How do certifications connect to employability and earning potential? Why should millennials should consider SalesForce certifications as part of their education and future career? Salesforce predicted their technology will create 3.3 million jobs across their ecosystem by 2022 and demand for Salesforce experts is growing and growing.
Salesforce careers will become increasingly popular in the coming years and appeal to recent graduates or those looking to change their careers. Thankfully, the company is eager to welcome and nurture the newbies through resources such as Trailhead, created by Salesforce to introduce people to the platform and introduce new features. However, progressing from a Trailhead user to the dizzying heights of a professional equipped with all the skills to work on a business’ CRM is a whole other level.
Certifications are a basic requirement for a lot of companies looking to hire Salesforce professionals. Beyond thinking of a certification as the bare minimum needed to start your career, what are the benefits of becoming certified?
Improving your knowledge with Salesforce certification
No doubt, you’ll have heard the phrase ‘knowledge is power’. There’s a reason it’s so popular. First and foremost, completing a Salesforce certification will directly improve your awareness of the subject Simply put, it’s tangible proof that you can share with prospective employers/clients to prove you have the expertise needed to succeed in the role.
Though a rather obvious point, it’s something important to remember when your positioning yourself against other candidates when competing for a role. Make sure to add a link to your completed certification/badge to your LinkedIn page and put it on your CV.
Dedicate yourself to earn your certification and confirm your Salesforce expertise
Certifications are as much about backing up your knowledge as it is about gaining it. According to Mason Frank’s 2018 Salesforce salary report, 73% of surveyed Salesforce professionals hold at least one certification, a significant majority. It’s important to consider you’ll be competing for jobs against candidates who are more than likely to hold at least one relevant certification.
It’s also helpful to consider the flip-side of that argument. Are too many people jumping straight into certifications just to meet this minimum requirement?
Salesforce expert Keir Bowden advocates moving away from the approach of piling on certifications without experience. He believes there is a dangerous trend of people pummelling their way through certifications to gain employment instead of waiting for their experience to reach the level they’re studying for.
He makes the argument that certifications should prove you to be an expert in a specific field rather than help you gain the knowledge to becoming that expert. “A certification is the end result of a period of time learning about, reading around and using functionality, not something to be got out of the way in a day or two before moving on to the next”, Keir states.
A primary prerequisite of Salesforce certification is working in the relevant field or role. Bowden argues that the attitude of certifying people who lack of experience will drive to reduce the skill level among the whole industry.
Practice tests are a great method to use to identify if you’re really ready to take the exam and if you have the knowledge required. Try to use a blend of Trailhead, documentation, and practice tests to truly evaluate if it’s the right time for you.
The lesson to take away from this is simple. Be responsible for your own path to become certified. Does your knowledge and experience level indicate it’s time to become certified? Weigh up the pros and cons of each path. Don’t just jump into completing a certification just for the sake of getting a badge.
Landing more lucrative Salesforce jobs and maximizing your pay
So, you’ve worked hard to gain your certifications and now you’re looking for the next step up, whether that’s a promotion or a completely new role. How can you get the most out of your new certified status?
Almost a third of Salesforce professionals reportedly saw an increase in salary when becoming certified. Research supports this idea across the IT and Technology sector.
In and of itself, a certification can be an indicator that, as an expert in your field, you should be earning more. You can even use it as a tool when negotiating your salary. The Mason Frank report also quotes one of their respondents stating ‘being certified would give the leverage when negotiating’.
The value of a certified professional to a company is also demonstrated by the number of employers willing to pay for certifications. Mason Frank’s report goes on to say 77% of their respondents holding certifications had some contribution towards the cost of their employer. A huge 93% of these were paid for in full.
Don’t be afraid to self promote. They hold value to an employer and you’re well within your right to use them as a base for negotiating salary, benefits and responsibilities.
Act now and build a successful career with Salesforce certification
Certifications are an important part of building your Salesforce career, a solid foundation for you to build on. Whilst it’s clear they’re not essential, many do see them as an expectation and if you’re switching from one Salesforce role to another, a certification is good support that will help you argue for the move – and an increase in salary!
About the Author: Maria Baranowska is a freelance tech writer with a passion for writing about Salesforce.