Friday, 13 November 2009

So why on earth does certification cost so much?

I'm in a foul mood.

Here's what I wrote to my local Sun Education Centre:

I would like to sit the Certified MySQL Associate exam.
On the MySQL website I am informed that the cost of sitting an exam is around $200 plus any local taxes etc (, which should be around €135. However, booking your exam costs €280 incl VAT, DOUBLE the price in the US.

I am not being sent on a course by my company. I have not had learning materials bought for me, nor is anyone other than me intending to pay for the cost of the exam, I am doing this out of my own pocket. I am intending to take this exam to demonstrate my PERSONAL skill at MySQL, and my willingness to use it. I am certified by Microsoft since 1999, and so tend to labelled a Microsoft guy, when in fact I have skills across the IT landscape. Getting a MySQL Associate certification is one
of my ways of doing that.

I'm disappointed the exam is set at such a high price. I took a Microsoft exam this morning, and I paid €119,00 incl VAT for the privelege. It also included use of a virtual lab hosted by Prometric, when the CMA exam is purely multiple-choice. The exam was three hours long, instead of the 60 minutes of the CMA exam.

This means that somehow the CMA exam is around seven times as expensive per hour!

I WANT to demonstrate my passion for platforms (and companies) other than Microsoft, I don't understand why I would need to pay an exorbitant rate to promote your product. Please re-read the last sentence; your company benefits here, for which you expect to be paid a high fee.

If your standard response is something like "the prices are set", then please make sure you also add that your lack of desire to have me certified and promote your products is as clearly stated. Seriously, this is an ENTRY LEVEL exam, 60 minutes, multiple choice. How this can be priced the same as your more advanced products is beyond me.

I wonder what kind of reply I'll get?

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