Project management is now a core competence of management. Its application and dispersion across all sectors continue apace. It is recognised as the vehicle for getting things done, managing change and driving innovation.
For many individuals, their pathway to project management has been that of the “accidental project manager” – evolving from their primary functional specialism (engineer, developer, HR specialist etc.) to the participation/management of projects. As a result, they are exposed to or involved in managing projects but have had little or no formal training in the discipline.
Professionals are seeking to fill this space through the pursuit of academic accreditation or professional body certification. However, they research the marketplace, find it confusing, and many end up asking the question, “what is the value of certification in project management?”
While you can succeed in project management without a qualification, there are key benefits to pursuing certification. For the individual considering pursuing certification here are some points to consider.
1. Expand your Marketability
All over the world, there is a high demand for proficient project managers in industries. Apart from your academic background, a valid certification will prove your expertise in project management skills. For hiring managers to narrow down a large number of job applications, certification is likely to be an essential initial screening tool for project management positions.
Obtaining certification does not directly indicate project management proficiency. Still, obtaining certification, joining a professional association, and increasing project management knowledge are all likely to increase self-confidence and professionalism, both of which will likely increase the level of performance and success in the market.
2. Formalise your professional experience
Certification is a snapshot of competence developed over time through a collection of experience. Competence is the application of knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve the desired results. The process of obtaining a project management certification will help to formalise knowledge and skills that you’re already familiar with.
3. Gain a common language
Certification signals your proficiency in the practice of their occupation and that you speak in a common language. Possessing a common language within a team, department, or organisation provides a common and consistent approach that your stakeholders can take confidence in. You will be able to communicate more effectively and bridge the technical teams and others in the company who don’t have the same professional background.
4. Internationally Recognised
Project management certifications are created and maintained by authoritative and well-respected organisations within the sector. By ensuring that their certifications are of the highest standard, these organisations have built global recognition, which transfers to the qualifications they offer.
For example, certifications, like those developed by IPMA, are recognised throughout the world to demonstrate a skilled and committed project professional.
Before setting out on the certification journey, an individual should clarify the purpose of certification (why I am undergoing the certification process?), ways of development (what and how do I want to learn in future?) and which certification programme best fits this agenda and career development path.
It is important to remember that the real benefit and value that you can ultimately bring to your own personal brand and paying audience is competency – delivering project success effectively. While certification that focuses primarily on Knowledge acquisition is beneficial, it is only a component – the acid test is performed. The Institute of Project Management offers various courses taught by expert lecturers. They share their experiences in the project management field and use practical examples and exercises to ensure the knowledge you gather is easily applicable in your own workplace. Each certificate is internationally recognised and is a testimonial of expertise and qualification.