Over 2 years ago I got into wine tastings and reading about wine, which I really enjoy. I can't even touch fiction now. I really enjoy book by T. Forrest - Wine A Basic Course and also Wine Bible.
Now I am seriously thinking about starting a new career, since I used to work in non-prof management in Europe. This is also what I studied.
I can't decide if studying and getting eventually WSET certification would help me do this? I know it will be a lot to study, but I feel like it could be great starting point for new career. Maybe in wine sales or teaching part time wine tasting classes.
I would love to turn my passion into to job and so I would welcome andy advice if WSET is way to go?
Does having this certification help in getting a job? Any advice from people that have it or don't?
Thank you
Original Post
I do not know anything about the certification program but the only advice I can give works for any field. Education and certifications will never hold you back. The more knowledge you have the more valuable of an asset you will be to any organization. However, all theory and no application makes you full of hot air. I don't know your age or financial situation but if you are serious about it then submerge yourself into all aspects (internships, little if any money but lots of pratical application) if you are truly passionate about it. Experience has been known to outshine education on occasion. You will get out of it what you put in it. Hopefully someone else will chime in to give you better (less general) advice but good luck.
I know what do you mean. Experience in field would help me to learn even more. Right now I am working in marketing department and this is really not what I want to be doing.
Since I am not 30 yet. I think I need to start working on something I really like.
So far I managed to join some wine tasting clubs and read some books about winemaking and vines. Still learning.
I hope this would be a great way to learn much more about this subject and maybe get a part time job to start with. Studying on my own is nice but class would take me to next level.
Thank a lot for your oppinion.
Having marketing experience is a huge leg up on the sales aspect of wine. Sales is sales wherever you are, it's just differant product. If your trying to get in on the purveyor side of things, your current skills is a leg up. I do know that a lot of wine distrubution companies are currently having trouble keeping knowledgable wine reps on their staff. With economics going the way they are wine sales on the restaurant level has dropped some. That coupled with the increase of gas prices it is making it hard to keep some reps. The reason is because the new person gets the small accounts and is stuck driving all around town to procure new ones. It can make it hard if you are on the commision level. I don't know if this trend is true everywhere, but it is here is the southeast. As far as the part time job their are many that could help. Any retailer of wine seems to be constantly looking for stockers and cashiers (especially during the holiday season). Not exactly the most glorified route but you do pick up things along the way, and get nice discounts (just a suggestion if your looking to go the sales way).
I know this is coming very late, but my $0.02 (0.0003 euro? :-) in the hopes it may be helpful:

Experience and attitude will trump these certifications any time. If you project a passionate and positive attitude, you will learn, and be invited to learn more from those with more experience. The most important thing is probably to taste as much wine as possible ("taste like a banshee" as one wine maker once told me :-).

The certifications - CSW and WSET - can then help establish additional credibility, not to mention be a fantastic resource for learning more about all aspects of wine. I found the WSET and CSW exams fun, in an odd sort of way, for that vary reason - I was learning more :-).

People that I know in the wine industry in sales, distribution, and as restaurant wine directors, see these certifications as being helpful to their career progression in the industry.

Hope that helps!

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