It might seem like just another test, but the Certified Global Business Professional qualification can yield big benefits for those who achieve it, as well as the companies that hire them, according to Chris Schrage, instructor at the University of Northern Iowa.
The Certified Global Business Professional certification was created by a group of North American educators for small businesses involved in international trade. The idea, says Schrage, "was to provide accreditation so employers and people working with individuals in industry actually have a body of knowledge they can count on." They receive a designation much like that for professionals in disciplines such as accounting.
Exams for the certification were first given in 2005. The number of participants has grown steadily since then. Many individuals associated with the U.S. Department of Commerce and various world trade centers have taken the test and qualified, Schrage says.
Schrage took it in 2005, following a month of preparation. Much of the information was already part of her course material. "You just don't walk in and take the exam and pass it," she says. "You do have to prepare."
The exam lasts three hours and consists of 150 questions. The material is based on four areas of knowledge: trade finance, global management, global marketing, and supply chain and logistics. Those who receive the certification possess a knowledge base equivalent to someone who has worked in the industry for two years, Schrage says. They will have a good understanding of the key documents and processes involved in international trade, including Incoterms, the global sales terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Schrage recommends a number of ways that universities can help candidates to prepare for the exam. The courses put them through practice tests and draw on textbooks with all of the relevant information.
The certification bestows an additional level of professional credibility on those who possess it, Schrage says. "Companies have seen the value of those students [coming] into their workforce as entry-level positions. Their training period and learning curve is shorter." Some businesses are already inquiring up front about whether job seekers have passed the exam, she adds.
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