Advance Your Career With the IEEE Wireless Communication Certification

The deadline for the next exam period is fast approaching

6 February 2013
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Neira is the IEEE Wireless Communication Professional Liaison to the IEEE Communications Society Steering Committee.

With new mobile technologies constantly being introduced into the marketplace and with increased competitiveness in the job market, many professionals are asking themselves, “What can I do to stand out?" and "What talent are employers seeking to bring on board?” For wireless communication professionals, earning the IEEE Wireless Communication Engineering Technologies (WCET) Certification, offered by the IEEE Communications Society, can be the answer. It was for me.

One of the most important parts of going through the WCET certification process was to sharpen my skills and demonstrate up-to-date qualifications for the job I wanted to land. Successfully passing the IEEE WCET exam allowed me to add the IEEE Wireless Communications Professional (WCP) credential to my résumé. This helped me stand out as an expert in the field, and helped me land a new job. Because I believe in the WCET program, I serve as the WCP liaison to the IEEE Communication Society, and lead networking, professional development, and job search activities for other IEEE WCPs.

Earning the IEEE WCP credential can also help you demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, practical problem-solving skills, and can apply them in real-world situations to develop and implement high-quality deliverables. At the rate in which the wireless industry is growing, there’s an ever-increasing need for qualified and experienced professionals on which companies can rely to improve and create new products, reach new markets, and advance to next-generation technologies. Those who earn the IEEE WCP credential have effectively demonstrated their breadth of knowledge by successfully passing the certification exam, which covers these seven areas of expertise: RF engineering, propagation, and antennas; wireless access technologies; network and service architecture; network management and security; facilities infrastructure; agreements, standards, policies, and regulations; and fundamental knowledge.

RELIABLE EXPERTISE
Having the IEEE WCP credential after your name designates you as a reliable, intuitive, and forward-looking professional adept in the major areas of wireless communication. “WCET certification distinguishes me as a wireless expert,” says Jeff Smith of Cisco Systems, a WCP credential holder, about the program. “For customers, the certification helps provide a level of trust that they are being advised by a certified wireless engineer." 

Going through the certification process can also be a way to learn about one’s areas of strength and better understand those areas in which further development is needed. Individuals who have gone through the steps to prepare for the certification exam gain a better understanding of their current skill set and are better equipped to communicate their capabilities to others. I personally found that learning about my skills and knowledge after going through the certification process gave me even more confidence to follow my career goals and helped me better communicate my skills to colleagues and employers. 

INTERNATIONAL CREDIBILITY
According to the Wireless Telecommunications Services: Global Industry Guide, “In 2016, the global wireless telecom services market is forecast to have a volume of 5.6 million subscribers, an increase of 21.7 percent since 2011.” The Asia-Pacific region will account for the largest percentage of that market said the report.

Due to the transnational nature of mobile technologies, the IEEE Communications Society steering committee that oversees the program and an industry advisory board consisting of members from around the world work to keep it aligned with the latest technical advancements and industry needs worldwide. Therefore, another advantage of being an IEEE WCP is that your knowledge is not limited to U.S. markets because you learn about global opportunities as well.

Also, the IEEE Communications Society has partnered with organizations like the Mobile Computing Promotion Consortium of Japan and the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology of Taiwan, whose goals include better positioning their organizations’ constituents to address the needs of the wireless communication industry.

GETTING CERTIFIED
The IEEE WCET certification exam is offered twice a year, during the second and third quarters. The next testing window will be open from 7 April to 4 May 2013 but candidates must apply to take the exam by 22 March 2013. Testing locations are at Prometric centers around the world, so candidates can choose the location most convenient for them. I personally found the application process simple to complete and locating a testing facility nearby was easy. On the WCET website are additional details about the exam and how to apply. It also includes a number of resources to support candidates in preparing for the exam, such as a practice exam and the 2013 Candidate’s Handbook. You can also download the IEEE WCET Android mobile app to get access to an up-to-date calendar, podcast, videos, and more. Search for “IEEE WCET” on Google Play. An iPhone version will be released soon.  

Candidates can also connect with others preparing for the exam and those who are already IEEE WCPs through the IEEE WCET Group on LinkedIn. I’m a member of the LinkedIn group and find it to be a great place to connect with others and grow my professional network. In addition, ComSoc Training lists online and in-person training courses on various wireless related topics that can help you sharpen your skills in the communications field. Though none of the courses offered cover the contents of the WCET certification exam, they can be helpful in helping you prepare. ComSoc Training even offers a special training and certification exam seat package for one price, making it more affordable.

Photo: Kristian Sekulic/iStockphoto

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