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Are Jira admin certifications valuable to you/your teams?

Hi everyone! I'm new to this channel and head up Atlassian University. This is one of my first posts to a community group. I'm hoping to start a conversation with you all about the value of certifications to understand what's important to you and your teams. 3 of the questions I'd like to start with are: 

1. for your teams, do you need/want people to be certified on Jira Cloud? and why?

2. is there an obstacle that is keeping your teams from getting certified on Jira Cloud?

3. what can I do to help you get more people certified within your organization?

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'd love to see where this thread takes us and how we can help remove any barriers to getting more people certified.


For the group I work for, they do not require it and I am not certain they would see much value in it.  More likely the certification training may show me things that I didn't know I could do, but it would then become a cost factor to them. 


I have learned to create projects, develop dashboards and configure automation and email handling through community articles, comments and other Google search results.  

Like # people like this

Hello. I have inquired about the steps or process to get certified. I have not found a clear answer. 

The best value for me would be... a simple 1-2-3 list of action items to get certified. 


Atlassian Certified Professional

1 - Learn these subjects 

2- Learn this material 

3 - Go to this link to to sign up for the test


Jira Cloud Admin

1 - Learn these subjects

2 - Learn this material

3 - Go to this link to sign up for the test

Like # people like this

We might have 2-3 total users our company is interested in certifying. Maybe. Probably just me.

The Why not is: We're a small shop, most of us wear multiple hats already, and we manage to do everything we set out to do in our Atlassian products (sometimes on the second or third try.)

We've had pretty fabulous success between the Community and trial & error.

Like # people like this

We would be interested in it although not a requirement. Certainly value to be found. I would be very interested in participating in any learning/training events. I have completed a number of the Atlassian university courses and we are actually discussing training opportunities that are available for a few team members.  If there are any recommendations we would be very open to hearing them! Thanks!


Like Angie Wong likes this

1. It's a nice to have. It demonstrates a willingness to study and a baseline knowledge, assuming it hasn't been forgotten since the test.

2. The cost is not nothing and the body of study material is vast. I'd also add that the remote testing experience is not pleasant.

3. The certificates demonstrate a ready memory of what buttons to press under what specific circumstances, but these are not the challenges most admins face. If I cannot remember the level of permissions tied to a Team-Managed Project access tier, I can google it. Instead, I need people who understand the risks involved with using a team-managed project vs. a company-managed project, both tactically and in the long-term.

I get that it's hard to establish philosophical competency via a multiple-choice question, but this is where the majority of people make Jira mistakes.

Like # people like this

1. for your teams, do you need/want people to be certified on Jira Cloud? and why?

  • Speaking mostly to admin certs: To me it's not really important as a MUST HAVE as I have met plenty of people who are certified that don't have a clue how to function as an admin "in the wild". Yes... it's great to know how the system is designed to work, and great to try and get it to that type of state, but in 15 years of administrating Jira & Confluence, I have never seen the tools be able to do all the things that the companies and teams I have supported need it to do... most of the things, sure, but to me, a good Admin needs to know how to adapt the tool to meet the needs of their situation/environments/companies/teams/customers/users. I can typically tell within a few questions and seeing how candidates respond and also how they react as to whether they can really be a good admin, and it's more than just prowess in the clicks on the back-end, it's vital that they know how to think BEFORE they act on a configuration to try and make choices that scale and don't force users into a corner. Just because the tool CAN be massively configured for every aspect doesn't mean it SHOULD be massively configured for every aspect. Less is more.

2. is there an obstacle that is keeping your teams from getting certified on Jira Cloud?

  • Cost, Time, Need, Value. I feel like there is a part of the training that should have a "real world applications" area that can teach users how to think outside the box and use creative application of configurations/macros/reports/etc to accomplish needs without the first response always being "go to the marketplace and buy an add-in to do this thing it should be able to do out-of-the-box". Going through certification exams has had some of the "more than one of these answers is correct but you have to select the option that is MOST correct" types of answer choices where you get penalized because you may have found from years of experience that while the way the program is designed to work tells you the best answer is A, yet you have experienced that to scale the application in your company, answer B is actually the best answer if you're more of an Agile team or you're trying to drive best practices for scaling or trying to reduce rework and manual updates on content. I recognize that writing test questions is brutally difficult and there are ALWAYS outliers, but I'm reminded of an old certification I took for Agile where the question was "What is the ideal size of a Scrum team" and option A was "5 to 9" and option B was "7 +/- 2", and I answered "7 +/- 2" because I couldn't select both (they're mathematically the same option), so I selected the option that aligned most to the most common industry terminology at the time, and it was scored wrong. At the end of the day, if you're questions are intended to gauge if someone knows how to use your systems and certify they are competent to administer them, if you're writing your questions in a way that nitpicks and says that there are multiple correct answers but you can only submit one and you have to select the one that matches the exact wording you chose to write in your training for whatever reason... I don't value that certification.  Please don't get me wrong, your certification tests I have taken are not super far down that road, but I do remember having a number of questions that were that way when I took my test and that is why I never returned to take another one.

