Archive for June, 2008

Jun 09 2008

Microsoft CRM Certifications and Technical Education

I was shocked to learn that a local Bay Area elementary school had recently looked into adding Microsoft A+, Net+, and Security+ to their list of elective courses to take during their school year. I was aware that this was being implemented at the high school and community college levels, but ELEMENTARY! That’s simply incredible.

It was reported by Daniel Margolis of certmag.com that, educationally speaking:

  • 33% of IT Professionals with certifications have obtained a Bachelor’s degree
  • 21% have a Master’s degree
  • 10% percent have received some technical training (no college degree)
  • 13% of you have earned a high school diploma

That’s 23% that don’t have college degrees and are actively working in the industry. Imagine 10 years from now… all these new “whipper snappers” will have a leg up on that 23%. Of course, that’s the beauty of educational evolution. With the inclusion of IT education and certifications to elementary, middle, and high school students, these numbers relating to Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees should be on the rise in the coming years.

So what do you do if you don’t already have the BA or MA degree? Take a certification course that gives you those missing college credits. Take a class with Unitek because we can now offer college credits for completing our Microsoft CRM 4.0 Boot Camp!

Aside from information about college credits and applicable degrees, I’m repeatedly asked about what certifications are the best to obtain? Industry experts say that Microsoft CRM certifications are on the rise and it’s quickly becoming the most popular avenue for new and experienced consultants, IT pros, and systems administrators. But how do most IT professionals decide on a particular certification? Cost, cost, and, oh yeah… how much does it cost?

If you base a certification on price, the cheapest certification would seem to have the most value and asking for a low budget approval is usually easier than the alternative. However, certifications have continued benefits like:

  • Opening doors to new jobs, careers, and opportunities
  • Adding value to your resume
  • Solidifying your position as a certified professional in an area that the company holds near and dear to their hearts, like Microsoft CRM.

But having a certification isn’t typically enough to land the perfect job. Reaching your professional goals require:

  • Microsoft Training
  • Microsoft Certification
  • Converting certification into jobs…jobs into experience…and experience into a career!

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an area of study is the link between certifications. Thankfully, Microsoft Dynamics’ offers certifications for Applications, Installation, Customization, Extending CRM, and more. These are also partnered with other certifications under the Dynamics and Microsoft Corporate umbrellas. (VB.net, C# development, MCSE/MCSA, etc…)

Jonathan of certmag.com was quoted as saying, “Each training and certification decision helps to build capabilities and flexibility in your areas of interest and opportunity. Vendor-neutral certification gives breadth, while vendor-specific certification provides depth. In a multi-vendor environment, the mix of neutral and specific certifications offers flexibility. A mix indicates that you have carefully built a foundation of strong competencies. You should especially consider attractive add-on certifications, such as project management, that show employers you are multi-faceted.” I say…”Well put, Jonathan!”

So, what’s important to you? The degree? The certification? Boss told me to get it done or get lost? All of the above? If so, call Unitek’s CRM team NOW so we can help drive you, AND your career, in the right direction.

JH
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

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