November 9, 2022

Why Branded Tech Certifications Are Worth It - Ep. 70

Why Branded Tech Certifications Are Worth It And Why It'll Help You Get a Job

Here's A Few Reasons Why A Branded Tech Certification Is Better Than a College Degree

Some people nay-say tech certifications. Some are really skeptical of branded tech certifications and claim that it’s just big companies trying to make money.

Here’s why we think it shows the opposite!

In this episode, we talk about:

- Branded Tech Certifications and why they are the lowest risk type of certifications to take, as well as the most versatile.
- Why there will ALWAYS be a job supply for branded tech certification holders
- How tech certifications help companies in their brand strength and selling their product, making it a win-win situation.

Ryan and Hannah also talk about the different branded tech certifications that you can take!

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha folks, and welcome back to Degree Free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama.

On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made. While self educating, getting work, building businesses, and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen, no degree needed.

Hannah: Welcome back. Welcome back, everybody. We are always happy to have you here on the podcast and if you wanna get more degree free because why would you not?

You're gonna wanna run over to degreefree.co/newsletter and sign up to get a weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox that is gonna have different all kinds of different stuff. We're gonna have degree free jobs, degree free resources. things that Ryan and I find that we think are cool and degree free news, like companies that are rolling back degree requirements.

So head on over and get that now.

Ryan: Yep, absolutely and let's get into today's episode.

Today, we are gonna be talking about why branded tech certifications are worth it.

Hannah: This is a good one. This is a good one. I hear a lot of people naysay branded tech certifications, and their justification for doing so is that they think, and this is so funny, but they think that the tech companies are rolling out these tech certification programs because they're trying to make money off of the programs.

Which is, it's funny, especially because a lot of the people that say that and they're like, Oh, it's just the company's trying to make money are totally fine with colleges charging $70,000 a year and I'm like, You realize these certs cost like $39 a month or 300 bucks or something like that. But anyway, I think it's the opposite

Ryan: what I, I do want to say there that it is, these tech certifications absolutely exist so that the companies make money.

Hannah: Yes.

Ryan: They don't exist to make that money off of the certification. Tanker. Off of the certification. I mean, that is just missing the forest for the trees maybe in order to pay for whatever, or maybe it's just to get you to have some skin in the game so you finish it

Hannah: to buy in. Yeah.

Ryan: But on the flip side of this, and we'll get into this in this episode. These companies that make their own branded tech certification, think Google, Salesforce, those types of things, they're making millions of dollars, millions of dollars off of actually selling this software. Two companies, they're B2B businesses.

Not trying to nickel and dime you. I mean, that that is effectively what they're doing.

Hannah: Yeah, buy 30 bucks for a cert.

Ryan: But that's not their main business.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: They're trying to make more money the way that they're trying to make more money, or one of the ways is by equipping people into the workforce that know how to utilize and administrate.

Administer, administrate over their software systems.

Hannah: Correct.

Ryan: And therefore, if you can supply those people into a market, then that's a huge selling point for companies that are spending tens of millions of dollars a year on their software entitlements and their software licenses.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: They're saying like, Okay, well why am I gonna spend 10 million bucks a year

on this tool?

Well, oh, well, because we certified 5,000 people last year. In order to do it, all you have to do is just throw up, throw up a job listing and you'll get a bunch of applicants that know how to use it.

Hannah: Right. I can help you use it to make more money.

And that's where it's like a simple, a really simple version of this would be like, I think it's because it's software that maybe that's why it's so confusing. It's software as a service, right? So that's why it's confusing to people and I think that a lot of people just don't realize how much money we're talking about, right?

How much money, the tools, like the license to use a tool costs, because if you think. If you think that the certification programs are where they're making money, you fundamentally don't understand the business of the software sales. You don't understand how huge the procurement departments are. You don't understand how big these deals are, how long these contracts are for.

And so like a good way to simplify it down would be like if you know, it's a tool, right? So let's say it's a, it's, let's say the tool instead of a software, the tool is a hammer, and the hammer costs $5,000 a year, to to use. Right? But nobody knows how to use the hammer at your company and so you need somebody that has taken a $10 course on how to properly use the hammer, right?

