Learning doesn't always happen in a classroom and it doesn't stop when you finish school. Getting Tableau certified is a great way to challenge yourself, showcase your skills, and distinguish you as an expert. There’s no better place to get Tableau certified than Tableau Conference, where you can carve out the time away from your work day to take the exam in person among your peers.

In this post, we’ll share the benefits of getting Tableau certified, some expert tips and tricks for passing your exam, and more details about getting certified at TC19. Let’s dive in!

Why you should get Tableau certified

Set yourself apart from the crowd with data skills

Committing to learning Tableau and becoming certified is not only a growth opportunity, but it demonstrates to others, like your current and future employers, that you bring some data skills to the table. By backing up your data and analysis skills, you can demonstrate your competencies in using data and analysis to drive decisions—potentially helping you stand out from a crowded pool of applicants. Informing potential employers that you are "Certifiably Tableau" builds confidence and credibility in your abilities.

"Being certified has helped me demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how to use Tableau well, which has opened opportunities to share my knowledge, mentor others, and immediately build equity with potential clients,” shared Amber Smart.


Learn something new about yourself

An added, personal benefit that can be overlooked is how learning a new skill can build self-confidence and change how you view yourself, creating opportunities you previously never thought was possible. It's something we've heard from other data people like Krista Townsend, Senior Program Manager of Business Operations at T-Mobile. Krista passed her Desktop Certified Associate exam after changing career paths and had this to say about this investing in herself and becoming Certifiably Tableau:

"You can learn Tableau and get certified even if you don’t consider yourself a 'data person.' For years, I told myself that you either like data or you don't, so I never tried. Then I asked myself, 'Why not me?' With Tableau, I started to enjoy playing with data sets and I never thought that was possible. I still can’t believe I’m saying this!"

Hear what other members of the data community have to say about certification exams.

Tips for passing a certification exam

With study guides, on-demand trainings, instructor-led training and eLearning, and a passionate community—learning Tableau is a collaborative process that you can directly apply to your existing job.

We spoke with community members who have taken trainings and certification exams to gather their recommendations for those interested in doing the same. The tips and suggestions below come from people who have passed their exam(s), but regardless of their test results, these data people learned about the preparation process, the structure of the certification exams, and the value it brings.

Get hands-on with the exam prep guides

Mark Edwards, Head of Data Visualization, Retail Finance Benchmarking at CACI Ltd., who is Desktop Certified Professional, shares his tips for those considering the certification exams. "Review the exam prep guides in detail and be very honest with yourself about what you consider to be the areas you need to brush up on. And do actually try the sample questions in the prep guides without having the answers to hand. They are a good representation of the types of questions you'll be asked in the exam.”

Be open with your manager about your goals

Talk to your employer about your aspiration to become certified. They will likely want to support you, and perhaps even include it among your objectives as part of a professional development plan. Alex Waleczek, Senior Solutions Consultant & Certified Tableau Trainer at CoreLogic NZ, holds a variety of certifications: Desktop Specialist, Desktop Certified Associate, and more training-specific certifications. This data expert suggested that people prepare by doing research on the process and focusing on preparation:

"I think especially for the first exam there can be many uncertainties around the process and the kind of questions that are asked,” shares Alex. “If you look online you'll find several experience reports about what to expect and how to prepare for any of the certifications. The preparation guides by Tableau are also super helpful; having done two of the certifications, I can say that the example questions are a very good representation of the actual questions."

Seek out resources from the Tableau community

Anna Kisting, Director, Data Architecture and Visualization at Iowa Hospital Association, suggests that you practice, practice, practice, and participate in Makeover Monday, and more:

"To pass the Desktop Certified Associate certification exam, study the online exam guide. Find and take any online practice test that you can find. Lots of people have created their own practice tests and posted them online. To pass the Desktop Certified Professional exam, make dashboards, show them to people, and get feedback. Participate in Makeover Monday. Look at other people’s visualizations and think about how they could be better.”

How to get certified (and trained) at Tableau Conference

Certification Exams

Tableau Conference is the best place and time to get Tableau certified! Instead of taking time out of your work day, you can carve out time to take your exam in person among your passionate peers—and with exams taking place all four days of conference, exam times are flexible with your travel and conference schedule.

Even better, when you take your exam at TC, you get a discount!

  • Specialist level exams get $15 discount
  • Associate level exams get $50 discount
  • Professional level exams get $100 discount

Register to take your exam during the Tableau Conference registration process. Advanced registration and payment is required.

Training workshops

Not ready to take your exam? That’s okay! Uplevel your data skills during in-person training workshops. The following trainings are available during Tableau Conference on Tuesday, November 12:

  • Desktop 101
  • Desktop 201
  • Desktop 301: Advanced Calculations
  • Desktop 302: Visualizations for Analysis
  • Tableau Prep: Shaping Your Data
  • Visual Analytics: Theory and Best Practices
  • Essentials of Server Administration
  • Distributed Server Installations

Which Training Workshop is best for your skill level? Take a quick survey to find out. Add paid training workshops to your TC registration or if you’ve already registered for TC19, you can pre-register here. Workshops typically sell out before the conference, so register early!

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