Why should you really get certified as a project manager?
By now, you have probably read about how certified project managers in either waterfall (PMP) methodology or Agile (PMI-ACP) have an advantage when looking for a job, earn 20%+ on average than non-certified individuals, and get promoted a lot faster than their non-certified colleagues. All these factors alone should be enough to want to become certified, yet many people avoid and/or put off doing so. For many, it is the lack of time and energy to study for the exam. For others, it may be because they are intimidated by the exam regardless of how much they study. And for others, it may be because they feel they are already doing a good job as project managers without certification.
All the above reasons for not wanting to take the exam and become certified are valid, to a certain point. Although the benefits listed above are worth noting, it comes down to the individual to determine whether certification is worth it. All too often, people become certified because their bosses have asked them to do so, or because they need to use up training budget before the end of the fiscal year, or because they were told they should; especially recently when companies are talking more and more about Agile and it has become a buzz word. Therefore, people often pursue certification for reasons other than what it is truly meant for.
If you are thinking about becoming a PMP, PMI-ACP, or other certified project management professional, consider the following benefits you will acquire from the training studying and prepping alone:
- Learn new and/or improve existing skills that will make work life easier for you and your team
- Acquire language (i.e., project management) terms that will allow you to more effectively communicate with other project managers across other industries and professions
- Improve the soft skills that help create a more harmonious work environment for everyone around you
- Become more efficient concerning time management and cost control
- Gain vital expertise to deal efficiently and effectively with risks and changes
- Develop an Agile Mindset
- Deal with uncertainty in projects
Then, at the end of your exam preparation process, you might decide not to take the exam, but you will have gained critical new skills, knowledge, and capabilities. That said, if you have reached that point and have done all the work, you might decide to take the leap and sit for the exam. But regardless of what you decide, the drill of preparing for it will truly be advantageous. And yes, it will make you a better project manager, better leader, and better team player because you took the time and effort to learn something new and that alone sets you apart,
For your own business
And for those who have dreams of entrepreneurship or have already started their own businesses, the certification designation after your name (PMP or PMI-ACP) will lend you more credibility with current and prospective clients and investors. In addition, and as noted above, what you learn preparing for the exam alone will have a tremendous positive impact on your business’s success.