So the idea that the company is making money or the company cares about the $10 course for the person who knows how to use the hammer versus the $5,000 a year to rent the hammer. It's just, like you said, missing the forest for the trees. Like if you think that the way Google is making money is off the grow with Google Coursera partnership with $39 a month like for people that use it, probably on average like at three months maybe at most, to get one of those

I think it

Ryan: was six, but I think it's like,

Hannah: I think people do it a lot faster.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: That's what I think

Ryan: on their marketing material. The last time that I went, the last time I looked up, its, I think it estimated six months for, and I think this was for like their digital.

They just came out with a new one. I'll put in the show notes for everybody and there'll be show notes to everything that we talk about at degreefree.co/podcast but I just, I think it was, it's whatever the newest one, I'll put in the show notes for everybody. It's like,

Hannah: Oh, they just launch one

Ryan: digital marketing or something like that.

Hannah: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan: Which makes sense because now they're talking they're, well, how is that related? Sorry, we're going on a tangent.

Right? We're going on a tangent way before we even talk about the episode,

Hannah: but this matters though. This is why we're talking about it.

Ryan: Absolutely. And so the, why would they create a course and a certification for digital marketing? And you're exactly right. Well, Google is in the business of search engine, right? They are a search engine and then the largest ad company in the world, or second largest to Facebook or no. Number one, I dunno.

Somebody correct me [email protected] Somebody correct me? But they sell a lot ads and so they want you to understand the digital marketing landscape, and then eventually maybe you'll get a, certification on how to use. Once you learn digital marketing, you're gonna run into really quickly exactly what you said, which is, Oh, I need to know how to do ads and where you're gonna go for ads?

Google

Hannah: and then what are you? And then if you provide a service to the market, or you're managing someone's budget and you know how to use Google Ads, what are you gonna allocate the budget towards? Google Ads. They care. They care. Way more like the donut shop down. The donut shop down the street from you.

That's paying two grand a month in Google ads. They care about them. They don't care about your $39 a month. They don't care about you. Like you're not the money maker. You're not the money maker. So it's just, it just is funny to me though, cuz it is a lot of people that are like, Oh, these just these greedy corporations.

I'm like, how? I mean, Sure. Whatever. Like they're, they are charging, It's not all of 'em are free. HubSpot does free ones. MailChimp does free ones. I think some of the meta ones, Meta whatever, whatever company that, whatever company that is.

Ryan: Find that this episode comes out, we will try to put together a list of different tech branded tech certification. So you can all go there and

Hannah: click through it,

Ryan: Get a comprehensive list of these things and we'll try to keep it updated for you guys. I'm not sure what the URL is gonna be cause I haven't made it yet, but degree free.co/podcast, you'll find it in this show notes and then we'll try to keep that up to date. Going forward.

Hannah: And we do actually have the, if you buy our workbook to figure out how to do one of these, there's, it's actually broken down by different job types.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. In our workbook we do, we have all of these in there and we actually tell you the different ways to get these.

The different courses that you can take and things like that.

Hannah: Yeah. With more detail. But we'll give you the list. We'll give you the list on the-

Ryan: Sorry, anyway. Yeah. In our show notes people.

Hannah: But yeah, it's, so I really just wanted to stress that and that like, that's the reason for this entire episode was the fact that people just get so twisted up about it.

It's hilarious. It's so funny to me. I'm like, with the amount that colleges are charging for their paper and these people are so wound up about a, you know, a one time fee of 300 bucks to pay a proctor to watch you take an exam anyway, whatever. So ,

Ryan: the first thing that I wanted to talk about was, well, I guess it's like the third or fourth thing already.

Hannah: We were on the seventh thing.

Ryan: Yeah, sorry but I did want to talk about some examples, like I just said, we'll put Everything in the show notes, but just for the audio listeners, some examples of branded tech certifications. We kind of went over a few of them already, but it's gonna be, Google is a big one.

HubSpot's a big one like you said. MailChimp. Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. Salesforce,

Hannah: Oracle, Azure, DevOps,

Ryan: Yup, Azure.

Hannah: Any Microsoft certifications?

Ryan: Yeah, exactly.

Hannah: AWS

Ryan: Microsoft's a huge one if you think about it. Right? Because, and a lot of people don't know this, and I'm getting ahead of myself again, but the, you just think, or I think that these companies are paying.

They're just like you or me in that you pay per person to use their Microsoft suite of tools

but that's not necessarily the case.

A lot of times you pay in blocks.

Hannah: Yeah. So you have to buy a chunk of users.

Ryan: Right, exactly and in a certain package of different software, so you'll get all, you'll get Outlook, Excel, Word, whatever your package is.

Hannah: You get like 5,000, 5,000 Microsoft licenses, which is access to all of their suite of tools.

