SECOND DEGREE VS. CERTIFICATIONS: don’t waste time or money

Experts weigh in on whether a reader should pursue an advanced IT degree or go for certifications

When you’ve got about three years of IT experience under your belt and you want to increase your earning power what do you do? Do you go back to school and earn an advanced degree in IT ? Or do you take your first steps in pursuing vendor certification? Those were some of the questions I received recently from a reader who has worked as an IT administrator (the only IT guy) at a small civil engineering company. He currently earns about $43,000 a year and wants to bump up his salary but his time for education is limited due to family commitments. So what’s the best option?

I’m often asked by IT folks whether to pursue advanced degrees – in 2005, we discussed the pros and cons of MBAs for IT pros (see below for links to those newsletters) - but we’ve never discussed IT degrees for relative IT newbies. I wanted to get some professional opinions so I put the questions to two recruitment agencies, an IT manager at a construction firm, and a certification trainer. This is what they said:

Advice from staffing companies:

James Del Monte is president of JDA Professional Services, an IT staffing company based in Houston. He says: “Having a 4-year degree in anything is a good start and will open most doors. Having a technical degree is preferred in lieu of experience. So he is off to a good start. Given his situation, my suggestion would be to get Microsoft and Cisco certifications. He sounds like he is more interested in a technical career and could use some formal training in this. It also sounds like he is looking to improve his situation more immediately. I would suggest a Master (MBA) if he is interested in more of the business aspects of IT or views himself getting into management. That of course is a longer term commitment. His compensation for what is described seems fair. His next move would be into a larger company where he can learn from others.”

Sandi Henrikson is regional manager at Sapphire Technologies North America. She says: “A degree is desired by many employers, even if it is just a non-technical Bachelor’s. If the worker is young or early in his/her career and has the time to devote to going back to school (i.e. not a lot of family obligations or a demanding job) then investing their efforts in obtaining a degree would be recommended. However, where this candidate says he has limited time, it may be better to focus his energy into getting certifications. With certifications you can pinpoint the specific career path you want to follow and fine tune your skills precisely to the position that you want to aspire to. There are many online certification courses for the person who cannot dedicate themselves full-time, as well as the ability to pursue a Master’s degree part-time down the road if you choose. Many companies, including Sapphire, offer discounted training offerings to assist their employees in keeping up-to-date with the latest technology.”

Advice from an employer:

A. Reader, who wants to remain anonymous, is an IT manager at a construction company, and offers this advice: “What is the employment objective of the individual? Is the individual currently working in IT? If IT management is the goal then a Master’s degree in IT is probably going to serve the needs of that position well. An IT manager with a Master’s degree with a good balance of advanced and current technical and business background brings tremendous tools to the 'table'. One of the most difficult aspects of IT management is having a manager who is skilled enough and current in his/her grasp of emerging technologies such that they can communicate effectively with the project managers and technical specialists.

“If an individual is looking to enhance their marketability in core technology positions such as network engineering or project management I see the choice of Master’s vs. certification as a bit of a toss-up. If one wants to be a project manager with a specialty in security, the Master’s degree could serve well; certifications would be a plus, but could also be seen as overkill or the reverse with the Master’s degree. The credentials become a ‘flashpoint question’ of what does this person want to be, a manager or super-tech? By the same token a well-seasoned engineer with project management and security certifications along with a solid resume would be a very appealing candidate.”

Advice from a certification trainer:

Wendell Odom, CCIE No, 1624, splits time between writing Cisco training books for Cisco Press and teaching classes at Skyline ATS. (Wendell will also be blogging for Network World’s Cisco Subnet site in September - watch this space for details. If you have any burning Cisco certification-related let me know and I’ll forward them to Wendell, or keep an eye out for his blog and you’ll be able to contact him directly).

Wendell says: “I think employers want both types of folks - certified and those with a Master’s in an IT-related field. However, the real trick is to look at job roles within IT and within the networking-centric part of IT. The vast majority of job roles within the networking part of IT requires the skills proven with certs more so than the skills and knowledge proven with a Master's degree. I would say though that someone with a Bachelor's degree plus some certifications - even if the degree is not in IT - has a distinct advantage over those without a degree. I've talked to many students and readers over the years who were somewhat frustrated by having their options limited in some ways by the lack of a degree.

“Also, you need to separate your thinking in terms of whether the employer is a company implementing networking technology [an IT user], or a reseller/vendor/consulting company. An overwhelming number of students tell me that [IT user organizations] do not care a bit about certifications for current employees. They are about skills first, and certifications second, for potential employees. So, for those employees, I'd say getting certified is an important step if they’re looking to land the next job. However, the resellers/vendors/consultants see some inherent value in the certification branding, so oftentimes the skills and certifications tend to be on an equal footing. There's also a much more likelihood that these companies would help you move towards getting your next certification.

“A quick word on the Master's in an IT field. If you want to work in the broader world of IT, and not just networking, then I'm a big fan of getting a Master's. It's just a lot tougher to get there, especially once you're past the carefree days of youth. However, if you're going to focus on a career in networking, I'd recommend a [Cisco Certified Internetwork Engineer] cert over a Master's in IT – CCIE certs are more centered on the technologies you'd work with. I've never met a CCIE who thought the cert didn't have a big impact on their career.”

