I am often asked whether getting the ERP is worth it: In terms of career advancement for professionals already in the energy field, and also for those interested in getting a job in energy. You may be studying for a degree and wonder whether you should do the ERP on the side. Or you may look for a career change altogether and look for a foot in the door.
Employers look for the following assets in job candidates when they hire:
Intelligence, experience, and commitment are important for a candidate to provide value for an employer. You can demonstrate some of these qualities with the ERP, but not all of them. Assume you have passed the ERP exam and fulfill all requirements to use the designation and the three letters ERP after your name. This will show an employer the following:
- Attaining the ERP is not an easy endeavor, so this job candidate is smart.
- The candidate has spent a considerable amount of time and money to develop additional skills in energy risk management, which shows commitment.
Now here comes the rub: What the ERP cannot make up for is experience.
Employers obviously prefer to hire people with relevant experience in the chosen field. You can also demonstrate lateral experience, for example managing teams or projects in another industry, engineering or technical skills, or other important qualities that can be used in the energy industry.
So if you’re already experienced in energy, having an ERP will definitely up your value for an employer. If you don’t have relevant experience yet, it shows that you’re intelligent and committed, but you should get additional experience in energy before you venture in the field.
As Rockefeller said about the ideal career track: “Pick the company you really want to work for and take any job they give you; this gets you in the door.” If you’re looking for experience, I would suggest you do that, maybe pick a company in your region where your talents are needed and then move up the corporate ladder. The starting point can be an internship, or a position not directly related to what you’re aiming to do later, but al least it gets you in the door and you can demonstrate your skills to your employer.
I hope this helps you assess whether you want to invest in the Energy Risk Professional designation. I personally think it’s a great certification that will definitely help you sooner or later if you’re interested in energy. GARP is a professional body for risk professionals recognized worldwide, with an excellent offering of continued education and access to other events, so I think it’s well worth it.
I hope to see you soon when you prepare for the ERP!