What is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)?
As any experienced and informed internet surfer can tell you, there are many Adobe products and technologies which have become important tools used to help create, as well as deliver content. After all, where would the web be without Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Acrobat, and many others? The truth is that Adobe is one of the most important software manufacturers on the planet and it is the fruits of their labor which make the internet-as-we-know it, possible.
Given this reality, it only seems logical that those who are serious about IT or technology in general might take special interest in Adobe-specific training and/or certification. This of course brings us to the notion of one becoming an Adobe Certified Expert. But what is an ACE, exactly, you might be wondering? Well, in a nutshell, anyone who passes one of Adobe’s certification exams is technically an Adobe Certified Expert.
However, as one might expect, not all areas of expertise will be adequate for everyone. For example, those with a keen interest in media production might want to veer toward the After Effects and Flash certifications; while a person who’s into web design will be better served with certs in ColdFusion and Dreamweaver. Likewise, professional photographers and visual media specialists will make good use of the Lightroom, Illustrator and Photoshop.
These aren’t the only useful certifications on the table though; there are also those that are specific to web development, like CQ5 and Adobe Insight. Both of these programs are good examples of courses which deal with more technical topics, like Databases and Cloud Computing. Needless to say, those that are engaged in a professional IT career (or perhaps heading in that direction) will get quite a lot of “mileage” out of the more technical certifications. But that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t pay for an individual to train and certify in something like Photoshop anyway; any special abilities you possess will only boost your appeal.
In today’s rough-and-tumble economy it’s a good idea to have a central career focus, but also have a number of useful skills which are directly or indirectly relevant to your main career choice. In other words, yes, go ahead and train in IT, but make sure you have a number of other certifications to your credit which can attract other types of employers. The bottom line is that becoming an Adobe Certified Expert in one or more areas demonstrates that you know how to effectively utilize some very useful technologies; needless to say, employers really like that.
However, one certification alone might not be enough to demonstrate your ability, that’s why special attention should be paid to those programs that can function as “mashups”. To put it simply, a Mashup is what happens when you combine the functions or abilities of two or more components / software / technologies for various purposes. In short, mashups are everywhere and could be construed as critical elements of modern programming, web design and internet-based business. Still confused? Think of it this way; someone who specializes in producing entertaining corporate training videos for the web probably has an in-depth knowledge of Adobe After Effects, but they might also find training in Flash to be very useful as well. Likewise, if they begin to move toward integrating web design into their work, it would also be quite beneficial to get certified in a discipline like Adobe Muse.
For those that are ready to “take the certification plunge”, you’ll be happy to note that all of Adobe’s certification programs are extremely affordable (with most of them costing less than $200 USD). Moreover, unlike many other programs offered by various organizations, individual certifications do not expire. In other words, if you become certified in Photoshop, your cert won’t simply expire, but it might need to be serviced occasionally, in order for you to stay up-to-date with regard to certain technological upgrades. Recertification is also much cheaper, which is a nice touch.
If you’re interested in an entire certification suite on the other hand, you should know that a one-year limitation is in effect. Furthermore, there are essentially three suites to choose from: Web, Print and video. Those who successfully complete an entire suite of certifications attain the master certification level.