Thanks to all the experts who offered their advice and thanks to the reader for writing in with the question. As a seasoned IT pro, I’d like to know your thoughts on this issue. Or if you’re an IT newbie – let me know if you are pursing a Master’s degree or vendor certifications

Learn to Control the process not the people

Learn to Control the process, not the People

Are you a Micromanager?

As a manager, you must remain involved in your employees’ activities. But where does involvement stop and micromanaging begin? Sticking your nose too deeply into an employee’s work process can be counterproductive and waste time. Learn to control the process, not the people.
Let’s say you overheard an employee refer to you as a micromanager. To find out if it’s true, answer the following questions using this scale:

4 = Very often        3 = Often      2 = Sometimes      1 = Seldom       0 = Never


1. Give specific directions about how you want a task completed?
2. Wonder what employees are doing and whether their time could be spent better?
3. Reject an employee’s suggestion because it isn’t how you would perform the task?
4. Get annoyed when a normally capable employee makes a simple error?
5. Worry about whether a key task will be done right or on time?
6. Sneak a peek when your employee isn’t around to check a project’s progress?
7. Delegate work in increments rather than explain the entire project at once?
8. Resent or refuse to answer questions about “why” a task needs to be done?
9. Find employees coming to you with questions they should know the answers to?
10. Talk most of the time during strategy meetings or brainstorming sessions?


30 to 40



20 to 29


10 to 19



0 to 9




Your employee is right: You’re a micromanager.


Shift your focus to results. 

It’s not your fault

He must have been talking about someone else


You may be focusing too much on how employees perform the work, not the outcome. Instead of always explaining how something should be done, explain what you’re trying to achieve. After all, your employee may know a faster, better way

You’re not a “dyed-in-the-wool” micromanager, but you need to loosen the reins a bit. Give employees more space to make decisions

If you’ve answered the questions honestly, you’re not micromanaging your employees, but you still have a problem. They view your critiques negatively, so you need to work on communicating your expectations and feedback more effectively.

The complaint is probably an isolated remark.

How well does your office run when you are not there?

Writing your SOP manual: 4 important Guidelines

When leaving your job for whatever reason — going on vacation, getting promoted to a new position or nearing retirement — are you suddenly scrambling to write everything down for your replacement two weeks before you depart? Or, if you've just arrived at a new job, do you wish someone had left behind some written instructions so you wouldn't have to keep bothering your new co-workers with questions?

And, does it seem that your organization invests a lot of time and resources in its employees, but when staff members depart, they take all that corporate knowledge with them? Wouldn't it be nice to retain that knowledge in writing for your company?

The solution? In situations like these, the way to keep business operations humming along is by having a standard operating procedure manual in place for every position in your organization.

Never be left scrambling to remember how something should be done

Here are some important guidelines to follow when you're creating an SOP manual:

1. When writing any procedure, walk yourself through the steps and document them as you go. You have to put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn't know how to do a task and walk her through it. This can be difficult when writing about something you're so familiar with.

Here's an oversimplified example: Think about an IT person who works with computers day in and day out, and someone comes to him wanting to know how to start her computer. The answer he would likely give is to enter the username and password, not realizing what the person really wanted to know is how to get the ON button to work.

If you document the steps in a checklist, that's a good way to set them out in an easy-to-read fashion. Once you have a procedure documented, go back and reread it to see if it makes sense or ask someone not familiar with the task to try it based on your written instructions.

2. It's best to avoid putting anything confidential, including passwords, in your procedures manual, unless it's going to be located in a secure location (electronic or hard copy).

Keep your passwords and other confidential information in a separate location to avoid someone getting ahold of not only your SOP manual, but also all the passwords to access your computer system.

I keep my passwords in a folder in my Outlook account, but some people have all their passwords saved in an Excel spreadsheet, which only they can view. If you have them in hard copy, a locked drawer would also be a good place to store them. Wherever you store them, make a note of it in your manual.

3. Keep references throughout your procedures manual generic. A procedures manual is meant to be passed on from person to person, so I would recommend that you use position titles rather than the actual names of staff in those positions, including yourself.

In my own manual, I use the term "this position" when referring to my duties, such as "this position is responsible for supervising the receptionist" or "this position reports to the CEO.…"

4. Less is more. An SOP manual doesn't need to be 200 pages long. As a matter of fact, less is more. You want to include all the essential information and be specific without being wordy. If the manual is too large, it will end up not being used because it's hard to find anything and there's just too much to read.

The goal should be to create a manual that allows you and others to easily retrieve the information needed to do your job. You should use checklists to explain a process or bulleted lists to cut down on the word count.

How I passed my PMP Examination in one sitting

My PMP Journey

                   Olatunji Bolarinwa Owolabi, Btech, PMP

                  Olatunji Bolarinwa Owolabi, Btech, PMP

As a Senior Mechanical Engineer in Food Industry, I saw the need to advance my career as a Manager by getting the right Certification to keep me on top of Peers. In this quest to become Professionally Viable with a globally accepted credential, I met the right team; Clarionttech.

