Network Enhancers - "Delivering Beyond Boundaries" Headline Animator

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Best Project Management Certifications for 2014


Project management certifications have remained on the top IT certification lists for years. That's because project managers are important to IT operations of all kinds. Whether you're interested in becoming an IT project manager or want to add project management to the list of your soft skills, these top 5 certifications will help you complement your technical skills, and in turn increase their value.

If there's one set of soft skills that has remained high on the IT radar for the past several years, to the point where they've become almost as sought-after and every bit as valuable as other top-level credentials, that has to be project management.

Thanks in very large part to the immensely popular and hotly-pursued Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), this area has become an incredibly valuable "merit badge" credential for IT professionals of all kinds, because it enhances and expands on the value of just about any other kind of technical credential.

If you're wondering why this should be the case, think about what project management means and involves for a moment. It has everything to do with planning, scheduling, budgeting for, and then executing and reporting on projects of all shapes and sizes. Because anything and everything that IT does can be understood or handled as a project of some kind -- either a "one of a kind" activity that happens only once or very seldom (think hardware or OS upgrades, or migrating from older to newer platforms or infrastructures), or a recurring series of activities that repeat regularly (think security patches, software updates, or other regular maintenance tasks) -- project management is incredibly important to IT operations of all kinds.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Institute (www.pmi.org) not only stands behind the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, it works with academia and training companies to ensure proper coverage and currency in the various curricula that exist to support this and other PMI credentials (the PMP's precursor, the CAPM cert, is covered in the next section in this article, in fact).
That's why you can obtain college- and university-based PMP training from so many institutions, and also why you may sometimes find PMP coverage integrated into some degree programs (often at the Master's Degree level).
The PMP credential is coveted by employers seeking the most highly skilled project managementprofessionals. Developed by project managers, the PMP certification is the highest level credential offered by PMI. The certificationl is designed to ensure that credential holders possess the skills and qualifications necessary to successfully manage all phases of a project, including initiating, planning, scheduling, controlling and monitoring, and closing the project.
PMP certified projects managers are also well versed and skilled in managing all aspects of the triple constraints -- time, cost, and scope. Employers depend on the skills PMP professionals to manage budgets, track costs, manage scope creep, and identify how changes to the triple constraints may introduce risk into the project and minimize such risk to protect the project investment.
The standards for PMP certification are rigorous. In addition to passing a comprehensive and exhaustive exam, credential holders must first demonstrate and certify that they possess the skills and education necessary to succeed in the project management field. Credential seekers should be prepared to provide documentation regarding items such as education, projects worked on, and hours spent in each of the five project management stages -- initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing the project.
While difficult to achieve, the rewards for PMP credential holders can be significant. According to the PMI Salary Survey (seventh edition), PMPs earn an average of 16% more than their non-credentialed counterparts, with the median salary of project managers in the United States at $105,000.
The PMP remains a nonpareil certification for IT and other professionals whose responsibilities encompass project management. It is the standard against which all other project management credentials are judged in today's marketplace.
Table 1: Project Management Professional Certification
Certification Name
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Prerequisites/
Required Courses
Required Courses:  None
Prerequisite Skills:
Credential seekers must obtain an eligibility ID from PMI prior to registering for the exam. To obtain an ID, candidates must submit an application that demonstrates they meet the required combination of education and experience, as follows:
  • 4-year degree, 3 years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours in leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education;
        OR
  • High school diploma, 5 years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.
Credential holders must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) per each three-year cycle to maintain certification.
Number of Exams
1 exam (200 questions, 4 hours).
Cost per Exam
Computer-based exams:
  • PMI member: $405 USD (retake $275)
  • Non-PMI member: $555 USD (retake $375)
Paper-based exams:
  • PMI member: $250 USD (retake $150)
  • Non-PMI member: $400 USD (retake $300)
All PMI exams are administered by Prometric (www.prometric.com/pmi)
URL
Self-Study Materials
Books:
PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam,by Rita Mulcahy, published June 12, 2013 by RMC Publications, Inc., ISBN-10:  1932735658, ISBN-13: 978-1932735659
The PMP Exam Made Easy: Your 24-Hour Study Guide to Passing,by Ron Ponce and Christopher Scordo, published January 27, 2012 by SSI Logic, ISBN-10: 0982576889, ISBN-13: 978-0982576885
Practice Exams:
PMP Exam: Practice Test and Study Guide, ninth edition, by J. LeRoy Ward and Ginger Levin, published June 24, 2013 by Auerbach Publications, ISBN-13: 9781482202243.
Self-paced training:
PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam, by Rita Mulcahy, published June 12, 2013 byRMC Publications, ISBN-10: 1932735658, ISBN-13: 978-1932735659.
A Guide to theProject Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOKGuide)Fifth Edition, available from the PMI institute at marketplace.pmi.org
Web resources:
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)


