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Do you need ALL Salesforce Certificates?

Most of the people who work with Salesforce know famous certificate triangle with CTA (Certified Technical Architect) at the top of the hierarchy. The question which bothers many Salesforce Admin, Developers and Architects is: Do I need all Salesforce certificates to be successful in Salesforce?

Before we will answer to that question, let’s review what Salesforce provides in terms of certification paths.

All of the scenarios which I am describing are from a person who doesn’t know how to start doing certificates perspective and is not suitable for people who are advanced in certifications.

Certification split

This is the basic split and you can use it as the main navigator trough certification paths. 

Role-based split is great when you want to focus only on one type of work in your career. But the role-based split is not always right. When you are a developer working with Commerce Cloud – you are focused on Javascript and Commerce cloud development and you are different type of developer than Apex Developer. For sure you can be ninja developer who knows all of the Salesforce clouds, but Salesforce is getting so big, that it will not be easy to keep on track with each of the clouds.

I prefer to split certificates into Salesforce clouds which is more technical separation. When you are working with Sales cloud focus (or start) on Sales Cloud Structure. When you will be getting more experience with projects, you may get to the point when you will learn about most of the clouds, but give yourself time.

The structure which you see in the image above is related to the architect path – to get the highest Salesforce certification credential – Technical Architect (CTA) which is the main goal for many developers and architects (also mine :)).

Main question

We can move to the main question: Do I need all Salesforce certificates to be successful in Salesforce?
The simple answer is: NO

You don’t need even one certificate. I know many great developers and administrators who know how to work with Salesforce and they don’t need certificates to improve their career. What you should focus is to extend your horizons and learn not only by remembering some definitions but understanding how functionalities which you are getting acquainted with works.

When should I get certified?

Salesforce certificates are a great way to summarize and challenge yourself, because even when you are thinking that you are great in one of the clouds and you know EVERYTHING – try to pass any of the certificates with 100% score 🙂

What I would recommend is to pass certificates along with experience and your area of interests. When you do a lot of integration – do “Integration Architecture Designer”, you do extreme sharing models on the project – do “Sharing and visibility designer”. If you have experience in all of the Salesforce areas – try to pass them all 😀

Salesforce is extending so much, that passing all related certificates to the specific role will no help you to improve your career. All credentials don’t have any value if they are not confirmed with project on-hands experience.

Let’s take a look at Salesforce Developer recommendations:

  • B2C Commerce Developer
  • JavaScript Developer I
  • Marketing Cloud Developer
  • Platform App Builder
  • Platform Developer I
  • Platform Developer II

I mentioned that your certificates should be related to your area of interests – Let’s previous example that you are working only with Salesforce Commerce Cloud – You need only B2C Commerce Cloud Developer as it will enable you to confirm your skills in this area, but you don’t need Platform Developer as this certification is related to another cloud which you might not use right now. You can take next steps by getting related admin and architect certificates still in the same cloud.

Certification motivation

Certificates should be your motivation to learn some of the new functionalities, but to be successful you need real project experience because otherwise, you will learn something which you will never use. Try to find the motivation to learn Salesforce not only in your role-specific area but take a step forward to learn something new.

The learning process doesn’t push you to pass certificates, you can learn new technologies without certification. Let’s say you can motivate yourself to learn Einstein to talk with your colleagues during a coffee break, but do you really need a certificate for that?

I really encourage you to participate for even one basic certification like App Builder or Admin as this is a great starting point in Salesforce career, but I also recommend to think about project/team/client value when you will be choosing further exams.

The most important is that you understand how the functionality works – no how many certificates you have.

Summarize

There is no better person to answer this question than you. I’ve prepared simple mindmap which can help you drive your decision about the certification process.

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