Believe it or not, there exist IT certification "testing centers" (and I use that term in the loosest manner possible) that will take your exams for you! Read on, and prepare to be shocked and appalled.
If you visit the Hong Kong-based BuyITCert.com, then you will learn that for the 'bargain' price of $3,200 USD the company will "help you pass the exam within 5 working days" and earn your MCSE + Security credential! Yee-haw, right?
Not so fast, bucko. What does BuyITCert do for the IT certification candidate, precisely? Do they offer distance-learning to help folks prepare for their seven MCSE exams? As it happens, the procedure for making use of BuyITCert.com's 'services' involves your submitting the following items besides the $3,200 USD:
But wait, there's more! After "you" pass your exams, BuyITCert.com will assist in ensuring that your certification transcript is correct!
"the 3-5 working days after finishing all test, you can register on the Cisco Microsoft's...websites. if you are not understand the registering proceeding, we can register for you. Please edit your profile and submit the agreement or welcome kits of the account, and you can modify the password after you pass all the subjects."
No matter how you slice it, friends, this 'service' constitutes fraud. The bottom line is that you are paying somebody else to take your exams for you, and you are taking the credit for certifications that you have not earned in any way, shape, or measure.
According to Wikipedia, fraud is defined as "a deception made for personal gain. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation."
That Wikipedia snippet "The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction" is key in this case. How can an IT certification vendor such as Cisco or Microsoft enforce their intellectual property copyrights overseas in China?
In the near future, I will be publishing a blog post concerning the infamous "paper MCSE." For now, though, simply consider the damage that businesses like BuyITCert.com, and the customers who employ their service, exert on the information technology field in general and on IT certification programs in particular.
Let's say that Joe or Jane "purchases" an MCSE certification from BuyITCert.com. Then what? Perhaps Joe or Jane will win an interview with a company whose HR manager is dazzled by letters that appear after candidates' names.
Moreover, let's go so far as to assume that Joe or Jane possess great interpersonal skills and they dazzle and baffle their way into a position for which they are, in truth, underqualified.
The truth of the matter is that many of these "paper tigers" wash out of their jobs in short order. If you don't know how to do the work, then it doesn't matter how many credentials you have hanging on your wall.
This unfortunate turn of events costs the hiring company big-time in terms of lost productivity, the necessity of reinterviewing and rehiring a truly qualified candidate, and so forth. Not cool.
Cisco has historically resided on the forefront of promoting and supporting exam security. As of this year, Cisco is requiring that all test centers distributing its certification exams collect digital photos and digital signatures from students during the exam registration process.
Good for them. If any of you have additional ideas on how IT certification vendors can further enhance exam security (and, by extension, improve the integrity of IT certification exam programs), then please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments portion of this post. Thanks.