GIAC Changes Coming

SANS is modifying the requirements for the GIAC Certification so seekers will no longer be required to write a written practical. In the past there has been a requirement of a practical as well as multiple tests.
The written practical was a great thing for the GIAC. Some certifications are seen as a paper certification, or a sign of a individuals ability to quickly cram information into short term memory. That was never the case with the GIAC because there is a written paper designed to contribute to the general security knowledgebase. Anyone could go read that paper online and get an idea of the writing skills and the security skills of the certificate holder. By changing this to a test only certification, the great differentiator of the GIAC is gone.
The problem with the certification is that not enough people are getting it. Hiring managers are placing emphasis on the CISSP cert or even the Security+ cert from Comptia. By making the bar lower, more people will have the certificate and a “critical mass” of certificate holders will ensure the future value of the certificate. That’s the theory anyway. I like it now where even though its not as well known, the ones who do know, have respect for it. With it being a test only cert now, not requiring people to actually view the course material, I fear it will be like the MCSE. If I see a bunch of high schoolers with a GIAC, I’m taking the certificate off my wall.