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are project mgt certifications useful?

 
#1 are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 05:47

Jaguar Z Type

Whats your take on PM certifications? I am in consulting and whilst not PM, am in a related function. In this market, i think its useful and serves as a small differentiator.

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#2 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 09:56

project manager to Jaguar Z Type (#1)

My believe is unless you are in the public sector they are of very limited value.

2 or 3 years ago bein certified appeared to be an absolute neccesitity but now (and I am currently looking for a new role) I have seen no roles that demand it.

In the current environment employers are looking for very specific project management experience i.e off shoring or data migration or very specific product or industry experience.

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#3 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 11:16

anon to project manager (#2)

Have seen quite a few job adds asking for Prince 2. Might be worth doing that but only if sponsored b company, don;t waste money on it.

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#4 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 11:34

Anon to anon (#3)

The problem with Price 2 is that you have to keep re-doing the thing every 2 years or so. That was a complete turn-off for me. Once I get a qualification, I don't want to commit myself to re-doing the test (at a cost!) every few years for the rest of my career.

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#5 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 11:52

not needed to Anon (#4)

the word coming from a director in big 4 firm i met a while back was that it was unnecessary and added no value whatsoever outside of the PM function itself.

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#6 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 12:53

anon to not needed (#5)

If your company will pay for it, then why not, but Prince2 is generally only useful for companies/projects that use Prince2.

PMP still appears on requirements on job ads and is fairly light touch to get if you have the sufficient experience.

Some firms such as accenture have drives to get as many Mgrs and SNr Mgrs as possible to obtain the PMP qualification. Whether other Big 4 firms value it i do not know.

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#7 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 13:10

project manager to anon (#6)

To clarify:

This might surprise people - just because the requirement appears within the spec doesn't necessarily mean it is important to the client.

My experience is that on applying for jobs it has NEVER been an issue that I don't have the certification - REAL project management is not about checklists and documentation - it is about leadership, planning and direction.

Other considerations:

most organisations (in fact I am yet to see one) don't adhere to a PRINCE 2.

Most consultancies and other project organisations have their own branded methodology

Simply having a piece of paper saying you can do project management - doesn't make you a project manager. Most PPM organisations will look for significant real project experience and responsibility.

My advice: don't waste your (or your company's) money on a qualification that has very limited value instead look to get involved in a structured environment that will allow you to gain experience and take the responsibility in essence learn what makes projects work.

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#8 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
08/06/2009 16:16

anon to project manager (#7)

I was taking it as a given that the qualifications are in addition to rather than instead of genuine PM experience...

If you are working as a PM and your company will fund qualifications for you whicha re fairly light touch, why on earth wouldn't you want to augment your CV, especially those people who may have arts degrees and no formal consulting/technology qualifications?

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#9 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
09/06/2009 10:58

Evil Consultant to anon (#8)

I'd tend to agree with the sentiment that project management certifications tend to be a waste of time for people who have real world experience; however if you don't have any experience and want to bootstrap yourself into a role which needs project management expertise then they can be useful. Otherwise project management methodologies are generally much of a muchness where it matters, mostly differing only in terminology, so buy a book on project management, read it and you should be able to make a useful start.

Also do not make the mistake of thinking that having some kind of certification makes you a "real" project manager. Until you've been where the bullets meet the meat then it's like any other process; all well and good, but gives no real regard to the quality of the execution of the process.

EC

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#10 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
09/06/2009 11:05

anonymous to Evil Consultant (#9)

On a similar note, how much do experienced PM's make?

I have about 3 years experience in mostly 'people' related PM work (org design, training, comms, change management etc.) as opposed to IT.

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#11 RE: are project mgt certifications useful?
09/06/2009 11:29

Village Idiot to anonymous (#10)

An experienced PM can make well into 6 figures in the right organisation (both consulting and end-user), and day rates for contractors on big projects have, in the past, been as high as £1000/day. These days, those rates have slipped somewhat, but it's still possible to find day rates of £800/day for some roles.

Note that this is usually for business-focused PM, not IT PM.

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