I have lived with the conviction that certifications do not determine the best of developers, or the level of growth in our profession; many other things do.
Statistics (from DreamSpark) claims that 55% of hiring managers consider certification as a criterion for hiring; 46% consider it as a criterion for promotion; and 43% of individuals said they have increased salaries due to some sort of certification. So there you have it: certification does have its purpose.
Microsoft has decided to offer some FREE certifications through its Students to Business program. The offer is only for the Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist Certification. I am not sure if the offer is exclusive to members of the S2B program; but if it is, then you can register for free at the Microsoft S2B website. Oh, and the offer expires by June 30th, 2009. For more information, visit the DreamSpark website.
So, If you have been dragging your feet about being certified, or you could not afford one (hardly unlikely), then here is an opportunity to prove yourself to these “businesses”. Personally, I have decided to get certified for several reasons. One of them is to see if I can do it (success is sweet). Find your own reason to get certified and enjoy this opportunity.