What’s the value in a certification?

During a recent LinkedIn conversation with a peer, they were working on ‘formalising their certifications and abilities’ and we had a chat about why they felt the need to get a formal accreditation for their abilities and I wanted to discuss it further in this blog.

Why get a certification?

This is perhaps the most important question. Why bother with a certification? Is it just to have the accreditation or is there a further benefits?

  1. Professional Development/ Motivation
    1. One key reason why I decided to pursue the certifications that I have is due to a personal desire to learn and improve myself. I wanted to become a PMP to show to myself as well as to others that not only was I a good Project Manager but I had the skills to set me apart from others.
    2. One thing that I’ve spoken about in previous blogs has been mapping your personal development and career path and gaining certifications can be one part of your development to move forward in your career.
    3. Confidence! Knowing that you have the skill and expertise required to gain a certification can give you a boost of confidence in your own abilities and can show yourself what is really feasible and possible
    4. “A validation to your dedication!” – This quote came from a colleague of mine when I asked why they got their Agile Coach certification. They replied: “It’s not about money. For me, being an agile coach is about my dedication to the agile profession and the certification is just a validation of my dedication to the role”
  2. Requirement from your organisation
    1. I’ve seen this being a big motivator for a lot of Project Managers as their organisation demands that if they want to be in a Senior position or want to be part of the PMO, that they need to have a formal Project Management certification or similar to be considered for the role.
    2. This also comes into a wider discussion on ensuring that everyone within the organisation has the same foundation of knowledge for being able to do their position and therefore ensures that all of the team are performing at the level that they need to be at.
  3. HR/ job prospects
    1. This could perhaps be the Number 1 reason why I see people gaining an accreditation! They are either looking for a new job or trying to solidify their profile to ensure that they are an attractive prospect to HR Headhunters or similar.
    2. A lot of HR companies use AI to search through profiles and having the certification available is one way to make sure that your CV gets on the right ‘sorting’ pile.

What are the financial benefits?

According to PMI and other sources of knowledge; a Project Management Professional (PMP) has the ability to demand 20% more than someone who does not have the credential in the USA. This is a massive amount and advantage against other Project Managers.

On the more global scale having an internationally recognised qualification will give you a lot of benefits that you may not have considered. Firstly, in the global marketplace of Project Managers, having an internationally recognised certification will already give you the advantage against your competition that may have more local qualifications. Many international organisations have set standards for their Project Managers and this can include “blanket qualifications” such as: Degree, professional certification, xx years experience.

Are there other benefits?

Simply put: Yes! Not only have you got the increased earning potential with a credential but it can also open up a lot of doors for you!

  • Networking Opportunities:
    • If we look at the PMP for example, having the certification can open up a lot of opportunities to network with other PMPs in your area as well as with other Project Managers.
  • Solidifying your skillset
    • When you study for an exam like the PMP or as a Scrum Master, you are not only learning specific skills to be able to do the job, but you are also looking at a wide range of transferable skills that can help in other areas of your professional life.

Having a certification is more than just ticking a box on your professional resume. It can hold a lot of value to your feeling of self-worth and identification with your peers.

Why do you have the qualification that you have? What made you want to get them?

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