A recognised project management certification is an asset to you and your organisation. While you can succeed in project management without a qualification, there are key benefits to pursuing certification – some of which you may not have considered.
- Boost your marketability
A project management certification will boost your marketability by helping to codify your professional experience as a project manager.
Certification establishes your commitment to skill development throughout your career. This shows employers, managers and clients that you’re determined to be recognised as a top project management professional.
Hands-on project management experience cannot be underestimated or replaced. But combine your experience with the right credentials and you’ll demonstrate the drive and determination to succeed. Employers are always looking for people with a track record of professional development and how these qualities will contribute to completing projects successfully.
What’s more, a project management certification can help you to take on new responsibilities. Working towards a certification tells your manager or a new employer that you’re prepared to advance your knowledge and learn how to lead projects.
- Gain a common language for project management
A project management certification will provide you with tools to use throughout your career. As well as teaching you the essential techniques and best practices, certification provides a common language for working within and leading projects.
Possessing a common language within a team, department or organisation provides a common and consistent approach that your stakeholders can take confidence in.
Getting an entire team through a formal certification programme will ensure everyone is working from a consistent knowledge base. Certification will boost a team’s understanding and ability to use a common language to discuss project management subjects.
This can enable teams to better communicate project requirements and success criteria, from the perspective of stakeholders, project managers and customers. With a common language and understanding, teams will be more likely to progress projects through concept to completion.
“I support my team and colleagues to get certifications because it’s a way of ensuring the team shares a common background and because I strongly believe people should take responsibility for their own career progression. It’s a way of continuous professional development and that’s only a good thing,” writes Elizabeth Harrin, project manager and Director of Octobos Consultants.
- Earn more
Gaining experience will always drive up your earnings but adding an industry-recognised certification to your name can enable you to command higher rates. Top corporations are always on the look-out for professionals with recognised certifications and will sometimes make it a requirement for higher paying roles.
Getting certified often results in membership of top industry bodies and there’s a clear benefit when it comes to salaries. APM members enjoy £18,000 more a year than others surveyed in the Salary and Market Trends Survey 2017. Project professionals also see the benefits, earning an additional £10,000 compared to the industry average.
- Opens doors to new clients
Holding a recognised project management certification may help get your foot in the door for a key interview or be an influential factor when pitching for a new client.
Project management certification can also help you to expand your professional network. Membership of certification organisation will provide a network of fellow project management professionals, potentially opening up new opportunities, roles, clients and even mentorship.
- Provides international recognition
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 APM, are aligned with IPMA’s 4-level certification programme, recognised throughout the world as a demonstration of a skilled and committed project professional.
- Formalise what you already know
The process of obtaining a project management certification will help to formalise knowledge and skills that you’re already familiar with. Putting these topics in the context of best practice and an established framework will help cement what you know – and what you don’t.
Certifications will teach from a comprehensive body of knowledge; the APM Body of Knowledge leverages established project management knowledge and definitions.