For any professional, earning an industry-recognized certification of achievement is a point of pride that establishes an individual’s level of education and ability. Professional certifications provide a certain level of confidence for current employers, and potential future employers, when hiring and assigning specific assignments.
IT pros and application developers have a plethora of training, continuing education, and certifications to choose from as professionals in the information technology industry. Fortunately, the number of desirable professional certifications can be narrowed down by focusing on a specific platform and your area of expertise. This is particularly true for Customer Resource Management (CRM) developers.
SEE: Hiring Kit: CRM Developer (TechRepublic Premium)
Choose a platform before choosing a CRM certification
While there will be individuals who can excel at more than one CRM development platform, most people would be best served by concentrating on a particular platform, at least at the start of their career. There are a number of prominent and successful CRM platforms on the market, but four emphasize the importance of certifications more than the others.
The two most obvious of these certification-rich platforms are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365. The third and fourth are Zoho CRM and HubSpot, which provide professional certification courses, but not as many as the first two and not with such emphasis.
- Salesforce: If you head over to Salesforce’s training center webpage know as the Trailhead Academy, you will find at least 30 separate certifications categorized under 5 separate job roles—Administrators, Architects, Consultants, Developers, and Marketers.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365: Similar to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a training center webpage with dozens of training sessions leading to professional certifications categorized under dozens of job roles. The are 50 certifications classified under Developer alone.
- HubSpot: The training webpage for HubSpot contains about a dozen training sessions, but only one, HubSpot CMS for Developers, has a professional certification associated with it.
- Zoho CRM: Certifications for Zoho CRM is limited to two distinct job roles—Creator Training for Business Users and Creator Training for Developers. Training for other Zoho CRM features are available in less formal sessions.
Other CRM platforms and small business applications have training programs and community support systems, but there is less emphasis on achieving professional certifications.
SEE: CRM solutions for SMBs (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
CRM certifications for developers
Regardless of which CRM platform you choose to work with, the best developers are well-rounded developers. High-level and advanced professional certifications indicate a level of dedication to your craft that employers cannot ignore.
As a developer working with the Salesforce platform you will want to concentrate on the Developer certifications found on the Trailhead Academy, which would include:
To supplement the Developer Certification, you may also want to seek certifications found in other roles, like:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Developers working with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform will also want to start with the basics and then work up to advanced certifications and specialized training. Basic modules would include:
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
- MCSA: Web Applications
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Developer Associate
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate
- Microsoft Certified: Power Apps + Dynamics 365 Developer Associate
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Developer Associate
SEE: Feature comparison: CRM software and services (TechRepublic Premium)
For HubSpot, there is only one developer certification, but there are free training modules that aspiring developers may like to avail themselves, including:
- Getting Started with HubSpot APIs (Free)
- A Developer Overview of the HubSpot CMS (Free)
- HubL: The Templating Language of the HubSpot CMS (Free)
- HubSpot for CMS Developers (Certification)
There are only two professional certification courses for the Zoho CRM platform. Accomplished developers using this platform should consider adding both these certifications to their list of accomplishments:
Each month’s online training session fills up quickly, so register early.
SEE: Hiring kit: Salesforce Developer (TechRepublic Premium)
Cost of CRM certifications
Most of the training sessions and courses leading up to the taking of a professional certification exam are free. This is especially true if you work through the courses on your own and at your own speed. However, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 both charge a fee for administering the exam itself. The cost is generally between $100 and $200.