What are the benefits of CRM certifications

learning_about_environment

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Why are CRM certificationsa benefi,  why should you study for one.  Here are my thoughts on the subject

I will put this one first because it’s the most important

“43 percent of survey respondents report salary increases as a result of Microsoft Certification.”

– Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals

here is how microsoft explains why getting certified is a good idea

Why get certified?

Earning a Microsoft Certification helps validate your proven experience and knowledge in using Microsoft products and solutions. Designed to be relevant in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, Microsoft Certifications help you utilize evolving technologies, fine-tune your troubleshooting skills, and improve your job satisfaction.

Whether you are new to technology, changing jobs, or a seasoned IT professional, becoming certified helps demonstrate to customers, peers, and employers that you are committed to advancing your skills and taking on greater challenges. In addition, certification provides you with access to Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) resources and benefits, including opportunities to connect with a vast, global network of MCPs.

Here are the benefits I think passing a CRM certification gives you

1.  It’s sets you apart from all the people who haven’t got a certification.  If an employer is interview two people and one has a certification and the other doesn’t then the certified person has a definite advantage.

2.  While you cannot beat experience, a certification helps build a more complete knowledge of CRM.  I have also experienced this whilst study for my Java certification.  When using a system you use only the parts you need to do the projects you are working on.  When you study a certification you learn parts you haven’t used yet but this gives you a more rounded knowledge.

3.  Success creates success.   Passing the certification will give you more confidence because you set yourself a goal, made a plan (studying) and then executed the plan and passed the exam.

4.  You show employers you are continues learning.  Employers are always interested in hiring people who can and are willing to learn because in most jobs you will have to learn new skills, maybe a new job.  By passing the certification you are showing you are willing and have the ability to learn more skills, this sets you apart from all those colleagues who just come in and do their job and go home.

5.  You can Mentor and help others to pass a CRM certification.  Once you have passed a certification other people around you will be interested in certification.  They will wonder if they can pass the certification and might ask your advice.

6.  People who are certified get paid more than people who are not certified.  Now whether this is down to having a certification or whether its because people who get certified are high achievers who knows but it certainly won’t hurt your case for a payrise when it comes round to review time.

7.  Certfications are good ways to change the direction of your career.  If you are interested in moving into CRM then getting  a CRM certification will show your boss that you are serious about it.

8.  Companies need more certifications to keep their gold partner status, so the certification is more important to companies.

9.  You get to use Career-related tools in the MCP Career Center.  You also have the opportunity to network with other people who have passed CRM certifications.

10.  It’s a good way to learn new features in the latest version of CRM if you haven’t had much experience of using the latest version.

11.  Passing a certification gives you something to show for your learning.  You get a benefit from reading a CRM book or articles but doing this won’t give you anything to show you employer or potential employer but a certification is an industry standard level of learning CRM.

I found this article describing the benefits of certification, it is a useful and concise summary

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2007/01/16/microsoft-crm-certification.aspx

Microsoft’s certification site have some more reasons why the CRM certifications are good, you can read that here.  Here are some benefits specified by Microsoft, which can be found here

Benefits

“43 percent of survey respondents report salary increases as a result of Microsoft Certification.”

– Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals

When you earn a Microsoft Certification, you receive access to a suite of online tools—which can be found on the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) member site or the Microsoft Business Certification (MSBC) member site— to help you demonstrate your unique achievements to customers, peers, and employers.

Further your career with advanced technical skills

“More than 40 percent of survey respondents report that Microsoft Certification was a factor in improving their ability to find or keep a job or get a promotion.”

– Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals

A Microsoft Certification on your resume helps inspire confidence in hiring managers and helps open doors to career opportunities for you. By earning a Microsoft Certification, you have access to resources on the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) site or the Microsoft Business Certification (MBC) site, depending on the type of certification you earned. These member sites house a variety of tools and resources to help you advance even further in your career.

Resources include the following (some are found only on the MCP member site):

  • Career-related tools in the MCP Career Center
  • A Microsoft job board where you can display your technical certifications
  • Microsoft Certification Planner
  • Technical subscriptions, products, and services
  • Potential college credit

Collaborate and network with other certified professionals around the world

As a member of the Microsoft Certification community, you can connect with other certified professionals worldwide, through Microsoft-sponsored events, local news groups, and online forums. Network and brainstorm with the community for technical help, certification suggestions, job seeking, or simple camaraderie.