Ryan: And it would make sense if this company had to buy in a 5,000 person block that they would want people to administer and know how to use these tools,

Hannah: Right?

Because otherwise you have a toolbox full of tools that nobody knows how to use , and so what's the point of having them.

Right? Exactly.

Ryan: But yeah, those are some examples of different branded tech certifications before we really get into it.

Hannah: Yeah. So the first point here is that the first reason tech certifications, branded tech certifications are worth it is because it's a specific skill set. If a company has a job listing up and they have a specific brand skill set listed in the things that they want you to know how to do, it's because they're already paying to use these tools.

As Ryan said, they've bought a chunk of 5,000 Microsoft licenses, so they need you to know how to use Excel.

Ryan: Right? Or they're already using Salesforce and they need somebody that knows how to use Salesforce

Hannah: because they already paid for it. They're already out the money.

Ryan: Yeah. Millions of dollars. At least tens of thousands.

Hannah: It's a lot people, it's a lot of money that these, that people spend on these licenses.

Ryan: Right. And this kind of goes back to like talking about why it's worth it. This is kind of mixed into what we've talked about before, about finding a job backwards. We don't think we've done an episode on it yet, but we talk about it in our workbook.

And we talk about it in our TikTok a lot. And so we'll just touch on it really quickly here. What we mean by that is when you go and look at a job listing and you see all of the different requirements on it, and it says like Salesforce admin certification required, that is a good, I mean, that's not a good hint.

They're telling you what you need to learn and what you need to obtain in order to get this job and so, If you're looking at a bunch of jobs, say you look at 10 listings for a marketing role, whatever, and they all say Salesforce admin because they use Salesforce as their CRM.

Okay. Well now it probably is worth it to you to get that Salesforce admin certification because you are looking at 10 of these roles and all 10 of them say Salesforce admin.

Hannah: Another thing you can do here too, and, we always wanna give, we always wanna give people the minimum effective dose if you're a Salesforce power user, which means that you're somebody who's really comfortable in there already, you've been using it for years, and you can take screenshots of reports you've built or different flows that you've designed or something you've done in Salesforce, and you can show it like you designed a, some custom fields or whatever. You know, you are the one that monitors the profiles already and you basically have the ability of a Salesforce admin without the exam.

You can show that if you want to try to apply but you could also, what you could also do is you could take the practice test and see if you can pass the practice test, cuz you already are familiar and you don't always have to do the whole formal thing. So you can try that too if you're already really comfortable in Salesforce.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. So this is one of the first things, if the company's looking for it, then it's obviously worth it. I mean, it's probably worth it.

Hannah: Yeah. It's 300 bucks to take the exam.

Ryan: Yeah. Depending on what you're doing but talking about Salesforce and then, I think these little mini tech certifications, obviously it's highly dependent on the roles of what you're looking at.

I mean that this is where we have to go down this rabbit hole, because if you're looking at doing something that doesn't require Salesforce, Why would you get it? If you're looking at something that doesn't require a Google certification,

Hannah: why would you need it?

Ryan: Why would you need it? And we might, we're gonna get into that later about how it could possibly help in different ways but just for the simple, why would you get it if you don't need it?

What's interesting about these branded tech applications is that getting them kind of illustrates to your future employer, to these people looking at your job applications, that you at least have the minimum knowledge able to do the job, and it's funny cuz that's a lot of what people say college is supposed to be.

I'm not equating the two, I'm not saying that, the,

Hannah: that they're equal to each other.

Ryan: That they're equal to tech certifications are the new college degrees. Yeah. But a lot of people think that college degrees are supposed to be like work experience or job training. Whereas if you're applying to jobs that literally say Google, digital marketing cert required, or, you know, maybe, you know, preferred.

That's like, okay, that is job training because they're looking for that specifically.

Because you need it to do the work that they need you to do and it's not. If you don't know how to use it, you can't do the work. Yeah. Not that you can't learn, but it's the difference between, and I've said this before, I said this before, but if you have a college degree, but they want a Salesforce admin and you're not a Salesforce admin and somebody does not have a college degree, but they're a Salesforce admin.

They're calling the admin because they have the skill set that they need and that's just the changing, that's the changing landscape, right? Because it's relevant skills over general knowledge or general information administered, I guess.

And so the second thing we wanna talk about is, If there is a branded tech certification, it's because the tool is widely used.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Not to say that just because the tool is widely used that you should get a branded tech certification, but I guess what we're talking about here is lowering the risk of getting a certification.

