Technology professionals must constantly upgrade their skills if they wish to stay relevant and in demand in the job market. A good way to approach this to identify skills currently in demand as well as those that will be in future, and equip oneself with certifications in these areas. One such skill set is Salesforce, one of the fastest growing and hottest skills in the technology job market. Its wide applicability to a number of job roles from developers to project managers makes it highly valuable. Here is a roundup of the top Salesforce certifications and how each adds value to your existing skillsets.
Certifications go a long way in differentiating talent, especially when the job market is competitive and skill requirements are getting upgraded by the hour. Not only do certifications prove your technical capabilities, they also indicate that you are willing to go the extra mile for professional excellence. Some of the obvious merits of Salesforce certifications are:
- Increased value in a tight job market
- Their flexibility means you can complete them by the hour/day/week
- Directly related to a higher salary or better job prospects
- Professionals can choose from technical (developers, solution architects) or professional courses (Marketing, Sales etc.)
Administrator Track: Two levels i.e., Certified Administrator and Certified Advanced Administrator, are available. These are meant for those who handle Salesforce administrative functions.
Salesforce Certified Administrator: This is an admin function one level above the Admin Track. The target audience is professionals who have extensive knowledge of Salesforce application customization and configuration, user management, and platform enhancement. The exam is in a multiple-choice question format with 60 questions to be completed over 90 minutes. Candidates who score a minimum of 65% pass. The registration fee is $200 and retake fee is $100. While there is no official prerequisite, it is recommended to take the Administration Essentials for New Admins (ADM 201)Â andÂ Administration Essentials for New Administrators and Certification (ADM 201C) courses beforehand.
Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator: This course is for candidates who have experience in advanced admin tasks in Salesforce, such as designing advanced reports, dashboards and automation processes. Candidates will learn how to manage Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications, conduct advanced admin tasks and carry out business process automation by designing advanced reports and dashboards. The test comprises 63 multiple choice questions over 90 minutes, and needs 65% for passing. This too has a registration fee of $200 and retake fee of $100. Candidates are advised to take the Administration Essentials for Experienced AdminsÂ beforehand.
Application Builders: This is useful for Salesforce professionals whose work involves designing, building and implementing custom applications. It is more programming oriented. The Salesforce Certified Platform Application Builder works on the Force.com platform. It involves design elements such as the data model, user interface, business logic and securityÂ aspects of the application, both web based and mobile. There are 60 multiple choice questions over a period of 90 minutes, with a passing score of 65%. Registration is $200 and retake is another $100. A suggested precursor is the Declarative Development for Platform App Builders (DEV402)Â course.
Architects: This course is available in three levels: Architecture Designers (Application or System Architects), Doman Architects (Data Architecture and Management; Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer; Identity and Access Management Designer; Integration Architecture Designer; Mobile Solutions Architecture Designer; Sharing and Visibility Designer) and Technical Architects (all domains).
The Salesforce Certified Application Architect: This certification is designed for those who have in-depth knowledge of Salesforce as well as data modeling tasks. It is fairly advanced, and so has pre-requisites. Applicants must have already undertaken the following courses: Salesforce Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer, Salesforce Certified Sharing & Visibility Designer, Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I and Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder.
The Salesforce Certified System Architect: It focuses on systems testing, integration and governance in an organizational context. Depending on the domain you choose, you must have completed some courses to apply for this. These include Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer, Certified Identity and Access Management Designer, Certified Integration Architecture Designer and Certified Platform Developer I certifications.
Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA): This is one of the most advanced Salesforce certifications, requiring significant investment of time, effort, and money. Candidates who apply must already have extensive technical and platform experience in Salesforce. This certification primarily offers broad knowledge of various development platforms. It is a multiple-choice exam, with a registration fee of $6000 and retake fee of $3000. Prerequisites are Application ArchitectÂ credentials andÂ Salesforce Certified System Architect credentials.
For Platform Developers: Two levels are available for developers: Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I and Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II. The outcome of these courses is the ability to build customized applications. The Developer 1 course requires candidates to be able to model data, design the UI and business logic, develop customizations through Apex and Visualforce and be able to operate in available environments. It is a 60-question test to be completed in 105 minutes, with a passing score of 68%. Fees are $200 for first-timers and $100 for retakes.
The Developer II course is about advanced programming in Salesforce for solving complex business problems. It too is a 60-question test, with a 120-minute time slot and 63% passing score. Fees are $400 and $200 for registration and retake.