I checked the brief profile I could see online, Visited and was satisfied. Then I enrolled for a 5 days PMP with Primavera P6 course.

The journey was quit interesting as I resorted to study RITA PMP EXAM PREP BOOK 8th edition, Clariontech Presentation Slides, PMP fast track software, online exam sites such as:,

The ITTOs (input, tools, techniques, Output) were very helpful as most of the questions required you to understand how the inputs and outputs can be implemented across multiple knowledge areas.

Some of the PMP certification exam strategies I implemented that led to my success includes
1.  I skipped all CPM diagrams and heavy calculations until the end
2. I marked all tough/situational questions for a second review at the end of the exam. Seeing the questions critically in a different light on a second look makes a lot of difference. Focus was to see it in a different light to see if I missed out something.
3. Finishing the whole book syllabus was just half the work; I practiced a lot of questions especially super PMP  fast track…
4. Exam composure and time management

I am confident that this prestigious credential will help me achieve my career goals.

PECB has signed a partnership agreement with Clarionttech Services Nigeria

PECB has signed a partnership agreement with Clarionttech Services Nigeria

December 4, 2017 – PECB is pleased to announce a collaborative partnership with Clarionttech Services Nigeria, to bring PECB training courses in Nigeria. This partnership will enable both companies to strengthen their presence in the market by providing better access to their services, recognizing that both companies work to achieve the same goal.

“Our success with Clarionttech Services Nigeria has allowed us to connect with our customers and deliver the services that they really want and need. PECB has built a strong reputation in the international market for its expertise and ability to develop and deliver training courses on many ISO standards,” says Eric Lachapelle, the CEO of PECB. “We are excited to partner with Clarionttech Services Nigeria and lend our expertise to help create better services for Nigeria market. We look forward to growing this partnership as market demand for ISO Standard Trainings continues to grow,” added Lachapelle.

Ugochukwu Nwaelele, CEO, Clarionttech Services Nigeria
We are glad to partner with PECB in the provision of ISO Standard training and certifications. Our strong presence in major cities of Nigeria as a professional training and certification center has given us a large market share of individuals and cooperate bodies seeking ISO certification. Working with PECB in the provision of these services has opened unlimited doors to many Nigerians and is a source to fly high the brand of Clarionttech and PECB to gain more customer loyalty in the Nigerian Market. 

About PECB 
PECB is a certification body for persons, management systems, and products on a wide range of international standards. As a global provider of training, examination, audit, and certification services, PECB offers its expertise on multiple fields, including but not limited to Information Security, IT, Business Continuity, Service Management, Quality Management Systems, Risk & Management, Health, Safety, and Environment. 

We help professionals and organizations to show commitment and competence with internationally recognized standards by providing this assurance through the education, evaluation, and certification against rigorous internationally recognized competence requirements. Our mission is to provide our clients comprehensive services that inspire trust, continual improvement, demonstrate recognition, and benefit society as a whole. For further information regarding PECB principal objectives and activities, visit

About Clarionttech Services Nigeria
Clarionttech is helping many companies including multinationals reach accepted international Standard; We provide quality structure for companies and train ambitious individuals by teaching, inspiring and supporting them towards achieving their certifications. Our objective is to equip our students with the required knowledge and skills to pass their certification exams at one sitting to make them relevant to their chosen profession. This has given us an edge as an academy center.

Sales Reps In Training: An Inside Look at SAP Academy

Sales Reps In Training: An Inside Look at SAP Academy

In 2000, a widely reported study by HR Magazine revealed that companies that invest at least $1,500 annually on training each of their employees have 24% higher profit margins than businesses that invest less in developing and honing the skills of their workers. A more recent report by Aberdeen Group also concludes: “Companies deploying formal sales training initiatives lead non-adopters in overall team attainment of sales quota (78% vs. 63%), customer retention (71% vs. 66%), the percentage of sales reps achieving quota (64% vs. 42%), and additional key business metrics.” Thus, the investment in sales training is a no-brainer for organizations. But to invest those resources effectively, and at a large scale, can be difficult.

Over the past two years, the team behind SAP Academy has sifted through more than 25,000 applications for a program that has a lower admissions rate than Harvard College, Princeton University, Yale, and Stanford. Since its inception, recruiters for SAP Academy have interviewed over 10,000 potential participants, welcomed 600 trainees, and graduated 580 students who have joined full-time roles at SAP. Through the Academy, young professionals are prepped for a career in one of two tracks: Sales or Presales.

A tale of two programs

According to Frederic Page, Faculty Lead of SAP Sales Academy, both programs take a holistic approach to sales training by marrying experiential classroom learning with on-the-job training.

