There’s a big topic around Salesforce certifications that no one wants to talk about…
Are Salesforce certifications actually a good test of someone’s knowledge?
Translation: is it really worth getting 5+ certifications?
The truth is, I don’t believe certifications are a true indication of someone’s skill. Some of the best people I’ve ever worked with have zero certifications, and vice versa.
At the same time, I also believe no multiple choice test can tell you how good someone will be on the job. For their scale, Salesforce certs actually do really, really well. I don’t know how I’d improve the program, honestly, while keeping it computer graded.
Furthermore, the amount of cheating going on with certifications these days is beyond rampant. To those tempted to use dumps – stolen questions from the actual exam – I hope you can find wisdom and plan for a successful career, not just a successful exam. That’s another elephant altogether.
All of this may lead you to believe that getting certifications, especially a lot of certifications, is a waste of your time. That’s a trap. Don’t fall for it.
The truth is, getting certifications is the best thing you can do for your career. Here’s why:
Ethically, I don’t believe the certifications arms race is a good thing. And if you feel that way too, I think you’re on to something. Realistically though, I can’t in good faith recommend anyone to gamble their livelihood over this. Certifications are one of the many taxes we should come to terms with in our careers, whether in the Salesforce industry or not.
For my best certification preparation tips, read every word of my Ultimate Certifications Guide.
Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Please advice how to enter SF eco system with no experience?
See this Nisha! https://www.sfdc99.com/2020/01/25/how-to-get-your-first-job-in-the-salesforce-industry-2/
Nice read. Very well articulated. Thanks for sharing.
I honestly don’t know what to say after reading your post. I’m looking for a new beginning with Salesforce, my journey has been ON and OFF on trailhead past 4 or 5 years. But now due to COVID-19 when I have been laid off so finally I gave a very concrete thought of doing Salesforce admin certification and leaving the customer facing role all together and shift towards IT. I have 15 years of customer handling experience across various industries like retail, banking and hotel. As per your post I should have experience working on the platform better than taking certs. Where can I get the hands-on in Vancouver, Canada?
Please suggest me how should I go about my journey in Salesforce.
Sid this will help! Certs are great thing to achieve in lieu of experience!
I see certifications as a floor of knowledge about a topic. If you have a Service Cloud Certification, I expect you to have at least a passing knowledge about Cases and Entitlements. While it’s a poor measure of actual applicability of skills to real world problems, being able to know that someone knows the ropes is extremely useful to prevent a total deer in the headlights moment. Sure the certification holder may not have actually done Entitlements before in a real world production, but they know the gist of it and know what to rapidly skill up since they have the baseline knowledge in the back of their mind.
I agree with you! I’m working in Salesforce world since 6 years and I took my first certification and passed it when I didn’t know what salesforce was! I’ve not taken a certification since then and I don’t think having certifications justify someone’s skill. Great to know they are people like me in Salesforce industry who doesn’t believe ONLY in certifications but real experience!
Thanks for sharing David! You inspire us!
When I entered the SF ecosystem 6 years ago I passed the Admin cert on my first try with only self-teaching. That was after 11+ years as an SAP consultant, most of which was in the CRM space.
That cert didn’t get me a SF job, but it did give me a little credibility to start doing pro-bono work.
I failed the Sales Cloud Cert exam a few times before shifting my focus to Trailhead, which was a whole lot more fun.
I leveraged my PM skills and my overall experience to finally get into a paying job, eventually getting enough hands-on config experience to call myself a SF Consultant and get away from the PM work that I had come to dislike.
I’m now an independent contractor, in control of my own destiny, and loving what I do. Just last December I went back and passed that Sales Cloud Certification that drove me nuts for too long!
Bottom line: you need a good mix of real work experience, certification(s) and Trailhead experience to be successful. A good consultant doesn’t know all the answers, but knows where to go find them.
Good luck and keep plugging away! It’s so worth it!
PS: When I first started that self-teaching, I didn’t even know I could get a free Dev Org. I stumbled across @dvdkliu on Twitter and he told me how. Thank you David for the encouragement back then, and for all you do for everyone reading this!
I think you are right. I’ve always believed real world experience is a bit more important then just getting a certification – no matter what field you are in. But the catch 22 is it’s difficult to begin in a field without the experience. I’ve encountered this many times searching for different jobs in different fields. I’m trying to go for my Salesforce admin cert but I know for a fact it won’t necessarily help me get a job with no real world experience (or at least experience within that certain field for example sales, insurance, customer service etc). Most jobs want the best of both worlds. So I always ask how do people do it? Thanks for writing this!
Thanks for sharing!