Is it worth taking examinations that don't require hands-on practice?

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In summary: "real world" driving experience that you would need to pass before you can get your driver's license.
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Eclair_de_XII
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This is the examination that I am considering taking.

https://www.lpi.org/our-certifications/linux-essentials-overview

I have skimmed the recommended textbook for a bit. But it's incredibly dense and scarce on hands-on exercises. I'm wondering if it is worth pursuing this certificate, if it doesn't require me to do a lot on my end. It requires me only to know the terms, and the technical know-how, which I admit is beyond my scope as an inexperienced programmer.

I've looked at another certification on the website that looks to be more within my scope.

https://www.lpi.org/our-certifications/linux-essentials-overview

I am considering investigating that one. But the official textbook recommended by the official website seems to suffer from the same problem of not having any projects to work on. Is it worth going through such a curriculum, with so much reading, note-taking, and with so few opportunities to apply learned knowledge? I would much prefer a project-based curriculum. On the other hand, it would be something to add to my pathetic excuse for a resume. Although, if I've no professionally-reviewed projects to show-off to potential employers, I wonder what the point of it would even be.

I was considering enrolling in courses that do offer opportunities to get hands-on practice. But as I am low on funds... In any case, I am aware that it sounds like I've made up my mind already on the matter. But I do welcome further input on these sorts of programs, and if I'm mad and/or delusional for trying to chase more pieces of paper, while pretending that they will make any difference in my job prospects.
 
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Both your links are the same!
 
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Maybe I misunderstand something about this taking examination to prove ones' proficiency. Such a thing as skill and proficiency with some computer operating system cannot really be done completely in a written multiple choice test. Some parts must be as a practical component. Handle Real Equipment needs to be part of the examination.
 
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Thread closed temporarily for Moderation...

Update -- after a little Moderation, thread it back open.
 
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A short true story about hands-on experience:

I was on a 3-year Industrial Control project when another small project came in. The new project was for a table-top device with the hardware controlled by a microprocessor and networked to other devices.

A newly graduated programmer was hired for the programming. The software was completed in a few months and the programmer left the job. A month or so later the hardware/software integration began... and stretched on-and-on.

When I asked the project engineer what was going on, the problem became clear.
He stated that he "Had to rewrite the whole thing."

The programmer wrote the whole package just like he completed assignments in college; that is every assignment is a standalone project.

Every function/routine was essentially correct but for various reasons could NOT be integrated into a coherent, functioning structure to operate the hardware!

At least there was reasonable base to build from, so it took only a few extra weeks for completion.

THAT seems to be a major reason the first jobs of fresh graduates are so short term.

Conclusion:
So yes. @symbolipoint said it well:
symbolipoint said:
Some parts must be as a practical component. Handle Real Equipment needs to be part of the examination.

Cheers,
Tom

Addendum: Maybe you can scare up a part time job as an intern to build that experience.
 
  • #7
A bit of counterpoint. A certification has value if hiring managers (or clients) assign it value, regardless of whether the certification is dispositive of competency and proficiency or not.

Here's one example from my personal experience. In the US, to become a registered patent agent or patent attorney, you must pass the patent bar exam administered by the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office). The current exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam. It tests your knowledge of the MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure). Primarily based on rote memorization of abstruse, arcane rules and regulations. Logical analysis required is that of a competent high school junior or senior. Note that passing the patent bar exam allows you to represent clients in patent matters before the USPTO. No actual experience in drafting patent applications and responding to office actions is required. No apprenticeship or internship under the guidance of a senior registered practitioner is required (as in some other countries).

The analogy I use is that of the written driver's test in the US. To get your learner's permit, you must first pass a test on the rules of the road. Once you have your learner's permit, you gain actual driving experience under the guidance of a licensed driver. Then you need to pass an actual driving (road) test to get your driver's license.

So, the patent bar exam is really akin to the written driver's test, with the important distinction that there's no equivalent to a subsequent actual road test. There are exams in other fields that are also analogous to "rules of the road" exam, some with and some without a subsequent analogous "actual road test". You need to evaluate each individually for what (if any) value they confer. Even if they appear to be worthless, you shouldn't dismiss them by default either.
 
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Tom.G said:
A short true story about hands-on experience:
What if any were the consequences for the hiring manager? Your story also shows that the company was deficient in its hiring and training practices for fresh grads, as well as deficient in project review practices. The fresh grad was not solely at fault here.
 
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CrysPhys said:
It tests your knowledge of the MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure). Primarily based on rote memorization of abstruse, arcane rules and regulations. Logical analysis required is that of a competent high school junior or senior
Yikes, that sounds painful. For Medics and EMTs there is plenty of memorization involved, although it's usually of inter-related systems in Anatomy/Physiology and Patient Assesment Protocols so things tend to reinforce each other and help to make overall sense. We take long written tests and long computer-based multiple-choice exams as part of our certification and re-certifications every 2 years. But there are also many hands-on tests that you have to pass in those exam periods, and if you fail those, you lose your license.

Now in my latest re-certification cycle earlier this year, because of COVID restrictions my classroom recert classes were online with an instructor and students from all over the US. That's when I learned that in many states they do not require the hands-on portion of the EMT/Medic recert exams. I find that hard to believe based on my field experience here in California, but whatever. Glad that I don't live in one of those states...

https://emsa.ca.gov/emt/

https://emsa.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/71/2017/07/Skills-Form-7.1.17.pdf
 
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CrysPhys said:
What if any were the consequences for the hiring manager? Your story also shows that the company was deficient in its hiring and training practices for fresh grads, as well as deficient in project review practices. The fresh grad was not solely at fault here.
The Hiring manager was the company Owner.
Therefore I believe the consequences was owner education. (generally a good thing)
 

Related to Is it worth taking examinations that don't require hands-on practice?

1. Is it worth taking examinations that don't require hands-on practice?

It depends on your career goals and the specific examination. Some professions do not require hands-on practice but still value theoretical knowledge and problem-solving skills. However, if the examination is not relevant to your career aspirations, it may not be worth taking.

2. What are the benefits of taking examinations that don't require hands-on practice?

These examinations can help you develop critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts. They may also provide a broader perspective on a subject and prepare you for further education or career advancement.

3. Are there any drawbacks to taking examinations that don't require hands-on practice?

One potential drawback is that these examinations may not accurately reflect real-world scenarios and practical skills. Additionally, some individuals may struggle with memorization-based tests and may not perform as well on these types of examinations.

4. How can I prepare for an examination that doesn't require hands-on practice?

To prepare for this type of examination, it is important to thoroughly review and understand the material. Practice questions and sample exams can also help you identify any gaps in your knowledge and improve your test-taking skills.

5. Are there any industries where hands-on practice is more important than theoretical knowledge?

Yes, there are certain industries such as healthcare, engineering, and skilled trades where hands-on practice is essential for success. However, theoretical knowledge is still important in these fields and is often tested through practical exams or certifications.

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