Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran a couple of stories about the high value companies place on certified professionals. This, of course, is music to the ears of the thousands of operations management professionals who have invested time and money to prepare for and pass the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) exams.
In the article “Exam Time: More Firms Are Requiring Test-Taking,” Diana Middleton writes: “Companies say the certifications are proof that their current or prospective employees meet an industry-wide standard. And, some companies say a growing number of their clients insist on dealing only with employees who have earned industry designations.”
In a related Wall Street Journal article, “In Uncertain Times, Some Prefer Discipline Approach,” Jeremy Greenfield interviews Gideon Pell, a senior vice president and the chief risk officer at New York Life Insurance Company, about the value of practical experience combined with industry-recognized credentials. Referring specifically to the Financial Risk Manager and Professional Risk Manager designations, Pell states: “Getting a certification forces people to read certain core texts and important articles that talk about risk management lessons and war stories. For people that are coming out of a business background who haven’t worked day-to-day with risk management, having a certification provides them with the tools to get up to speed.”
APICS certifications make a difference
Since its inception in 1973, APICS has endorsed nearly 93,000 APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designees worldwide. Although APICS began its APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) program in 2006, we have steadily increased our penetration into this market, and nearly 7,500 individuals hold the APICS CSCP designation.
The APICS CPIM and APICS CSCP exams fall into the category of high-stakes testing. This means that achieving the designations reward professionals with important benefits. For example, 40 percent of all operations management job listings in Career Builder, Monster.com, and the APICS Career Center require or prefer candidates to have one of the APICS certifications. Also, according to our quarterly APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook surveys, APICS CPIM designees earn, on average, 9 percent more and APICS CSCP designees earn, on average, 17 percent more than their non-certified counterparts. That is an even more impressive difference when you consider that according the Wall Street Journal article, certified project managers earn only, on average, 7.5 percent more than non-certified project managers.
Similarly, professionals who do not earn the certification may experience negative consequences in specific situations, including ineligibility for promotions or inability to find employment in the field.
Certification makes a difference and APICS certifications are regarded as the “gold standard” among the various operations management credentials. Although the exams are extremely rigorous and require a commitment of time and money, now, more than ever, achieving and maintaining your APICS CPIM or APICS CSCP certification can positively impact your career and your life. If you are in the process of studying for the APICS CPIM or APICS CSCP exams, be sure to check out our new publication, Test-Taking Tips and Strategies to Improve Your Performance on APICS Certification Exams. This pamphlet is the result of APICS on the habits of individuals who have passed the exams.
If you have not maintained your APICS CPIM, APICS is working on a re-certification program to assist you in regaining the credential. If you are interested in receiving more information about this important opportunity when it becomes available, please make sure to let us know. This program will be available for a limited time only as a response to the challenges the recession is presenting to APICS members.
Finally, if you have not yet decided whether APICS certification is right for you, please take some time to view our interactive online program demonstrations. View the APICS CPIM demo now. Visit the APICS CSCP demo. Take control of your career. Get started today.