Considering a PM Certification?

Considering a PM Certification?

Considering a PM Certification?
 Considering a PM Certification?

So you have decided to take the first step to earn a project management certification, but which one? Seems that there are so many out there…PMP, CAPM, PRINCE2, IPMA-D, C, B, A, Agile…!


Whichever one you choose, it will be a big investment of your time, money and energy so be sure to choose the one that best fits your current experience and your future career plans.

In today's rapidly changing business environment where projects are at the forefront to change management, the benefits of becoming a certified Project Manager (PM) are more than evident than ever. Imagine a scenario where two highly experienced candidates are competing for the same PM post. 

One of them with a PM certification and another one without, while both having the same amount of relevant experience. I can assure you that almost every time, the hiring manager will lean towards the one having the internationally recognized PM certification, especially if the hiring manager is also certified.

The more you look at PM job applications the more you will see the requirement of a formal PM certification as "desirable," "advantageous," or “a plus.". Try this simple test – type into the job search agents Monster, Indeed or Stepstone the following keywords: PMP, PRINCE2, AGILE or Project Management.

You will be surprised that more and more non-PM jobs are even requiring candidates to know about project management and that the PM jobs are almost always making reference to these certifications. Companies are realizing that having employees with such accreditation, gives them the competitive edge and the guarantee that their employees have the knowledge, experience and techniques necessary to deliver their projects effectively.

So where do you start and how?

The first question to think about is how many years of PM experience do you have?If you have no documented professional PM experience, then I would recommend that you first start with a knowledge-based exam. The following certifications can be written without any PM exposure:

  • CAPM, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • PRINCE2 Foundation/Practitioner, offered by APMG-International/Axelos
  • EXIN Agile Scrum Foundation, offered by Exin.
  • IPMA Level D, offered by Member Associations of IPMA
Please keep in mind that volunteer PM experience counts! So if you have experience managing projects for a community-based organization, this can be leveraged for your experience-based application. Not to mention that each of the large PM organizations gives the opportunity to their members to get involved as volunteer PMs. Check out these examples:
  • PMI Local Chapter Volunteers
  • IPMA Young Crew
  • IPMA Volunteering page

 

Otherwise, if you have Project Management experience, then you should jump directly in to an experience-based PM Certification. A quick description of these certifications and their requirements can be found through the below links:

  • PMP, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • IPMA Level A, B & C, offered by Member Associations of 
  • IPMAPMI-Agile Certified Practitioner, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) 

 

 

One piece of personal advice is to start this PM certification journey with a strategic objective already in mind on where you want to take your career. As Stephen Covey said "Begin with the end in Mind". And by that I mean try to foresee the eventual next steps in your professional development after you become certified. Do you think that you would be later interested in Programme and Portfolio Management?

Do you want to leverage your PM experience in Process Improvement? Do you want to switch sectors, and if so what is the best regarded certification in that future sector?If you have made it to the end of the PM certification journey having invested all of that time, energy and effort – you may want to know that being a certified PM increases your earning potential.

According to the Project Management Salary Survey—8th Edition, being a PMP certification holders earns you 17 percent more than their non-certified colleagues.

 

In conclusion, being certified doesn't necessarily make you better than any other Project Manager; however it is a benchmark of knowledge and expertise, which has opened many doors in my professional career. If you are still hesitating, trust me, it will have a positive impact on your career advancement, earning your PM stripes and hopefully gives you the competitive edge in an interview against those Project Manager who didn’t make the effort – the ball is in your court!

The Author : Kamil Mroz

 Kamil Mroz

About :

I am an award-winning project leader with director-level & site-leadership experience, strong communication skills and a strategic long-term view enabling the connection between strategy and operational execution.

I am driven and energized by coaching, mentoring and developing talents, while overcoming transversal organizational challenges. My experience in people management has enabled me to discover my passion for the leadership of intercultural, diverse and technical teams composed of both direct reports and cross-functional matrix project teams. I have been awarded global distinctions from both the largest PM organizations, IPMA and PMI for advanced project management expertise, strong team work, communication & leadership.

I owe my servant leadership approach to the time I have dedicated to social and volunteer-causes where I focused on several high-impact philanthropic projects in Europe. I am also proud to have also been the first ever student to be awarded the Young Alumni of the Year by the Faculty of Engineering from the University of Ottawa and I also Chair of the ISPE BeNeLux Steerco on Project Management.

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