Hannah: Yeah. Like why does, why can something say like, why can something say Zendesk, you know, Zendesk certified, you know, Zendesk certification required, or HubSpot certification required?

And the reason is because there's enough people using it that that certification, that education program has been created and the reason that this matters is because it costs money to create those educational systems in order to administer the information and test people and then certify them and then keep track of all the certifications and market this, and market the education program and market the CERT program.

And so people don't put in, I think a lot of people don't realize that like you have to get to a certain threshold. To certify people to use your tool. That's not the first thing you do when you create a software. You know, when you create a software, you don't first create a certification program to monetize your software.

You sell the software, and then if enough people are using the software, now you're educating and certifying power users so that they can go work for companies using the tool.

Ryan: Right. And so I guess to make that, what my point was, I agree with what you just said. My point was more about how because it's widely used because of all of what you just said.

I think mine was just going a step deeper.

Hannah: It's kind of dovetailed in

Ryan: Because of what you just said. It's not a high risk activity or not as high risk to learn it. Right. And why is it? Why is it worth it to get a branded tech certification? And it's

Hannah: because you know there's enough demand that the certification exists.

Ryan: Exactly. Whereas like and okay, talking about risk, we're talking about the amount of time that you're gonna put in, the opportunity cost of that time, and then the dollar amount that you're gonna put in to obtaining the certification and then the opportunity cost of those dollars.

Whereas let's just say, and like I said, I'm not equating the two, but it just,

Hannah: let's put up a degree.

Ryan: It's just helpful to Right. Whereas for degrees, the risk is really high. It's really high to get it. To get a degree because you don't know if there's demand for the job, for that degree.

Hannah: Cause it can change.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. It takes five and a half years on average

Hannah: for most,

Ryan: to obtain one. 50% of which of those that attempt to get one, get it. So, and then on top of it, average spending $30,000 a year. So $150,000 all baked in five, five and a half years of your life, that's an incredibly risky endeavor.

Whereas if these tools are widely used, HubSpot, Salesforce, you name it, whatever. We keep going back to the same ones.

Hannah: Well, the HubSpot ones.

The HubSpot ones are free, so let's use Grow with Google cuz it's $39 a month.

Ryan: Sure, sure. But even the free ones have risk because

Hannah: this is time.

Ryan: Time, right?

You could be spending that time doing anything else. Anything else. You could be traveling the world, you could be

Hannah: not doing anything.

Ryan: Yeah. Exactly. On your couch. Right? Exactly. And so, It helps to know that usually if they have a tech certification, a branded tech certification, you know that the tool is widely used.

Hannah: Mm-hmm.

Ryan: and so there will probably be demand for that skill set into the near future.

Hannah: And a good way to check it is you can look at current job listings and see if they're asking for it. If you're curious that's how. we talk about Salesforce a lot, because that's how I started down this whole path was I found Salesforce admin and I was looking up demand, and you can see it, it'll be listed in a job listing and you can check and see what demand looks like. And that's why too, like you'll see on the TikTok and on here we talk about it, but you should always be checking market demand cuz it changes for these tools all the time.

So sometimes the, like I know right now the Google data analytics certification is having like a hayday. Everybody loves it. It's like and people higher off of it because it's just a good, they did a good job with the program and people get a lot out of it and it's enough that it's helped people to get work.

Ryan: And so the last thing I did wanna say before we move on to our next point about the branded tech certifications, you know, being widely used is that, what's interesting is that it's kind of a self feeding thing. Like it's like a circle

Hannah: yeah. And this is where I did it .

Ryan: Whereas, the more that they sell, the more software that they sell, the more that they're gonna need people to administer and to know what to develop on their software.

And so they pump out more people to administer and develop onto their software, and then now they can go to companies when they're making their sales pitches, their sales, the sales people can say, look, we've certified 5,000 people in the last six months alone off of this program, off of this program that we've created, the certification course that we've create created.

You're not gonna find, you're not gonna have a hard time finding somebody to administer it because we do such a good job. Here's our numbers, yada yada. It just becomes another marketing tool that they could use.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And it just becomes, it's a circular,

Hannah: Well, it's not only from that angle too, but it's also internal, right?

So if you have a Salesforce admin and the admin is presented with a request or a requirement or some feature that someone from management or the sales team or whatever wants to be able to do, and it's not in the current Salesforce package. The Salesforce admin will ask for the budget. To give to the Salesforce rep, whoever their rep is, and say, Hey, we wanna upgrade to this because this is what we wanna do.

