Project Management Certification
Project Management Certification — Why do it?
Project management certification is rapidly becoming a need for managers in a wide range of industries.
In the distant past, it was most widely used in the construction field to allow project managers to better lead company advancement and efficiency.
With a proven track record, the certification program has shown to be helpful for any business whether running small or large projects, or needing to implement change within its own organization.
Who is certification for?
Who should get a project management certification? Many employers are searching for individuals who are certified, and this has led to increasing competiveness in the given field. Therefore, anyone wanting to advance their project management skills should get certified. The certification will set you apart from other managers and show that you have what it takes to lead, organize, and complete projects of any size.
Don’t be deluded into thinking the certification program is easy. It does require experience in project management work, some heavy studying, and a bit of money. If you are currently with a company, find out if they will pay for, or reimburse the cost. If you are currently in search of work, consider the opportunities that will open up for you with a certification. Many employers will look upon certified applicants favorably when hiring.
When searching for a school to obtain your certification, be sure you find one that is accredited. There are several providers who are known not only nationally, but recognized internationally, so your hard work can carry over with you almost anywhere you go. Courses and testing are available online, so you can study and test from the convenience of your home. Typical completion time is eight weeks for most, but can be extended to fit your time frame.
Types of Project Management Certification
There are currently six project management certifications available. The most common one pursued is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. This certification will demonstrate your knowledge of the ins and outs of management. Acceptance to test for PMP requires that you either have a four-year bachelor’s degree and three years of PM experience with 4,500 hours leading projects and 35 hours as a project manager; or a high school diploma or equivalent, five years PM experience with 7500 hours leading project and 35 hours as project manager.
If you’re just starting your project managing career and don’t have the experience required for the PMP, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificate is available. This certification serves in an entry-level capacity and requires a high school diploma or equivalent and one of the following criteria; 1500 hours of experience or 23 hours of PM education built up when you take the exam. CAPM certification teaches you basic knowledge in project management including correct terminology, and how to run a project.
As you advance in your career, you can choose to upgrade your certification by testing for Program Management Certification (PgMP) that is designed for those who manage larger, more complicated programs. You can also choose to specialize as a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), or a PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP). Each of these certifications is geared towards specific aspects of project management.
Once you have decided to obtain credentials in your chosen field of study, you must maintain your certification. Criteria and renewal times vary with each certificate, so be sure to find out what the requirements are.
Maintaining a record of your projects and the amount of time you invest in each is highly recommended. Doing so will ensure you have information readily available to prove your experience level. Random audits are performed to uphold the integrity of the certification programs. Verifiable experience and hours are examined to be sure proper certification is maintained.
From project initiation through planning, execution, control, and completion, a project management certification can help you hone your skills, be more productive and confident, and show you are knowledgeable enough to lead and exceed your organization’s expectations.