For Sales Academy participants, the eight-month program includes:

  • One month of orientation and onboarding in the candidate’s local SAP office
  • Three months of classroom learning in Dublin, California
  • Four months of on-the-job learning back at the candidate’s assigned office

Page shares that throughout the program, Academy Account Executives get to:

  • “Drive software revenue to achieve business goals and sales quota”
  • “Establish territory and/or account strategies leveraging targeted sales plays”
  • “Identify opportunities with existing customers and/or new prospects”
  • “Focus relentlessly on Demand Generation activities”
  • “Lead a virtual account team”
  • “Build relationships and networks internally, with customers, prospects and partners”

For Presales Academy students, the 12-month program includes:

  • Six months of in-classroom learning in Dublin, California
  • Six months of field practice at their home office

Page adds that four main responsibilities of Presales Associates are:

  • “Supports the software deal process by providing product and/or industry expertise in all customer engagement activities including demonstrations”
  • “Acts as a trusted advisor to the customer”
  • “Helps design and explain the value of innovative software solutions”
  • “Acts as a high profile member to the account team”

Assessing fit & recruiting the right talent


To identify and recruit hundreds of high-quality candidates, SAP takes a process-driven approach. The four major steps in the recruitment process, according to Page, are:

  1. Corporate Culture Fit Assessment: Who is the ideal candidate for this program? Who would fit best into SAP’s corporate culture? We aligned candidate profiles to our criteria to determine the best fits.”
  2. Situational Judgment Analysis: This algorithm-based questionnaire gave us insight into candidates’ critical thinking skills. How would they handle a situation? How did they position themselves within a team, and a company?”
  3. Recruiter ‘Hangout’: Instead of formal interviews with candidates, we invited each candidate to have a more casual recruiting conversation or ‘hangout’ to hear about his or her experiences and understand who he or she was, as a person. We found that Millennials generally react more positively to these types of more informal and relaxed meetings, and feel freer to talk openly, which allows us to get to know them on a more personal level.”
  4. In-person Boot Camp: This experience simulates a real-world customer interaction using a SAP-specific case study. The boot camp showcases a candidate’s ability across multiple competencies including critical-thinking skills, teamwork, communication, and ability to influence others.”

Obstacles & opportunity in onboarding Millennials


In an effort to empathize with the younger generation, the team behind SAP Academy regularly asks:

What do Millennials want?

Page knows, “Millennials are infamously known for having little loyalty to brands or employers, jumping companies as quickly as a Snapchat video.” The data, indeed, supports this notion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.6 years in January 2014.” In the past, when pensions were a common employee benefit and professionals were happy to simply have a job, workers committed their entire career to a single employer. Today, Millennials, in some ways, are spoiled.

Despite recent economic woes, young professionals have limitless opportunities — you can easily start a business for under $100, you finance your passions with a part-time gig driving for Uber or you can network your way into your dream job. Furthermore, they have been conditioned into thinking any work relationship is temporary; internships, for example, unintentionally encourage workers to try different jobs in various fields and industries until they find a perfect fit. And, of course, there are practical reasons for switching jobs regularly too. Fast Company’s Vivian Giang makes the bold claim: “You should plan on switching jobs every three years for the rest of your life.” Giang writes, “Workers who stay with a company longer than two years are said to get paid 50% less, and job hoppers are believed to have a higher learning curve, be higher performers, and even to be more loyal, because they care about making a good impression in the short amount of time they know they’ll stay with each employer.”

Forward-thinking employers like SAP agree. Page believes, “[Millennials] also have strong values and traditional personal goals, and a company that can identify, understand, and align with those values and goals, and support Millennials’ ambitions and professional development can earn Millennials’ loyalty.”

“A dramatic change is taking place in the industry,” says Page. “In 10 years, the workforce will shift from 60% Baby Boomers to 70% Millennials. This shift requires a significant investment in training to ensure that Millennials, also known as ‘early talent,’ are prepared for leadership responsibilities. We look for hard-working self-starters who are passionate about problem solving and are eager to learn and grow in a rigorous and stimulating environment. This is the first time in SAP’s 40-plus-year-old history that global hiring has been conducted on such a massive scale.”

Of course, discovering how exactly to mobilize and motivate a Millennial workforce has not been easy. Fortunately, Page has summarized eight lessons he and his team at SAP Academy have learned about unlocking the Millennial’s full potential.

1. Hire diverse talent who can overcome adversity

“In our experience, organizations hiring Millennials must look for people with multi-dimensional experiences and backgrounds, and must find people who are resilient,” says Page. Thus, candidates should have experience studying or traveling abroad, or unique non-academic interests such as sports, music or philanthropy. Furthermore, Page adds, “Sales is a very demanding career with many highs and lows. People who have had to overcome obstacles and challenges are most likely to thrive in a competitive sales culture.”

2. Register cues from what they say and what they don’t say

“Observe them in action, and watch how they get things done,” advises Page. “Be curious and ask questions that go beyond the surface. This will serve managers well in learning how to work with them and get the best from them.”

3. Create an atmosphere that champions communication and transparency

Millennials do not bend when management barks out orders. “It’s in the nature of early talent to challenge and question,” explains Page. “When this happens, create an open environment of trust to both listen and understand their point of view. At the same time, managers must be clear about what is expected of them, and set clear boundaries around what works and what doesn’t work.”

