Those seeking to enter the project management field can obtain a variety of project management certifications. These qualifications will vary depending on the project manager’s specialty and the country in which he or she is located. The first universal project management qualification is a formal education in the field of project management. Many experienced project managers have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in business with a focus on project management, and a master’s degree or equivalent in project management is also common. A project manager with a graduate certificate from a local college or university is not uncommon in addition to an undergraduate degree.
Managers can improve their project management qualifications obtaining a project management certification in addition to completing a formal education. A Project+® certification from CompTIA® is a popular certification for those just starting out in project management. It demonstrates a person’s ability to manage projects. The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) also offers a project management gold seal certification. Project managers can become certified in a project management methodology called Projects in Controlled Environments 2 (PRINCE2), which is endorsed across the United Kingdom. In a similar vein, the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) offers the Registered Project Manager (RegPM) certification, which can help bolster a person’s project management credentials.
Many people consider the Project Management Institute® (PMI®) to be the world’s leading project management organization. Over 500,000 people from 185 countries are members of the organization. The Project Management Institute® (PMI®) is also in charge of issuing the Project Management Professional® (PMP®) certification, which is considered one of the most prestigious project management credentials available. The exam is difficult, and candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, at least three years of project management experience, and 35 hours of project management education to take it.
The PMI® also offers a well-respected Certified Associate in Project Management® (CAPM®) credential for candidates who do not meet the project management requirements for the PMP® certification. The CAPM® is an entry-level certification for project managers with little to no project management experience. Candidates need only 1,500 hours of project management experience and at least 23 hours of project management education, as opposed to the PMP® certification. Individuals who are serious about improving their project management skills can enroll in a PMI® authorized registered education provider’s online PMP® class.