Are You Considering a Salesforce Certification?

Salesforce is used in nearly every industry and countless companies today, and its reach continues to expand. Salesforce dominates because the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is some of the most advanced in the world and the cloud computing model makes it affordable and scalable. In May 2018, IDC named Salesforce #1 in CRM, sales applications, customer service applications, and marketing applications. In 2017, the company increased its market share by more percentage points than all other top CRM providers combined. 

The continued growth of Salesforce also drives a strong demand for Salesforce professionals. In 2017, Indeed carried out an analysis of the best jobs in the U.S., and Salesforce jobs ranked high on that list, with Salesforce Administrator at #4 and Salesforce Developer at #6.

Salesforce ranked #1 on Fortune Magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2018, but a job in Salesforce doesn’t mean a job with Salesforce. The so-called Salesforce Economy is expected to create 3.3 million new jobs by 2022. And these are high-paying jobs. According to Indeed, the average salary for a Salesforce Administrator in 2018 is $85,000, with some positions paying more and some less. A Salesforce Developer in the U.S. can expect to make on average $112,000 annually.

If you’re interested in a career in this fast-growing field, the place to start is a Salesforce certification in one of the two main areas: Administrator or Developer. A Salesforce Administrator’s tasks include helping users to develop reports and reset passwords, maintaining data quality, adding fields, running backups, and many other admin tasks that are crucial to the smooth and seamless performance of the software. Salesforce Developer designs, codes, tests, implements and maintains Salesforce applications.

Whichever direction is right for you, you’ll jumpstart your Salesforce career with a Salesforce certification. However, you might want to ask yourself these five questions first to make sure a Salesforce certification is right for you. 

Are you dedicated and willing to put the work in to reap big rewards?

The Salesforce certification process should not be taken lightly. Everyone that has managed to achieve the base level certifications has had to work extremely hard to achieve “certified” status. It requires research, trailhead tutorials and a lot of revision in your free time!

Though the certifications are not easy, they are highly achievable for everyone that puts the level of dedication needed for them. There are a number of resources out there, both free and paid, to help take you to the next level. In addition to resources, there are many members of the Salesforce community ready to help you at the drop of a hat. You just need to ask!

Are you willing to invest in yourself?

Salesforce is one of the most fantastic careers I have ever come across. Speak to any member of the Salesforce community about their careers, and I’m sure you will get an overwhelmingly positive response. But everyone that has managed to get far in this career has had to invest in it early on, and that means an investment of both time and money.

The time you’ll invest will depend upon the certification path you choose. There might also be a fee with that training. In addition to that cost, the average Salesforce exam cost is $200, and if you don’t pass, you’ll pay a fee to take the exam again. It is important to keep in mind that different certifications have a different exam and retake costs. Yet, making an investment in quality training is a smart move.

Are you prepared to maintain your knowledge?

You will have to learn a great deal to conquer the entry-level exams of Salesforce as part of the Salesforce certification process, but the battle isn’t over at the first hurdle. Because the Salesforce platform is ever-changing and evolving, you will also have to keep up with all the latest changes to maintain your certification.

Salesforce does this in the form of Maintenance Exams. These exams come out three times a year in line with Salesforce product releases (Spring, Summer, Winter). They test your knowledge on the upcoming features and changes to ensure that you can impart this knowledge on to your team members, users and/or customers, as well as apply it to your own work.

Are you willing to undertake real-life scenarios?

Salesforce certifications are all about revision and learning as much about the platform as possible. One sure-fire way to pass this all-important certification is with real-life scenarios. The Salesforce entry-level exams are heavily based on scenarios, giving you business requirements and leaving it up to you to choose the correct solution in the eyes of Salesforce. Knowing this, you should seek out Salesforce certification training that emphasizes hands-on learning.

For example, Simplilearn’s Salesforce Administrator Certification Training includes two real-world projects as part of the course. The first project challenges students to implement an end-to-end recruitment process, while the other requires them to implement customer service process management.

Are you prioritizing the right Salesforce certification?

The two most popular foundation level certifications are the Certified Administrator Exam and the Platform App Builder. These exams are aimed at a specific type of role. The Administrator exam is focused more on maintaining and administrating the Salesforce platform, while the Platform App Builder is focused on extending the Salesforce platform with custom applications. Know whether you want to pursue the Administrator or Developer path before you start your Salesforce certification process.

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