The term expert is a tough one because, with the constant change that surrounds us, you’re only an expert for a short period of time before you need to learn something new to maintain your status.
Certifications don’t make you an expert, good, but not an expert. You need experience, you need failure, you need the screw-ups and the attempts to make it better. This isn’t a knock against certifications, it’s just a fact, you can’t get amazing at something just by reading about it, you need to do it too.
Whether they have the certifications or not, those are the people I lean toward, those are the people that in my mind, will always be the experts.