Inside the academy (that is, professors or graduate students performing formal academic studies about IT certification),...
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I too find little evidence that they're either interested in or paying attention to professional certification credentials. That said, there is plenty of information on this subject in the computer trade press (a surprising number of articles under which category I myself wrote!).
If you search on "certification in academia" you'll turn up a fair amount of material in this vein. Also if you look for college and university programs that accept IT certifications in lieu of classroom training, or that confer IT certifications as part of their degree programs, you might be surprised to see how many institutions are involved in the certification game (you can find information on this area by searching on strings like "college degree and certification" "degrees with IT certification" and so forth, but this takes a bit of digging around).
Major online academic outlets such as University of Phoenix Online, DePaul, DeVry, GWU, Indiana State, Tulane (School of Business), and others typically offer coursework designed to meet hours requirements and earn IT certifications and often accept such credentials as part of their "credit for experience" policy. One good source of information about what's available is at eLearners.com.
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