We’ve enjoyed welcoming new members to our community the last few weeks—the VMware Certified Associates (VCAs)—and thought this would be a great time to focus on best practices to get the most out of your certification with weekly “Stand Out with VCA” posts. We kick off this week with a break down of how certification can benefit your current company, and how to use to improve your opportunities.
We are currently gathering stories about the benefits of a VCA certification since we launched at VMworld San Francisco just a few weeks ago. Today we’ll share some great insights from VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) and VMware Certified Advanced Professionals (VCAPs) about how certification has impacted their work.
Support Your Team
“Getting certified has allowed my company to expand its presence in the marketplace and provide customers with a wider range of IT services,” explains Steven Maskiewicz, a solutions architect at Infinite Group, Inc. and VCP-Cloud, VCP5-DCV, VCP-DT.
Not surprisingly, being a boon to the business was a boon for Steven, too. “Once I took the step to get certified, my career moved quickly in a new direction and it opened a lot of doors,” says Steven, who advanced from a systems administrator to solutions architect title after getting certified.
While the value of a certification in hand is fairly clear, the preparation required to achieve it provides benefits that are sometimes less visible. As Don R. Crawley notes in ComputerWorld, preparing for a certification exam helps you do two things:
- broaden your overall knowledge base and
- narrow the gap between what you think you know and what you actually know.
Going through the certification process ensures that information and experience is right at your fingertips, which means you spend less time finding answers and trouble-shooting. That’s especially important since efficiency is at the top of every business’ list these days.
“I used to take time to understand ESX Environment; now I suggest a solution with a quick thought, using what I have learned in the class and labs,” says Ankit Mehta, a VCP5-DCV, VCP-Cloud and StorageWorks Solution Centre Engineer at Hewlett-Packard. That kind of confidence and quick thinking will be increasingly important as the rate of IT change continues to accelerate.
Although certification obviously has its own rewards, it might not provide the opportunities you hope for if you don’t share it with the right people. Before getting certified, check with your manager first to determine which certification will be most useful to you and the whole team.
Then don’t forget to advertise your accomplishments (tastefully) by including them on business cards, networking sites (especially LinkedIn), and customer presentations (when appropriate).
Adam Eckerle, a Technical Solutions Architect at Network Storage, Inc. in Indianapolis and a VCAP-DCD and VCAP-DCA, says, “Whenever I’m giving a presentation, I always put up my “this is who I am” slide. It’s nice to be able to put my certifications up there—it’s been a conversation starter.”
Share Your Story!
You can see more insights from VCPs, VCAPs, and VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDXs) at our VMware Certifications Pros page. We’re hoping to add some stories from VMware Certified Associates soon, so please get in touch at email@example.com if you’d like to be featured there!