As per PMI Pulse research, 61% of organizations provide project management training, and 47% have defined career paths for their project professionals.
The findings are eye-opening and reveal the importance of project management skills and knowledge that companies are putting emphasis on which project management certifications can provide.
There is no doubt in the fact that organizations prefer to recruit professionals who aren’t just good at making business-minded decisions but hold the skillset, knowledge, and expertise to handle complex project management scenarios. The statistics shared above is the clear evidence of this growing trend.
Being the CMO at ProofHub, I want to bring the unfortunate reality to your notice that, barely half of the project managers are certified and skilled in their tenure in the project management domain.
Where do you stand?
If you don’t want to be included in the list and looking to add value to your role, earn either of the below-mentioned recognized certificates that vary from entry-level to advanced to get yourself recognized as a disciplined project manager and see the transformation yourself.
Read More: How To Become A Project Manager in 2024
Table of Contents
- 19 of the most credible project management certifications
- 1. PMP: Project Management Professional
- 2. CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management
- 3. CSM: Certified ScrumMaster
- 4. CompTIA Project+ certification
- 5. PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner
- 6. APM: Associate in Project Management
- 7. MPM: Master Project Manager
- 8. PPM: Professional in Project Management
- 9. CPD: Certified Project Director
- 10. CPM: Certified Project Manager (IAPM)
- 11. BVOP: Business Value-oriented Principles
- 12. Project Management in IT Security (PMITS)
- 13. CPMP: Certified Project Management Practitioner
- 14. Project Management Course Bundle (28 Courses in 1)
- 15. ACP: Agile Certified Practitioner
- 16. CSSGB: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate
- 17. CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
- 18. GPM-IPMA Levels A–D
- 19. Google Project Management: Professional Certificate
- Benefits of having a project management certification
19 of the most credible project management certifications
Let’s talk about the various project management certification courses that can take your career to the next level.
NOTE: Course pricing may differ across various platforms and is specific to the platform from which you choose to make the purchase.
1. PMP: Project Management Professional
The PMP Certification is one of the best and most industry-recognized project management courses. With over 1 billion certificate holders, it is recognized as the gold standard certification in project management all over the world.
The certification tests your ability in conducting processes, managing people, and your knowledge of management principles. As a PMP, you can work in virtually any industry with any methodology and in any location.
- A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent)
- 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management education
- Four-year degree
- 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management education
- Member: US $405.00
- Non-member: US $555.00
2. CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management
If you’re looking for a certification that could distinguish you in the job market and enhance your credibility to manage projects, look nowhere else. Because CAPM is the right choice that you can make.
It demonstrates your understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology, and processes of effective project management like project risk management and project communication management. CAPM is valid for five years and doesn’t require any Professional Development Units (PDUs) to be renewed.
- A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, GED, or the global equivalent)
- 1,500 hours of project experience
- 23 hours of project management education by the time you sit for the exam.
- Member: US $225.00
- Non-member: US $300.00
3. CSM: Certified ScrumMaster
With the increasing use of agile project methodologies in IT organizations, it’s no surprise why IT professionals are looking for certifications that help them become certified Scrum masters.
As a certified ScrumMaster, you will learn the Scrum framework and gain an understanding of team roles, accountabilities, events, artifacts, and rules enabling the Scrum Team to perform at their highest level in the workforce.
- General familiarity with Scrum
- Attend an in-person, two-day (16-hour) CSM course
- After you pass the CSM exam and accept the License Agreement, complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile
- Approximately $1000 to $1,395
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4. CompTIA Project+ certification
The CompTIA Project+ examination is designed for business professionals who coordinate or manage small-to-medium-sized projects. It is an entry-level certification appropriate for people having one year of project management experience and managing less complex projects.
Project+ is more versatile than other certifications because it covers essential project management concepts beyond the scope of just one methodology or framework. The certification helps you learn about the project basics, constraints, tools, documentation, and change management.
