Do you really need a certificate to be a great project manager? What do you really need to succeed in the project management field?
Recently I have published a VIDEO where I have made an overview of the most popular project management certifications. I have received a lot of feedback and I really appreciate it. The content today was inspired by one of the questions that I have received. The questions was:
Is it important to obtain a certification to become a great project manager?
Let’s knock it down.
Why People Get Project Management Certification?
I would like to talk about the mindset and to discuss the popular belief in the professional certifications. You know I do have a professional certification myself and not only this. Actually there was a time when I was a project manager without a certification. Therefore, I know what to compare. Thus, let’s dive in and discuss if we really do need to have a professional certification to become great project managers; and if we do then why do we need it.
To begin with, let’s discuss what makes people get professional certifications and why finally they’re getting them.
#1 - Higher Income
There are so many people who believe that having a professional certification will automatically give them a higher income; or they are going to get their dream job on autopilot. Well, this is not true. To be honest, professional certification is not a ski pass to the top of the mountain where you are getting a higher income or a dream job.
Basically, this gives you a certain level of advantage and this could help you getting those patterns, however, in most cases professional certification is not a sole reason for increasing your income. Don’t swallow this hook.
#2 - Status of a PRO
In some level I would say yes, but this is more like a tick on your board; or
new milestone that you have passed in your professional roadmap.
#3 - Self-Esteem
You know what, I would say this is true. So yes, getting a certification will definitely increase your self-respect. This is not a secret for everyone that for getting a cert you need to apply a huge volume of efforts and work. This is not just simply passing a test. To pass this test you need to spend a ton of time and apply a ton of efforts in order to get prepared. You need to combine and obtain all the new knowledge; apply the new skills; your experience; mix it all together and push yourself for the final effort in passing the exam. Thus, it’s true the cert is very much desirable for many of us and the answer is yes, this reason is completely true.
#4 - Networking
Some people believe that having a professional certification will help them increasing their networking opportunities and meeting new people in the industry. I can’t say this is completely true because there are a lot of project management communities who welcome everyone who is working in this field regardless whether they have a professional certification or not. Of course, there are some conferences, meetings and communities that are reserved for people who have only these kind of professional certifications.
Therefore, if you’re eager to join them, then probably you need a professional certification of that kind. In other cases I would say this is not necessarily true.
By the way, if you have any kind of professional certification; or if you’re willing to get one, I would love to know what advantages you personally see in obtaining a professional certification? Let me know in comments!
Do you really need a professional certification in order to become a great project manager?
We have discussed several reasons which make people move on and getting a professional certification; but finally, do you really need a professional certification in order to become a great project manager?
I can say that I know a lot of great project managers who are successful in their field and who do not have professional certifications. Thus, a short answer is ‘No. To become a great project manager; or to even start your career in project management you do not have to have a professional certification.’
Actually, success in the project management field is a combination of your experience and your professional knowledge. As of that, to be a great project manager you need to surf the project management wave and to learn new flavors of this craft to be able to sail or to dive when needed.
Getting a professional certification or not getting a professional certification is absolutely up to you. However, there is another reason why you might finally want to get certified at the end of the day.
Why Would You Probably Want to Get Certified?
The biggest reason to get certified for me personally is by getting certified you are showing your dedication as a professional. It is similar like when you’re trying yourself in this field, touching and tasting it you’re like flirting; and when you’re getting certified you could say got married. This definitely means something.
Obviously, if you are getting certified you are not going to instantly hop to another field or switch your career accidentally. This shows your dedication to your profession because you are investing in your professional path. Also, it structures your professional strategy. Which means, by getting certified you show your intentions are serious and you aim to get till the end.
As I have mentioned getting certified or not getting certified is absolutely up to you; however, in my understanding going this extra mile will help you standing stronger in your professional life. I hope now you know whether you need to get certified to become a great project manager; and what impact certification could make to your professional life.