This is an awesome (but tricky) topic that was suggested by Ian A. It’s kind of a loaded question.
You meet people all the time who are certified in one thing or another, but don’t know which way is up when it comes to actually applying that “book knowledge.”
The flipside is actually much more common in the Salesforce ecosystem, though– you see lots of self-trained admins with a wealth of hands-on experience that never bothered to get certified.
There are two Pardot certifications available today: 1) Pardot Specialist, and 2) Pardot Consultant. You can view the study guides for these and other Salesforce certs here.
So if you’re a Pardot user who has some solid applied knowledge of the platform, is it worth going through the hassle to get certified? I’d say yes. And here’s why.
1. It forces you to revisit every detail of the platform
When you implemented the platform or were first getting started as a user, you probably went through a soup to nuts overview of all the features Pardot has to offer.
Studying for the certification exam makes you go through those all over again — and sometimes you uncover hidden gems you forgot that can improve your marketing program. Ultimately, I’d argue that the process makes you better at your job.
2. It’s a piece of paper (well, PDF) that demonstrates you know what you’re talking about
Certification is not the “end all be all” indicator of knowledge, but it’s proof positive that you know your stuff.
And sometimes, that proof point is valuable just for you yourself. Pardot Admins are some of the most humble people I’ve worked with. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard:
“Well, we’re just doing the basics.”
“We’ve probably set it up all wrong.”
“We don’t know what we’re doing.”
…but then you look under the hood of their Pardot org and there are some amazing things happening. Certification helps you own your success with more confidence.
3. It’s super marketable on a resume
In many interviews I’ve been in for Salesforce and Pardot roles, the person on the other side of the table has limited ability to evaluate technical expertise. Definitely not HR. Sometimes not even the hiring manager.
So if an employer is looking at two candidates, and one is certified while the other is not — it’s often an unfortunate shortcut that the certified applicant comes out on top. Sample size of one, but I will also say that the number of recruiters contacting me has doubled since I listed my certs on Linkedin.
By the way — if you’re not job hunting and are staying with your current employer, this marketable skill could also be leveraged to justify a request for a salary increase…
4. The release exams keep you sharp
Once you have your certification, you have to take release exams 3X a year. NO ONE wants to miss these and have to go through the process all over again.
These maintenance exams are short and painless — but they do force you to read the release notes (which pre-certification I always found myself procrastinating on). This can be a huge benefit that helps you uncover new features your organization can leverage to improve adoption and efficiency.
So is it worth it to become Pardot certified?
TL;DR: Yes, I think it is.
What’s your take? What are the pros and cons of going through the certification process? Any tips for folks hitting the books? Share in the comments!
And, like Ian A., if you have any topic suggestions for a future blog — hit me up at email@example.com.