Project management can be a tough field to get into. It seems that you need experience to be able to get a role in project management. However, there are some project management qualifications that you can obtain that could help your chances of either moving into project management, or expanding your current role as a project manager. Let’s have a look into five of these options.
CAPM – Certified Associate in Project Management
The first project management qualification we’ll look at is the Certified Associate in Project Management. I wrote a recent article on why you should get this when looking for a career in project management. Essentially, it’s an entry-level project management certification. It’s good for those who have some experience in the IT industry working on projects but not necessarily as the project manager.
It’s a good way to start a career as a project manager. It’s run by the PMI which is a large international organisation, which means it’s widely recognised and is quite valuable. If you’re looking to get into project management, this is a good qualification to get.
PMP – Project Management Professional
The PMP is regarded as the highest and most valuable certification in the project management field, and possibly even the IT industry overall. It’s also run by the PMI, and is the logical next step for those who have completed the CAPM.
The requirements include several years of experience and many hours of formal training. For these reasons, it’s targeted towards more experienced project managers – those who have already spent some time in the field. If that’s you, great! Going for the PMP will help your career significantly – both in job availability and skills learnt.
The Prince2 Foundation qualification is another entry-level certification for those looking into a career as a PM. It’s run by an organisation known as Prince2. It’s a different methodology to the PMI certifications and it’s more process focused, rather than knowledge-focused.
Similar to the CAPM, it’s targeted towards those who have little or no project management experience. It’s not likely to land you a job as a senior project manager, but it will certainly help get into the field. The Foundation qualification will teach you the basic concepts and process for managing projects using Prince2.
The Practitioner certification offered by Prince2 is the next level up for Prince2 certification holders. It’s the successor to the Foundation, and like the PMP, it is more of an expert-level qualification. It uses the Prince2 methodology, and you need to know the details on each stage in the process. Experience in the PM field is also required.
The Prince2 methodology originated in the UK and is the standard for project management there, and has grown in popularity in some parts Europe and even Australia.
Diploma of Project Management
An alternative to the PMI and Prince2 qualifications is to get a Diploma of Project Management. These are university or college courses that you can complete and receive a diploma. The main advantage to these courses is that they don’t require any experience – you can just enrol and complete the course.
The downside, however, is that they are usually longer and are more structured than the Prince2 or PMI certifications. You can complete them full time or part time (a few days a week or night classes), but there is still a schedule and it usually takes longer to complete. It’s something to consider when thinking about which project management certification to obtain.
These five choices should give you a bit of an insight into what certifications you can get in the project management field. Most people only think of the PMP when thinking about project management qualifications, but there are a few different choices.