The value and necessity of Workday certifications have long been debated in the ecosystem. In this article, I’ve put together a list of 10 interesting facts about Workday certification training and briefly explore whether being Workday certified is vital to securing an opportunity in the Workday space.
To start off, here’s 10 facts:
- You can only get a certification from Workday by either being an employee of Workday or a Workday partner company
- All new consultants take Core HCM training classes which is often known as Boot Camp
- Workday or the partner company manages the cost of training and not the worker
- If you leave Workday or a partner company then your certificate would only remain valid until the next 2 releases (12 months)
- Certification is a requirement of employment for most partner companies
- On some occasions, Workday can approve certification training a second time round if you do not pass the first time
- Typical time frame to complete training is within the first month of employment
- There are customer certifications branded ‘Workday Pro’ for employees of Workday customers but they are not available for independent consultants/ contractors
- To maintain your certificate, there is recurrent training which is web-based consisting of videos and quizzes after each new release/update
- Having certifications can sometimes open more doors to Workday opportunities as some recruiters tend to work with clients who only want ‘certified’ candidates
I can see the benefits of undergoing formal training to be Workday certified and how that helps to ensure a consistent standard when it comes to designing and configuring Workday. However, there are other effective ways to learn the system without certification training, such as working for a direct customer and gaining exposure to the system in house which will likely give you access to practical experience straight away. Most clients will usually grant access to the Workday community so new functionality videos will still be readily available.
Indeed, some would argue that a potential downside to Workday certification classes could be that the training standardises processes and procedures to the point that consultants might focus on only one way to configure Workday rather than truly understanding individual customer requirements before translating them into Workday functionality. That’s probably a more complex skill that would take longer to teach, but consultants will most likely learn that eventually from experience being on different projects.
I’ve personally spoken to quite a few Workday professionals who currently work for a Workday partner company, who wish to go contracting independently but are hesitant because they don’t want to lose their certifications. I do understand the mentality of not wanting to lose certifications, but I’ve yet to work with a Workday client who has stated certifications as a requirement thus far.
When recruiting in the space, I try not to solely rely on certificates as an indicator of how competent a candidate is and how good of a fit they are for the role. Instead, I focus more on their individual experience regarding past implementations, what stage they entered the project, the amount of full end to end life cycle implementations they have and the type of projects/ companies they’ve worked in. I look at job history, references, adaptability as well as the way they communicate with me during conversation. To me, those are the first few things I look for to assess how good a Workday candidate potentially is – and certifications are a bonus!
If you’re a Workday professional, I’m curious to know what your thoughts are regarding certification training. If you’re Workday certified, then what benefits have you seen? If you’re an independent consultant who has never been certified/ lost your certificate, have you encountered any disadvantages? I’m sure that the debate revolving Workday certifications will continue for the foreseeable future – will Workday ever become more lenient on access for certification training and how would that impact the system and businesses overall?