I have 3 CIW certifications, each a progression on the previous, and I can honestly say that no-one has even noticed. When clients or potential employers are looking to hire you, IMO they will look at your portfolio of work as proof that you can do what you say you can do rather than a piece of paper.
In all honesty I cannot even tell you which certifications I had without looking. I put them on my CV but they have never been mentioned.
In most cases with few exceptions, their usually a total waste of time and money. If you're looking for employment most employers won't consider anything less than a degree, most client's won't have a clue about what the qualifications mean, and those who do will know that their non-standardised, not approved by any body, and most in the industry consider the likes of CIW as a joke (as the material covered is badly outdated and poorly considered). There are exceptions which may be considered worth getting just as a supplement to a good portfolio (Zend being possibly one of them and ones like the CCNA, A+ and MCSE - though with exception to Zend none of them are web orientated). You would be better off having a strong portfolio, paying the extra to get a degree or buying a bucket-load of books.
"clients or potential employers are looking to hire you, IMO they will look at your portfolio of work as proof that you can do what you say you can do rather than a piece of paper."this is 100% right i accept with him...
So you don't think a organization looks at resumes?
He never said that Ted, if you re-read that comment he's stating that the employer will look to a portfolio rather than a resume as proof of what you can actually do (rather than claiming you can do something) and he's entirely correct. Everyone knows that most resumes are fluffed up overly stretched statements to try and appease anyone you might apply too, if you want evidence of workmanship you look to the portfolio as it'll showcase visible work.
I agree with the previous posters, most certifications are useless.
I've done the Zend Cert because it's absolutely in my field of activity - but that has never been brought up by any client.
Even without a degree you can land top jobs if your portfolio is good - I just did and the only "papers" I've got is my highschool diploma (that no one ever wanted to see) and said Zend Certification.
I completely agree with 'matt asbury' that no one can see your certificates. Employers or clients can only check your knowledge about your domain. So you have fully trained in your domain. Certifications are just like a piece of paper for them.