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Further, even a base-level storage certification such as the Hitachi Data Systems Certified Professional raked in a high average salary in the Salary Survey results.
Large vs. Boutique Programs
A boutique certification draws between 500 and 3,000 test takers per year. For this reason, a boutique certification has to focus on quality, not volume. Value is the key ingredient. The companies offering boutique programs aim to be in the game for the long term, creating lifelong advocates and learners.
Large programs, such as those from big names such as Microsoft and Cisco, have more training opportunities and, of course, many more participants. It may be that a certification from one of the larger programs is a base-level requirement for certain job opportunities, but a boutique certification, such as a storage credential, could be a key differentiator in the marketplace. After all, there certainly are advantages to having more than one credential.
17 Days of Training
If you’re like most folks in the high-tech industry, your employer offers you 17 training days to use as you wish. Typically that means any type of training, so you need to choose wisely. Here are some considerations:
- Keeping up on technology is a nonstop effort, so first you must get up to speed on your company’s products. But then, you might want to supplement it with courses on new technology or concepts that can save your company money, such as reducing carbon footprints or cutting energy costs.
- If you frequently draft proposals and often work to get budgets approved, a class that focuses on business-writing skills can be helpful. A good writing class will teach you how to make your case in a way that decision makers can understand, such as including an executive summary and making your key points on the first page. Further, visually appealing documents are more likely to be read. Try to find a class that includes a design element so you can learn how to use space and graphics to help get your proposal noticed.
- Microsoft Excel expertise is a great to have, especially if you have to track and report on finances and projects. The bean counters always love a well-put-together spreadsheet and are likely to look upon your work more favorably.
Peter Manijak is a director in the Hitachi Data Systems Academy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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