Community and networking resources include:

  • Private and public newsgroups
  • Invitations to conferences, training sessions, and special events
  • Subscription to the MCP Flash newsletter

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My Journey into Microsoft CRM Dynamics and Certifications

 

I am continueing my quest to increase my knowledge in the CRM world.

It has been a slow drawn out journey.  In 2008 whilst working on different projects, the company I work for said they were moving in the direction of CRM.  So I studied for Crm 4 Applications certification.  This was quite difficult because I wasn’t using CRM every day but it was also interesting because I was learning what CRM was and how it is used and fits together.

I then passed that certification and the company got some CRM work but gave it to people who hadn’t studied about CRM and knew nothing about it ?!?!?!?!

On the plus side at this point I then got to work on a project which used C# and asp.net.  This turned out to be some very useful skills to pick up with regards to CRM and in particular CRM development.  As many of you no doubt know Microsoft CRM Dynamics is basically an asp Web site built on standard Meta Data framework.

This year I finally got to work on a CRM project, Hazaar and at the same time I have continued to learn about CRM through passing the 2 more CRM certifications.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Customization and Configuration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Installation and Deployment

These two certifications have helped build my knowledge about the way microsoft dynamics Crm works and the various components that are installed and which make up the total package. e.g. things like the crm website, Reports services, the web services and outlook.

I am now moving on towards the programming side of CRM.  I am currently studying for the certification

CRM 4.0 Extending Microsoft Dynamics

I have found this very interesting, one reason for this is because I have spent 6 years as a Java developer and then some more years developing in C#, asp.net and doing some business objects and other projects which have popped up.

It’s interesting to see how CRM is laid out, it reminds me of when I have developed code which I wanted to use again, you try to modularise the code and make it so you can extend the code without changing it (so you don’t have to test it again).  It also reminds me of my Java days and using frameworks like Spring, Struts and a hibernate (is it a framework? but it is similar to CRM because it uses metadata to access the database).  This is interesting because you can see how Microsoft has laid out CRM, thought it out so people can extend and add to it without too much difficultly.

With regards to Extending CRM exam. I have found the ms courseware very useful and well presented as usual.

I have also been reading the book – Programming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.  This is also an extremely professional and well written book.  It gives great examples and picks out all the gotchas for you.

The most interesting resource I have been using is the CRM Ramp up course, which I have blogged about before here

It’s really interesting to see the thoughts of one of the developers of CRM 4 and the jokes and etc knowledge he has.  It’s also enjoyable not to be just reading about CRM.

once I have passed this certification, I will then focus my attention on improving and studying my .NET skills and work towards passing the

TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-515&locale=en-us

of course at the same time I will also need to learn CRM 2011.

Still at the start of the year I only had one CRM certification, now I have 3 in the bag, one more I studying for and some experience of actually using CRM on a project.

Hopefully next year I will really make some head way into the world of CRM and get really stuck in to CRM 2011

 

Developer Ramp up Kit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

 

I have been studying for the CRM 4 – Extending CRM certification and I have been through the course ware for the exam and then this week I found a developer ramp up kit.

you can find it here and it’s totally free.

The course is held by a developer at Microsoft at the home of microsoft in Richmond.  I found the person giving the course very easy to listen to.

The information the course is very useful, not only does it go through many of the development areas of CRM but it also gives you lots of information of how CRM works.  This course would be useful if you are studying for any of the exams because the information it gives comes up in all the previous exams.

Watching the videos is useful but going through the labs is even more useful because you actually see how the code works.

Passed two more certifications

I have this year passed two more CRM certifications

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Customization and Configuration
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Installation and Deployment

it’s interesting because I sometimes wonder how valuable certifications are but I have certainly learnt a lot of information about the product and I think I know have a broader knowledge of the subject.  Where as before I had a working knowledge of the product.

Personally the value I put to certifications is it gives me something official to show for the hours of effort I have put in.  There are many people who have read a technical book but you can’ t put that on your CV (although you can add it to linkedin!)

I also think Certifications are a good way to get some experience in a product which you might not be using everyday in your work or maybe are using certain parts of it but you want to learn about other sections.

I also read that people who are certified get 5 to 10 percent higher wages.  I don’t think this is just about the certifications but it shows that those people are willing to put extra effort in outside of work , ambitious and are trying to get ahead in their career.