The Keys to Certification Success

The Keys to Certification Success

We all know that professional certifications lend significant credibility to our accomplishments and skill levels, but many are challenging and not everyone attains them.  If you are seeking to open a door to or new career, or to advance the career in which you are presently in, professional certifications are vital.  At Applied Technology Academy our team is committed to helping each and every student attain both professional certification success, as well as real life application knowledge to apply in their position (either current or future.)  As a result, we have taken the time to outline what we know over 13 years of training thousands of students to be the keys to certification success.

Whether it is an infosec certification of a leadership and development certification, some forethought and planning is required before you embark on a certification exam.  Here we will outline the critical steps to certification success:

    1. Define what specific certification you need and why you need it.  There are literally hundreds of certification alternatives, in the IT or soft skills space.   Which brand is truly best to meet your goals?   Then consider that you might need more than one certification, more like a “track” of three or four certifications to truly accomplish your goals. With as many certification offerings as there are, a single practitioner doesn’t need all of them.  Begin by assessing your current qualifications and skills.  Then take time to do your research and understand what each certification will provide in relation to your professional goals.  When you can answer these questions, you will be able to more clearly identify the certification(s) that are best for you.  Our team of Student Navigators are also trained to help you through this process, and do so with a consultative approach (aka no sales pressure or hidden incentives.)
    1. Practice, practice, practice.  All of our seasoned instructors and successful certification students will unilaterally tell you the same thing, you will get out of any class or exam preparation, exactly what you put in to it.  Take time to research what the scope of the exam will be, and then parallel your existing skills and identify any skill gaps that you have.  Then you will know where you need to spend the most time practicing and preparing.  If you work with us, our team will provide you with some of the best test prep tools and resources in the industry.  We also have the highest level of instructor attention and commitment to your exam preparation process.
    1. Be honest with yourself.  We all have strengths and weaknesses, but it is those of us that can hone in on our shortcomings and turn them in to strengths that succeed most quickly.  Our instructors are trained to meet the needs in their individual students by focusing on areas that they need to spend extra time learning and strengthening.  But you have the first responsibility of self-assessment.  Take time to know what you really need to learn and how you will best learn it.
    1. Take advantage of training opportunities. First know what your baseline knowledge of the upcoming material is and then determine how you will learn best.  The majority of student  will have the best outcome with tradition instructor-led class training, but some can self-study with online learning resources.  Whichever training delivery model you choose, make sure that a large range of current real-world examples are provided, as well as current exam preparation material – and yes, they are sometimes different, and you need a training provider that can address and teach to both real-world and exam material.
  1. Plan well and plan on a calendar. Don’t wait until the week before your certification exam to establish a study cycle.  You’ll regret that you did.  Repetition is the key to any student’s success, and you need time to study.  Your study schedule need to work with your life schedule and you literally need to create a study map that is reasonable and attainable.  You are committed to applying yourself intellectually, you also need to commit the time in your schedule to succeed.