So it's two, it's a two-pronged sales approach. It's coming from the outside in that we have the people to administrate and help you use this tool. And it's coming from the inside where if you understand how the tool works and you know what features can meet the needs of your business, you're unintentionally upselling from the inside too.

Ryan: Yeah,

Hannah: so it's like beautiful.

Ryan: Right.

And I guess to bring that, I guess to connect the dots of why it's worth it is because the bigger that these companies get, the more that they sell, the more in demand your skill set will be.

Hannah: Correct. So it's all self, it's all like you said, self feeding.

Ryan: Right, Exactly.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: The next thing that we want to talk about is these tech tools are complicated.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: So if the tools need a certification, It has a pretty high level of complexity usually. . It's not something that a simple walkthrough little, I mean, we've all seen 'em before. Maybe we've seen 'em more than most, but like when you're, imagine when you sign up for like a new software or you sign up for Facebook for the first time or something like that and

Hannah: it's like, start here.

Ryan: Yeah, start here and then like, it's like step one of seven and then it says

Hannah: upload your profile picture.

Ryan: Right? Exactly. Yeah. And so these tech tools are a little more complicated than seven steps. Of a little of the paperclip dude.

Hannah: Yeah. Clippy.

Ryan: Yeah. the Microsoft Word. Is that what his name was?

Hannah: I think so.

Ryan: Yeah. That sounds reasonable.

Hannah: I think so too.

Ryan: Sure. Clipy.

Hannah: Thanks.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: I don't know if that's his name or not, but I'm, I think it is. I think it is. But yeah, it's a more complex than that, and the reason is more complex is cuz you're dealing with data. Right?

So there's rules about data governance and then how things work and who gets to see what and what goes where, and you have to keep, it's just complicated. It's complicated and because of that, it takes really specific knowledge to know how to change things, add things, undo things, redo things.

That's why companies want somebody who's certified in the tool to do those things.

Ryan: Right. And I guess to illustrate like the complication here, there could be something where, and this might happen, this might be in your company or you might have seen this before. It could be like, Okay, let me try to think of an example.

Let's take a restaurant, for example, McDonald's or something, and you as the worker, you might only interface with their point of sales system. So when I order a McChicken, like I punch in one McChicken, Right? And that's all I see. I just see whatever it is that they're using.

Whatever.

Hannah: You see, A McChicken button and a green check mark.

Ryan: Yeah, whatever. Let's call it Golden Arches crm. If you know the actual, I mean not crm, but point of sale. If you know the actual point of sale system, please reach out, contact at degree free.co.

Hannah: We wanna know.

Ryan: I'd love to know, actually.

Hannah: I just want a McChicken.

Ryan: I could, Yeah, I could imagine it . That's right.

I could, I imagine, that they have their own point of sale system, because

Hannah: I bet they do.

Ryan: It's such a large company.

Hannah: Oh, but maybe they don't.

Ryan: I'm not sure. I'm guessing that they're not using Aloha or Toast or whatever but anyway, so as that worker, you hit McChicken and I pay you with a credit card.

And I might be outta my depth here, but I'm gonna try, I'm gonna try this.

Hannah: No, I'll stick with you.

Ryan: So, I played with my credit card and that could all, all that data. It says that Ryan Maruyama bought a McChicken on this date, January 1st, 2019, and all of that data gets passed through a. Into their CRM

Hannah: There's a profile that says Ryan Mariama, and it has Maruyama record.

Ryan: With my four last digits of my card.

1, 2, 3, 4, you know, and these are all the times. He came here last week. He came here the week before that. He came here the week before that. He didn't. He usually buys a McFlurry and a number one, but today he must be not hungry. He bought a McChicken and that all goes to a CRM or some back of the house thing that you don't necessarily as the front of the line worker interface with but somebody behind the scenes does interface with it.

Hannah: And then they're pulling all of this information too, because this helps their, this is how they make decisions about sales camp. This is how they make decisions about everything. Now, like let's say Ryan's not the only one who, that day didn't buy a McFlurr with his McChicken.

He just bought a McChicken and he bought it. He normally buys at 12:03 but today he bought at 10:53. Right? And they're pulling all this information. So let's say they just take all of the single McChicken buyers and they like, they're like, Okay, I wanna look at all of the people who bought one McChicken on this day between these three hours.

