Many people, at various stages of their professional careers, consider obtaining a project management certificate. There is Prince2, PMI, or IPMA certificates are a great advantage for any project manager. There are many different books and opinions on this subject, but why is it worth it?
The certificate will strengthen your brand.
Many times, project management experience alone might be insufficient to convince an employer to hire you. Moreover, it is difficult to present the subject’s practical and theoretical knowledge during a job interview. This is why investing in certification is worth it. It will also indicate what career route you are interested in and whether you have decided to develop in a specific direction.
You will become reliable in the eyes of the recruiter and employer. Additionally, obtaining such a document is an incentive to continue gaining further qualifications as certificates are time-limited. Extending their validity requires confirmation of professional development.
The employer should also be interested in its employees completing relevant training. Certificates look good, not only in your CV. Companies hire people with documented knowledge to gain new contractors. Furthermore, investing in training translates into increased competitiveness of the offer and increased chances to get the desired orders. Finally, a certificate may be a prerequisite for higher earnings. As shown by the research and report Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th edition, project managers holding a document proving completion of training can count on even 30% higher earnings than those without such a certificate.
The choice between certificates depends on professional experience.
The most prestigious certificates require documented professional experience, and thus, not everybody can participate in all training. If you are only at the beginning of your career and have little experience, choose the Prince2 Foundation. Prince (Projects In Controlled Environments) is a project management methodology based on products that can be applied to manage projects of all sorts. On the other hand, the Prince2 Foundation is a national exam that does not require knowledge or practice in the scope of project management. The Prince2 Foundation’s training usually lasts three days.
Another step in certification should be obtaining the Prince2 Practitioner. These certificates are frequently offered in a package. Choosing both is a good decision as such training takes only two days longer and guarantees to gain a much greater scope of knowledge.
The cheapest option is not always the best choice.
The prices of the Prince2 Foundation training and exams start from PLN 100, whereas the Prince2 Foundation is several hundred PLN more expensive. A package containing both allows for some savings. Choosing the cheapest training is, however, not always the best solution. If you want to expand your knowledge and learn something new, choose a trainer who will guarantee it. Before you make your choice, check opinions about the training on the Internet or ask your friends.
PMI-the best-known certificate, confirming practical skills
The most prestigious certificate in the world of project managers is the one awarded by PMI (Project Management Institute). It is also one of the oldest certificates. The key aspect is its global recognition and appreciation. It is valid for three years, with the option to extend it if the relevant requirements are met. There are several certification options, including:
- Professional in Project Management (PMP),
- Professional in program management (PgMP),
- Professional in Portfolio Management (PfMP),
- PMI-ACP stands for PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.
- PMI’s Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA),
- PMI’s Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP),
- PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP).
All this training requires documented prior experience and knowledge. The requirements to be met to receive the particular documents vary, but practice for at least three years, as well as dozens of training hours in project management, are always taken into consideration.
IPMA certifications are a confirmation of knowledge and experience appreciated around the world.
Another well-known international organization associating project managers is IPMA (International Project Management Association). It provides four levels of certification:
- Certified Project Management Associate, Level D
- Certified Project Manager, Level C
- Certified Senior Project Manager, Level B
- Certified Projects Director, Level A
Similar to PMI certificates, requirements include documented experience and knowledge in the field of project management. This document is issued for five years. It can be extended after its expiry. Having an IPMA certificate is still very valuable and well-perceived in the labor market.
Best PMI Certificates in 2022
Project management campaigns conducted by project managers with PMI certificates have ever-greater chances of success. It will be a confirmation of your skills and knowledge level and make it easier to cooperate with clients. When we look at the statistics on project management, it turns out that even 70% of them fail. 17% of IT projects are carried out so poorly that they threaten the condition and future of the enterprise. In that case, are there any certificates in project management that would give a greater chance for an undertaking to succeed? Of course, there are. One of them is using project management tools – software that allows you to keep your finger on the pulse and control time, budget, and progress.
PMI Certificates from Project Management Institute’s
For people who do not have contact with project management, PMI may be a completely unknown notion. Nevertheless, every self-respecting PM should be aware that this organization exists because it consociates almost 3 million specialists worldwide and has over 500 thousand active members in its ranks. The institution dates back to 1969. In 1996, the first version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge was created, which is a project management standard developed and published by PMI. In 1998, the PMBOK Guide received accreditation from the American National Standards Institute and has been functioning as the project management standard in the US territory ever since. The Project Management Institute publishes many free guides and textbooks that are worth looking at because they contain really valuable content.
Why is it worth obtaining a PMI certificate?
