If you are anything like me, you know the direction you want your career to go, and you're trying to figure out the best way to get there. You may not have the direct work experience you need, so you're in search of a program that can bridge the gap that will lead to the job you want.
In my case I work in risk management for a consulting company and I want to transition my career into/ risk management in the energy industry (I know, bad timing to make the switch right!).
In my search for ways to bridge this gap on my resume, I came across the Energy Risk Professional Program (ERP). I enrolled, studied, wrote the exam (twice), and obtained my ERP certification.
When I began looking to enroll in this program, the first thing I noticed was information about it was hard to come by. Here are 5 things I wish I knew about the ERP program before signing up.
The ERP Designation is recognized more by Electricity Companies
Although the ERP Program covers topics applying to all parts of the energy industry, including electricity and O&G, in my job search, I am finding that the ERP program is fairly well known with electricity companies, but less so with O&G companies.
The Exam was More Difficult than I Expected
If you don't already work in the energy industry, don't underestimate this exam. As mentioned, I did have to write it twice! It involved over 400 hours of study time, hundreds of pages of notes and probably the same amount of cups of coffee. Take it from me, this is an exam you cannot just cram for!
The Program has More Breadth Than Depth
As I am new to the energy industry, this program was perfect for me as it covers the entire energy value chain. It covers physical energy commodities (oil, gas, and coal) and electricity markets, as well as covering financial energy products and risk management.
I am now able to talk confidently about physical and financial energy markets; however, as difficult as the exam is, this program is a starting point. It gives you the framework for understanding the energy value chain, but may not have the depth of knowledge that some may hope for. That being said, the program does provide you with tools and additional material to develop your depth of knowledge over time.
Apply Your Knowledge; Don't Just Memorize!
This program includes online practice exams to help you prepare. But be aware, the practice questions are simplified versions of the actual exam questions. I was getting 90% and up on the practice exams, but when it came to the actual exam, I didn't pass the first time.
Memorizing how to complete these practice exam questions will only get you so far. The actual exam questions have an added complexity which the practice questions do not. You can be assured, the exam will separate those who truly understand the subject matter and how to apply it from those who memorized how to answer a particular style of question.
Importance of the learning objectives
Now this may seem like an obvious one, but the learning objectives are truly what you should be focusing on!
The exam covers a lot of topics and there is a lot to read and prepare for. It can be very overwhelming. Many of the readings have additional information that you don't need for the exam (although great to know!). Read the additional information, but always refer back to the learning objectives for what to study.