5 Tips to Gain a Project Manager Certification This Year

The Project Management Professional certification (PMP®) is considered the industry standard for any project management professional. This certification is achieved by passing a challenging exam that tests your knowledge and skills around time, cost, and scope management. The test is controlled by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading project management association. 

The project manager certification enables ambitious project managers to meet global standards in project management practices, giving them the upper hand during the hiring process. Not only is PMP expertise highly desired for its rigorous project management courses and consistent standards, but it also can lead to a 25 percent salary boost. 

Enroll in our PMP Certification today and develop a strong foundation in the principles of project management.

PMP Certification Eligibility Criteria

To obtain this project manager certification, you first need to meet several eligibility requirements. While some eligibility requirements differ depending on the degree, all require 35 hours of formal project management education, which can be obtained through various project management courses.

Secondary degree

If you possess a secondary degree, such as a high school diploma or associate’s degree, you must possess a minimum of 5 years (or 60 months) of professional project management experience. 

Four-year degree

If you possess a four-year degree, you must have a minimum of three years (or 36 months) of professional project management experience. 

Advanced degree

Finally, if you possess a bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate degree from a Global Accreditation Center (GAC) program, you are only required to have a minimum of two years (or 24 months) of professional project management experience. 

Once you’ve confirmed that you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you will need to apply to take the PMP exam through the PMI website

Project Manager Certifications

While the Project Management Professional certification typically gets top billing, you can obtain several other project manager certifications. 

PMI

The Project Management Institute offers many certifications in addition to the PMP, including several specializations. 

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM): This certification ensures your basic understanding of project management fundamentals. 
  • PMI Specializations: Specialization certificates include credentials for portfolio work, business analytics, agile principles, risk management, and scheduling. Here’s a full list of PMI specializations.

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Scrum 

Scrum is a framework designed to help teams manage complex problems in creative and productive ways. Two widely recognized Scrum organizations offer certifications: Scrum.org and The Scrum Alliance. 

  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM): The most popular project management certification at Scrum.org is the Professional Scrum Master. There are three levels for this certification assessing fundamental learning, effective application, and mastery across various organizational circumstances. 
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM): The Certified Scrum Master certification offered through The Scrum Alliance provides in-person project management courses to combine agile methodologies with the Scrum framework. 

Global Association for Quality Management

The Global Association for Quality Management is an internationally-recognized certification body for the field of Management Science and Information Technology. 

  • Associate in Project Management: This certification is an introductory course in the field of project management.
  • Professional in Project Management: This certification focuses on project management’s core competencies, including planning, execution, control, and completion.
  • Certified Project Director: This certification is for advanced project managers who want to focus on more complex aspects of a project, such as budgeting and risk management. 

ILX Group

ILX Group seeks to provide advanced training in project management solutions to people around the world. 

  • PRINCE2® Foundation & PRINCE2® Practitioner: This is a two-step certification program that starts with key concepts and foundational principles of PRINCE2 themes and builds towards applying PRINCE 2 principles to real-world scenarios.

CompTIA®

CompTIA is a leading technology association in certification programs for project management, soliciting input from the computer industry, academic institutions, and government agencies. 

  • CompTIA Project+: While CompTIA offers a number of certifications, this one is most relevant to project managers. This comprehensive certification covers core project management essentials and is geared toward project management professionals who manage smaller projects. 

IAPM

The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) is focused solely on the project management field, developing certification programs for both traditional and agile project managers. 

  • Certified Project Manager (CPM): This certification is perfect for project managers with beginner’s knowledge of project management basics. 

Tips for Project Manager Certification 

1. Assess your goals

It’s important to know why you want to get a project management certification in the first place. If you’re looking for a new job with a better salary, identify your current roles and responsibilities and the kinds of roles and responsibilities you’d like to have in the future. If you’re looking for a more challenging role, make a list of companies you’d like to work for globally. Identifying your goals will help you determine which certification is right for you. 

2. Assess your skills 

Possessing the essential skills of project management is critical before signing up for any credentialing process. If you simply want to improve your job performance, that’s great! Start by identifying your top three areas for development and your top three areas of strength. Make a list of the skills and expertise you bring to the table as an important second step in the research process. 

3. Do your research

As you can see, there are multiple project management certifications available. While the PMP is the most sought-after certification, it’s not the only game in town. Some certification programs are for beginners, while others are for those of you who have been at it for years. Some programs offer project management courses in tandem with their certification, while others only offer you an exam. 

4. Choose a program

The certifications listed in this article are simply some of the more popular options, but plenty more could be added to the list. Consider creating a spreadsheet that compares your goals (and perhaps your company’s goals), target areas of growth, and areas of strength to the certification program’s outcomes. The program with the outcomes that most closely match the items highlighted on your spreadsheet will likely be the most successful program for you and your needs. 

5. Preparing for the PMP exam

If you do decide to take the PMP Certification exam, we’re here to help! Simplilearn offers a 16-lesson PMP Certification Training Course based on the PMP handbook to help you prepare for your PMP exam. It includes the 35 contact hours required for the PMP certification and comes with a 100% money-back guarantee (based on certain conditions). After taking the PMP Certification Training Course through Simplilearn, 99.9 percent of participants pass their PMP exam! 

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Key Takeaways of PMP Certification 

What is it? 

The Project Management Professional certification proves that an employee possesses extensive project management knowledge and skills to complete both simple and complex projects successfully. 

Why does it matter?

A PMP certification will set you apart from other project managers in your field by imbuing you with rigorous industry standards and extensive knowledge. 

Do your research

Before jumping into any certification program, it’s important to identify what you will need out of the program, and then base your choices on the most equipped programs for those needs. 

Prepare

Joining a PMP course, and downloading the PMP handbook, exam content outline, or the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) are all incredibly effective ways to prepare for the PMP certification exam.

Get Certified with Simplilearn

As we’ve discussed, there are several ways to earn the certifications required to excel in your project management career. Why not knock several of them out at once? You can do that through our PMP Plus Master’s program. Check it out and enroll today!

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.