Can anyone speak to how obtaining the DipWSET credential started, changed or accelerated your career in wine? There is abundant information on CMS certifications and the resulting career movement. However, there is little information outside of official WSET statements and stories on their website about how the WSET certifications related to career movement and earning potential.

I am asking because I am seriously contemplating the DipWSET (taking WSET III in February). However, I am a bit unsettled about it because the available information seems vague. I do understand that, to an extent, it is what you make of it. That being said, I want to feel at least reasonably confident that such an investment of time, energy and money delivers real value in the career marketplace.

Many thanks!

  • It depends on your end goal. I took Diploma in order to prepare me for the MW. I am glad that I did because it forced me to look at wine from a global perspective and intelligently structure an argument in essay format. It took me 2 years to finish the program because of the timing of exam schedule. Prior to starting down the path, I had been a sommelier, wine director, and wine sales rep. Now that I have finished the WSET program and am studying for the MW, I have worked as a harvest intern and I am currently applying for vineyard and cellar internships in other regions. So, I have effectively gone from the upper end of the pay scale to the very bottom, but I love it. 

  • Well, I was working in hotels when I did it, purely as a structured learning program. Intense writing skills are required. I liked there focus on current trends numbers and markets in terms of wines. Of course, it possibly helped me in the transformation from being a head somm to working with importer, managing sales, but not sure how much it was responsible in getting the opportunity. I think, like all other wine qualifications, this one too will only impart the knowledge, rest of it depends on the person, connections and how that knowledge transforms you, more than direct opportunities because of qualification. 

    Beyond that, it is a fantastic course to take.