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I am currently doing some planning/research regarding certifications for this year. I have a combination of technical background (Ph.D. in Physics) and an executive MBA (specialization in managing and leading "digital enterprises"). I work as a consultant focusing on industrial AI applications (taking AI/ML/DS systems to production environments). I am looking for certifications that give me more "credentials" to use more the business side of my knowledge. I wish to take projects that have more to do with (AI) advisory/strategy. Researching, I came across the SAFe certifications. I thought that the one for "Product Manager" was interesting:

https://www.scaledagile.com/certification/safe-agile-product-management/

What is your experience with this certification? Is it something you would recommend? Do you have any other recommendations, given my wish to engage more on business-like projects?

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Hands-on practice is more valuable

Welcome to pm.stackexchange!

If you can get an opportunity in your present organization to play the role of a Product Manager/Product Owner for a software development project in your allied area, that will be the best place to start. You can do any one of the following certifications side-by-side.

Ken Schwaber's Scrum.org has the Professional Scrum Product Owner certification.

Dr. Jeff Sutherland's Scrum Inc. Product Owner certification.

Scrum Alliance has the Certified Scrum Product Owner

These (or any) certifications have a short half-life. Meaning if you do the certication but don't have the opportunity to practice it, it will all vanish quickly.

The one you mentioned is for multiple teams working on a large project in coordination. So it won't be of value to you unless you have some exposure to this area in a smaller scale first.

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SAFe is a methodology for managing complex Agile projects. It doesn't sound like that is your goal - your goal is to have more credibility on the "business" side of what you do. It doesn't sound like you are trying to manage projects in any sense, but rather, want to bring additional credibility to your role as an adviser or strategist.

I'd talk with people who do what you want to do and ask them about what they learned to get there. Sometimes there is a relevant certification. Other times, you need to seek out specific types of engagements and/or mentors.

Remember that certification only proves that you passed an exam for a specific certification, and might provide an indication that you have been exposed to the thinking behind that certification. First, you need to figure out what you need to know and/or experience - then look at ways to get there.

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I don't place much credibility in "certifications." To me, they're just products. Look, you've got a PhD and an MBA. (Yeah, you sure did like to go to school ...) I don't think that you have anything to prove to anyone about your intelligence or the value of whatever you have to say. Simply assert that you have business knowledge, Doctor, and people are going to believe you.

Now, one thing that I do find quite valuable about certifications are the study materials that you can buy to prepare for their exams. "Never mind the exams," but the knowledge contained in the study guides is usually well-presented and very informative. All three of the certifications that Ashock listed are probably accompanied by study guides that would be well worth reading on their own merits.

When I needed to ramp-up very quickly on the administration of Linux® operating systems, I grabbed several cert study-guides at a nearby used book store for a couple dollars apiece, and read them all cover-to-cover. From each of them I learned something that I would not have otherwise thought of ... and did so very quickly and efficiently.

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