And they're gonna look at you in a graph and they're gonna look and see who's buying, why they're buying, what demographic is buying, if they have saved cards, if they don't, if they order from the drive through. If they order from the pick,

Ryan: they order through the app

Hannah: or they order through the app,

Ryan: whatever.

And they, and so this is like, this is how companies make their decisions now.

And, and so just to kind of reel that back in of where you would come into play is when they need that report. You would be the one giving them a report.

Hannah: Correct.

Ryan: Or you would be the one, at least knowing how all of that information gets mapped or whatever depending on your role.

Hannah: You would be the one choosing what fields, so like the time the McChicken was ordered, or what item, what menu item was ordered, what region of the country it was ordered in, like, and you would be pulling that into a report and putting that report on a dashboard for a regional sales data manager or something. Right? And so people, I think a lot of people just don't realize like how far reaching or how important rather these systems are to companies when making because this is how they make decisions now and they just don't even realize like how far reaching this is too.

Like, when you, when you sign a lease for a new apartment, if you use DocuSign, which a lot of people have experienced now where you're signing electronically, They don't realize that like DocuSign is attached to a bunch of other things. So DocuSign is attached probably to a CRM, right? And then when those things break, someone has to know how to fix them.

And then there's software integrations for those that other people have to work on. Upkeep, make sure the data's right when things go down, they have to make sure they're up again, right? And they're all interconnected to each other. And so people just don't realize that like, It's complex and it takes people having siloed knowledge about specific things in order to just keep everything going.

Ryan: Right?

Exactly. And so we're gonna get into this a little bit later, more in depth towards the end, but this is just a good example. So talking about DocuSign, you might work for exactly what you said. You might work for a mortgage company, but you just work on DocuSign?

Hannah: Yeah. Like you only have docuSign knowledge.

Ryan: Yeah. You don't interface with the mortgage. You have no, You've never bought a house. Don't know how mortgages work. Don't matter,

Hannah: but you don't need to.

Ryan: Right.

Hannah: You just need to make sure that DocuSign works.

Ryan: You need to make sure that whatever, whatever,

Hannah: API you have.

Ryan: Yeah. Sdk API. Whatever they're using that the DocuSign is working with that.

Hannah: Yeah, really specific.

Ryan: Yeah. Right.

And so as you can see, it's very complicated. And. That's where these branded tech certifications come in, because they'll go through a lot of these different Instances.

Hannah: Yeah. And there's a lot of troubleshooting and because things hook into other things and because other, because things break too.

Things break when things change. So like, imagine you have a bunch of different cogs. It's a bunch of different cogs in a machine, right? And if you have six cogs, sometimes one of the, one of the teeth on the cogs is gonna break and then it's gonna stop all the other cogs, right? And then that tooth, the broken tooth on the one cog might break a tooth on another cog.

And so you need people, rather than need. The way it works now is you need people to understand what the cogs on their individual cog and then can make sure that the other ones get fixed. So everything keeps running, otherwise things stop.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Anyway, complicated but I feel like that made sense.

Ryan: Right?

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And so this point is kind of related to the point that we talked about earlier about these tools being widely used, but this point is gonna be about these companies are probably gonna grow these tools over time. And it kind of hooks into the risk being lowered If the company, I mean, this is a lot of ifs real quickly, but if the company grows the tools, if they start to sell it to more people, then the skill set that you have will be in more demand, like we talked about before.

And it, as you said, it takes a lot of time and money to create these branded certifications. If you do it the in-house way, for example, such as Salesforce, where they created their whole own learning management system, like they created their whole own, It's called Trailhead, and we'll link to it in the show notes for everybody, but that is crazy Money.

Hannah: Yeah, it's expensive.

Ryan: They needed people to sit down, come up with the curriculum, design the courses they needed, the web devs to,

Hannah: It's a massive website

Ryan: Right? Design the layout of it. Design all the courses, give all the certification, make sure that the knowledge is there.

Hannah: They have conferences, they do all kinds.

Ryan: There's just so much stuff. Right, Exactly. And so you'd hope that with these, by getting one of these things over time, your use, you'll become more useful because the company will do its job and grow as well.

Hannah: Mm-hmm.

It's the same for any of these, you know, HubSpot, Oracle, Meta, Pinterest. It's the same for any of these certifications, but like as you said, it's not cheap to build those systems, those certification systems, and then upkeep and market them.

