On March 31, 2015
Somebody told you that PM certificates are nothing but worthless pieces of paper? Well, it may seem so for a person who never managed to get one. But before sharing this viewpoint, you should first read some arguments which give a wider perspective on the benefits of getting certified.
REASON 1 – MOTIVATION TO LEARN AND SELF-IMPROVE
Only the fact that you have subscribed for an exam anchors the upcoming challenge in your mind. If you have the project manager’s instinct, then it’s natural – once the goal is setted, you build your way to reach it. No matter whether you participate in any official training, take online classes, read a handbook or talk with your colleagues about the exam’s questions. All these means lead you to improvement of your knowledge. Comparing to Alternative 0 (= do nothing) – this is always better!
REASON 2 – PROOF OF KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
Possessing a certificate means that you proved your knowledge in the area of project management. You know the methodology and best practices, and you are able to understand how they applies in real-life projects.
What is more, your certification is a sign of your knowledge level. For example, in PMI – CAPM means that you know the rules of the game whereas PMP confirms that you are able to lead the game. In PRINCE2 it’s the same with Foundation and Practitioner. In “higher” certifications, you have a lot of situational questions which are not possible to be correctly answered without proper understanding of the best practices and experience from real projects.
REASON 3 – PROOF OF EXPERIENCE
In order to get some certificates, you must meet the prerequisite of having the proven experience in the area of project management. An example is PMP (Project Management Professional) certificate of PMI Institute. For potential employers, this is a great facilitation – they already have a proof that you not only have proper knowledge, but also your project management experience is formally approved by the independent institution.
REASON 4 – EVIDENCE OF ABILITY TO REACH THE SETTED GOAL
One of the most appreciated characteristic of a good project manager is being goal-oriented. For the future employer it’s more likely to believe that you will be successful, when you proved to be able to reach a goal such as a certification.
REASON 5 – EXPANDED PROFESSIONAL NETWORK
When you prepare to the exam, or when you take actions to keep the already-possessed certifications, you meet communities of other people like you. You may find them on the preparation course, or simply on the Internet forums, social groups, etc. Join them and participate actively – learn about their best practices, share your ideas and ask questions. You will not only improve your own skills, but you will also expand your professional network, which may bring you valuable benefits and interesting career opportunities in the future.