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The Value of Project Management Certifications

18 Oct 2023
The Value of Project Management Certifications

In today's fast-paced, technologically driven business environment, project management has become a critical function in organisations of all sizes and types. Considering the present economic challenges and the increasing complexity of projects, the role of a skilled project manager becomes critical. In such an environment, organisations must ensure they maximise the return on their investment in each project, making the need for experienced, capable project managers even more crucial. One of the best ways to demonstrate these skills is through project management certification. This article will explore the real value of being certified in project management from the perspective of potential employers.  

A project management certification signifies that the holder possesses the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to lead and direct projects. This gives potential employers a degree of assurance that the certified individual can add immediate value to their organisations. 

Benefits of the project management certification 

Benefits that project management certification brings to employees:

  • Experience 
  • Knowledge and Skills 
  • Professionalism and Dedication 
  • Competitive Advantage 
  • Reduced Training Costs 

While each of the points mentioned above is important and will be further explained, the aspect of experience might be one of the most crucial benefits for employers. 

Verified project management experience as a reliable shortcut to efficiency for employers 

Benefits of Verified Project Management Experience :

  • Confirms practical, hands-on experience 
  • Provides certainty regarding a candidate's project management competencies 
  • Replaces a considerable part of the employer's background verification process 
  • Mitigates the likelihood of exaggerated or falsified project management credentials 
  • Enables employers to concentrate on additional recruitment criteria such as organisational fit and specific skillsets 
  • Potentially results in substantial time efficiency during the recruitment process 

A project management certification often requires a certain level of experience before one can earn it. This requirement ensures that the certified individual has applied their knowledge and skills in a real-world context. It offers potential employers a level of confidence that the individual will be able to handle the practical challenges that arise in project management.  

Before qualifying for the certification exam, applicants need to demonstrate a specific number of hours or years spent managing projects. This mandatory requirement is meticulously verified by the certifying body. Certifying institutions cross-check the candidate's project management experience against references provided. These references need to confirm the candidate's role, responsibilities, and performance in the projects they claim to have managed. This meticulous process ensures that every certified individual has verifiable, hands-on experience in managing real-world projects. 

For potential employers, this provides a tremendous advantage. The intensive verification process substitutes for a significant portion of the employer's usual background checking procedure, saving valuable time and resources. In essence, the certifying body has already performed a thorough audit of the candidate's professional history and confirmed their competence in project management. This means the employer can feel more confident in the candidate's ability to perform well in the role. 

Moreover, this process eliminates the risk of false or exaggerated claims regarding project management experience. When an employer hires a certified project manager, they can be assured that the individual has already been vetted and has demonstrated a proven track record in managing projects. This level of assurance can be a significant time-saver, allowing employers to focus more on other critical aspects of the hiring process, such as cultural fit and specific skill sets unique to the organisations or the project at hand.  

Knowledge and Skills 

Certification in project management is an indication that the individual has invested time and effort in mastering the fundamental knowledge and skills of project management. It means they understand key project management concepts such as risk management, cost control, quality assurance, stakeholder management, and more. Potential employers value this knowledge because it can help increase the success rate of projects, leading to improved organisational performance. 

Professionalism and Dedication 

Attaining a certification in project management also shows a level of professionalism and dedication to the field. It suggests that the individual is committed to their professional development and is willing to adhere to the ethical standards set by the certifying body. For potential employers, this can be a strong indicator of the individual's work ethic and dedication to their role. 

Competitive Advantage 

In a competitive job market, having a project management certification can make a candidate stand out from the crowd. It can be a deciding factor for employers when choosing between candidates with similar qualifications and experience. Certification also provides a universally recognized credential that transcends industries and geographical boundaries, increasing the individual's employability. 

Reduced Training Costs 

Lastly, hiring a certified project manager can help reduce an organisation’s training costs. Since the individual already has a solid foundation in project management principles, they require less training compared to their uncertified counterparts. This can lead to substantial savings in training and development costs. 

The primary motivation behind this article stems from observing a considerable number of experienced project managers debating the worth of pursuing certification. Constraints such as time, resources, and doubts about the tangible value of such a certificate appear to be common hurdles. The economic crisis has intensified competition in the job market. Seasoned project and program managers can no longer solely depend on their resumes or professional networks. Meanwhile, employers are overwhelmed with a vast number of applications and frequently lack both the time and resources to thoroughly assess every candidate.  

By highlighting these realities and the advantages of certification, we aim to simplify the process for both employers and job seekers.