“Over the last few years, in general, IT professional certification programs have seen a decrease in the total number of certifications,” said Adam Rabidoux, Technical Training Manager, Juniper Networks Education Services. “We needed a way to ignite more interest in our certification program and identified a number of key initiatives to create positive growth. One growth initiative was to make earning multiple certifications more attractive and appealing. Another was to reward individuals who held the highest certifications for an extended period of time.”
The initiatives have been more effective than Rabidoux and the Juniper team had anticipated. “We now award badges to recognize individuals who hold specific combinations of active certifications,” explained Rabidoux. “Candidates are excited to earn these badges and are sharing them on social media. This facilitates additional conversations and greater awareness of our program beyond what we expected.”
The “QuadE”, officially known as the JNCIE x4 certification badge, is awarded to individuals who hold all four expert-level Juniper certifications. Juniper celebrates QuadEs as members of a distinguished community by providing them with, among other things, backpacks and recognition at Juniper events.
“We needed to do more to raise general awareness of our program at Juniper. There are less than 50 QuadEs worldwide, so the QuadE badge not only recognizes candidates, but it also generates amazing conversations among many of our greatest social media influencers,” noted Rabidoux, who continued with great excitement, “Juniper recently recognized the first female to achieve the JNCIE x4 designation.” (She was the 31st recipient worldwide of the badge. For more information, click here.)
At the other end of the spectrum, Juniper awards the 4A certification badge to individuals who hold all four associate-level Juniper certifications. “We recently had one of our QuadEs proudly share his 4A badge on Twitter. Even though he held multiple higher-level certifications, achieving the 4A badge was still something he was proud of,” said Rabidoux. “These personal stories speak to the value of end users celebrating their recognition in a public manner so that the Juniper community can congratulate and follow along.”
Juniper also launched its Emeritus program, which recognizes long-standing expert-level certification holders. Individuals who have held a JNCIE certification for 9 years or longer automatically earn Emeritus status for that certification. “We didn’t expect the level of excitement we’ve received regarding the Emeritus program,” said Rabidoux. “We set it up so that our candidates could hold a JNCIE certification that is both active and Emeritus. This unique setup has been well received by our certified community.”
The initiatives are facilitated via the Standings module in CertMetrics™, Juniper’s candidate management solution provided by Alpine Testing Solutions, Inc. “Standings has led to multiple certification badges and afforded us the Emeritus program. Both have been a tremendous success and have had positive impacts on our program. We can continue to grow this success now that we have the right vehicle in place,” stated Rabidoux.
Interested in learning more about CertMetrics and the Standings Module? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you are a CertMetrics user, contact your Alpine Technical Program Manager for a tour of the CertMetrics Standings Module and start providing additional benefits to your credentialed candidates! For more information on the Standings Module, click here.