The same organization that stands behind the PMP also backs the CAPM (Certified Associate In Project Management) certification, and it is properly considered a stepping-stone credential for those who wish to attain PMP status by stages, rather than in a single step.
That's why the PMI describes the CAPM as a "valuable entry-level certification for project practitioners" that is "designed for those with little or no project experience."
In fact, thePMP requires 3-5 years of documented on-the-job project management experience, depending on the educational background of each applicant; the CAPM requires only a high school diploma and either 1,500 hours of documented on-the-job experience (about 9 months of full-time work) or 23 hours of project management classroom training prior to taking the exam. Nor does the CAPM require continuing education (which the PMI calls PDUs, short for professional development units) as does the PMP (60 PDUs every three years) to maintain this credential. CAPM holders must re-take the exam once every five years.
The CAPM certification is one of a number of entry-level project management certifications (including the CompTIA Project+ mentioned next in this article) that IT professionals interested in project management might choose to pursue. Remember, though, that it is a stepping-stone to the PMP.
Unless you work in large organization where aproject management teamis in place that includes junior- as well as more senior-level project management positions, the CAPM by itself is unlikely to provide a ticket to a project management job (though it doesn't hurt for IT professionals for whom project management is a part-time job role, or who seek to grow into full-time project management).
Table 2: Certified Associate in Project Management Certification
Certification Name
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Prerequisites/
Required Courses
Required Courses: None
Prerequisite Skills:
To apply for the CAPM, candidates must complete an application demonstrating the following prerequisite skills:
  • A high school diploma or global equivalent with a minimum of 1,500 hours experience
    OR
  • 23 hours project management education
Certification is good for five years after which time you must retake the exam.
Number of Exams
1 exam (150 questions, 3 hours).
Cost per Exam
Computer-based exams:
  • PMI member: $225 USD (retake $150)
  • Non-PMI member: $300 USD (retake $200)
Paper-based exams:
  • PMI member: $225 USD (retake $150)
  • Non-PMI member: $300 USD (retake $200)
All PMI exams are administered by Prometric (www.prometric.com/pmi)
URL
www.pmi.org/Certification/Certified-Associate-in-Project-Management-CAPM.aspx
Self-Study Materials
Books:
CAPM® Exam Prep - 3rd Edition,by Rita Mulcahy, published July 2013 by RMC Publications, ISBN-10: 1932735720, ISBN-13: 978-1932735727
Web resources:
Self-paced training:
Certified Associate in Project Management Handbook, available for free download from the Project Management Institute atwww.pmi.org/Certification/Certified-Associate-in-Project-Management-CAPM/CAPM-Exam-Prep.aspx
CompTIA Project+

