After a long gap of 5 years, I received 20 new Microsoft certifications in less than 12 weeks during 2020. During the last eight months, quite a few people in my professional network asked me “Why a senior Technology leader needs certification?”.
The certification journey of 2020 reminded me of the value of information and that ocean of knowledge has no limits. There are seven reasons why I get certified and why every IT professional should do the same.
1. Part of lifelong learning and upskilling
I believe that getting certified is a part of lifelong learning and upskilling. There’s no limit to the amount of knowledge one can gain. Certification allowed me to acquire more information on a particular subject. I consider it a part of lifelong learning that refined my skills and filled me with contentment, joy, and opportunities.
2. Lead by example
When a leader sets the right example for accomplishing goals and conducting business, the team follows. I wish to lead by example and motivate our broad talent community by getting certified across Cloud Infrastructure, Cloud Native Applications, Data Engineering, AI, Security, and DevOps domains. If I expect my team to push forward to greatness, I must do the same.
3. Validate the skills
I have always believed that certification is the best way to validate your skills and knowledge of any Technology. Certification Courses help an individual showcase his competency, commitment to the profession, build expertise in his professional subject area. Further, Certification training and continuation topics are often refined regularly to ensure that anyone practicing in the field stays abreast of the most recent trends and developments.
4. Differentiation from competition
Certification is a great way to differentiate our value proposition from the competition. Certified professionals are also an essential prerequisite for Microsoft Gold level skills and specialized skill accreditation.
5. Customer Value
The world is becoming digital in every form, and customers are building their technical talent and expertise. As a technology leader, I must create value for my customers and meet their high expectations.
To help a customer with technology, we must learn about our technical domains and multiple other domains. For that, certification is the best way. When an individual is certified in various technical disciplines, he can better understand the issue and customer requirements. As a professional, we don’t do enough of that. That’s why I went for 20+ Microsoft certifications along with other relevant credentials like PMP and IASA CITAP-Distinguished.
6. It’s fun and motivating to learn and certify
Getting certified is fun and motivating (sometimes addictive). I am fortunate enough to do something I am passionate about.
I started my Microsoft certification journey in 1993 and have gone through a long journey. I hold more than 140 certifications: many being Charter members, many Beta certifications, Microsoft certified master, etc. Also, I have the most challenging certification ever created Microsoft Certified Architect ($10K certificate program) with less than 5% passing rate. Globally I am the only one who dared to go for two Microsoft Certified Architect domains (Databases and Solutions).
These certifications motivated me never to stop learning and were fun. But 2020 was fun for me at different levels for a couple of reasons. I went for another technical certification after a long gap of 5 years. It was an exciting experience with the exams, experimenting with hands-on labs. Apart from the fun part, my knowledge and experience paid me off with 20 new Microsoft certifications in less than 12 weeks.
My advice to all IT professionals is that they need to have upskilling and a few certifications to refine themselves and to keep their Tech Intensity going with the pace of technological change.
7. Because My Employer empowers me to
Our top priority is Tech Intensity and technology leadership in Accenture/Microsoft/Avanade family (AMBG). We are always looking for creative ways to provide the best learnings, certifications, and experiences for our resources. Our certification roadmap leans heavily on Microsoft Learn and the Microsoft ESI platform. We provide our best in offering study groups, gamification across different Talent communities and regions, mock tests exam vouchers, and most importantly, a safe environment where failure on certification is acceptable.
As an Avanade employee, I have access to three learning experience platforms: ours, Microsoft’s and Accenture’s. That’s why we own the world record – How Accenture set a new world record in partner skilling – Microsoft Tech Community and Largest online video chain of people handing over an object | Guinness World Records.
What’s next for me
Time to start the next round of Microsoft certifications, Cybersecurity, Sustainability, and competing Cloud platforms
My certifications have helped to improve my capabilities and achieve better productivity in multiple domains.
Getting certified allows people to stand out from the crowd and innovate new technologies for the betterment of the world. It derives a feeling of discipline, satisfaction, and commitment.