How Training and Certification Propel Employees Forward

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“Bouncing forward means identifying and cultivating new skills through upskilling, reskilling and in hiring practices,” according to Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, in an SHRM article.

In The Great Resignation era, training and development rise to the top as ways to keep top performers engaged and attracting new top-notch employees.

Employees with the right knowledge and skills are integral to business success, but the pace of change within the telecom industry and enterprises make rightsizing of knowledge a complex challenge to solve. New technologies, solutions, and business objectives all play a role in determining the qualifications of current and prospective employees required to fill organizations’ immediate needs, optimize the use of existing talent, and enable organizations to adapt to change. Bouncing forward is the answer.

Regular skills gap analyses can go a long way in assessing the difference between the skills an employer needs and those currently held by its employees. Learning and development strategies, including an analysis of existing skills and forward-looking requirements, help determine areas of exposure or weakness, assist in defining the upskilling needs of existing employees, and optimize and empower current and prospective employees.

Learning development organizations stress the importance of professional certifications to encourage employees’ commitment to learn, while at the same time provide measurable outcomes to their managers. According to the 2021 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, the value of certification is nearly unanimous—94% of decision makers worldwide say that certified team members provide added value above and beyond the cost of certification. Over half of those surveyed estimate the annual economic benefit of a certified employee is more than $10,000. Sixteen percent estimate the benefit is $30,000 or higher. 

Certified professionals solve at least one of the telecom industry’s biggest challenges—the need for experienced individuals to have professional knowledge that exceeds that of their competitors. That said, there are five key benefits of MEF professional certifications for both the individual and company.

Benefits for Individuals

  1. Significant technical knowledge on MEF terminology, service attributes, and applications
  2. Improved technical communication with customers, prospects, and co-workers
  3. Increased job proficiency and productivity with less reliance on technical support from other subject-matter experts
  4. Credibility among peers and validation as an industry expert in the workplace—an advantage for career advancement
  5. Tangible achievement of a commitment to continuing education and the desire to keep skills sharp

Benefits for Companies

  1. Strengthened market position with proficient subject-matter experts
  2. Better presentation of competitive advantages of company solutions to customers and prospects
  3. More precise design of solutions that fit customer application requirements
  4. More timely and accurate provisioning of customer orders
  5. Improved technical communication among co-workers and company colleagues

The benefits of professional certifications far outweigh the cost—both to employees and employers. With MEF certified services and technologies, the value is even more significant.  

MEF certified services and technologies validate service and technology providers have demonstrated their solutions conform to the rigorous specifications established by the industry’s defining authority for standardized network-based services. MEF professional certification takes this one step further, certifying an individual’s knowledge and understanding of MEF standards, validating competency and proficiency for streamlined communications—resulting in greater productivity and increased credibility among peers and customers.

Achieving a MEF professional certification demonstrates a company’s commitment to MEF certified services, technologies, and helps their employees achieve and apply knowledge and expertise in the areas of SD-WAN, SDN/NFV, and Carrier Ethernet.

Incentives and Tools for Achieving MEF Professional Certifications

MEF offers tools and programs to help companies and professionals achieve training and certification. MEF’s Corporate Program, Self-Study Portal, and new member/certified member voucher program help make achieving professional certifications more enticing than ever.

Corporate Program 

The MEF Professional Certification Corporate Program provides cost incentives for those organizations that are significant consumers of MEF standards and wish to achieve in-depth training and certifications for their employees. A tiered volume discount structure reduces per-exam costs as more professionals are certified, and further financial incentives are provided when individuals participate in two exams to achieve MEF Network Expert status.

MEF-SDCP Self Study Portal 

This self-study portal enables individuals with at least two years of foundational networking skills to quickly access the most relevant content in preparation for the MEF-SDCP (SD-WAN) Professional Certification exam. The portal provides a valuable initial preparation stage for those individuals entering a training program with MEF Accredited Training Providers. 

New Member/Certified Member Voucher Program

New MEF members and especially those companies who have recently certified their services or technologies may participate in the MEF voucher program which provides one or two free MEF Professional Certification exam registrations at vouchers depending on membership designation. 

Now is the time for companies to “bounce forward,” upskill, reskill and certify your professionals’ knowledge and proficiency with MEF professional certifications.

Learn More

Watch the two-minute video to learn more about MEF professional training and certification, then start your journey.

Categories: Certification
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Kirby Russell

Kirby Russell

Director, MEF Professional Certification | MEF

Kirby has been with MEF for 14 years as its Director of Professional Certification. Prior to that, Kirby worked in multiple roles at Lucent Technologies, Ascend Communications, Cisco Systems, and Advanced Computer Communications, and holds a B.A. in Organizational Communications from Pepperdine University.