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Which certification is more respected?

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Question: Which certification is more respected?

Many emails I receive inquire as to the level of respect that one certification garners over another. This mostly applies to the more specialized certifications in fields such as Testing, Project Management, Graphics, etc.

Answer: If I have direct experience with a certification, outside of basic web research, I always try to offer an opinion to readers as to it's usefulness and value. Like me, most hiring managers or certification experts are more than happy to offer advice. So my answer is two-part:

First, research the certifications themselves. The ones that require the most effort are usually going to demand the highest level of respect in their field. For example, the Project+ certification requires one exam. It is offered by a very respected and well-known vendor neutral company (CompTIA) and is an excellent certification. However, the PMP requires 10 years of verifiable project management experience (or the equivalent), an exam, and has stringent continuing education requirements. Which do you think is more valuable in terms of experience and salary? For experienced project managers looking to run a large-scale project, the PMP is the most respected. For someone with limited experience who needs to build a resume, the Project+ is perfect.

Second, contact hiring managers, post in certification forums, and query certification sites such as this one. Most people you encounter will likely be very willing to give their impression of various certifications.

The long and short of this is that you should evaluate the merits of each certification and the company that offers it, do a bit of investigation, and then decide what is best for you. Good luck!

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