IT pros say most of their peers cheat on certification exams

Many IT professionals tout certifications to help themselves stand out during the hiring process. But managers beware: Some certifications you see listed on resumes may not have been earned honestly. 

IT job candidates have a variety of cheating methods they can use when it comes to certifications, such as blatantly lying about the certificates they’ve earned, paying others to take tests for them, or cramming for exams using stolen tests purchased from the Internet.

Though 58% of IT pros think using those stolen tests is unethical, 72% believe they’re used regularly, according to a recent survey conducted by Network World.

The majority may disagree, but there’s still a sizable 42% who don’t believe there’s anything wrong with using those materials. That’s despite the fact that many organizations that offer certifications have rules against doing so. CompTIA, for example, lists 130 websites it calls “unauthorized training centers” and warns test takers they can be banned from an exam or have their certifications revoked if they’re found to have used those services.

Given the prevalence of this and other forms of cheating, IT managers should be careful to verify that all certifications listed were actually earned. Also, it’s important to ask interview questions that help make sure candidates actually know the areas covered by their certifications, rather than simply passed the exams.

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