3. what can I do to help you get more people certified within your organization?

  • Y'all are definitely on the right track and the experience for training and testing has greatly improved over the years, but I think there is a lot that can be done to lower the cost and time barrier for knowledge acquisition. I understand that 3rd party training providers need to make money and employ people, but so much of the content is reusable "rinse-and-repeat" that I feel that access to recordings of training could be made available to your paid users for free (or for very very cheap) and then they just pay for the certification exam separately (and greatly reduced rate for paid users), I think that would go a very long way. Have it be a perk of premium tier of cloud, for example.  In addition, more embracing of the community in terms of providing more "real world" tips & tricks in the tool not only to continue to make the software better in future iterations (you do a good job of that), but also to include in training for taking into account if answers are acceptable or not. Just because the system is designed for "this is the best answer", doesn't mean that the user taking the exam hasn't found that another answer actually WORKS better that what you have identified as the "best answer".
Like # people like this
Julia Atlassian Team Jun 10, 2022

@Carlos Viscarra

We appreciate your feedback.

These pages contain the exam topics for the relevant exam, preparation instructions including specific recommended courses, and links to sign up for the test.

Please let us know if this information still isn't clear; we want these pages to be useful and easy to digest! 

Best Regards,

Atlassian Certification Team

Like Anne Saunders likes this

I suspect the value is dependent upon your perspective.  We use Jira in basically two ways: 

  • An internal usage that all developers, analysts, etc. can create, update and track issues with products and solutions that are managed by project managers
  • An external view that a professional services team uses to interact, track and document issues with customers through Jira manage by PMs such as myself

From a company perspective they have made the initial investment and have a planned, recurring cost.  So adding applications, obtaining training, etc. is likely seen as extra expense without a specific ROI without some type of business case.  

When I inherited the customer project it was mostly a collection of issues being tracked.  Not a lot of features to make it easier for the customer and myself.  Since inheriting it, tried to identify what would make it easier to use and incent the customer interact through it rather than lengthy email strings as traditionally used. So we did/do the following with little to no new cost:

  • Convinced leadership to allow us to enroll more of the customer staff as members so we can create teams between us, assign tasks to each other, etc. with only a nominal monthly increase in cost.  Resulting in more communication, less email, and better closure rates on open and completed issues.
  • The site had no dashboards to organize the issues in meaningful ways for myself or the customer.  Using multiple dashboards to track newly arrived issues, inactive issues, overdue issues, etc.  Dashboards also include special conditions, such as managing shared documents, that highlight the complete inventory through filtered lists, word bubbles and recently updated documents.  Another dashboard is used to track aging and closure rates to identify things that are falling through the cracks, etc.
  • Using automation to populate fields that are frequently left blank, as well as running filters to generate emails to me about lack of completeness issues.
  • Using multiple projects to manage specific groups and activities:  
    • Software project with simpler issue flows to manage inquiries, problems, special issues (i.e. long-term, documents, alerts, etc.) that are omitted from normal filters and stats
    • Business project to leverage the timeline with project manager and stakeholders between us and the customer

I am certain that there aspects of Jira Cloud that I know I don't know until I try to solve some challenge to myself or my members. For me just-in-training, information, etc. is probably more valuable. 

I have been able to accomplish these referencing articles in the community, internet searches, etc.  When i was learning and certifying as an AWS Solutions Architect one of the best resources we had was the QuickLabs.  You could do their courses as ala cart on a pay-as-you-go basis, or you could subscribe for a reasonable monthly fee and do any number of their labs as often as you wanted.  This was really useful, as it provided a hands-on way of trying new AWS products and services through a browser-based, self-paced tutorial or learn-by-example approach.  If something like that were available, I could probably talk my leadership into the monthly fee.  If that could also be tied into certification through a collection of badges that would be great as well.

Like Angie Wong likes this

1. For your teams, do you need/want people to be certified on Jira Cloud? and why?

At least on the Project Leader level, we definitely could use that! The reason being is that once the Projects are kicked off, my group let the Project Leads Admin their project at the Project level.

I think other certifications are not necessarily a negative thing either, I would love to certify if it was free. But I don't see employers asking about them in Interviews either.

2. is there an obstacle that is keeping your teams from getting certified on Jira Cloud?

Not really. Maybe an Atlassian University cheatsheet would help tackle the info-gap about it. As a professional in I.T., there are so many certifications that a cumbersome and expensive to test & certify, so when I see "Certification" you have about 3 minutes of my attention span before I dismiss it as some big task with a hefty certification cost and no second chance re-take without paying again. So, that's where a link to a cheatsheet that's no more than two minutes to read and its costs are noticeable within the first 10 seconds.

3. what can I do to help you get more people certified within your organization?

- Free certification!

