The VA industry is unregulated, therefore certifications at this point are moot. However, there are a ton of great training programs that will give you the jumpstart that you may need or that can help you gain the skills that you may want to have.
There is no right or wrong way to operate your VA business.
I'm new here, but from what I've researched so far it seems like a VA certification is unnecessary at this point. Maybe consider focusing on other certifications or taking continuing ed courses or something along those lines?
Excellent thread, as I've been contemplating taking VA courses. I have 20 years of corporate experience under my belt, and I feel as if I can handle just about anything thrown my way. However, the VA world is very different from Corporate. Up until recently, I learned of shopping carts, auto responders, contact contact, Dreamweaver, etc. This thread was very helpful - thanks so much! :thumbsup:
Very informative -- Being new to the realm of virtual assisting, I wasn't sure whether this would help in showing extra qualifications in addition to my resume/work history. I was contemplating wheter to get certified before pursing anything.
I think that if you are going to pay for a "class", that you should pay to something like Photoshop or Web design (if you don't know any html). I think that there are places on the web and books in the bookstore that if you are technological you can learn yourself. I taught myself html over a summer a few years back and I taught myself alot about WordPress in like a week or so (I like the "--- for Dummies" books, they are great!). I think that if you don't have the money to do that with. I learned alot by teaching myself, because I was going against the odds. I also think that if you have not ever VA'ed and you want to, sub-contract under an experience VA and get that experience and the contact. Most are willing to sub out extra work when they have it, if you have the skillset they are needing. Sometimes, if you watch the RFP's here, a VA will post if they are looking for a subbie to work under them.
I see where some of you mentioned FREE courses. Where can I find these courses. I am just getting started and have to do it on a shoestring budget. I understand the need for continuing education, but any free help is greatly appreciated, at least until I can build my client base and get a steady income.
Thank you so much for asking this question. I have been playing with trying to find the funds to get a certification or to just start with out certification. It's now time to begin with the experience and trust that all will work for the best.
Although going to "VA school" isn't required, it can be helpful.
Before I launched my business over 4 years ago, I went through the AssistU program and it was one of the best things I ever could have done for me and my business. Assistu helped me get a solid foundation under my business, helped me develop and maintain strong standards and helped me create a business I am truly proud of and love.
Is it a bit pricey? Yes. But is has more than paid for itself over and over. And, Assistu doesn't abandon you when you graduate, either. There are ongoing classes (free & not free), they offer a registry for clients seeking VAs and tons of support.
In my opinion, it was money definitely well spent.
I have noticed, like with the IVAA site, some sites offer tests. If you pass the test, they give you a "logo" to place on your website to show you have certain skills. Does anyone feel this lends credibility to you VA business or looks good to potential clients? Perhaps this makes a potential client feel that they are getting a knowledgeable and credible VA rather than someone who is under qualified?
Wow! This is great information. I never considered that the people that have used my services did not concern themselves with whether or not I was certified. I've been considering going through one of the certifications I've seen being offered, but like so many of you, think my experience says more than certification can. It's also interesting to note that I haven't seen anyone WITH certification that has an opinion posted.
All of these posts are so helpful. I have also been wondering if I need specific VA certification of any kind and after reading all the posts, I don't think I do. I have my CPS/CAP certifications through IAAP, I have an Associate of Applied Science Administrative Assistant degree and am Microsoft certified in the 2003 version of Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and Excel so I think I'm ok there. Thanks everyone. The information shared on this site is invaluable!
A lot of responses mentioned continuing education and attending webinars.. Are there any places that you suggest finding these? (The webinars, more than the classes... As I'm sure those can be found fairly easily.)
Also, someone mentioned the VA Classroom. Could someone please elaborate on this? Or point me in the direction where more information could be found?