IEEE Wireless Communications Professional (WCP) is a credential many of us are considering earning. With the approaching 2017 Spring testing window for the IEEE WCET Certification exam, you might be asking yourself, "What are the reasons that I should earn the IEEE WCET Certification? How will it benefit me?"
Who better to ask than current IEEE WCPs themselves about what they feel are the greatest benefits of IEEE WCET Certification and what were the deciding factors that led them to earn their certification. Our findings show that there are three main drivers:
• To show their commitment to the industry
• To improve their skills and deepen their current knowledge base
• To help them advance their career
Commitment to the Industry
As stated in the IEEE WCET Candidate’s Handbook, this certification was created to "assess the skills and knowledge of practicing wireless communications professionals with the equivalent of a college or university degree and three or more years of professional experience." Earning your IEEE WCP (Wireless Communication Professional) credential shows that you have the knowledge and on-the-job experience needed to be successful globally in this industry. Many consider it to be a challenge to pass the test and taking the time to prepare on your own time demonstrates one’s commitment to the profession and the wireless communications industry.
"After 5 years working for a cellular network operator in several technical areas, my passion for the industry did nothing but increase. Such passion drove me to question myself about my professional development and commitment. I received the IEEE WCP information and I decided that to prepare and pass this certification would be the first step towards a bigger commitment to the profession I love," said Jorge Mario Guzman, IEEE WCP and Independent Contractor in Bogotá, Colombia.
Globally IEEE ComSoc's commitment to industry is especially recognized through the partnerships that have been established to extend the reach of the IEEE WCET Certification Program. MCPC (Mobile Computing Promotion Consortium) of Japan and NTUST (National Taiwan University of Science and Technology) of Taiwan are active partners in the IEEE WCET Certification Program supporting professionals in their regions to demonstrate their experience, knowledge and skills by earning this credential. Individuals from these partnerships join others who have earned the IEEE WCP credential from more than 24 countries around the world.
The wireless communications industry is experiencing tremendous growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. New opportunities are emerging requiring professionals to stay current and IEEE WCET Certification is a strong way to show your commitment to continuous professional development and advancement. IEEE WCET Certification makes it easier for industry to identify those dedicated to a profession in wireless communications. Adam Drobot, CTO, Telcorida, clearly expressed the value of this certification to industry during his 2010 IEEE Wireless Communications Networking Conference (WCNC) keynote address when he said that “the WCET exam provides professional recognition for those individuals who have the necessary breadth and can be counted on as effective practitioners in the engineering, deployment, or operation of wireless systems.”
Personal Achievement and Professional Development
In addition to achieving an internationally recognized industry credential and joining an elite group of wireless communication professionals, earning this credential can be a very satisfying personal experience. You are not only demonstrating your commitment to the industry but also your commitment to your own professional development. It takes an investment in time to prepare for the exam. Most individuals who pursue WCET Certification do a number of things to study, including reading reference materials, participating in training courses, and taking the practice exam. Through the preparation process and the challenge of successfully completing the certification exam, many individuals end up learning a lot about themselves.
"Taking the exam is very useful to know my current skills and knowledge," stated our IEEE WCP Ryota Kimura. Again, Jorge Mario Guzman shared that for him "to earn the certification means to accomplish a goal after a big effort and commitment. The process of studying for the exam taught me a lot about myself and has given me motivation to move forward on my career." Hiroshi Kizaki of KDDI Corporation - a communication company in Japan, who also became an IEEE WCP and shared that for him earning the certification "was great challenge for me and I am very happy to get it.”
Another important benefit that was expressed by many of the IEEE WCPs was this certification would be very helpful in improving their career opportunities. This seemed to be especially true for those looking to move into new technical areas within the industry. Satoshi Nagano, IEEE WCP and certified engineer through Japan’s MCPC, was looking to expand his experience into new areas and felt that the IEEE WCET Certification “is suitable for the future development of my career." Scott Peterman, IEEE WCP and RF Engineer for the United States Air Force, also shared a similar sentiment about WCET Certification, "I do feel that this can have a large impact on my career opportunities and I am glad that the IEEE created the certification to create a benchmark for people working in this field."
In addition to career advancement, many WCPs expect their certification to have a positive impact on their dealings with colleagues, customers, and future clients. Many independent contractors who earned this certification see it as a valuable asset for their consulting business and consider it to be a great way to convey their qualifications to new clients. When a client, co-worker, or organization sees that you’ve earned IEEE WCET Certification, they can be assured that you bring valuable knowledge and experience to the job and can be relied upon as a leader in the field of wireless communications.
Your next opportunity to earn IEEE WCET Certification is quickly approaching with the testing window being open from 17 April to 13 May 2017. Applications to take the exam during that time period must be submitted by 31 March 2017, so you must act now. More information on how to apply for the exam can be found on the IEEE WCET website. Don’t miss this opportunity to join an elite group of wireless communication professional who are already putting the benefits of their IEEE WCET Certification to good use in advancing their career, enhancing their professional development and showing their commitment to the industry.
A very special Thank You is extended to all our IEEE WCPs for sharing their insights with us for the development of this article and Special Thanks to IEEE WCPs: Jorge Mario Guzman (pictured upper left), Ryota Kimura (pictured upper right), Hiroshi Kizaki (pictured left) and Satoshi Nagano (pictured right) for sharing their pictures with us.
Commit to Taking the IEEE WCET Certification Exam
Curious if certification is right for you? Learn more about it online where you can also review application details and understand exam specifications to get a comprehensive view of exactly what is covered on the exam. You’ll get a full appreciation of the breadth and depth of what IEEE WCPs know and why they stand head and shoulders above the competition.