As reported by Wrike, 80% of projects of high priority are conducted by certified project managers. PMI informs us that 77% of high-performing companies are aware of just how important it is to have someone with such qualifications in the team. This is mainly because, on the one hand, the certificate confirms the knowledge and skills of its holder and, on the other hand, it is a kind of pass giving access to more orders and higher earnings.
Which certificate to choose depends on our competencies and whether we meet several requirements regarding our knowledge, experience, and past training. Of course, receiving a certificate involves a fee that we have to pay. The following certificates can be found on the Project Management Institute’s website:
- One of the basic certificates, which is recognized worldwide, is Project Management Professional (PMP). It confirms the competence of a given person as a project manager who can professionally lead and manage project teams. Who can apply for this document? People who graduated from high school, have 7500 hours of documented experience in running projects on their account and 35 hours of PM training. The document can also be granted to people who have a bachelor’s degree, have 4500 hours of documented experience in running projects, and have 35 hours of PM training.
- Program Management Professional (PgMP) – aimed at those who manage a large number of complex projects to achieve strategic and organizational goals. As we can read on the website, it is intended for people who manage a lot of related projects and complex activities, including functions, institutions, regions, or cultures, to adjust them for organizational purposes. The certificate can be obtained by people who have completed high school, and have 6000 hours of documented experience in running projects and 10500 hours of experience in program management. People who have a bachelor’s degree and 6000 hours in the above fields can also apply for it.
- Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) – aimed at senior managers who manage a portfolio of projects and programs by the organization’s strategy while focusing on proper work performance.8 years of professional experience, higher education, and 10500 hours of task portfolio management are required. People with a bachelor’s degree and 6000 hours can apply as well.
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)—directed at people who would like to start working on larger projects and need their first certificate but do not have the necessary experience. People who graduated from high school and have at least 1500 hours of experience in running projects can apply for the document. It can also be obtained by people who have passed the Project Management Basics exam.
- PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) – designed for project managers and business analysts.Requirements: high school, 7,500 documented hours of work in business analysis, and 35 hours of lessons in that field. For people with a bachelor’s degree, it is 4,500 hours of experience and 35 hours of lessons.
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) – an excellent certification for those who specialize in Agile project management.Requirements: 2000 hours of project work in a team, 1500 hours of Agile implementations, and 21 hours of learning or professional training in the Agile methodology.
- PMI Risk Management Professional—directed at experienced managers of project risk. High school, 4,500 of experience in project risk management, and 40 hours of training in that scope are required. For people with a bachelor’s degree, it requires 3000 hours of experience and 30 hours of training.
- PMI Scheduling Professional – the last, but not least, of the certificates, one of interest to people who manage and maintain the project schedule.Expectations: high school, 5000 hours of experience in project schedule management, and 40 hours of training in that scope. For people with a bachelor’s degree, it requires 3500 hours of experience and 30 hours of training.
Every certificate is obtained after sitting a test, the length of which depends on the chosen certificate. In addition, the certificates are not issued for life but for a specific period. For example, we have three years to obtain professional development units (PDUs) after the document is issued. PDUs are obtained by participation in conferences, training, meetings, seminars, and other events.
Why is it worth it?
Although it is not cheap to obtain a PMI certificate, as it requires work and experience, it is worth thinking about. The document shows your employer or your client that you are a specialist in your field and that you keep improving your competence. The meetings and conferences, which force you to actively look for knowledge, are very good motivators. Furthermore, specialists with PMI certificates can demand higher pay for their work, participate in more interesting projects, and, most importantly, have the freedom to choose where and with whom they will work.
The certificate is not enough.
IT sector employees should consider obtaining the SCRUM certificate. It is an agile project management methodology. No certificate can replace knowledge and experience. That is why it is preferable to be able to demonstrate possession of all these assets. Currently, a great advantage of a project manager in the labor market is knowledge of a proper project management tool. Many companies require proficiency in the use of this type of software as it is an inseparable element of project management.
Software worth checking includes:
- The IC Project is Polish software, but highly competitive with foreign systems. It is a very intuitive program, offering everything indispensable in project management as well as many additional functionalities, including but not limited to a calendar, messenger, internal CRM, invoicing, worktime control, and many others.
- Jira is an extensive project management tool aimed mainly at software developers. Jira features a plethora of functionalities, but it is difficult to learn and implement.
- MS Project is a well-developed project management tool, offering many project control and planning functions. Unfortunately, similarly to Jira, it is quite a complex tool.
Pick a certificate that’s right for your career.
Project management is a very useful array of skills and knowledge in the contemporary labor market. Although the first thing that comes to mind when speaking of project management in the IT sector, project managers can be found in many other industries as well. The same goes for certificates. There are lots of documents confirming project management skills. When choosing the right training, consider the hope you associate with it and what you want to gain from its completion. Make your choice about a certificate in project management bearing your whole career path in mind.