After passing my PRINCE2 Foundation exam yesterday, I was very excited about the prospect of getting certified in other areas. As an example, I have several advanced Excel skills (except maybe charts, don’t make me do charts), so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to get even an expert level certification in Excel. I’ve been looking into the options and found some training providers, although the costs aren’t within the budget I had mentally suggested to myself when I started looking. This presented somewhat of a challenge for me as I was eager to pick up the next certificate and prove my abilities.
This is where I had gone a little bit wrong. Why would I need to prove my Excel abilities? And why would I want to do that with a certificate rather than a demonstration? So far in my career, I’ve always been asked to complete some sort of Excel test, and it hasn’t been introduced as a special requirement for me because I don’t have an Excel certification, it’s simply been introduced as a standard part of the application process. From those experiences, it seems like being certified wouldn’t preclude me from needing to take these tests, so there doesn’t seem like any benefit except to add a little extra something to my CV. I’ve done well enough so far in explaining my Excel capabilities, I think that might work more in my favour than any certification I could show.
Getting certified in PRINCE2 Foundation got my excited about getting certified in other areas, and I momentarily forgot how much I had achieved already. I wanted to get certified in PRINCE2 because project management is an area I am unproven in with no definable experience. I had many of the basic concepts, but I wanted to see if I could also learn a structured method that would advance my knowledge and abilities beyond the concept stage.
So now I’ve calmed down and gone back to thinking about the actual skills I really want to develop. I’ve gone back to Pluralsight and taken the remainder of the RoleIQ suggested tests and come back with a better understanding of where my knowledge gaps are. Some of them are in Excel, but they’re to do with analysis methods and tools rather than proficiency with the program itself. So now I can refocus my energy in the direction it needs to go, still plenty more on PRINCE2 and I will likely try for the Practitioner level soon, but there are also some interesting areas in data analysis that I touched on yesterday that I’m going to be covering with a new course, Excel 2013 Analysis Techniques.