Project Management Certification
Project management certification has become an increasingly important credential in the world of project management. It has become a way for professionals working in this industry to prove that they have a certain level of experience, skills, and knowledge. For this reason then, certified project managers usually find high-paying employment more easily than non-certified project managers.
What exactly is project management certification?
Certification is a professional credential that a working project manager can obtain. It is not the same as a project management certificate, diploma, or degree that you will get after completing a college or university course in project management. This is because you often need to be working already to qualify for this type of certification.
Project management certification usually gets issued by institutes to project managers after they pass a certification exam. To write the exam, however, you need to fulfil all the different certification requirements. Consequently, this type of certification is usually something only professional project managers with a fair amount of experience and expertise can attain.
Different types of certification
Project management certification is usually awarded by industry-recognised organisations with established and trusted reputations. Some organisations, like the Project Management Institute (PMI), specialise exclusively in project management as a profession. Other certification bodies might be related to other industries – such as computer engineering – and merely offer project management certification amongst their other industry-related qualifications.
Different certification organisations
The Project Management Institute is definitely the most established and revered of all project management certification bodies. Here are some of the other project management certification organisations, or organisations that offer project management certification:
- Association for Project Management
- International Project Management Association
- Microsoft Certified Professional
- Global Association for Quality Management
Different areas of certification
In the same way that you get different certification organisations, you also get different types and levels of certification. Here are some of the different certifications that you can get in project management:
- PMP: Project Management Professional, issued by the Project Management Institute
- MPM: Master Project Manager Certification, issued by the American Academy of Project Management
- CPM: Certified Project Manager Certification, issued by the International Association of Project and Program Management
- CompTIA Project+ Certification, issued by CompTIA
The PMI itself also offers a diverse range of certifications in different areas of project management:
- PfMP: Portfolio Management Professional
- CAMP: Certified Associate in Project Management
- PgMP: Program Management Professional
- PMI-ACP: PMI Agile Certification Practitioner
- PMI-PBA: PMI Professional in Business Analysis
You can also get certified in specific project management methodologies such as the PRINCE2. Or you can get certified in project management as related to a specific industry. The International Council for Electronic Commerce Consultants, for example, offers project management certification in IT Security.
Why get Project Management Certification?
Most importantly, project management certification acts as a formal qualification. This means that it helps you find work, earn more, build a career, and get ahead in your profession.
If you look at job ads for project management in South Africa, you will find that many of the positions either “require”, “prefer”, or view project management certification as an “advantage”. It is usually the senior project management positions that require project management certification, with a preference for PMP certification.
Certified project managers also generally make more money than those without certification. PMP is one of the highest-paying certifications within the technology industry, for example.
This does not, however, mean you can’t get work in project management without certification! There are numerous entry-level positions in project management where you simply need some project management training or experience.