- One year’s worth of knowledge of how the project life cycle works
- Ability to manage resources and stakeholders
- Communication skills
- Project documentation
- At $358 USD
5. PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner
Many government agencies and organizations in the UK are well aware of the Projects in Controlled Environments. The PRINCE2 project management certificates are globally recognized and highly sought after by potential employers. There are two major certifications, namely PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner.
They can help you to quickly improve your skills and capabilities across several key business disciplines, in turn driving strong business performance. Their measurement mainly focuses on directing, managing, and delivering projects from the start (initiation) to the finish (delivery).
- PRINCE2 Practitioner requires one of the following: PRINCE2 Foundation; Project Management Professional (PMP); Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM); or an IPMA certification.
Foundation: $700-900; Practitioner: $800-1000
6. APM: Associate in Project Management
The Associate in Project Management (APM)™ certificate is an entry-level certification in the field of Project Management Framework. It demonstrates that the candidate has the required knowledge in the field confining to entry-level project management strategies.
Even if you are a graduate, entry-level practitioner, or just anyone with an interest in project management, AMP is an important globally recognized project management certification.
- No formal education or experience requirements.
- Need to take an online course before taking the exam.
$70 for standard package
7. MPM: Master Project Manager
The American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) issues the Master Project Manager (MPM) certification to applicants who meet their commission requirements of education, training, experience, industry knowledge, ethics, and continuing education.
In fact, not just project managers, but individuals with business and technical responsibilities and a college degree can also appear for this certification.
- Three years’ worth of project management experience and training
- Fee waivers are available for professionals holding a master’s degree, with other qualified training and experience, the military or project management instructors.
- $300 for application, review, processing, review, initiation, and certification
8. PPM: Professional in Project Management
The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) conducts a Professional in Project Management (PPM) certification course. The mid-level certification comprises project management modules, including – how to plan, execute, control, and complete projects.
It also trains you to develop project schedules, project marketing strategies, and different approaches to leading and managing projects. It adds to your existing knowledge while focusing on making experienced project managers who can deal with risks, handle crises and motivate teams to perform at their best.
- A mandatory E-Course completion requirement
- Candidates should have at least some project management experience
$ 100 for Standard Package
9. CPD: Certified Project Director
Conducted by GAQM, the Certified Project Director (CPD) is globally recognized and is considered to be the most prestigious level of project management.
It is designed for senior and experienced folks who are familiar with handling complex project management needs like budget, scope, risk, and cost. If you wish to go beyond the usual PPM and become a project management expert, the course is definitely for you.
- The Certified Project Director (CPD) Certification requires a mandatory E-Course completion requirement.
- $ 100 for Standard Package
10. CPM: Certified Project Manager (IAPM)
The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) is a global project management certification body that offers certifications that provide clear competitive advantages to professionals and even to the ones with a basic understanding.
The Certified Project Manager (IAPM) certification is for people who want to manage and implement projects effectively. The certificate is proof of the candidate’s soft and hard skills and theoretical project management knowledge.
- No requirements as such, but it offers workshops for self-study
- A candidate can take a self-test once he feels prepared
- Candidates must achieve 65 percent on the exam to pass
- The examination fee depends on a candidate’s nationality.
11. BVOP: Business Value-oriented Principles
BVOP is a popular certification in the UK that helps you build credibility on Agile principles and all its frameworks. The superiority of this certification lies in its ability to prove that you are an asset both in the department of project management as well as in people management.
This certification gained popularity amongst senior practitioners and is quickly becoming a prominent project management certification for scrum masters, agile professionals, business analysts, and more.
- No professional project management experience is required.
- Free guides and materials for preparation are available online.
- The exam at the end of the course will include project management, program management, and product management questions.
- $130 with a free mock exam included.
12. Project Management in IT Security (PMITS)
The Project Management in IT Security (PMITS) certification provided by the EC-Council is one where you get to prop up your hold over the management of IT security projects.
This certification will mainly cater to people who want to mold their project management style into one that helps them manage teams and organizations that work on IT security.
