By and large Project Managers in the past tended to be more concerned with delivering what they said they’d accomplish – rather than accumulating and showing off any certificates or qualifications they might have. Times change and today having Project Management experience alone may not be all that is required to get that next job, better job or even your first Project Management job. So what Project Management Qualifications should you consider taking?
Professional body Project Management qualifications.
If you want to get ahead in Project Management these days you’ll need to have some qualifications that are directly relevant and applicable to Project Management. The national Project Management professional body, the Project Managers Institute, offers two nationally recognized qualifications – the CAPM and the PMP. CAPM – is the Certified Associate in Project Management certificate, it is really intended for those entering Project Management as a career or those with some previous experience. You must hold a high school diploma to get on this and have either 1500 hours of Project Management experience behind you or – be a higher education graduate and have completed at least 23 hours of Project Management education. For more experienced Project Managers, those with 7500+ hours experience, you can go for the Project Management Professional credential. The PMP is also available for those who are hold a least a Bachelors degree and have at least 4,500 hours experience and 35 hours of formal Project Management education. An alternative to these two would be an IPMA qualification. IPMA – International Project Managers Association – offers certificates at four levels, A to D, where level D is the entry qualification and would award you the title – Certified Project Management Associate.
Spreadsheets, graphics, databases even word-processing play a part in the Project Managers life – but when it comes to IT skills there’s really only one IT qualification to bother with. Depending on whether you’re using PRINCE2 or MS Project – that’s the IT qualification you need. Sure, most folk can ‘pick up’ how to use these software packages as they go along, but to truly understand them, get the most out of them and prove to a potential client you know all about them – you need either a PRINCE2 or MS Project qualification.