Project Management

Why Project Management certification trumps experience

Learning People Project Management expert, Matt Everitt, explores why being certified in project management is increasingly regarded as more important than relying solely on experience.

Why Project Management certification trumps experience

In the project management industry, the age-old debate persists: is certification more valuable than experience? While experience undeniably offers invaluable insights and practical knowledge, the general consensus leans towards certification. Let’s explore why being certified in project management is increasingly regarded as more important than relying solely on experience.

1. Standardisation of knowledge and skills

Project management certifications, such as the APM’s PFQ, or the PMI’s CAPM, provide a standardised framework for understanding project management principles, methodologies, and best practices. Certifications ensure that professionals possess a consistent level of knowledge and skills that are recognised across industries and geographies.

2. Mastery of best practices

Project management certifications equip professionals with a comprehensive understanding of industry-recognised best practices and methodologies. Whether it's Agile, Waterfall, or hybrid approaches, certified project managers are adept at applying the most effective strategies and techniques to deliver successful outcomes. This grasp on best practices prevents project managers making rookie mistakes, minimises the risk of project failure and strengthens the likelihood of achieving objectives on time and within budget.

3. Demonstrated competency

Certifications serve as tangible evidence of an individual's competency in project management. By passing  exams and meeting certification requirements, professionals validate their ability to plan, execute, monitor, and control projects effectively. Employers, clients, and stakeholders place greater trust and confidence in certified project managers, knowing that they have the skills essential to driving project success.

4. Career advancement opportunities

In today's competitive job market, certifications offer an advantage in career advancement and professional growth; Many organisations require recognised certifications when hiring for project management roles. Moreover, certified professionals often command higher salaries and have access to a broader range of job opportunities. Investing in certification demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and career development, positioning individuals for long-term success in the field.

5. Adaptability to evolving trends

Project management certifications evolve in tandem with industry trends and changing business environments. Certified professionals stay abreast of the latest developments through continuing education requirements, recertification exams, and participation in professional development activities. This adaptability ensures that certified project managers remain equipped to address the evolving challenges and opportunities in the industry. In fact, evidence shows that certified project professionals are more adept and efficient at adapting to industry changes and demands

6. Meets growing demand 

By 2030, the PMI estimates the global economy needs an additional 25 million project professionals, with 2.3 million people needed to enter project management orientated employment every single year. Without certification, it becomes problematic to demonstrate to prospective employers that you can add value and expertise to the role advertised. Certification represents the seal of approval that you are aligned to best industry practice and ready to start a successful career in projects and change.  

While experience undoubtedly plays a crucial role in shaping a project manager's skills and insights, certification offers a structured pathway to excellence and recognition in the field. By obtaining certifications such as the PMI CAPM, APM PFQ, or AgilePM, professionals can demonstrate their mastery of best practices, validate their competency, unlock career advancement opportunities, and stay up to speed with industry trends.

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