You ask not only a very good question but the KEY question for anybody who's considering spending time and money on any certification. Although the CIW is indeed gaining credibility, in recent surveys of IT job postings for Web professionals and in talking to technical recruiters I draw a total blank on Web certification in general, and CIW certification in particular.
That is, I see no job postings on major recruiting sites that mention CIW by name, and most technical recruiters don't know what CIW is or means. This tells me it's still too early to tell if the CIW is a "ticket to success" or just another piece to play when seeking employment.
Don't get me wrong: I see enough value in the CIW to have managed 3 books for the program (Site Designer, Security Professional, and E-commerce Professional). But I still don't see enough "brand recognition" or a strong requirement that Web professionals be certified to get jobs. OTOH, a savvy hiring manager WILL probably recognize the CIW and will probably give it some value, too, so take all this into consideration when chewing on the "should I or shouldn't I" issues.
A strong portfolio and documented, relevant, work experience is probably the most valuable employment piece you can play in this area.
Good luck in finding the right job for yourself. Thanks for writing,
This was first published in September 2001