Until last month, the only letters after my name were “MLS” designating that I have a graduate degree in library science.  In my previous job, as a content/requirements analyst I had contemplated getting my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as I had managed several smaller projects.  I looked over the requirements to take the PMP exam and talked to my boss and he told me I had the appropriate experience for it, but knowing that I’ve never managed all aspects of a project, I wasn’t sure if I was the right time in my career to take that exam.

Needless to say, as a records analyst I have contemplated taking the Certified Record Manager (CRM) exam.  In graduate school I took a course on records management and realized that back in 2005 I probably knew the material really well.  With all of the different jobs I have had outside of records management I know I am a bit rusty and want to wait on taking it since it is a financial investment.

With all of that said, at some point I do intend on getting the CRM and PMP depending on the route that my career goes.  My career has weaved and taken many unanticipated turns which is why the Certified Information Professional (CIP) seemed so appropriate.  If you look at my resume, every job that I have had has been a different facet of information management and this certification proves to me that it’s ok that I haven’t specialized in one particular area.  

Information management covers a broad range of topics and the beauty of the CIP is that it shows how these topics are interrelated.  For example when you think about records management, it is a subset of content management as records are a slice of the content pie.  Although records management and information management may have different terminology, they do have the same best practices.

My current position is less on the IT side of things which is a change for me since my last two positions were very IT heavy, but the CIP has enhanced my confidence for when/if I do get into the IT side of things again.  Previously when I was doing requirement analysis I would sit in on technical meetings and conversations on hardware would go over my head.  As I reviewed for the CIP I came across some of those hardware terms that were discussed before that I could not provide input on, but now I not only know the terms, but the best practices.

The CIP in a sense has been an education redux for me. As I look back on pursuing my MLS, I wish I would have gotten the Master in Library and Information Science dual degree or just gone for informatics.  With all the professional hats I’ve worn I have been more of an information professional and I believe that the CIP validates me as one.

The idea for the post was brought on by a discussion in LinkedIn entitled, “Are AIIM Certifications Worth It.”

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