Many people at various stages of their professional career consider obtaining a project management certificate. There are many different opinions on this subject, but Prince2, PMI or IPMA certificates are a great advantage for any project manager. Therefore, why is it worth it?
The certificate will strengthen your personal brand
Many a times, project management experience alone might be insufficient to convince an employer to hire you. Moreover, it is difficult to present the possessed practical and theoretical knowledge on the subject during a job interview. This is why investing in certification is worth it. It will be a confirmation of your skills and knowledge level. It will also indicate what career route you are interested in and whether you are decided to develop in a specific direction.
You will become reliable in the eyes of the recruiter and employer. Additionally, obtaining such a document is an incentive to continue gaining further qualifications as certificates are time-limited. Extending their validity requires confirmation of professional development.
The employer should also be interested in its employees completing relevant trainings. Certificates look good not only in your CV. Companies hiring people with documented knowledge gain new contractors. Furthermore, investing in trainings translates into competitiveness of the offer and increased chances to get the desired orders. Finally, a certificate may be a prerequisite for higher earnings. As shown by the research and report Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th edition, project managers holding a document proving completion of trainings can count on even 30% earnings than persons without such a certificate.
The choice between certificates depends on professional experience
The most prestigious certificates require documented professional experience and, thus, not everybody can participate in all trainings. If you are only at the beginning of your career and have little experiences, choose Prince2 Foundation. Prince (Projects In Controlled Environments) is a project management methodology based on products, applied to manage projects of all sorts. On the other hand, Prince2 Foundation is a national exam that does not require knowledge or practice in the scope of project management. The Prince2 Foundation training usually lasts three days.
Another step in certification should be obtaining Prince2 Practitioner. These certificates are frequently offered in a package. Choosing both is a good decision as such a training takes only two days longer and guarantees gaining a much greater scope of knowledge.
The cheapest option is not always the best choice
The prices of the Prince2 Foundation training and exam start from PLN 100, whereas Prince2 Foundation is several hundred PLN more expensive. A package containing both allows for some savings. Choosing the cheapest training is, however, not always the best solution. If you want to expand your knowledge and learn something new, choose a trainer who will guarantee it. Before you make your choice, check opinions about the trainings on the Internet or ask your friends.
PMI – the best known certificate, confirming practical skills
The most renowned certificate in the world of project managers is the one awarded by PMI (Project Management Institute). It is also one of the oldest certificates. The key aspect is its global recognition and appreciation. It is valid for three years with option to extend it if the relevant requirements are met. There are several certification options, including:
Project Management Professional (PMP),
Program Management Professional (PgMP),
Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP),
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP),
PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA),
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP),
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP).
All these trainings require documented prior experience and knowledge. The requirements to be met to receive the particular documents vary, but practice of at least three years as well as dozens of training hours in project management are always taken into consideration.
IPMA certificates are a confirmation of knowledge and experience appreciated around the world
Another well-known international organisation associating project managers is IPMA (International Project Management Association). It provides four levels of certification:
Level D – Certified Project Management Associate,
Level C – Certified Project Manager,
Level B – Certified Senior Project Manager,
Level A – Certified Projects Director.
Similarly to PMI certificates, requirements include documented experience and knowledge in the field of project management. This document is issued for the period of five years. After expiry, it can be extended. Having an IPMA certificate is still very valuable and well-perceived on the labour market.
The certificate is not enough
IT sector employees should consider obtaining the SCRUM certificate. It is an agile project management methodology. Obviously, no certificates can replace knowledge and experience. That is why it is preferable to be able to demonstrate possession of all these assets. Currently, a great advantage of a project manager on the labour market is knowledge of a proper project management tool. Many companies require proficiency in use of this type of software as it is an inseparable element of project management.
Software worth checking includes:
IC Project is Polish software, but highly competitive in relation to foreign systems. It is a very intuitive program, offering everything that is indispensable in project management as well as many additional functionalities, including but not limited to a calendar, messenger, internal CRM, invoicing, worktime control and many other,
Jira is an extensive project management tool addressed mainly to software developers. Jira features a plethora of functionalities, but it is difficult to learn and implement,
MS Project is a well-developed project management tool, offering many project control and planning functions. Unfortunately, similarly to Jira, it is a quite complex tool.
Pick a certificate right for your career
Project management is a very useful array of skills and knowledge on the contemporary labour market. Although the first thing that comes to mind when speaking of project management is the IT sector, project managers can be found in many other industries as well. The same goes for certificates. There are lots of documents confirming project management skills. When choosing the right training, consider the hopes you associate with it and what you want to gain from its completion. Make you choice bearing your whole career path in mind.