4. Abandon any negative preconceived notions

“Recognize that they don’t fit into the traditional sales model or box.” Page points out, “They are sponges – they often see and understand much more than you might give them credit for. While they are inexperienced, their ideas and insights are valuable and relevant.”

5. Be authentic, constructive and honest

Employees now, more than ever, demand respect. “Due to its high level of media exposure, this age group is quickly able to sniff out the inauthentic and insincere,” says Page. They do not want to be lied to and they do not want to be fooled; they want the cold, honest truth. Page continues, “They respond well to direct and honest communication and feedback, which is like oxygen for them. Feedback is ideally timely (delivered within 24 to 48 hours) and very specific and actionable.”

6. Provide high-impact opportunities

Despite having a reputation for being privileged and selfish, many Millennials are actually altruistic. Page argues, “Most of them are highly motivated to make a difference for others. Take time to understand their motivations – professional, financial and personal.”

7. Choose your battles wisely

“Know when to be firm and stand your ground,” recommends Page. “Develop what is negotiable – open for discussion and compromise – and what is non-negotiable. Entitlement is a common Millennial stereotype. However, getting under the attitude – understanding what’s driving the feeling of entitlement – and dealing with the root cause often results in productive outcomes for all.”

8. Let them shine

Finally, Page insists, “Leverage their strengths and innate leadership abilities. Give them opportunities to be challenged and stretch outside their comfort zones, and be ready to lend a helping hand when they ask for it.”

Graduating talent & introducing future sales leaders


A testament to SAP Academy’s success is the following statistic:

95% of our graduates are still with SAP.

The curriculum introduces trainees to fundamental sales concepts and applies continuous learning and reinforcement. “Early in the program, our participants are assigned to a sales team in their Market Unit, and start generating pipeline, are involved in customer facing sales activities, presentations, discovery meetings, and demos,” shares Page. “After graduating from the Sales Program, they can expect to sell SAP’s broad range of business software solutions and services, as an Industry Account Executive (SAP Covers 26 industries), a Solution Sales Executive (HCM, Customer Engagement and Commerce, Procurement and Supply chain, Analytics, Office of the CFO solutions to mention some of them), or joining some specific sales teams (indirect sales, inside sales etc.). Associates also get paired with a tenured employee in our mentoring program. Most of our Graduates start working for the Market Unit where they were initially hired, and SAP also encourages their mobility at regional or global levels, giving them opportunities if they wish, not only to grow professionally but also move geographically.”

With SAP Academy as a precursor for some for full-time employment, many graduates experience better-than-average on-the-job performance. According to Page, “89% of our SAP Sales Academy Graduates have closed a deal, compared with 84% of SAP Experienced New Hires over a similar period of time. The average revenue generated being similar.”

For SAP, it may have been a huge risk to develop such a lengthy and thorough training program for hundreds of new recruits each year. Fortunately, the firm’s investment in developing top-notch talent has paid off. Although other companies may not have the same resources as SAP, every sales organization should allocate budget and energy towards building a system for getting new recruits onboarded and helping its sales talent learn and reinforce skills that may positively impact their overall performance.

5 Proven Benefits of Professional Certification

5 Proven Benefits of Professional Certification

5 Proven Benefits of Certifications

Certifications are a win-win for both employees and companies. Here are five demonstrated benefits of certifications for business and professionals.

Keyword(s): benefits of certifications


Have you ever thought about spending time earning a professional certification?

If this is something that has crossed your mind, good! You're on the right track. You can opt to take a course in your chosen field, or expand your horizons and take a course in a new skill.

Getting a new certification or qualified skill has many pros to it, and almost no cons or drawbacks.

Investing your time, money, effort, and energy in earning professional certifications can only help you. It will never hurt you or your prospects.

There are countless benefits of certifications, and we give you our top five below.

1. Learn New Skills

This is one of the most obvious benefits of certifications.

Learning new skills is an essential part of human life, and it means you are always increasing your knowledge.

Learning new skills and earning qualifications in those skills can really boost your self-esteem. This is an addition to the value you receive from the skills themselves.

It is important to be certified because of the emphasis on lifelong learning it suggests.

Learning new skills mean you can expand your job abilities and responsibilities. You will be equipped and prepared to handle aspects of your business besides whatever you are used to doing.

For example, the benefits of corporate training are seemingly endless. They can include improved skills in sales, management, finance, human resources, and many other important business techniques.

Whatever new skills you choose to learn, make sure you enroll in a certification course so that you can prove you have valuable knowledge of that subject matter.

2. Improve Your Resume

It's difficult to explain just how good a new certification can look on your resume.

In fact, earning enough new certifications can change the entire look and layout of your resume completely. It will allow you to add a special section to your resume, just for listing out all the certifications and qualified skills you have.

Having a piece of paper to prove that you know the ins and outs of a certain skill is invaluable in the workplace.

Having the chance to improve your resume in such a big way is just another one of the many benefits of certifications.

Adding a professional certification to your resume in addition to whatever education or experience you already have will make you look very well rounded and capable as an employee.

