Three Steps to Becoming a NetSuite Certified Administrator

Joanne Coleman, Director of NetSuite Certification

July 28, 2015

Kirk Mathers and Brian Dougherty are ready for whatever NetSuite, or their employers throw at them next.

That’s because Mathers, director of NetSuite Administration at online and blended learning education solutions provider Edgenuity, and Dougherty, director, enterprise architecture at IT performance management software vendor SolarWinds, are graduates of the NetSuite Certified Administrator program.

For any NetSuite administrator, developing and expanding their knowledge of our cloud(opens in new tab)-based business management suite is one of the most important parts of the role. They need to be able to educate end users on NetSuite’s current and upcoming functionality and ensure that the organization as a whole is deriving maximum benefit from its investment. This can be a daunting task given that, as a cloud-based system, NetSuite is constantly expanding on existing features and adding new ones.

As Mathers and Dougherty have learned, there’s a way to gain, deepen, validate and maintain your NetSuite knowledge – become a NetSuite Certified Administrator(opens in new tab). First timers will need to take two exams – a baseline SuiteFoundation exam confirming their core knowledge of NetSuite and then the NetSuite Administrator Certification itself. Exams can be taken at more than 600 testing centers around the world or as an online proctored exam which requires use of an external camera. To date, administrators in 14 different countries around the world - Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. - have successfully earned the NetSuite Administrator Certification.

Based on the experience of past participants and internal NetSuite staff who have become Certified Administrators, we’ve assembled three key preparatory steps to consider taking prior to the exams:

Step 1: Prepare
We provide a wealth of online training for NetSuite Administrators. A list of all the recommended training courses is provided on the Certification Program(opens in new tab) page. Start with the NetSuite Essentials(opens in new tab) training. If you’ve already taken the course, think about taking NetSuite: Administrator Fundamentals(opens in new tab) for brush-up training. Make sure you’re also familiar with areas including SuiteAnalytics reports and searches, SuiteFlow workflow and the SuiteCloud Development Platform. You can register for a live virtual class or take the courses as self-study, so that you can take the training when it is most convenient for you.

Step 2: Apply
Take everything you’ve learned and apply it in your daily work life as a NetSuite Administrator. The certification exams are going to test both your theoretical and practical NetSuite knowledge. Before embarking on certification, we recommend you have at least one year of experience configuring and managing a robust NetSuite instance.

Step 3: Reinforce
Once you feel you have the necessary skills, consider taking the NetSuite Certification: Administrator Exam Preparation(opens in new tab) self-study course to review and validate your knowledge before taking the required exams. We’d suggest you take your exams soon after completing your study review.

Why Become Certified?

Mathers took the NetSuite administrator certification exam to determine which functional areas he was weak in and then ramp up his knowledge in those areas.

“I am a CPA so I believe in gaining certification in your profession,” Mather said. “Becoming a NetSuite Certified Administrator was an obvious next step in my career.”

Mathers suggests taking advantage of the user guides. He also suggests creating an in-depth, personal user guide, as he did, by cross-referencing the topics in Help and SuiteAnswers, a task he engaged in over a four-month period prior to taking the certification exams, and which really paid off in his day-to-day NetSuite administration work.

Dougherty at SolarWinds was keen to validate that he had the most up-to-date perspective on the NetSuite platform.

“I wanted to ensure that I had the knowledge of our core system that would allow me to better guide and develop within the system to meet our company’s current and future goals,” Dougherty said.
He recommends studying the main modules within NetSuite and seeking out study guides and implementation notes for areas participants may have not previously dealt with in detail. In particular, he suggests devoting study time to becoming familiar with the complex area of User Roles & Permissions.

Gaining certification has given Dougherty an increased level of confidence that the decisions being made about the NetSuite platform are based on a deep understanding of the system and how it operates, making NetSuite-based projects both easier and more successful.

Certification Benefits You and Your Organization

Certification is an ongoing process. To maintain certification, participants will need to take an annual update quiz verifying knowledge of newly released NetSuite features, and also, every three years, pass a rewritten certification title exam. In this way, both the individual and their organization can ensure the NetSuite knowledge within the company is fully up to date at all times. By having validated in-house NetSuite expertise, an organization has less need to invest in third-party professional services support.

Another benefit of certification is a 30 percent discount on NetSuite training, access to free beta classes and admission to private groups on LinkedIn so the NetSuite Administrator at an organization can share best practice experiences with certified peers at other organizations and bring that knowledge back in-house.

So, what are you waiting for? Become a more effective NetSuite Administrator by getting certified! For more information and study guides listing exam topics, please visit our NetSuite Certification program page in new tab) and, if you have any questions about the program, please contact us at in new tab).

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.

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