Spotlight on the Profession: Certifications in Project Management

In this Spotlight on the Profession article, we will discuss certifications in project management. There are a variety of organizations that offer certifications in project management. This article focuses on certifications offered by the Project Management Institute, or PMI.

In a rapidly changing, projectized world, a project management certification validates to employers that you’re ready to lead projects. PMI certifications are based on rigorous standards and ongoing research to meet the real-world needs of organizations. With a PMI certification behind your name, you can work in virtually any industry, anywhere in the world, and with any project management methodology.

Three most popular certifications

  • Certified Associated in Project Management, or CAPM
  • Disciplined Agile Scrum Master, or DASM
  • Project Management Professional, or PMP

Two of these certifications, the CAPM and DASM, have no prerequisites. You can earn these certifications without any project management experience. They are a great way to enter the field and begin a career path in project management. We will look at each of these.

CAPM, or Certified Associate in Project Management.

Completing the CAPM® shows that you understand the fundamental knowledge, processes, and terminology as defined in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, also known as the PMBOK® Guide. This knowledge can be applied to on-the-job experiences for effective project management performance.

You can apply to take the CAPM exam even if you do not have project management experience. The education requirement includes a high school diploma or the global equivalent and 23 contact hours of formal CAPM education.

The format of the exam is 3 hours and 150 questions.

Once you earn your CAPM you must earn 15 Professional Development Units, or PDUs, per three-year cycle to maintain certification.

DASM, or Disciplined Agile Scrum Master certification

Disciplined Agile introduces you to the fundamentals of agile and lean approaches like Scrum, Kanban, SAFe®, and more. The course provides a Disciplined Agile tool kit to choose your way of working (WoW™) based on the situation you face. Participants learn multiple agile and lean techniques as well as understand how to put these techniques into action.

You can apply to take the DASM exam even if you do not have traditional or agile project management experience. The education requirement includes 14 contact hours of formal DASM education from a PMI Authorized Training Partner or ATP.

The format of the exam is 90 minutes and 50 questions. The exam is non-proctored. The questions are multiple-choice, and the exam can be taken online.

Once you earn your DASM you must earn 7 Professional Development Units, or PDUs,  per one-year cycle to maintain certification.

One note about Disciplined Agile is that this curriculum is not only for software development. Agile and Scrum practices have been adopted in every industry.

Project Management Professional, or PMP certification

With the PMP, you can supercharge your career as a project leader and demonstrate you have the specific skills employers seek, like dedication to excellence and the capacity to perform at the highest levels. The PMP includes predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches. Earning the PMP® proves project leadership experience and expertise in any way of working.

You can apply to take the PMP exam if you have over three years of experience in leading or directing projects. The education requirement includes a bachelor’s degree with 36 months of experience leading projects. Or, if your highest level of education is a high school diploma or associate’s degree, you can offset this with 60 months of experience leading projects.

The PMP also requires 35 contact hours of formal PMP education. The format of the exam is 230 minutes and 180 questions.

Once you earn your PMP you must earn 60 Professional Development Units, or PDUs, per three-year cycle to maintain certification.

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