Companies are quick to hire a person who shows that they are qualified. But they are even quicker to hire someone who shows not only that they are qualified, but that they are committed to always improving their skills and learning more.

Taking professional certification courses of your own free will is evidence that you are dedicated to lifelong improvement. Your resume will never stay stagnant or stale. You will always be on the lookout for opportunities to further your knowledge and skill set.

3. Command Authority

Increasing your status by increasing your knowledge is one of the best ways to climb the ladder.

One of the biggest benefits of certifications you will experience is the increased status level as a result of having more courses under your built.

Being able to add a certification to your name or resume commands authority and shows potential clients that you are credible. Building that sense of trust with people means they will respect you and trust you to get the job done.

This is one of the side benefits of certifications. Though you wouldn't necessarily commit to earning a professional certification just for this reason, it is certainly a nice fringe benefit.

The authority you command when you show that you have certifications to back up your skills show that you are a force to be reckoned with.

4. Boost Productivity

It's simple. If you know what you're doing, you'll be better at doing it.

When you have proper training in something, you will be able to do the job much more quickly and efficiently. Increased productivity is just another one of the many benefits of certifications.

You may not choose to enroll in a certification course for this particular benefit, but it is one you will surely receive in addition to the feeling of accomplishment.

Being able to work more productively and efficiently will improve your life and work overall.

For example, if an employee is certified in a certain software or program, they will not only be able to do the simple everyday tasks more quickly. They will also be able to take advantage of the more advanced features of the program.

Being able to use programs to their full capacity means better work done in a shorter amount of time. And that's something every business and successful company should want to do!

5. An Edge Over the Competition

Another one of the huge benefits of certifications is the edge it gives you over your competition.

At the end of the day, who do employers want to hire? And what businesses do customers want to buy from?

Everyone wants to do business with the most qualified and trustworthy option available. When you have professional certifications to back up your knowledge, you are already miles ahead of people who do not have the same qualifications.

Plus, doing so early on can give you a head start over your peers. High schoolers are now beginning to earn certifications so that when they graduate, they already have certain qualities to their name that their peers do not.

Have More Benefits of Certifications to Share?

Have you experienced other benefits of certifications that are not included on this list?

Since the possible positive outcomes from receiving a certification seem to be endless, we're sure you have something to add!

We want to hear about your experience, so tell us in the comments below!

And of course, if you want to know more about SAP training or other programs, feel free to browse around our website. Don't wait--get certified and start living your best life today.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a concept that refers to the strategies used by an organization to improve business relationships with customers. CRM software dates back to the 1980s — these systems gathered and analyzed customer information, just like they do today — and has become a valuable tool for businesses that want to engage with customers, drive sales and improve their marketing efforts. Think of CRM like a digital Rolodex. It keeps peoples’ contact details — names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. — in one place, making it a powerful resource for marketers. But it also streamlines sales activities and optimizes business processes.

CRM Explained

CRM helps businesses manage customer relationships. These programs gather data from customer touch points — encounters where customers exchange information, such as web forms and surveys — and displays this information on a single dashboard. A company can search for a customer’s account and discover his or her contact details, purchase history and previous interactions with customer representatives. This information lets businesses make important decisions and build customer relationships.

“CRM solutions give organizations business data to help provide services or products that your customers want, offer better customer service, help sales teams to cross-sell and up-sell more effectively, close deals, retain current customers and to better understand exactly who your customers are,” says online technology portal Webopedia.

CRM applications range in scope and design. In the past, companies could only access CRM software from one system. Today, cloud-based CRM syncs data to the cloud so users can access information from any computer with an internet connection. Also, mobile CRM apps let businesses view customer data on a smartphone or tablet anywhere in the world.

Clarionttech trains you on how to effectively use CRM tool to grow your business. Implementation of CRM tools need to be followed by practical hands on end-user training to ensure that users of this tools are in total control; then the organization can be sure of maximum returns on investment.

Indicate your interest to receive training that will strengthen your company's team.

"Read more about Tenfold's article about CRM, click here

PMP Past Questions and Answers

PMP Past Questions and Answers

Over the years researchers have argued if Past questions guarantee exam success, this debate have left most PMP candidate wonder around various exam preparatory kits such as Past questions, Simulation software's, exam preparatory guide. Exam Kits do not guarantee 100% exam success, However it provides at least 40%  success. Preparing to take PMP exam is a journey, if you let it, this journey can help expand your abilities. In preparing for exam, you have an opportunity to become a better project manager not just for the purpose of the exam. 

Here are few questions you need to ask

1. Why take the PMP Exam?
2. Are you ready for the Exam?

As Clarionttech prepares you for success, A diverse collection of tips, tricks, and insights for your Exam  Prep Guide can be found in some of today’s leading authors like Rita Mulcahy's Exam Prep Guide.

This includes selected materials from recently published expansive catalog of titles. The material that is included for each selection is the book's full Table of Contents as well as a full sample chapter for your enjoyment.

