Project management certifications are one way to analyze the knowledge and credibility of project managers. However, is it the only way? Or, is it the best way? These are just some of the things this article will shed light on.
Did you know that about 97% of organizations believe that good knowledge of project management is critical to organizational success? (Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Unfortunately, barely half of the project managers are certified and skilled in their tenure in the project management domain.
There is no doubt in the fact that organizations prefer to recruit certified professionals who have the skillset, knowledge, and expertise to handle complex project management scenarios, which can be achieved by undertaking a project management certification.
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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. CPMP: Certified Project Management Practitioner
- 7. APM: Associate in Project Management
- 8. MPM: Master Project Manager
- 9. PPM: Professional in Project Management
- 10. CPD: Certified Project Director
- 11. CPM: Certified Project Manager (IAPM)
- 12 BVOP: Business Value-oriented Principles
- 13 Project Management in IT Security (PMITS)
- 14 Project Management Professional (PMP)
- 15. Project Management Training Certification (30 Courses)
- 16 ACP: Agile Certified Practitioner
- 17 CSSGB: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate
- 18 CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
- 19 GPM-IPMA Levels A–D
- Benefits Of Having A Project Management Certification
19 Of The Most Credible Project Management Certifications
Let’s talk about the various project management certifications that can take your career to the next level.
1. PMP: Project Management Professional
The PMP is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. It is recognized as the gold standard in project management all over the world. The certification is very global because, 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, CAPM is the right choice. It demonstrates your understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology, and processes of effective project 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, 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 methodologies in IT organizations, 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, events, artifacts, and rules and enable the Scrum Team to perform at their highest level.
- 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 $995 to $1,395
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 manage 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 knowledge of how the project life cycle works
- Ability to manage resources and stakeholders
- Communication skills
- Project documentation
5. PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner
Many government agencies and organizations in the UK are well aware of the Projects in Controlled Environments. The PRINCE2 certifications 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. They mainly focus on managing and delivering projects from the start (initiation) to 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: $200; Practitioner: $340
6. CPMP: Certified Project Management Practitioner
The EC-Council is an organization formed after the 9/11 attacks to deal with cyberterrorism and information security. Certified Project Management Practitioner (CPMP) is an ideal course for project managers or anyone who wants to get hands-on experience in project management and learn about various tools and techniques to better manage projects in real time. 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 attend a three-day preparation course
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7. 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 is an important globally recognized credential in the field of project management that demonstrates that the candidate has the required knowledge in the field confining to the entry-level of project management. The exam comprises 50 Multiple Choice Questions out of which the candidate needs to score 70% (35 out of 50 correct) to pass the exam, and the total duration of the exam is 1 hour (60 Minutes)
- No formal education or experience requirements.
8. 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, individuals with business and technical responsibilities 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
9. PPM: Professional in Project Management
The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) conducts a Professional in Project Management (PPM) 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 measures, and different approaches to leading and managing projects. It focuses on making experienced project managers who can work well in risks and 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
10. 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 wish to go beyond the usual PPM and become project management experts.
- The Certified Project Director (CPD) Certification requires a mandatory E-Course completion requirement.
11. CPM: Certified Project Manager (IAPM)
The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) is a global certification body that offers certifications that provide clear competitive advantages to professionals. The Certified Project Manager (IAPM) certification is for people who want to manage and implement projects effectively. The certificate is proof of 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 a 65 percent on the exam to pass
- The examination fee depends on a candidate’s nationality.
12 BVOP: Business Value-oriented Principles
BVOP is a certification that will help you build credibility on the Agile principles and all its frameworks. This certification will prove that you are an asset both in the department of project management as well as in the department of people management. This certification gained its popularity in the UK and is quickly becoming a prominent project management certification for people from all parts of the world.
- No professional project management experience 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.
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13 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
14 Project Management Professional (PMP)
The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is one of the tier-1 certifications a project manager can hope for. It is the kind of certification that will give a super boost to your management credibility.
- Four-year secondary degree
- Three years of project management experience
- Experience of 4500 of leading and directing projects
- At least 35 hours worth of project management education
- At least 7500 hours experience leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management education
For the computer-based exam:
- $405: PMI members
- $555: non-members
For the paper-based exam:
- $250: PMI members
- $400: non-members
15. Project Management Training Certification (30 Courses)
As a conglomerate of many courses, this one training program offers you 30 certifications on completion of all 30 courses. It is an online course that will provide you with lifetime access as well as 185+ hours worth of video tutorials. At the end of this 30 in 1 course, you will have certifications in 30 different attributes and the skill set that will help you implement all the latest project management technologies out there.
- No real requirements; however, some basic knowledge about project management as a subject would be preferable.
16 ACP: Agile Certified Practitioner
This particular certification is directly administered by the PMI. It follows the Agile model and promotes the Agile methodology for project management. With this course, you will be given an in-depth walkthrough of all the Agile practices and ways to implement the same. It contains numerous training modules that teach the individual about the implementation of the 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.
- Prior experience with Agile teams or companies.
- Between $490 and $640
17 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 the ASQ institute, this program will help you hone your skills better as a project manager. This certification suggests that you are great at process analysis, project planning, resource management, and performance management.
- At least three years of experience dealing with Six Sigma projects.
- This experience needs to be a full-time and paid one.
- $440 per exam attempt.
18 CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
CSSBB is an internationally recognized certification that is accredited by the ASQ institute. Even though the validity of the certification is only for three years, it takes about 18 more certifications to get this particular one, which means till you reach CSSBB, you will already have 18 right in your pocket. This certification ensures a lot of good, high paying opportunities for all certificate holders.
- Completion of at least 2 different types of projects before.
- An experience of at least 3 years as a project manager in the field.
- Past project affidavits to showcase your work.
- $540 per exam or per attempt
19 GPM-IPMA Levels A–D
This certification is one that is issued by the German project management association. 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 A certification: €203 for GPM members, €150 for students
Level B certification: €1,935
Level C certification: €1,530
Level C certification: € 567 for GPM members, €250 for students
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. These certifications are like stepping stones for you to do better, be better, and get the opportunities that you never thought you could have.
Below are some detailed reasons describing the importance of project management certifications in today’s time and age:
Reason #1: Global acknowledgement
There are famous institutes and online portals out there, like the Project Management Institute (PMI), that aim to offer world-class education 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.
Reason #2: Financial gains
Another inviting reason to consider getting a project management 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.
Reason #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.
Reason #4: Boost in project performance
Certified project management professionals tend to perform better than someone with no certification 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.
Reason #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 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. 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 crisis. Taking everything into account, it does seem like a smart investment for your career.
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A manager knows that the best practice to keep their skills in order is to always keep learning. Let us all vow right here to educate ourselves and to gain the knowledge and credibility that will help us climb the tallest of ladders. My advice, enroll yourself in one of these project management certification courses today and take your career to the next step!
All the best!