- Quicklabs like Amazon has! They are amazing and the best remote lab training modules I've taken. IF you implement, put it on blast because many Admins and IT professionals know the quality of Quicklabs

Like Angie Wong likes this

A while ago, I began reviewing for the Jira Backend exam. I paid for the course review and watched all the presentations and took copious notes. In the end, I found that the test training, and the practice exam questions, to be subpar. The reason is that the content was not prepared correctly. By this, what I mean is that much of the key content was not given, while the student was told something to the effect that "you should know what best practices are for solving the problem of the heap repeatedly becoming too full." Well, they didn't discuss what those best practices should be in the training. The presumption was that, well, you should just know. Fine. I already knew that there is always an issue with garbage collection, with having the wrong balance of tenured and young memory, and that the right mix is important to keep from having your system basically thrashing, basically. But, that's only one approach/way of thinking. If you're going to be graded on the answer, then you need to provide the answer (instead of your own local ideas that are not shared anywhere). Further, when the case studies were presented, they were so vague and open-ended that the "correct" answer, or best practice, would be a solution that was, perhaps, favored in Australia. In the end, the test and guidance creation was done by people who were trying to avoid "giving away the answer" and underspecifying the conditions to be tested. This is common for, well, amateur educators. (I say this as a tenured computer science professor in a top 20 university for 15 years). The people creating the approach and content are simply unqualified to do that work. The result is an overpriced and sketchy quality education program. Yes, the truth hurts sometimes, but when so many others are being underserved it needs to be said.

Like # people like this
Rilwan Ahmed Community Leader Jun 12, 2022

My answers.

1. No. Certifications will only help you showcase your skills when you are planning to change the company. 

2. Yes. If someone doesnot clear in first attempt, all the money is gone. Risk is high. 

3. Reduce the cost of certifications and provide atleast 2 attempts for single payment. 

Like # people like this

1. for your teams, do you need/want people to be certified on Jira Cloud? and why?
It has never been a need at companies where I've been Jira Admin, however, seeing the every day Project Manager/Lead profess to knowing enough about Jira to make project changes, only to cause many issues & problems, I think, if we open up Project Admin to Project Leads at my current company, they should have to be certified before they are given access.  For myself, I have been asked when switching jobs if I have any certifications and, while I have taken a few of the skillbuilder courses, not being certified has not hindered job opportunities. 

2. is there an obstacle that is keeping your teams from getting certified on Jira Cloud?
Not really an obstacle, but a lack of awareness or need.  Plus, they would not spend the amount of money for certifications as long as they have a Jira Admin.

3. what can I do to help you get more people certified within your organization?
The links above were helpful, thank you.  I notice, however, as I navigated around Atlassian University, even the FREE Fundamental courses require a user to log in.  This will definitely deter users from even the basic of courses if we were to use these as part of our onboarding training.  Is there a way to share this content with our new hires WITHOUT each being required to sign up or login?  Not all users need the full depth of university offerings, but it would be nice to require them to review the fundamentals before they start.

Answers for ACP-120 Jira Cloud Administration:

1. for your teams, do you need/want people to be certified on Jira Cloud? and why?

  • No because ACP-120 includes both system admin and Jira admin topics.  As a large company, we separate duties of the system administration from the product administrations. 

2. is there an obstacle that is keeping your teams from getting certified on Jira Cloud?

  • have a separate Jira Admin exam that only covers functionality available to the Jira Administrator.  When the System Administration is included in the exam, there is too much to learn for the single purpose of taking an exam.

3. what can I do to help you get more people certified within your organization?

  • separate ACP-120 into 2 different exams

Answers for ACP-620 Managing Jira Cloud Projects

1. for your teams, do you need/want people to be certified on Jira Cloud? and why?

  • No because some topics are not relevant.  Examples of irrelevant exam topics: next-gen projects  topics (we do not allow next-gen projects on our cloud), use of project roles for project permissions (all permissions are set through Atlassian Access groups), and automation (we have automation permission restricted to very few individuals).

2. is there an obstacle that is keeping your teams from getting certified on Jira Cloud?

  • no value add for the $100 exam fee and studying for irrelevant exam areas

3. what can I do to help you get more people certified within your organization?

  • nothing. Individual pro skill badges are a better tool for assessing the targeted skill needed for the individual's role
Like Anne Saunders likes this
Angie Wong Atlassian Team Jun 16, 2022

Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts and suggestions. I will share this with my team for consideration around our certification offerings. There are some good nuggets here!

Angie Wong Atlassian Team Jun 16, 2022

@swilson Thank you for asking the question about access to free training. For your users, they will not need to complete a registration form to access our free content. They just need to sign in with their Atlassian ID and our system will recognize them as an Atlassian user. They may need to go through the same authentication process as they do for their Jira/Confluence/Trello instance, but that is dependent on how your company has setup the authentication (i.e. via Okta, google, cyberark, etc). Once authenticated, they can access any of our free training without signing in again, unless they log out.

Thanks, never even knew there was Atlassian certification available until looking at this thread.  


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