Prestigious Project Management Certification: PMI or Are There Other Options?
It has been known for a long time that for specialists of different levels, whether they are beginners trying to start a successful career, or pros with many years of experience, it is useful to have an official certificate confirming their competence. This is a kind of stepping-stone leading you to your cherished career goal, where you will be offered everything you dream about – decent pay, weekend conditions, interesting tasks.
But when it comes to project management, how can certification be useful here? Firstly, it is the recognition in the industry, because, with the qualification of an internationally recognized vendor, you can establish yourself as a professional in the global community. Secondly, the certificate guarantees the confidence of employers and customers, which will give you more opportunities and interesting projects. Thirdly, there are financial prospects, as on average officially qualified specialists get 20% more than their colleagues without certificates. Fourthly, after completing the certification program you will immediately notice an increase in productivity as you will understand processes such as planning, initiation, execution, risk management, and closure. And finally, fifthly, it is a great investment in your future, as compared to the cost of a 4-year education or expensive courses, many vendors offer free training programs and relatively inexpensive accreditation exams.
Project Management Accreditation
PMI has undoubtedly become the benchmark for project management certification because it focuses entirely on this field. Therefore, there are many qualification paths available to candidates that allow them to work in a variety of industries and with any project management methodology. In addition, PMI offers an extensive Agile certification program covering leading agile approaches such as Kanban, Scrum, and SAFe among others.
But should you think that PMI is the only vendor that will help you build the necessary skills and establish yourself as a project management specialist? Not at all, besides PMP, CAPM, PgMP there are many other designations that are also offered by well-known certification bodies. Moreover, you should know that many accreditation options offer different conditions, have different requirements, and cover different approaches and industries. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- APM: Associate In Project Management from GAQM
The Global Association For Quality Management offers an entry-level qualification related to the project management structure which confirms your sufficient skills in service or product development planning, portfolio and project management, risk management as well as ICT quality management. You can demonstrate all these competencies in a compulsory test, where you have to answer at least 35 questions correctly out of 50 within one hour. The cost of the exam voucher is $128. There are no other experience or formal education requirements.
- Project+ from CompTIA
This entry-level accreditation is designed for professionals involved in managing and/or coordinating business projects of various sizes. At the same time, this standard certification covers key concepts beyond just one framework or methodology, including project fundamentals, tools, documentation, constraints, and change management. Therefore, candidates must have at least one year of relevant experience and pass the associated PK0-004 exam for $338.
- CSM: Certified ScrumMaster from Scrum Alliance
As many IT companies are increasingly adopting agile methodologies, the demand for certified Scrum masters is growing. In other words, organizations need someone who can work with the Scrum framework and understand key events, teams, rules, and artifacts to drive Scrum team performance to the highest level. As a result, once you’re familiar with Scrum methodology and have completed the 2-day training, and take the related CSM exam and join the Scrum Alliance community, which already has over 450,000 professionals.
- PRINCE2 Foundation / Practitioner certifications from Axelos
This certifying body promotes the professional development of specialists whose activity is connected with the implementation of projects of any complexity and size. And by obtaining these certificates, you will be able to declare that you are able to do so clearly and effectively. The Foundation certificate confirms your confident knowledge of the methodology and terminology, while the Practitioner one focuses on more advanced project management using effective techniques. Each qualification is available after passing the corresponding test.
- CSSGB: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate from ASQ
To obtain this internationally recognized qualification testifies the candidate’s skills to solve quality problems with Six Sigma to improve the quality of the projects. Test-takers must have at least 3 years of practical work experience, and two previously completed projects to qualify for the appropriate exam. Thus, by paying $438 ($338 for ASQ members) you will be admitted to the test, where you can confirm your understanding of team dynamics, ability to assign team member responsibilities and roles, as well as your team leadership skills.
Anyway, professional accreditation is worthwhile because it demonstrates a wide range of competencies that recruiters and employers pay attention to. By doing so, you can simplify the hiring process and avoid lengthy interviews and numerous test tasks. In the meantime, the decision of whether you need an official certificate, as well as the choice of a particular vendor depends only on your industry, career situation, and goals. The main thing is to understand that there are many options available to you, all you have to do is to gather your thoughts and make the right decision, which may change your career fundamentally.