Brad Reese recently posted about an interesting (and disturbing) new business: renting your Cisco certification to companies wanting to qualify as Cisco Gold or Silver partners in exchange for a monthly fee.
Rent A Cert is a new site that will allow you to “rent” your current Cisco and Microsoft certifications to companies that will assocaite your certification with their company in order to get better discounts on Cisco equipment. I encourage you to read Brad’s posting. Here are some of the highlights:
Rent A Cert
CCNA $100 $139 $39 CCNP $250 $299 $49 CCDP $250 $299 $49 CCVP $250 $299 $49 CCSP $250 $299 $49 CCIE $1,000 $1,149 $149
That means that once I get my CCIE (I work in an enterprise that has no need of Gold or Silver status) I can rent out my CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE for a grand total of $1,350 per month. An extra $16,000 a year is nothing to sneeze at. Well…it looks like you only get paid for one certification per vendor [You will only be paid for one certification per vendor. For example, if you selected both "MCSE" and "MCDBA," you will only be paid $200 monthly upon matching. This is because you must associate your entire profile with a company, rather than individual certifications.] , still “free money” for renting your certification sounds tempting.
So, is Cisco down with this? This is from Rent A Cert’s FAQ:
Do Microsoft & Cisco allow this?
We’ve found nothing so far in Microsoft’s and Cisco’s agreements that prohibit this, but of course review your certification agreements, as Rent A Cert doesn’t have a copy of your particular agreements and isn’t responsible if you break them. We, of course, will not divulge our client list to either company.
As a side note, if people know they can get paid to get certified, they will be more likely to get certified. As Microsoft and Cisco make money every time someone gets certified, as well as have a new person that promotes and knows how to configure their products, we see no reason why this isn’t a win-win scenario.
They’ve found no issues so far. How nice. Why the fuck not ASK Cisco and Microsoft if this is on the up and up, then post their replies? Also, (as Brad points out in his post) the losers in this “win-win scenario” are certified professionals who will see their job opportunities, salary, and certification values plummet if this takes off.
Brad does a good job of disecting the downsides to this “business model”. I agree with him 100%. I would also like to add that this looks like a shady venture. I am willing to bet that Rent A Cert doesn’t have a lot of companies lined up at that moment but will get inundated with thousands of CCNA and CCNx certification holders. There are also two points that Brad did not touch on that I want to point out:
2) Here’s what Rent A Cert requests from you:
If you checked any Cisco certifications, enter your Cisco ID, then from the Certification Traking System, e-mail yourself your transcript and forward that e-mail to transcripts at rentacert.com. Additionally, if you selected CCIE, note which track and your CCIE number.
Does anyone else think that it’s a bad idea to give these guys this information? They could “rent” your certification without your knowledge. Why don’t they contact you once they find a company and then you can decide whether or not to give them your information?
Anyhoo…this seems shady at the very least and possibly illegal.