Why Would You Want Be Adobe Certified?

I’m baaaack. After an extended cyber-hibernation, I’m back on the Publicious beat, and hoping to make this blog better than ever in 2010.

Recently, I received a comment on my last post about the ACE ebook asking, “why would I want to be an ACE?”

Excellent question! And one worthy of a detailed answer.

To become Adobe Certified, you have to devote a significant number of hours of preparation and study when there are probably many other things you’d rather be doing. Then when you’re done studying, you have pay $150 for the privilege of subjecting yourself to a rigorous test. Why would any sane individual do this?

Before you even look at the testing objectives, you should have some good answers to this question. That’s why I devoted a chunk of the first chapter of the book to answering the “why” question. Here’s an excerpt:

Professional Rewards

1. Shared Branding When you become an ACE, you can put the Adobe brand to work for you. Adobe has worked hard over the years to build a brand that is synonymous with excellence in technology, graphic design, and cross-media production. PDF, PostScript, and the Creative Suite are respected worldwide. So much branding goodness is tied together in that red A. One of the benefits of being an Adobe Certified Expert is that you are given permission to use the Adobe logo. If you’re in business for yourself, you can put the ACE logo on your business card, website, and other promotional materials. People recognize Adobe, and the use of the Adobe logo lends instant credibility to you.

2. An Asset in the Job Hunt In a competitive job market, you want every tool at your disposal to get and keep the attention of prospective employers. In a stack of resumes, certification might be the difference between “keep” and “toss.” It also gives you something to smile about and highlight in an interview. Obviously, certification
is no substitute for years of industry experience and an impressive portfolio, but it complements those assets and adds another detail to your story of why they should hire you.

3. Attention From Your Current Employer If you’re seeking a promotion, or even just trying to stay employed in a tough economy, you must continuously develop your professional knowledge and skills, and demonstrate them. Getting certified is a very “show-me-don’t-tell-me” kind of thing. You can’t fake it. You can’t get by on reputation or luck. You have to earn it. Being thought of as someone with the initiative to take on a challenge and the chops to pull it off can only enhance your value in your boss’ eyes. You can proudly post that certificate in your workspace as a bit of personal advertising. You may find that your opinions carry a little more weight and you become the “go to” person when it comes to all things InDesign.

Personal Rewards

1. Confidence and satisfaction There is nothing like the confidence that comes with knowing what you know. Work approaches something more like play when you know all the tools in your toolbox. You can build new projects that are fundamentally solid right from the start. When changes are needed, you know how to make them happen smoothly and efficiently. If big problems occur later on, you’ll know the best way to fix them.

2. It’s fun! I know some of you are thinking, “Fun? Are you nuts? You have issues.” Be that as it may, hear me out. I think it’s fun to devote yourself to a large and difficult
task, meet it head on, and succeed. I am assuming you want to get certified, and no one’s put a gun to your head. I’m also assuming you don’t find InDesign impossibly tedious or difficult, and that you actually like sitting in front of a computer and making stuff. In other words, you’re a geek like me. If that’s the case, then yes, there is an element of fun in this.

3. Revenge Revenge? Yeah, sure, why not? Ever been made to feel a fool by some nasty über-geek because you didn’t know an obscure bit of digital trivia? If you study for and pass this exam, you will be able to throw a bucket of cold knowledge on the Wicked Geek of the West, who will disappear into the floor shrieking, “I’m melting! Oh, what a world! Who would have thought a good little geek like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?” Or you might just get a grudging nod of respect.

But you can always hope for the melting.