Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - Choosing the Right Certification For Your Career

Choosing the Right Certification For Your Career

Certified Associate Project Manager

The Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM®) is an entry-level project management certification for those interested in a project management career. The CAPM® requires 1,500 hours of project experience or 23 hours of training to ensure understanding of standard project management terminology and best practices. Possessing the CAPM® demonstrates that one has successfully obtain that knowledge which places contenders at an advantage when applying for PM positions versus applicants without any certification. CAPM® employees are more likely to be invited to work on bigger projects versus non-certified employees providing them with the valuable project management work experience hours needed for the journey of obtaining the PMP® Certification.

Project Management Professional

The Project Management Professional (PMP®) is the most important certification for project managers and is recognized as the gold standard in project management. PMP® managers are expected to have the proper knowledge and experience of specific project management methodology, lead and direct projects, control and regulate all the aspects of the project for its duration, interact with stakeholders, etc., manage the constraints of schedule and budget and much more. To sit for the PMP® Certification exam, PMI® requires candidates with a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate degree or the global equivalent) to have 7,500 hours leading and directing projects experience and 35 PMI® Educational Project Management Contact Hours. If you have a 4-year degree you will need 4,500 hours leading and directing projects experience and 35 PMI® Educational Project Management Contact Hours.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner

An agile practitioner needs to be well versed with agile tools and techniques that focus on adapting quickly according to the changing needs and preferences in an ongoing project. Your role requires you to have a perfect understanding of agile methodology and concepts so that you are adept in bringing transparency and the high degree of coordination needed to manage agile teams. With the teams of planning, designing, development, testing and documentation working in cohesion, an agile practitioner is expected to be able to achieve lean management. If you work on agile teams or if your organization is adopting agile practices, the PMI-ACP is a good choice for you. To obtain the PMI-ACP Certification candidates must have 2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams. (A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.) In addition, you will need 1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies. This requirement is in addition to the 2,000 hours of general project experience and 21 contact hours of training in agile practices. The PMI-ACP Certification Exam consist of 120 multiple-choice questions and you have three hours to complete it.

Certified ScrumMaster

The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most popular certification for Scrum. Scrum is a framework in Agile project management. A CSM provides an understanding of Scrum framework in an Agile environment. The primary goal of the certification program is to provide a greater understanding of Scrum methodologies and implementation strategies. If you are working in an Agile context, where Agile is being widely used in your organization, then CSM should be a great certification to obtain and even more so if fulfilling the role as a Scrum team member. To obtain the Certified Scrum Master certification you will need to attend a two day in person class. There are no other requisites other than sitting for and passing the Certified Scrum Master exam. The CSM exam can be taken online from anywhere. The exam consists of 35 questions that you have an hour to complete. The pass rate is 69% (from 35 questions you need to answer 24 questions correctly). The CSM exam is considerably easier than the PMP.