And the reason that they. Invest that money is because they're trying to meet demand for their tool, right? And the growth of these things is a really good sign for learners because it means that you have some runway for knowing how to use these tools, right? If the company is pouring tons of money into the tool itself and they're continuing to build it and off as an offshoot of that, they're continuing to develop their educational and certification curriculum. That means that you at least have some gears. Right? Or it seems like you have some years of usage probably with the tool because the company is continuing to invest in the growth of the tool, which means it's probably just gonna get more complex as time goes on and it's just gonna get bigger.

Ryan: Yeah, and that's a hope at least. I mean, it stands, I guess to play devil's advocate real quickly, you definitely are by doing this, and if you just, if say, if you're just going to be, Facebook ads person you've now tied and you don't do any other ads,

Hannah: you're highly leveraged.

Ryan: You're highly leveraged to the popularity of that platform.

And so when Facebook, when their numbers start to go down, when their monthly active users go down, when their daily active users go, , their ad revenue starts to go down and then maybe. Down the line. Where that comes for you is that the people that you work for, the agency you work for, or if you're a freelancer or whatever, the company that's paying you doesn't spend as much money on Facebook ads.

Hannah: Mm-hmm.

Ryan: Because now they're spending money on Google ads, or they're spending money on TikTok whatever,

Hannah: or SEO

Ryan: or whatever, whatever it is in that marketing realm that they do. So yes, it is inherently risky if you just decide to stay within that one realm. Mm-hmm.

So that is something to think about as well.

Hannah: Something to do there too is you could diversify and I would say one, one to three, knowing basics of one to three different types of CRMs is a good way to head your bets.

Ryan: Well, exactly. So that what I was gonna say is that for a lot of people, they're just getting their foot in the door.

Hannah: Mm-hmm. .

Ryan: And does it get your foot in the door. .

Hannah: Just one's enough.

Ryan: Pick one. And then while you're working, While you're learning,

Hannah: get the others.

Ryan: Exactly. Go and go and learn more if you wanted to diversify your risk.

Hannah: Mm-hmm. We use Salesforce a lot as an example, just because I'm familiar with it, but like, if you wanted to, if you go get your Salesforce admin because that's the highest, you know, highest paying. You do the calculation, you're like, Okay, ROI for me, Salesforce is the best. So you go, you get your Salesforce admin, and then while you're working as a Salesforce admin, you learn Marketo and you learn HubSpot. And now you're a well-rounded, like crm.

You just know stuff, and then you tack on a Zoho and now you just, you kind of just know a lot of the things.

Ryan: Yeah.

And to shrink it back down to a micro level, about not only these companies that are building the tools, growing the tools, but if you work, say you work in house for a smaller company, but if that company is growing and you're in a critical area of that company that's using these tools, Your portion within that company can grow as well.

Hannah: Mm-hmm.

Ryan: So let's say HubSpot. Yeah. Like if you are starting off at a small marketing agency and, they decide to use HubSpot. That's a very sticky relationship. Like, you're probably not gonna switch off of HubSpot anytime soon.

Hannah: It would be really, it's really difficult to do that.

Ryan: All of your landing pages on it, you're building all of your forms on it, all of your data is stored on there.

Mm-hmm. , you're building, you've now used them to build your blog. Right? All of your email automation's on there,

Hannah: everything's tied to it.

Ryan: Everything's on there, and so, as that, as your business grows, I'm not talking about HubSpot's business, but as the marketing agency of which you work at, as that grows.

Hannah: Your relationship with HubSpot just gets more sticky and complicated.

Ryan: Yeah. Their relationship gets larger, and if you are the expert in that software administration or that software development, now your role gets more and more important as well.

Hannah: Yeah. And then you also just have all of this background knowledge if you've been there from the beginning as it grows too.

Ryan: Right?

Hannah: Cause you know how it's built.

Ryan: Right?

That's true.

Right.

And then that's true. Where you've seen it go from point A to point B where it is now. Maybe at first,

Hannah: like why do we do the triggers like that. It's like, oh, well this is why.

Ryan: Exactly. This is why, and we had to do it this way because we were using this CMS before and now we're not.

Or we were using this type of database before.

Hannah: What are these reports for?

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And now you've basically made yourself invaluable. Hopefully. In a really good way.

Hannah: Yeah, hopefully. So. Just cuz you have all this context in your head. Which is hard. That's hard to come by.

Ryan: The last thing that I wanted to talk about real quick before we wrap up is gonna be about, just because you have a branded cert doesn't mean that you are pigeonholed into that.

cert forever. Mm mm-hmm. , what we can say is like, you are a good example of that. And so we'll give your example. You can tell your story first, and then I'll give it a fictitious example.

