Today, many industries are using professional certifications and post-grad exams in two ways:
- To set a baseline for employees entering a specific field
- To encourage professionals to embrace a unified method for ensuring consistency and excellence through the sector.
For some industries, certification will give you an extra boost in your career, but for others, it is the only way to move past the entry level.
Beverly Bogerty, certified meeting professional and co-founder of Occasions Inc., offers the following tips and tricks for passing post-grad exams. Follow along and take notes because you don’t want one test to be the thing that stalls career growth:
Tip #1: Be active in the industry.
Gaining CMP certification can be a very interesting process because you need a certain number of points to even qualify to sit for the exam. The point system is varied, with different levels awarded for things like holding leadership positions and participating in continuing education programs.
Tip #2: Build a foundation of experience.
You must have at least five years of work experience in order to take the exam as well, so use that time wisely and get involved in a variety of activities that will help you qualify.
Tip #3: Consider an advanced degree for additional grounding.
When Bogerty took the CMP exam, she’d already graduated from George Washington University with my master’s in tourism administration with a concentration in event management. The coursework and concentration exposed her to what it takes to successfully manage large-scale events, and the theoretical foundation was a major help in responding to the scenario-based questions on the exam, she says.
James S. Walker (@jaywalk1) is a Washington, D.C.-based digital strategy and public relations manager, leading digital strategy creation and execution for a mix of corporate and nonprofit clients at APCO Worldwide. Intrigued by how social and cultural insights connect people on a global level, Walker has completed long-term project assignments in China and Mongolia, and chronicles his thoughts on the industry via his blog, PR Prescriptions, and Website, Socially Diverse.