ComTIA's Project+ is another entry-level project management credential, roughly on par with the PMI's CAPM. Instead of emerging from a leading, focused industry trade organization whose sole focus is project management and related activities, Project+ comes from a computing industry-spanning organization that puts its credentials together based on input from industry players, representatives from government, academia, research institutions, subject matter experts, and other interested parties who must pay to participate in credential design (training companies, publishers, and so forth).
Does this make the Project+ inferior to the CAPM? Good question! Because the Project + preceded the CAPM, I'm inclined to treat PMI's decision to introduce the CAPM (in 2004) as a tacit endorsement of the Project+ concept (originally named IT Project+ when it was first introduced in 1999). Because the leading project management organization needs to compete with this credential, that indicates a valuable market slice worth contesting.
Project+ fills more or less the same niche that the CAPM does. The biggest differences (and they have their pros and cons) between the CAPM and the Project+ is the experience and background requirement. The CAPM cert requires a high school diploma plus either 1,500 hours of on-the-job project management experience or 23 hours of classroom training in project management. The Project+ certification on the other hand, makes no such stipulations. While this makes the Project+ easier to obtain, it's also possible to argue that it's less valuable or meaningful.
That said, Project+ functions as a workable stepping stone to the PMP, just as the CAPM does. Our gut feel is that either certification functions about the same on the way to the PMP, with the CAPM earning a slight edge thanks to its more stringent requirements. A quick survey of job listing sites confirms that more mention CAPM by name than Project+.
Table 3: CompTIA Project+ FCertification
Certification Name
CompTIA Project+
Prerequisites/
Required Courses
There are no prerequisites, and candidates are not required to submit an application or complete additional hours of continuing education. However, it's recommended that you have one year of experience managing, directing, or participating in small- to medium-scale projects.
Number of Exams
1 exam: Exam Code: PK0-003 (100 questions, 90 minutes, passing score 710).
Cost per Exam
$261 USD
URL
certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/project.aspx
Self-Study Materials
Books:
CompTIA Project+ Study Guide, by Kim Heldman, published May 24, 2010 by Sybex, ISBN-10: 0470585927, ISBN-13: 978-0470585924
Practice exams:
Sample exam questions are available from CompTIA at certification.comptia.org
Self-paced training:
Self-paced eLearning courses are available from CompTIA.
Master Project Manager (MPM)
The Master Project Manager (MPM) certification comes from the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM), a rival organization to the PMP.
The AAPM positions itself as a "board certification," a type of professional licensure modeled after credentialing for pilots, ship captains, and engineers, all of whom must assume legal responsibility for passengers or users under specific sets of conditions. The credentialing process depends on a board review of a candidate's resume and documented experience. Those who don't meet the requirement for three years of documented on-the-job experience in the field can qualify on the basis of holding a degree from an AAPM-approved academic program, taking AAPM-approved training classes for MPM preparation, or passing the MPM exam.
The AAPM was founded in 1996 (the PMI got its start 12 years earlier, in 1984). Like the PMI, theAAPM also has strong roots in academia and research institutions (see their Accreditation Standards for more information). It currently supports over 50,000 certified members (the PMI has a certified population more than ten times that size) with a global presence in over 150 countries (the PMI claims 185).
Beyond the competitive jostling that appears naturally between these organizations, the PMP and AAPM do have slightly different charters and focus. Where the PMP aims directly at full-time, professional project managers, the AAPM's MPM (and the rest of the AAPM credentials) also includebusiness and technical management functions in their purview.
But a quick comparison of MPM vs. PMP mentions on job posting web sites, shows that the PMP enjoys a considerable advantage in numbers over the MPM. That said, the MPM is less expensive than the PMP and does not impose as many continuing education requirements, either.
The MPM probably makes most sense for IT professionals who've earned a degree from an AAPM approved institution, or who have low-cost/no-cost access to MPM training materials through company training programs or contracts with third-party training companies. Otherwise, it looks like the PMP outweighs and outclasses this credential.
Table 4: Master Project Manager Certification
Certification Name
Master Project Manager (MPM)
Also available are:
  • Certified International Project Manager (CIPM)
  • Certified Planning Engineer (CPE)
  • Certified Project Risk Manager (CPRM)
  • Certified E-Commerce Consultant (CEC)
  • Project Manager E-Business (PME)
  • Master Quality Manager (MQM)
Prerequisites/
Required Courses
Candidates who complete an AAPM-approved training course automatically qualify for the credential.

Prerequisite: Three years of project management experience and project management training required to apply. Candidates possessing master’s degrees, qualified training and experience, honorably discharged military officers, project management instructors, may apply for an executive waiver.

