5 Questions to Help Decide If a Salesforce Certification Is for You

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 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.

Best Jobs in 2017

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.

Start with a Salesforce Certification

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 the 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.

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

Achieve Salesforce certified status

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!

2. 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.

3. Are you prepared to maintain your knowledge?

Salesforce examination details
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.

4. Are you willing to undertake real-life scenarios?

Real life scenarios during exam

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.

5. Are you prioritizing the right Salesforce certification?

choosing 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.

Introductory video

Understanding the Salesforce Certification Process

If you answered “yes” to those five questions above, and you’re ready to take the first step in your Salesforce career, you might want to know more about how the certification exam process works. In short, you get the training and you register to take the exam. The exams are usually a set number of multiple-choice questions, and you have a time limit for taking the exam. For example, the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam has 60 questions and a time limit of 105 minutes, with a score of 65% required to pass. Other Salesforce certification exams have differing requirements, so check a specific exam to know for certain what to expect.

Also, consider certification training that includes a practice exam. Simplilearn offers different learning paths to prepare you for Salesforce certification:

The Salesforce Administrator & App Builder training will prepare you to pass two Salesforce certification exams while teaching you the core administrative features of CRM. You’ll learn analytics and customization skills to tailor the system for specific implementations and master the declarative capabilities of the Force platform to create new applications.

The Salesforce Administrator training will help you master the core administration features of Salesforce as you learn to implement, configure and manage Sales and Service Clouds, as well as implement automation, security, troubleshooting, user interfaces, customized apps, and much more. This training will prepare you to pass the Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam.

The Salesforce App Builder training will teach you to use the declarative “clicks not code” capabilities of the Force platform to create new applications. This training will prepare you to pass the Salesforce App Builder Certification Exam.

The Salesforce Platform Developer I(Apex and Visualforce) training will teach you to develop custom applications on the Salesforce platform utilizing the Apex programming code and Visualforce user interface framework. You’ll learn to write customizations for both business logic and interface layers, develop a testing and debugging framework and extend an application’s capabilities using AppExchange. The hands-on training will ensure you’re job-ready for your next Salesforce assignment. This training will prepare you for the Salesforce DEV 450 Certification Exam.

A career in Salesforce is a smart move for anyone seeking a position in a field with almost countless job possibilities, as the jobs requiring Salesforce skills continue to multiply. And the time to move into that field is now as the growth is starting to accelerate and demand is high. If you’re ready for a career in a stable and high-paying field, Salesforce might be right for you, and certification is definitely the place to start.

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