Certified project managers play a tremendous role in creating a smooth workflow in any given business or organization. For that very precise reason, project management certifications have become increasingly available, although they were once a minority.
If you’re looking for top-notch certifications among the oversaturated market, we’ve highlighted the best project management certifications below to help you choose. By weighing out the pros and cons of each, you’ll be able to pinpoint the one that’s best for you, depending on your needs.
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At a Glance:
Why Do You Need a Project Management Certification?
Project management certifications have become inevitable in our era, where competitiveness is taking center stage. If you’re still hesitant on whether you should or shouldn’t go for a project management certification, here are the reasons why you certainly should.
Most of the top-tier project management specifications are world-class ones offered by reliable institutions that are globally recognized. By obtaining a certification, you’re not restricted to a specific workplace in a given country. In fact, you become qualified enough to showcase your potential to companies worldwide without having to say anything; your certification speaks for itself!
Project management certification is another term for salary raise. You can expect an increase as high as 20% when you become certified as opposed to being an uncertified project manager.
An Investment That Goes a Long Way
Some project management certifications can seem expensive, but they’re actually not, considering the value you get out of them. With one certification, you unlock the doors to endless job opportunities and matchless experiences that unleash your potential to lead and manage projects.
Just when you think you know all you could about project management, these certifications storm in to show you that there’s always more to learn. You refresh your foundations and get introduced to new concepts in an ever-changing industry, qualifying you to perform better and become more productive while managing your projects.
6 Best Project Management Certifications in 2020
Whether you’re seeking to climb the corporate ladder, taking the certificate for personal development, or simply a new entry to the project management market, you’ll find a project management certification for you below!
The PMP certification is among the leading certifications for project managers. In fact, it’s globally recognized as the gold standard in this area, guaranteeing your worldwide endorsement wherever you work.
While the exam is quite rigorous, passing it testifies to your knowledge and skill in managing the key “triple constraints” of any organization or institution: time, cost, and scope.
To obtain a PMP certificate, you need to either have a secondary degree along with 7,500 hours of experience in leading and directing projects and 35 hours of education in project management, or you can take the second path if you have a four-year degree.
In that case, you’ll be required to have 4,500 hours of experience in leading and directing projects along with the same 35 hours of project management education.
The PMP certification is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which works round the clock to update the course contents and ensure its relevance to the evolving industry.
- $405 for PMI members
- $555 for non-PMI members
- $250 for PMI members
- $400 for non-PMI members
If you’re an entry-level Scrum practitioner looking to take your career to the next level, the CSM certification is exactly your tipping point. Precisely, this certification empowers you to manage and oversee a team of members working on a project by understanding team roles, events, and rules.
As indicated by its name, this certification is associated with The Scrum Alliance, an established institute promoting the concept of “agile” mindsets, particularly in the software industry.
To attain a CSM certification, you take a two-day, 16-hour training course followed by an exam. Requirement-wise, you just need to have a basic familiarity level with Scrum and the agile mindset in general. Furthermore, you must complete The Scrum Alliance’s “Introductory Module” to entirely orient yourself to the program’s requirements.
- $1,000- $1,400 for examination and training
The CAPM certification is an entry-level one that affirms your credibility and qualifications in managing projects. By showcasing your understanding of the fundamentals, terminology, and processes involved in effective and successful project management, this certification is enough to boost your career readiness and distinguish you in the job market.
In terms of prerequisites, the CAPM certification requires a secondary degree (like a high school diploma) along with 1,500 hours of project management experience. Alternatively, you can complete 23 hours of project management education before you take the exam.
Like the PMP certification, the CAPM certification is under the umbrella of the PMI.
- $225 for PMI members
- $300 for non-PMI members
PRINCE2 is among the advanced certifications that are widely recognized in the U.K. Namely, there are two main certifications: PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner, both tackling skills and capabilities across a diverse range of business disciplines, ultimately driving business success.
If you’re looking to boost your grasp of project management from A to Z, PRINCE2 revolves around how projects are managed and delivered from the moment they start (initiation) to the moment they’re completed (delivery).
To obtain the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification, you must have either completed the PRINCE2 Foundation, PMP, CAPM, or an International Project Management Association (IPMA) certification.
Since you may be wondering how the PRINCE2 certification differs from the PMP, which is a common dilemma for applicants, you might want to read more about the differences between them here.
- PRINCE2 Foundation: $200
- PRINCE2 Practitioner: $340
Offered by the PMI, the PPM is a mid-level certification, including project management modules that equip you with project scheduling techniques, project measures, leading and managing projects, and quality control.
If you already have several years of experience in project management but looking to take it a step further and better handle risks and crises, this is the one for you. By the end of this course, you’ll have extensive knowledge about resource allocation, delivering quality projects at minimal risk, and how effective communication works.
To sit for the PPM exam, you need to take a mandatory E-Course and have hands-on experience in project management or, alternatively, demonstrate your familiarity with project management. No education requirements whatsoever!
The CompTIA Project+ certification is targeted at business professionals in charge of small to medium-sized projects. If that’s what your current role entails or you have at least one year of project management, you’ll want to consider this one.
What makes the CompTIA Project+ certification quite unique is that it tends to be rather versatile than other certificates. Thoroughly, it covers the essentials of project management and explores concepts rather than focusing on a specific methodology or framework.
When you opt for this certification, you gain comprehensive knowledge about project management, including the basics of projects, constraints, documentation, tools, and change management.
The requirements are pretty simple; you just need to have one year of knowledge or experience with projects’ life cycles, be able to manage resources, and enjoy communication skills.
Useful Reads on Additional Courses:
Since you’re investing in certification, you probably won’t make the decision in a blink of an eye. What’s more, you’ll probably get confused among particular certifications that seem too similar to each other. With that being the case, here are among the frequent certifications that end up being compared to each other. Read on and choose the one with the most value for you!
- PgMP vs. PMP
- Prince2 vs. PMP
- MBA vs. PMP: Should You Get a Degree or Certificate?
- ITIL vs. PMP: Which Certification Is Right for You?
- Project+ vs. PMP
- PMP vs. Agile
- Six Sigma vs. PMP
- PMI ACP vs. PMP: Which Is More Suitable for You?
- Scrum vs. PMP: Which Is More Suitable for You?
- CBAP vs. PMP: Which One Should You Take?
- MPM vs. PMP: Which Path Should You Take?
Regardless of which project management certification you choose to proceed with, rest assured that you’ll certainly stand out from the crowd of uncertified project managers! Not only will you gain access to more job opportunities, but you’ll also sharpen your skills and increase your salary in the process.
As you saw, the certifications we’ve discussed include ones for entry-level project managers as well as some advanced ones and ones for specific industries. All you have to do is match your specialty and skill level with the available certificates, enroll yourself in the best project management certification for you, and take your career to the next level!