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What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Mon 15 Apr 2013 7:48 pm
by dhaughey
A frequently asked question on these forums is, what project management qualification should I take? Here are four qualifications often asked for by employers.

1. Associate Project Management Professional (APMP)

This qualification is for anyone with at least six months project management experience. It is particularly suited to people working as a project team member, as part of a project management office, or has just accepted project management as part of their role.

APMP can be achieved by following a 5 day course, with candidates required to sit a three-hour written exam. A person taking the qualification should have some prior knowledge and experience of project management.

APMP covers a broad range of 37 topics including project sponsorship, stakeholder management, project management plan, project risk management, change control, estimating, business case, procurement, communication, negotiation and more.

This is a good place to start because the entry criteria are easier than other qualifications, and the broad range of topics covered give a good grounding for success in project management.

2. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

This is the easiest of the four to get. It can be achieved in a week by attending a two-day course and taking a 35 question multiple choice exam, needing 24 correct answers to pass. Scrum is an Agile framework used to develop products and organise work. It uses short cycles of less than 30 days to create fast feedback and build in quality. Scrum is gaining popularity in many industry sectors and is particularly suited to complex projects.

For study time spent against value gained it is probably the best. A number of large organisations use Scrum, and there are still a relatively small number of practitioners (171,314 worldwide May 2012). It could be a nice differentiator on your resume.

3. Project Management Professional (PMP)

This is the most difficult of the four to get. Not only does it need significant amounts of project management experience (4,500 hours), but it needs a large amount of study time. You should expect to spend anything up to three years to get this qualification. Unlike many lesser project management qualifications, it provides a very detailed approach to managing all aspects of a project.

In my experience employers undervalue this qualification, so it may not give much benefit over achieving a lesser qualification.

4. PRINCE2 Practitioner

This is a very popular qualification sought after by employers. Lacking the depth of the PMP, it provides a solid framework for managing projects. A popular myth is that PRINCE2 is only for IT projects. Product based planning is the fundamental core of the PRINCE2 approach, a method to identify the products that contribute to delivering the project.

In my experience it is often part of the qualifications needed for project management jobs, but perhaps because of a perceived value more than a real need.

Conclusion

The qualification to go for is very much a personal choice dependant on the level of project management knowledge and experience a person has. If you are a project manager with at least three-years experience and want to back it up with a qualification choose the PMP. If not, pick one of the others, bearing in mind that PRINCE2 Practitioner and APMP are the most sought after in job descriptions. CSM makes a nice addition to your resume, providing a different but effective approach to delivering projects.

Re: What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Tue 16 Apr 2013 1:16 pm
by kwalford
Good review!

Regarding Prince2, check out my review I did of my own experience of training for this cert:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1307

Regarding the PMP, I think Duncan has surmised this perfectly. The PMP is highly appreciated amongst other PM's, but not so sought after by UK employers. In America, the PMP is a must for PM's. In my view, the PMP is the pinnacle of PM certs and is what you need to aim towards if you are looking to obtain the most demanding of certs. Dave Litten does a PMP Primer tutorial set of videos and it is worth the small investment.

Re: What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Mon 27 May 2013 3:35 am
by begeland
I would go with PMP certification. Widely requested, recognized and accepted - probably the certification that will get you the fastest return on investment for your time and money.

Brad

Re: What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Wed 10 Jul 2013 7:29 am
by dhaughey
If you are interested in gaining the CAPM or PMP certifications read my quick guide here:

http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/pmbok.html

Duncan

Re: What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Wed 10 Jul 2013 5:40 pm
by kwalford
dhaughey wrote:If you are interested in gaining the CAPM or PMP certifications read my quick guide here:

http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/pmbok.html

Duncan



This is interesting. I would love to do my PMP but I do not have enough PM hours under my belt. That is why I am studying the the APMP instead; which has simpler content as the PMP to be honest.

Re: What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Sat 24 Aug 2013 12:46 pm
by LettyLocke
CAPM certifications are very good. Go for it.

Re: What Project Management Qualification Should I Take?

Posted: Tue 22 Oct 2013 11:49 am
by brods
begeland wrote:I would go with PMP certification. Widely requested, recognized and accepted - probably the certification that will get you the fastest return on investment for your time and money.

Brad


I agree with that. PMP diploma is one of the best diploma in order to be the project manager or to apply for the post of it.