My post from yesterday got a comment which I sort of agree with along the lines of "My mate Nigel is Microsoft Certified and he is hopeless". I think that this perception is largely based on the sort of exams that used to exist and I personally think they are a lot harder now. They are also better aligned to the real world so as a Business Inelligence bloke I can do a qualification just in this area that does reflect the experience I have as well as my knowledge of SQL Server.
This leads on to the next obvious queston - why bother doing them? I find it helps me to learn some of the darker corners of the technologies that I don't know. It also forces me to pick up the new stuff as the exams track the release of the products. In short I use it to track my competence in a technology for my own benefit.
The official Microsoft tag line for the certification program is "How They Know You Know", but for me it's all about confidence in your ability. I have never been offered a job or a salary increase as a result of being an MCDBA. I would like to see more recognition for the people who have taken the time to get certified, both from Microsoft and the IT industry.
However if the qualification is seen as a route to a better job then it will attract the exam crammer who is sees this as a shortcut and I am not sure what could be done to make the exams more like the real world, short of putting a candidate in front of a broken database, server or application and asking them to fix it!
we all like certifications on our wall :)