your everyday work? Some people say that certifications are unnecessary and that real world experience is all that matters. Others, like myself, think it is good to have both. However the question comes up, how much of that knowledge that you learned through certifications will you actually use in the work place? The tons and tons of knowledge that we beat into our brains will definitely not stay in there for long unless we use it everyday. Honestly though, I don’t think it is possible to retain all that information for long even when using it on a daily basis. The little details that go with each technology is bound to leave our minds.
What I have discovered though is that a lot of the networking topics that I have learned have almost become second nature to me. What I mean by that is that I don’t even have to think about a particular topic, its already etched into my mind and I can discuss it. Even if I have not read about it in a long time. For example, I have been studying for my CCNP Route exam, which as you may know does not contain any switching topics. This is really unfortunate because in an enterprise network you are going to be working on switches much more then you work on routers. That’s not the point of this example so I digress. So I am studying for my Route exam which means I have not touched switching topics since studying for my CCNA. Which is probably about 6 months ago. However since starting my new job I was thrown right away into the switching world again and I shocked myself how much I still subconsciously knew about the switching concepts. I was able to manage port-security, vlans etc without even thinking twice. It was really cool to see how far I have come!
So in conclusion I believe that all the studying of certifications and all the technologies you do learn from them do stay in your mind. Maybe you will not be as proficient in it as you used to be but it is up there, and the next time you use that knowledge you will see how easy it comes to you.