Hannah: Okay.

Yeah. So this is a, you make a really good point here, and I'm a good example of that in that I am a digital product owner, but I have a Salesforce admin certification, which has been attractive to companies that have hired me in the past as I've moved through these tech roles, but they're not hiring me, because I'm a Salesforce admin, That's just a plus, right? Originally, the way that I got into tech at all was Salesforce admin, and I was hired as a junior developer because I had a Salesforce admin certification, just for the proof that there's really no rules, and if you're close enough, you're close enough, right?

So the most recent role that I have is product owner, which is not, it's not really related to it. It kind of is related to Salesforce, but not really. It's more about B2B commerce products and. Salesforce is used, so understanding Salesforce is useful. So that just made me more attractive as a candidate, but it's not my job.

Ryan: That's a perfect example cause it's real world. But one of the things that I wanted to is to kind of bring it a little bit, for a lot of people that listen to this might, that's a little bit esoteric and so maybe bringing it a little bit simpler. And so let's, for example, let's say that you are applying to be a sales rep or a customer service rep at one of these companies, at a company, and you have all the qualifications or whatever that they want.

You can do the job, Let's assume that you can do the job, but you also, these companies use Salesforce. And you have a Salesforce admin certificate. Well, that just makes you super attractive because you are gonna be inputting data into their Salesforce instance.

Hannah: So understanding it is helpful.

Ryan: Exactly. It's just understanding that like, okay, well you've used it before. You understand how it works. I don't have to worry about you breaking it as much. I mean, you still might,

Hannah: So you still might when you're first getting into someone's instance, but yeah.

Ryan: Right. Exactly.

But at least, Okay, you're familiar with that, and that's just another check box going further down that rabbit hole, if there's ever a promotion or something like that that comes up in that company or with a similar company that also uses Salesforce. Well, maybe you can be the sales manager now.

Maybe you can be the customer service manager because now you're gonna have to write reports or you're gonna have to make reports.

Hannah: Structure reports, presentations.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Give reports of analytics to people higher up than you.

Yeah.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Yeah. Exactly.

Ryan: And you're gonna know at a higher level, at a more detailed, on a higher level of how to do those things.

Hannah: Mm-hmm.

Ryan: And so that could give you a leg up even. You might have started your career as a Salesforce admin, or you

Hannah: as a rep.

Ryan: Or as a rep. Yeah. You might not have ever been a Salesforce admin and we're just using it just 'cause it's easy for us. , but you know, insert this with whatever branded cert in your industry.

Hannah: Yeah. Like do like Google

Ryan: Data analytics.

Hannah: Data analytics or project management. It doesn't-

Product Management right. Whatever.

Ryan: Exactly. Whatever.

Hannah: UX

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Anything.

Ryan: Just because you start with that cert doesn't mean that you need to end on that cert. Doesn't mean that you're gonna like, just because you become a salesforce admin means that you have to go on and become a developer or an architect or whatever.

Hannah: Yeah.

It's like, it's just, it's goes, going back to the hammer analogy, just 'cause you know how to use the hammer doesn't mean you can't also use a saw. Right. And you can use multi, you can know how to use multiple tools and it just makes you a more attractive and well rounded candidate for other jobs.

Ryan: Yeah. And that's pretty much it for this week. If you guys like this episode, please consider leaving us a review wherever it is that you get your podcasts, and if you guys got value out of this, share this episode with somebody else that might get value out of this as well. We always love when you folks reach out to us.

Please reach out to us. [email protected] We'd love to. hear from you.

Hannah: We read your emails.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely

Hannah: we do.

And we would love it if you read ours. So we actually have a newsletter. It goes out once a week and it is degree free.co/newsletter to sign up. The newsletter is free and can you believe it because it's got job ideas, resources, and things that Ryan and I think are cool.

So you're gonna wanna get that. So go on over to the site and sign up.

Ryan: Yep. And we mentioned our workbook in this one. If you guys wanted to get our workbook degree free.co/workbook,

Hannah: If you're trying to get one of these, it would be really helpful.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. We go over how to get all of these branded tech certs, or at least most of 'em, in depth in it.

Hannah: And then also how to interview, search for jobs, apply, follow up et cetera, et cetera.

Ryan: Get whatever work you want. but that's pretty much it. Until next time guys. Aloha.

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