Certification has become a popular adjunct to traditional means of acquiring information technology skills and employers increasingly specify a preference for those holding certifications. This paper reports on a study designed to investigate student perceptions of both the benefits and risks of certification and its importance in obtaining employment. Certification was perceived as an important factor in achieving employment and students undertaking it anticipate that it will lead to substantial financial benefits. Yet higher salaries are not seen as the most important benefit of certification. The potential benefits that students believe are most important relate to ‘real world’ experience. The respondents were aware of the possible risks of certification but did not appear to be overly concerned about them.