You and your team deliver a winning marketing campaign for a client or complete a mobile application for a property management company. Can your résumé now say you have project-management know-how?
Yes, of course. After all, you’ve successfully driven a project from start to finish — and that’s what project management is, in a nutshell.
That said, there’s so much more to project management than ensuring a project’s successful completion or delivery. Project management has evolved into a specialized discipline with concepts, theories, and tools that are universally applicable to different industries.
As project management courses will show you, professionals in this field take a structured and strategic approach to programs or activities.
Enroll in project management courses if you want to become a full-fledged project management professional. This will help you learn about project management tools, skills, and techniques project management practitioners use to manage projects and add value to their organizations.
Additionally, earning a project management certification will highlight your project management knowledge and help you land project management jobs. The following are project management certifications that will accelerate the career of any aspiring project management professional.
1.Project Management Professional or PMP®
Which project management certification will, at one glance, tell prospective employers that you are a project management professional? It’s the Project Management Professional or PMP certification by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
If you pass the PMP program requirements and earn the corresponding certification, it means you have demonstrated the skills and ability to deliver project objectives efficiently and effectively.
A PMP on your résumé should also boost your earning potential. According to PMI, PMP-certified project management professionals earn a median salary that is 25% higher than the median salary of those without a PMP certification.
You can become PMP certified by sitting for and passing the PMP exam. To accomplish this, you must satisfy the program’s eligibility requirements.
You must have project management experience before you can sit for the PMP exam. The years of experience required vary depending on your educational attainment.
Likewise, PMP certification applicants must have at least 35 hours of project management training or a Certified Associate in Project Management or CAMP® designation.
If you have a four-year degree, you must have at least 36 months of experience leading projects. If you have a high school diploma, an associate’s degree, or its global equivalent, you must have at least 60 months of experience leading projects.
Register for a project management course if you have the experience but don’t have the training credits. There are project management courses specifically designed to prepare project management practitioners for the PMP exam.
Applying for PMP Certification
If you meet the minimum qualifications (at least 36 or 60 months of experience) and have the requisite training credits (or the CAMP certification), put your application together. This entails gathering proof of your educational attainment, professional project management experiences, and project management training and submitting the same to PMI.
PMI will review your application. If qualified, you will be asked to pay the exam fee ($284 for PMI members and $389 for non-members).
Next, you can take the exam at a testing site near you or online. If you pass, you will become PMP certified.
Maintaining the PMP Certification
The PMP comes with a continuing certification requirements program, which requires PMP-certified individuals to earn 60 professional development units in three years. That’s 60 hours (one professional development unit or PDU is equivalent to one hour) of relevant training, volunteering, or teaching others.
2.Agile Certified Practitioner or ACP®
Obtain the Agile certification or ACP certification if you rely on agile techniques to manage projects and deliver project objectives. The ACP is awarded by the PMI, the same organization that originated the PMP certification.
An ACP certification proves that you have the requisite knowledge and skills to use agile approaches like Scrum, Kanban, extreme programming, Lean, and test-driven development to bring projects to fruition.
These are the minimum qualifications required to apply for ACP certification:
- Secondary degree
- At least 21 hours of agile training
- At least 12 months of experience in general project management in the last five years
- At least eight months of experience in Agile project management within the last three years
Applying for the ACP Certification
Submit your documents to the PMI online portal for review. If you meet the qualifications for this certification, you will have to pay the exam fee. That’s $305 for members and $347 for non-members.
Next, you can take the ACP exam online. You will have three hours to answer a 120-item, multiple-choice exam.
Maintaining the ACP Certification
To maintain your ACP-certified status, you must earn 30 PDUs in agile training every three years.
3.Certified Associate in Project Management or CAPM®
The CAPM certification is for entry-level project management professionals. Earning this designation proves you have a fundamental understanding of the concepts, processes, and terms used in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, also known as the PMBOK® Guide, published by PMI.
Aside from signaling that you have the knowledge to take on a project management role in your organization, the CAPM certification also serves as an alternative to the 35-hour training required by PMI for PMP certification.
These are the minimum qualifications required to become CAPM certified:
- Secondary degree
- At least 23 hours of project management training
This certification requires no documented work experience in project management.
Applying for the CAPM Certification
Gather your requirements and submit them to PMI for review. If you are eligible to sit for the exam, you will pay $158 (member price) or $210 (non-member price).
Next, take the CAPM exam, which has 150 questions you must answer in three hours.
Maintaining the ACP Certification
You must earn 15 PDUs every three years to maintain your CAPM certification.
Accelerate Your Project Management Career
If you want to land a choice project management role, say as part of a remote tech team or a big construction project, earn project management certifications.
Getting a Project Management Professional certification should be a priority.
However, if you’re new to project management, start with the Certified Associate in Project Management. Likewise, to demonstrate your skills in agile project management techniques — particularly important if you’re in tech — work on becoming an Agile Certified Practitioner.