Here are just a few PMP Past questions

1) If a stakeholder has any questions about project deliverables, as the PM, you should direct him to the:

a) WBS

b) Project plan

c) Preliminary Scope statement

d) None of the above

2) Your construction project was damaged by an earthquake. Your contractor says that he cannot fulfil the terms of the contract due to a specific clause you both had signed in the contract. He is referring to the:

a) Force majeure clause

b) Fixed price clause

c) Contract obligation terms

d) None of the above

3) Your vendor has confirmed in writing that he will not be able to provide the products contracted to him, in the time mentioned in the contract. You can terminate the contract and sue for damages. This is a type of:

a) Minor breach

b) Anticipatory breach

c) Material breach

d) Fundamental breach

4) As a PM, you manage multiple projects. One of your projects is over budget while the other is under budget. You decide to transfer money from the latter to the former and report both projects as within budget. This is against the PMI code of ethics and is called:

a) Unethical management

b) Budget tampering

c) Fraudulent reporting

d) Cost leveling

5) Your brother can influence bids in the vendor company that has been contracted for your project. You should:

a) Disclose the bid price that is most likely to give him an advantage when bidding

b) Reject other vendors and award him the contract

c) Refrain from the decision-making process and make a full disclosure to stakeholders and wait for their decision before you proceed

d) Hint to the stakeholders that your brother might be involved in bidding

6) A project you are managing is about to be completed. But there is a minor defect in the work produced by the contractor. You should:

a) Neglect the defect if it is trivial

b) Ask the contractor to fix according to SOW

c) Submit a new RFP

d) None of the above

7) As a PM, you have identified some low priority risks. You should:

a) Neglect them as they will mostly not occur

b) Add them to a watch list within the risk register

c) Plan detailed response plans

d) None of the above

8) One of your team members'  A's father was sick when you were in the planning stage of your project. A had informed you that he might have to leave to visit his father if the situation arose. You had planned for this and spoke to the functional manager of your group to provide a back-up resource, B to be used if necessary.

Now, A has left to see his father and B is filling in for him. But B is taking more than expected time to get up to speed and this impacts project cost and schedule.

This is an example of a:

a) Residual risk

b) Secondary risk

c) Contingency plan

d) None of the above

9) To motivate your team, you decided to reward a team member who performed well. This hurt cohesion in the team. You should:

a) Reset award criteria

b) Modify reward strategy to be win-win for the team

c) Award only two people

d) Declare that there will be no rewards going forward

10) Your project uses a vendor who has completed 50% of the contracted work. You are unsure of how much to pay the vendor. You should refer to the:

a) Request for proposal

b) Contract

c) Response to bid

d) Statement of work

11) When estimating time for activities, a PM should:

a) Use the best guess and estimate for all activities as there will be changes anyways as the project progresses and more information becomes available

b) Involve people who will be doing the work to get estimates

c) Estimate for what the cost will allow and not include buffers

d) None of the above

12) When there are people from different countries and cultures in a team, the project management team should:

a) Neglect the cultural differences to work as a team

b) Deal with everyone the same way

c) Capitalize on cultural differences

d) Mentor each other

13) If your business sponsor has an important but minor change to the scope, and he requests that you make the change without having to process a change request, you should:

a) Accommodate the change as stakeholder satisfaction is key to project success

b) Refuse to make the change as the scope has been frozen

c) Ask the sponsor to work with your team member to implement the minor change and document the change

d) Request the client that the change management process be followed

14) If a stakeholder directly asks a team member to make changes and the team member accommodates it:

a) Admonish the team member during the team meeting so that other team members are also aware

b) Inform the stakeholder that he should not talk to your team member

c) Talk to the stakeholder and team member in private, and emphasize gently that the Integrated Change Control process should be followed

d) Pretend to not know about the change and let it happen

15) When your client is ready to accept the product your project has produced, you should:

a) Refer to the quality plan to see if the product meets specifications

b) Refer to project management plan

c) Obtain client sign off and follow administrative closure process

d) Let go off the project resources and assign them to other projects

16) Appreciating a team member's good work in front of the team results in:

a) Jealousy among other team members and should be avoided

b) Encouragement for the team member and motivation for other team members

c) Shouldn't be done as it shows preference

d) None of the above

17) As the project manager of an important project, you learnt many helpful tools and tips. What should you do?

a) Keep them to yourself

b) Archive your learning in the project folder and share with other PMs

c) Sign a non-disclosure agreement

d) None of the above

18) You just found out that the company that you were planning to use in your project is known for being late in delivering their products that can lead to losses to the project. You decide to go with a different company to ______ the risk.

a) Mitigate

b) Reject

c) Transfer

d) Avoid

19) You are the project manager of a project that involves sensitive information. You are inviting bids from vendors for some tasks on this project. Since the winning vendor will have access to the sensitive information, you should:

a) Decide to drop the vendor and instead do the tasks using an internal team

b) Swear the vendor to secrecy

c) Ask the vendor to sign a non-disclosure agreement

d) Threaten to take the vendor to court

20) A project is behind schedule. Two senior resources are added to help speed up work. The result is (choose the best answer):

a) Project will be completed on time

b) Project cost will not increase

c) Project may not be completed on time due to increased number of communication channels

d) Project cost will increase


Why New Manager Training Is A Must For Every Business

Why New Manager Training Is A Must For Every Business

Managers have important jobs, but they have to be trained properly in order to do them. Read on to learn why new manager training is a must for every business.