Certification is valid for two years; a fee must be paid after two years to maintain the credential.
Number of Exams
An online exam (20 questions, 55 minutes) is available. Candidates with three years project management experience and accredited education who pass the exam with a 65 percent or higher score may apply for the credential.
Cost per Exam
There is no fee for the online exam. However, there is a $300 USD fee for the application, review, initiation, processing, and designation certification. The first year of membership in the AAPM is free after obtaining the credential. For more information, visit certifiedprojectmanager.org/exam.
URL
projectmanagementcertification.org/masterprojectmanager.html
Self-Study Materials
For a list of approved MPM training, visitprojectmanagementcertification.org/approvedtraining.html
Certified Project Manager (CPM)
The Certified Project Manager (CPM) certification is a mid-tier certification from the International Association of Project and Program Management, or IAPPM.
IAPPM was founded in 2003, and takes as its charter development of learning and skills in the areas of business analysis, project and program management, and (task or activity) portfolio management. Its goal is to promote professional project management to make sure resources such as time, money, and people are utilized effectively; to provide clear direction to project members (and organizational management); to adapt to changes, and to ensure quality deliverables with minimal risk. The other IAPPM credentials include an entry-level Certified Project Professional (CPP) and two senior-level certifications, the Certified Project Director (CPD) and the Certified International Project Auditor (CIPA).
Interestingly, the IAPPM Certification Framework is the work of the Hong Kong (China) chapter, which appears to set the tone and direction for the organization. It also clearly spells out each credential's eligibility requirements for academic background, project management experience, education, and submission of written work for peer review and approval.
The CPM requires the CPP (or equivalent knowledge, training, and experience) as a prerequisite and sits somewhere between the MPM and the PMP in terms of years of experience, number of hours involved in project management tasks, and so forth. Perhaps reflecting its offshore origins, the IAPPM certifications barely register on US job posting sites.
Though the CPM is interesting, it is best approached with caution, unless you work in the Pacific Rim where the credential is best known and recognized.
Table 5: Certified Project Manager (CPM) Certification
Certification Name
Certified Project Manager (CPM)
Prerequisites/
Required Courses
No required courses are listed on the IAPPM website.
Certification is offered online.
IAPPM now offers a training facility in Amman, Jordan, which offers full training and certification services.
Some candidates may be eligible to be grandfathered in to obtain the credential. Candidates interested in this path must apply for membership, certification, submit a resume demonstrating three years’ project work experience, two professional references, and certified copies of educational qualifications. For more information on this path, visit www.iappm.org
Recertification is on a three-year cycle and due by December 15 of the recertifying year. Sixty activity points are required for recertification with 40 points in activities directly relevant to the project and program management profession.
Number of Exams
1 three-hour exam.
Cost per Exam
Certification Fee: $370 USD
Annual Fee: $70
Annual Renewal: $70 USD
URL
www.iappm.org/cpm.htm
Self-Study Materials
IAPPM's CPPMBoK (Body of Knowledge) and Reference Guide are available for download in PDF and PPS format at www.iappm.org/standards.htm.

 Project management is such a white-hot area, you'll find it popping up all over the place. And there are other project management certifications available, for general IT project management as well as specific certifications for software development project management
Honorable mentions go to the Project Management in IT Security certifications offered by the EC-Council, best known for its Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) cert. You should also be aware of the Professional in Project Management and the Certified Project Director certifications offered by the Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM).
Most graduate business, management, and management information systems (MIS) programs offer project management training to students, and some offer certificate programs outside the aforementioned project management organizations as well. You'll also find training and the occasional certification around various project management toolsets as well (for example, Microsoft Learning offers numerous courses around its Microsoft Project product family, and you can find a dizzying array of project management packages on Wikipedia's "Comparison of project management software" page).
But when all is said and done, the CAPM and Project+ remain the best (and best-known) entry-level project management certifications, with the Project Management Professional (PMP)certification as the primary professional targetand capstone for would-be professional IT project managers (don't forget to look into PMI's other related certifications as well).




No comments:

Post a Comment

My Blog List

Networking Domain Jobs