Before you undertake the certification I hope you don’t mind if I offer the following food for thought…
The certification program is great. I’ve done it myself and learned a lot from it, and if the certificate itself is important for your professional progress then definitely go for it. However, from a sheer learning standpoint, I think the Data Challenges offer even more learning and growth opportunities than the certification modules.
Being able to replicate a moderately complex report is valuable, but developing your own report from a short brief and a detailed dataset to me is a much better test of real-world Power BI skills. In addition, you get feedback and interaction with the entire eDNA community, and amazingly Sam does a detailed write up/review of every entry received, highlighting positive aspects and making constructive suggestions for improvement. Plus from a development standpoint, you build a really impressive portfolio of your own work by participating in these challenges over time.
There’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t do both, but if your time is limited I think the Data Challenges provide the peak learning experience (@sam.mckay has spoken frequently about how much he has learned from participating). Plus, they are are a ton of fun and there’s a real sense of community and support among the participants.