Keyword(s): new manager training


As the economy recovers from the Great Recession, more and more employees are quitting their jobs.

There is a myriad of reasons why such a high number of workers are leaving their place of employment, from familial issues to better opportunities.

A top reason for putting in their two-week notice, though, is a company's failure to provide new manager training.

Most Companies Don't Invest In New Manager Training

New manager training seems pointless to many companies. In fact, most companies don't invest in training new managers. There are a few different reasons why investment in new manager training remains low.

First, many company heads view management as a no-brainer. They have often been with the company for many years and in a managerial role for just as many. To them, management skills are as commonplace as dirt.

Second, those same company heads feel that the money that could be invested in new manager training could be better spent. Often, they choose to spend it on their own improvement and training needs.

This is a fundamentally flawed reason for avoiding management training. Not investing in new managers often leads to great losses in profit and productivity down the road.

New Manager Training Is A Must

There is an old saying among HR specialists: "People don't quit their job. They quit their boss."

Managers aren't just employees who are slightly higher up on the company totem pole. They work in close proximity to those they manage, ensuring productivity stays high and loss stays low. When there is a problem in the workplace or among employees, managers are the first ones who respond.

Working closely with someone who makes such important company decisions has two possible outcomes. First, that person manages well and keeps both productivity and worker morale up. Second, that person manages poorly, and loss increases while morale decreases.

Managers Oversee The Backbone of a Company

It is the low-level employees at a company that makes that company what it is. They are the ones who serve the customers, move the product, and ultimately make the money. Without them, the company would no longer exist.

Given how important these employees are, the manager who oversees them is equally important. Nowadays, managers aren't just expected to manage. They also have to lead and support.

As such, failure to lead or support results in a poorer work experience for employees. Poor work experience results in poor morale, which in turn results in poor performance and loss for the company.

Unhappy Employees Leave

The loss doesn't just come from employees not producing enough or not producing well. It also comes from employees who quit or get fired.

Consider each employee's paycheck. Even if an employee only makes $25,000.00 a year, that's still $25,000.00 that the company pays out in training and compensation.

If that employee leaves, that's lost money for the company. Worse, if that employee is a bad employee who makes a high number of errors, that's more lost money for the company.

Worse yet is if a good employee leaves. Good employees make the most profit for the company. Because they make more money, they will always be in demand by all companies, including the competition. If they leave, your company will lose money and your competition will potentially gain it.

Now consider a manager's paycheck. Let's say that manager makes $50,000.00 a year. If that manager is ineffective, the margin of loss is even higher since low employee productivity and the expense of keeping the manager are greater.

Unhappy Managers Leave

There are also the manager's feelings to consider. If he or she feels he or she is not doing a good enough job or becomes frustrated with the lack of training, likely he or she will leave the company. And again, the company will pay for the loss.

It should be noted that being able to manage, lead, and support others does not come naturally to everyone. Moreover, being able to handle certain situations for the good of the company isn't an instinct that everyone possesses.

For example, take employee disputes, especially disputes between good employees. Being able to handle such disputes and being able to handle them as a manager are two different things. New managers don't want to be left in the dark and then scolded for not knowing how to deal with such situations.

Managers Today Are Tomorrow's Company Heads

No employee stays in the same position forever. As time passes and experience is gained, employees move up. Eventually, if they stay at the company, they will move into the company head roles.

Company heads make decisions that affect the entire company, especially its financial aspects. It is imperative that those who will one day run the company understand the full process. It is also imperative that they learn the right management skills and styles early on so they can grow those skills and become effective heads later.

Investing in New Manager Training

Now that we've established why investing in new manager training is necessary, let's tackle how to go about forming an effective training program.

Spare No Expense

Don't go cheap when it comes to implementing a good new manager training program. If they need certification, then give them access to the right certification program. Spending less today means losing more tomorrow if your new managers aren't trained correctly.

Determine the Necessary Type of Training

There are numerous different types of management training. To determine which you need for your new managers, you likely will need to go to those they will manage.

A lot of times, low-level employees will be hesitant to give feedback out of fear of backlash. If you sense this reluctance, consider using anonymous surveys to gather data.

Teach The Three Key Aspects of Management

Regardless of the type of training your new managers need, all new managers should learn the three key aspects of management. Those aspects are communication, organization, and performance management.

Many underestimate the importance of communication. But to be able to mediate and resolve conflicts, your new managers will need to understand the best communication practices.

Organization, another undervalued skill, helps managers solve problems, make decisions, and oversee projects. Likewise, performance management skills allow managers to give effective feedback and document performance.


New managers oversee the backbone of your company. Invest in training them properly, and you'll receive a higher ROI that translates into higher profits and less loss.

Indicate your interest to receive training that will strengthen your company's leadership.