There was a time(before y2k) when being an MCSE or CNA was a notable achievement that showed dedication and knowledge.
I look back at the 1990's with a great deal of respect, in 1994 I recieved my first computer, and I paid $200 for an extra 2MB of memory in our family computer. I also look at the dozen or so companies that were closed in 2001 because they all had a single product to supply, Y2K conversion support, sort of sad that an entire industry was wiped out with a single tick of a clock.
People might be asking what the point of that story was, honestly while I have respect for many people in this industry that were around then, I have to take many of these certificates with a grain of salt. If they were really that notable of achievement I would hope that an entire industry would not have based their entire business plan, on providing a service, that in many cases was not required. Perhaps its because in 2002 the very same computer had no problems caused by Y2k, of course not being turned on for 5 years, did cause its own problems.
In the last decade or so IT certifications became less noteworthy. Boot camps popped up that were dedicated not to teaching the skills to achieve the certifications but just to get you through the tests. I went to one and do not think that I actually learned anything that I put to use after getting my certification.
The problem our industry has created is there is no standard, anyone can come into our field, and declare they are a _ expert. I believe it was some where around 2005-2007 that IEEE CS started to offer its certification. Anyone that wants to offer a certification can offer a cerification. Unless you are getting a certification from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Apple in something they have created, which proves you have at least enough knowlege to pass their exams, I don't really hold a great deal of respect for people who have a certification.
I even believe that in many cases even those certifications don't hold a great deal of weight, because as I said, they only proof you passed the exam. Show me actually extensive breath knowlege on the subject and we can talk.
Are there some certifications that are still acknowledgments of knowledge and skill? Specifically do they help people get jobs?
If you have extensive knowlege in an area, then having a certification can help, because it something to talk about during an interview. Of course most people don't have extensive knowlege in an area which they hold a certification, a few years doesn't make you an expert, you have not even reached the novice level at that point imo.