“Why do I need a certification, I read all the magazines and study on my own?” We get asked this question a lot. As beneficial as home study is, the problem is you don’t to have a designated level of knowledge to show to others. Another thing about home study that makes it difficult to quantify to others is that everyone’s definition of “home study” is different. I might study a few hours on weekends and say that I’m a dedicated student of wine, compared with someone else who might study a few hours every day. There’s no delineations with home study and what is actually occurring. I might read a few articles for my home study versus someone that uses textbooks, maps or flashcards to really delve into the material.
1. Proof of a designated knowledge level
When you’re telling someone (a potential employer, a coworker, etc.) that you know about wine, they’re going to want to know what level of knowledge you have. And as we said, while home study is encouraged, this is where WSET certifications come in.
Having an award from WSET, whether it be level 1, 2, 3, or Diploma shows others that you have attained a designated level of knowledge about wine. Employers and industry professionals know what each level of WSET contains and what successful candidates have to do to pass. That means something. To show your employer that you took the time, money, and effort to go get a certification that is internationally recognized is going to set you apart from the rest of the candidates in the resume pile. We are seeing more and more job postings that actually specify the ideal candidate will have a certain WSET certification. It’s no secret, educated beverage staff can bring in incredible revenue for the establishment, as well as tips from patrons who appreciate the assistance. For restaurant managers, having certified wine professionals on their staff can be a key way to distinguish themselves from the competition.
- Oh the things you can do!
Professional certifications can open up career doors that you never expected. For us here at Wine Academy LV we never imagined we would be running a wine school, and yet here we are! Whether you’re starting your career in the wine industry, or maybe taking up wine as a second career, certifications will help you stand out against other applicants, or even help you get that promotion you’ve been eyeballing. Not to mention, many employers recognize the value of continued education so much, they offer tuition reimbursement or other assistance to help you get to that next level. WSET certifications can open doors to careers in wine writing, academics, retail, distribution, restaurants and bars, consulting, and so many more. We are also seeing more and more job postings in hospitality and retail actually requiring their candidates to have formal wine certifications.
- Major confidence booster
Career paths and promotions aside, probably the next most valuable thing to be gained from a WSET certification is the self-confidence it brings. That saying “knowledge is power” is true, armed with a solid foundation of wine knowledge you can conquer whatever wine-related path you choose. Even if you’re not looking to get in the industry, the confidence to make better purchase decisions, have meaningful conversations with others about wine, understand jargon-heavy publications, all within your reach! No matter what path you’re on, a little confidence is always welcome.
Our lives have been changed through our education journey, and there’s no going back! Cheers to your wine education journey!
-The Wine Academy of Las Vegas Team