- Minimum two years experience in information security
- An educational background that revolves around security-related higher education
- Candidates may also opt to attend EC-Council’s very own training program before the exam
13. CPMP: Certified Project Management Practitioner
CPMP is a CMP program offered by the Chartered Management Institute that focuses on the progressive framework of an organization and is ideal for individuals like Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, and Executives looking to enhance their management and leadership competencies.
This course offered by the only charted professional body is an online certification in which you get personal tutor support. The main intent of this certification is to help professionals build technical leadership, and management skills to handle every project successfully.
- No requirement, but it is recommended that candidates should have a good standard of written and spoken English.
- $700 on Uniathena
14. Project Management Course Bundle (28 Courses in 1)
As a conglomerate of many courses and known by the name – Online Project Management Training Certification Bundle, this one training program offers you 28 certifications on completion of all 28 courses.
It is an online course that provides you with lifetime access, 20 mock tests to prepare, and 300+ hours of video tutorials. Also, you can avail of this 28 in 1 course on mobile and can adjust the pace of the courses. The core coverage of this course encompasses the areas of project scheduling, integration management, quality management, scope management, and more, and equips you with the skill set that will help you implement all the latest project management technologies out there.
- Any Bachelor’s degree.
- Enthusiast for learning about project management.
- On Udemy, the course costs $199.99.
15. ACP: Agile Certified Practitioner
This particular certification is directly administered by the PMI. It follows Agile project management and promotes Agile skills and Agile methodology for project management.
With this course, you will be given an in-depth walkthrough of all the Agile practices including Kanban, Scrum, extreme programming, and ways to implement the same. The coursework is best suited for agile organizations and teams. It contains numerous training modules that teach the individual about the implementation of Agile practices as well as the Scrum framework.
- A high school diploma, or an associate degree.
- At least 2000 hours worth of experience in project management.
- Eight months of prior experience with Agile teams or companies.
- 21 hours of agile practice training.
- Member: USD $435.00
- Non-member: USD $495.00
16. CSSGB: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate
This certification is a particularly important one among all the other Certified Six Sigma Black Belt certifications. Administered by a Council for Six Sigma Certification, this program will help you hone and enhance your problem-solving skills better as a project manager.
With much reliance on DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) model, this certification takes two different paths – one with a significant understanding of the “Body of knowledge” and another using free Self-Study guides. It suggests that you are great at process analysis, project planning, resource management, and performance management.
Path 1: Timed exam format (2 hours)
- At $159 USD
Path 2: Non-timed exam format
- At $349 USD
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17. CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
CSSBB is another internationally recognized project manager certification accredited by the Council for Six Sigma Certification. The path to obtaining the certification follows the same criteria as discussed for the Green Belt certificate.
This open-book format examination can be taken both online and at the testing centers available all over the world. With the 3 attempts given to pass the exam, the candidate should make a well-defined strategy to obtain at least 420 points out of 600. This certification ensures a lot of good, high-paying opportunities for all certificate holders.
Path 1: Timed exam format (2 hours)
- At $229 USD
Path 2: Non-timed exam format
- At $349 USD
18. GPM-IPMA Levels A–D
With this certification issued by the German project management association or “Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement” (GPM), the International Project Management Association (IPMA) finds its roots originated from GPM.
Though this certification has a German origin, it is recognized on an international level. It has Level A to Level D certifications in which you can opt for one that suits your expertise the most.
Level B certification:
- Experience of several years in handling complex projects required.
Level C certification:
- Theoretical and practical knowledge of project management.
- Experience of several years in handling non-complex projects.
- Decent knowledge of project management.
Level D certification:
- Little knowledge of project management.
Level A certification: €203 for GPM members, €150 for students
Level B certification: €1,935
Level C certification: €1,530
Level D certification: € 567 for GPM members, €250 for students
19. Google Project Management: Professional Certificate
Google certification creeps its way into the project management culture with its 6-course series and is highly recommended for individuals wanting to start out their career in project management or wanting to gain a wealth of valuable information.
You get a detailed understanding of various concepts like quality management, strategic thinking, risk management, project management, stakeholder management, and more. This certification is recognized by many leading companies worldwide, but because of not being accredited, many employers won’t consider it a valuable addition to your skill set.
