Tech Careers: The Certification Process

by Steve Todd | April 23, 2010

  • My Vault
I have written several articles describing the benefits of professional certification in the high-tech industry. One article described how baby boomers can combine certification with their previous international experience. A separate article described how certification can play an important role in an innovative career.

There are many other benefits, with the most important one being that certification looks great on your resume. Certification also allows you to join user groups on social media sites such as LinkedIn. It enables you to join blogging communities and participate in forums and discussions. You can participate in special events and/or specific training. And finally, you are usually granted permission to display a certification logo on a public page such as Facebook or a personal blog.

What I haven’t written about is the process itself. I decided to blog my way through the process of obtaining certification at my own company (EMC). Here are the steps that I went through:

  1. I gathered information from community members by lurking on their website. I tried to find out information about different levels of certification, how best to study, and how best to learn.
  2. There were dozens of certification exams to choose from. I wanted to achieve certification in a broad range of high-tech areas. I found an excellent video which explained the different tracks of certification. I chose to pursue the Storage Technologist “Open” track.
  3. I found the test that was right for me: E20-001.
  4. I selected a testing center from this world-wide list and scheduled an exam. I also checked whether or not I was eligible for a voucher.
  5. I studied for the test by viewing on-line courses and reading the textbook.
  6. I read the FAQ and found out how to take practice exams.
  7. I joined a Facebook community and asked questions about studying with other people.
  8. I took the test and found out immediately that I had passed. Within 48 hours I received an electronic certificate as an EMC Proven Associate in Information Storage and Management.
  9. I received permission to use the “EMC Proven” Logo. You can see this logo on the left hand side of my blog.

That’s all there was to it! I have since joined the LinkedIn and EMC Proven communities and am already receiving emails about different topics that will keep me (and my resume) current in the high-tech industry.

Whether your interest is applications, networking, system administration, or information storage, certification will give you an edge. After going through the process my main advice is to take advantage of social media communities in order to streamline your own personal process.

Steve
http://stevetodd.typepad.com
Twitter: @SteveTodd
EMC Intrapreneur

Filed Under: Technology

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