Reason for and benefits of PM Certification - please share your experiences

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begeland
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I have a few questions for certified PM readers...
  1. What certification do you have?
  2. Did you pass on the first try? (be honest, it's ok)
  3. What was your motivation for getting certified? (company requirement, help with job search, thought it would be a good career move, etc.)
  4. Has it proven to be beneficial? (if so, how....and if not, ideas as to why not?)
Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I'm certain there are many PMs out there contemplating getting a certification and they're wondering if the expense and time are worth it in the end. Please share your thoughts....thank you.
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kwalford
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I am Prince2 Practitioner and passed first time around.

The vehicle for me doing this was due to future employment, my current employer (IT services provider) operate to Prince2 and the fact I wanted to learn valuable knowledge in the process.

I really wanted Prince2 for future employment most as a lot of employers in the Project Coordination domain (I am not yet a PM) look for Prince2. I found I learnt a lot from doing it.

I am currently study for APMP cert as this teaches you the 'how to' (techniques) if you will; whereas Prince2 just gives you a methodology for controlling projects.
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dhaughey
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Hi Brad,

Over the years I have taken a few of the well know and well respected project management certifications.

I have done PRINCE2 Practitioner, Project Management Professional (PMP) and most recently Certified Scrum Master (CSM). I’m pleased to say I passed all three first time. I had the benefit of working as a project manager before taking the exams and had relevant experience and knowledge of the profession. This certainly helps, but is not essential except when it come to the PMP where experience is an entry qualification.

My prime motivation was for my own credibility. Although a PM for many years, I wanted to backup my experience with something tangible and prove to myself I could following a rigorous programme of study. I certainly feel more comfortable declaring myself a PM to colleagues and customers with the certifications behind me.

The certifications have proved beneficial in enhancing my own knowledge and providing me with credibility in the profession amongst my peers. However, nobody ever asks about them day-to-day. Project managers tend to be judged on their project performance and not paper certifications. You’re only as good as your last project no matter what certifications you have.

A project management certification is often listed as ‘desirable’ on job descriptions and can help you standout from unqualified candidates. It could be a door opener, but usually needs to be allied with experience. A PMO role is often a good starting point for somebody beginning in the profession and looking for relevant experience.

Overall, I’m very happy I did the certifications and they have served me well.

Cheers,
Duncan
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