Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Hello! I'm Tiffany, a Salesforce Certified Professional with over 12 years of experience working in the Salesforce ecosystem. I'm pretty active in the Salesforce Community (called the Salesforce Ohana) and probably more than a few times per month I get a message from someone asking for advice on:
- Switching Careers to Salesforce
- Learning Salesforce
- Learn about Salesforce
- How to Get Certified
So a few months ago I did a webinar called "Careers in the Salesforce Ecosystem". You can watch it here.
There's a lot of great info in the webinar but I'm not sure that it answers all the questions above so I wanted to take the time to go into more detail.
CHEAT CODE: If you have already done your research and are just really interested in learning how to get the Salesforce Administrator certification as quickly read about the 8 week challenge and how to join!
Below I will go into a lot of info and I'm going to add a lot of links to different articles and to Trailhead. Trailhead is a learning experience platform—a library of educational content that you can access whenever you like. Trailhead is designed around what users need to learn, rather than around what a training department needs to teach. You can choose from various topics to learn new skills at your own pace.
You should definitely go ahead an create a Trailhead account. Once you start down the path you'll need it.
Learn more about Salesforce (the product and company)
Salesforce is a customer relationship management solution that brings companies and customers together. It's one integrated CRM platform that gives all your departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service — a single, shared view of every customer.
Even though it's called SALES...force...it's used for a lot more than sales. There are product solutions for service, marketing, e-commerce, customer facing applications, integration, analytics and more...
And to give you more to think about, there are solutions for different industries as well...(yeah see, more than sales lol )
I share all of that with you so that you can start to put together a transition strategy. It looks something like this:
your background + current interests + salesforce product/industry = your new career path.
pssst....Don't worry too much about that yet, i'll have another post on what to do after your certified and tips on how you can land your first job.
So to help you get familiar with Salesforce, I put together a "Trailmix". You can find it here.
A Trailmix is a custom learning playlist (Salesforce is all in on with the Trail theme so just roll with it :-) ). It should help you get familiar with some of the more common Salesforce products and industry solutions. It should only take you a two or three weeks to complete the trailmix if you do a module every day.
Once you are confident you're ready to jump in and learn Salesforce continue to #2.
Trailhead is FREE (free, free, free, free). Where to start on Trailhead depends on what path you want to take. Take a look at the career paths here. Each career card has a recommended Trailmix to get you started on your learning path.
Through Trailhead, you can also check out Trailhead Live for lots of awesome video content. This is a great option if you like watching demos.
There are also quite a few videos on the Salesforce YouTube Channel
Salesforce also has a site called "Trailblazer Connect". Through that site you can find opportunities for
events, mentorship, and career resources.
Low Cost Options:
Udemy and Focus on Force both have some lost cost training courses. These are not live, instructor led courses. More of the self paced type.
I will be putting together some training later this year so stay tuned!
Salesforce has several instructor led courses that you can find here. These are led by Salesforce Certified Training Experts.
Career Paths and Getting Certified
This page is a good starting point regarding career paths. However there are a wide range of careers and we will probably need to explore that in a separate blog post. The above salary ranges are also pretty accurate, however you will see variances in salaries depending on the city and type of company. Mason Frank has a great salary survey that provides a detailed look at salaries in the ecosystem across various roles. You can find that here.
Indeed also has a good tool to review salaries. Here's the one for the Salesforce Administrator role.
Now to talk about certifications....this is where things get a little tricky. There are 20+ Salesforce Certifications. Which path you take depends on what role/industry you're interested in.
The above graphic is one of my favorite from Salesforce Ben. His blog is also a good resource. You can find it here.
Most people start with Salesforce Administrator or Platform Developer 1 (Unless you're a Marketer, then you would do those). Most of the Certifications have prerequisites, so you will have to pass one of the following Certification Exams first:
Pre-Covid the exams could be taken at a testing center or online. Now they are all virtual. All you need is a webcam (the one on your laptop is fine). The cost for the exam is $200 and $100 for a retake if you fail. The links above tell you all about each exam.
Trailhead is a good starting point for each exam. Each link above will list a Trailmix to help you study. You also want to read over the exam guide. The exam outline will list the exam objectives and the weight of each objective.
There are also a number of great Salesforce blogs with tips on how to pass different exams. If you follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter, i repost all the good stuff I see. Here's a list of 20 great blogs.
There's a lot more to discuss in regards to career paths, salary, etc but let's save that for another blog post.
I hope this is enough to get you started. Please comment with any questions or things you would like me to cover.