At some point in your career, even if you work in a highly specialized field, you may want to make a switch from your technical role and take on leadership roles managing projects. The natural career progression at that point is to take project management seriously and look for ways to improve your credentials as a qualified project manager.
One of the effective ways to up your credentials as a valuable project manager is to get a project management certification. There are several great industry qualifications you can pursue with the most popular being the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
If you choose a well-regarded certification, the investment will be totally worth it. Below are some of the ways in which a project management certification can positively affect your career.
Break the First Barrier of Entry
Every workplace has several issues determining who gets to do certain things that are not even related to ability and technical skills. Some of these things include whether or not you hold certain papers even when holding those papers has no measurable impact on your ability to carry the said project through.
For a project management role, a project management certification will be one of the things management considers before they give an employee the job of leading a project.
If you want to get your foot in the door and stand a chance at competing with your colleagues for great projects, you will need certifiable proof aside from your own word that you actually know what project management entails. If you want to learn how to project management, a certification such as the PMP might just do the trick.
Make Lateral Movements Possible
If you want to move from one company to another on the strength of your project management skills, a project management certification will make the process much easier.
Recruiters and headhunters have more success selling potential prospects to employers if the prospect has respected industry certifications on their resume. Taking the time to get these certifications communicates that you are invested in the industry and that you are actually committed to the said path.
Since a certification like the PMP is highly regarded globally, your career options will expand drastically. It should also not come as a surprise that when it comes to project management jobs, recruiters utilize certifications to narrow down their targets.
Opportunity for Higher Income
Certified project management professionals earn almost twice as much as the average worker. According to data from PayScale, the average PMP professional earns $86,372 a year while a Senior Project Manager (IT) earns $113,155 a year on average.
The high salaries also mean that the field attracts a lot of motivated and smart individuals. If you want to compete effectively, you should definitely consider getting a project management certification.
Join a Big Network of Professionals
Most project management professionals are members of the professional body PMI. PMI has hundreds of thousands of members from all over the globe.
By being a member of such a body, you shall have access to a lot of information and industry materials from peers from all over the world. Being a member of such a professional body also gives you the social proof you need to sell yourself as a qualified project management professional.
Perhaps the most important value you can get from being a member of a project management body such as PMI is the networking opportunity. PMI, for instance, holds conferences every year and thousands of highly-achieving project management professionals attend.
By meeting and talking to your peers, you can land interesting career opportunities or learn about opportunities that are about to open up even before they do.
Get Better Results at Your Job
One of the factors that determine how good you are at your job is how well you know your job. That is such a simple concept yet so many people never take the time to learn and master their jobs.
To get a project management certification, you shall have studied the theory of project management and passed the required exams. Since project management is a highly practical field, the curriculum of most project management programs are designed to comprehensively cover the key result areas.
Results are everything in project management. If you aren’t able to get results, you can’t move a project from infancy to completion. The process of earning a project management certification will equip you with the skills and attitudes you need to successfully run a project.
There are a lot of variables involved in managing a project. You have to set project schedules and work to meet those timelines. You will need to learn how to manage several moving pieces and make them work as part of a whole. Since you will be working with people, you will need to be a good leader and manage teams well. You will have to determine the resources needed for your project and allocate these resources economically.
You will need to determine project success scores or milestones and evaluate the progress of your team. Also, you will need to communicate the needs of your project with management and get them to give you what you need. Being able to do all the above requires a very high aptitude and skill-set for project management.
You can only learn these skills when you take a structured and industry-oriented project management certification course.