These days, getting into an information technology career requires very stiff competition. With today's software getting more and more complex and new languages and scripting technologies being developed, it can be very hard to gauge a professional and find the right employee.
And add to that is the breaking of global boundaries with the internet. There are already many schools advertising on their websites that they have the best IT curriculum.
The best way to get the right candidate under certain standards is through certifications. But then, certifications do not come cheap and many people especially those coming from the third countries can hardly afford and do not even own credit cards to pay for online certification.
Good thing there are online free certifications. In fact there are thousands of websites claiming to give free certifications but the problem is how credible and acknowledged these companies are.
I stumbled upon Brainbench I think around the year 2002. Well, actually my friend working in Japan recommended Brainbench but I totally forgot about it until I heard about it on television. I visited their website at www.brainbench.com and learned that the company was founded in 1998 and has served 5000 corporate and 6 million individual customers.
But of course, the skeptic that I always I am, I did believe because many things are possible on the internet. What if it was a hoax.
Last year, my friend landed on the IT job of his dreams in Florida and he said that his Brainbench certification was a big factor his being hired.
I revisited the site. Actually, not all certifications are given free. In fact, most of the important and most used technologies certifications come with a price but which are significantly lower than other credible and well known certification bodies.
I tried the trial. They were quite difficult and intimidating but seemed to be very credible. During the last few months, I had resolved to get certified on PHP which costs $49.95 and MySQL which costs another $49.95 but I haven’t had the time to really get my hand dirty because I was busy with other things.
But just yesterday, Brainbench send my an email (I subscribed for alerts of course) saying that they are offering more than 2 dozen exams at no cost. These include .NET Framework 2.0, Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition, Macromedia Director 8, HTML 4.0, RDBMS Concepts, Programming Concepts and many more. I am thinking of taking Java 2 but then I have to do more reviewing as I hadn’t done Java in many months already.
Oh, and Brainbench actually has a learning center where you pay to learn some technologies while you get the others for free.
For now, I should have followed the advice of my friend back then. He now heads an IT department and at the same time runs his own profitable website.
Well, I am very positive that in one of these days, I'm going to be certified on one of those technologies. I know that to some degree, I am confident of my skills being better than many people, but it still is a different to be certified. Especially if you get it from a reputable company for free!