First of all, I would like to give you a little context.
I'm an Application Engineer working at a small VAR in South America. I have been working there for 3 and a half years. In this experience, I have noticed that if I want to advance in my professional career I have these possibilities:
1) Become the head of my department.
2) Go to the sales department.
3) Wait for SolidWorks or Dassault Systemes to hire me someday.
4) Become a SolidWorks Elite Engineer.
5) Leave the VAR and work as an independent professional or maybe for another company.
The technical team of my VAR consists of 4 people. We recently named one of them as Team Leader, so I would already rule out the first option. On the other hand, although I'm good at presales, I'm a person with a hard technical profile, so I would rule out the second option too. The third option also seems unlikely, taking into account that in my region there are many application engineers who share that hope.
Then I have two options left.
I know how valued SolidWorks certified designers are regarding design and simulation in industry. However, I suspect that the SolidWorks Elite award is very little known in industry. If this is true, and if I already reached a glass ceiling in my office (where I will not be able to get promoted or earn more money even if I'm totally certified), what advantages would a SolidWorks Elite have?
I don't want to be misunderstood. I love the SolidWorks world, I also enjoy a lot to study and learn. I really appreciate the effort and the symbolic status that would be a SolidWorks Elite. But it happens that since we're so few people in my VAR, the technical guys have to share simultaneously pre-sales, post-sales and content-creation tasks. We can only study for the certifications at night or during weekends. Currently I'm already certified in SW Simulation, SW Plastics and PDM modules, but, according to my calculations, I would still need 1 and a half years to have the necessary points for the Elite.
For this reason I ask that question: what advantages would I have if I decide to stay at my VAR and become a SolidWorks Elite Application Engineeer?