[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsvU7Rk3f4U&w=560&h=315]

Certifications are in the center of a continuing debate: When it comes to finding a job, do they help you or not? Do they really provide enough training to set you and your work apart? For a while, a lot of people argued their value was overblown, not really worth the time, effort and expense. These things aren't cheap. On the other hand, learning more about solutions and implementation can never be a bad thing, especially in a job market's as competitive as today's. It's probably no surprise that CompTIA, one of the leading providers of vendor-neutral certifications, advocates a certification's value. And both the group's leadership, as well as it's members, make a good case about why you should pursue them. At CompTia's Breakaway conference, I asked MJ Shoer, president of service provider Jenaly Technology Group; Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA's CEO; and Terry Erdle, its EVP of Skills Certification, to tell me why they think certifications are so important. Here's what they said.