- No experience required
- Less than $300 USD after a 7-day free trial period.
- Financial aid available
Benefits of having a project management certification
Whether you are a veteran or a newbie trying to climb up the ladder, there’s a project management certification for you that can help you advance in your career. Consider these certifications to be the stepping stones in your career path for you to do better, be better, and get the opportunities that you never thought you could have.
Being a user of project management and team collaboration too, and not to forget, being the CMO at ProofHub, it becomes my foremost duty to detail some reasons describing the importance of project management certifications in today’s time and age:
1. Global acknowledgment
There are famous institutes and online portals out there, like the Project Management Institute (PMI), that aim to offer world-class teaching and certifications to aspiring professionals. Once you get a certification from a reliable institute, you become qualified to showcase your skills to companies all over the world.
2. Financial gains
Another inviting reason to consider getting a project management professional certification is the steep hike in salary. In a recent study, it was found that you can expect up to a 20% increase in your salary if you are PMP certified as compared to a project manager who isn’t. This indicates that a quality project management certification could give you a 20% hike in your earnings.
3. Better opportunities
A project management certification helps you gain the trust of people on higher posts. As you develop the right skill set, they aren’t afraid before handing over a plum project to you. Also, a certification equips you with both knowledge and experience, enabling you to get project management jobs from great organizations.
4. Boost project performance
Certified project management professionals tend to perform better than someone with no project management certificate at all. A certified PM manager is well aware of the processes such as initiation, planning, execution, closure, along with risk management, and the implementation of the best project management practices.
5. A smart future investment
Considering the fact that these certifications aren’t that expensive as compared to other specific exams or courses, one should never neglect the positive impact they could have on your career.
For example, you can take the PMP exam for $555, and if you are a PMI member, then it’s for $405. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Also, on average, the passing rate is around 60%. You don’t need formal training to pass the test. The best thing is that certified professionals are secure even during an economic and natural crisis, no matter their geographic location.
It does seem like a smart investment for your career, Right?
A good manager knows that the best practice to keep their skills in order is to always keep learning. And project management certifications are a great way to educate yourself, gain knowledge and credibility, and enhance your skills no matter at what stage you are. Continuous learning helps us climb the tallest of ladders.
So, my advice, enroll yourself in one of these project management certification courses today and take your career to the next step!
All the best!
Explore the well-defined and reviewed list of 54 Best Project Management Tools for 2024.
Project Management Certifications FAQs
What is the most valuable and accredited Project Management certification?
In my perspective, the criteria to categorize a course as valuable and accredited should depend on certain factors –
Industry recognition – Make sure to assess a certification on the basis of the extent to which it is recognized in your interested industry, as some certifications hold high regard and weightage in the particular niche.
Comprehensive content – Look for certifications that promise to educate you on a broad range of project management practices, methodologies, and knowledge.
Credibility – The credibility of a project management certification defines its value, reliability, and acceptance within the industry and among employers in the job market.
How useful is the Google Project Management Certification?
Pursuing a Google project management certificate is a great way to showcase to your employer that you have relevant knowledge and skills, but since they are not accredited so it might not be accepted by your potential employer.
Is a project management certification good enough to get a project management job?
Project management certification certainly gives you an extra edge, but to acquire a job, you need to hone skills, gain experience and most importantly showcase your ability to deliver results.
What is the project management certification cost?
Certification cost greatly depends on the certification course body, certification level, and nationality. Some course bodies offer certain discounts and scholarships which are worth exploring. Moreover, it is highly advisable to check the website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
What are the eligibility criteria for doing a project management certification?
The eligibility criteria for the certification in the project management domain depend on the certification body. For some courses, you need to have a college degree, bachelor’s degree, or high-school degree. Some require certain experience leading projects while others can be taken on at the beginner stage too.
Why are project management certifications necessary for project managers?
Project management certifications are a valuable source to add to your skills. Investing in these certifications show your commitment to learning and your dedication to putting extra effort towards your job, making you stand out from the crowd.