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Certification Project Management - How to Earn Project Management Certification

pmi pmp exam professional

A project is a coordinated effort designed with a specific goal or planned outcome. Projects form a substantial part of the work done in construction, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications and software development. A project may also be conducted in any industry or field.
A project manager is a professional who is responsible for the planning, execution, and closing of a project. The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reports that the employment prospects earning potential for project managers are both excellent. However, competition for such positions is intense and almost always requires project management certification.

For many years, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has offered professional credentials for project managers. About 370,000 people worked wide hold one of the several types of Project Management Certification from PMI. Other organizations and educational institutions have entered the field in recent years offering would be project managers a variety of paths to certification in project management.

Candidates can earn one of the following project management certifications from PMI:
• Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
• Project Management Professional (PMP)
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
• Program Management Professional (PgMP)

The most frequently sought after credential from PMI is the PMP. It is awarded upon the completion of the PMP exam. Requirements for the PMP, like all other project management certifications offered by the PMI, are derived from the Project Management Body of Knowledge. PMI publishes and periodically updates a book titled A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), a book that is comprised of standard terminology and guidelines for project management. The PMP and all other PMI project management certifications are also based on PMBOOK contents, but vary in emphasis and degree of difficulty.

The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions drawn from six domains found in the PMP Examination Specification:

1. Initiating the project (11%)
2. Planning the project (23%)
3. Executing the project (27%)
4. Monitoring and controlling the project (21%)
5. Closing the project (9%)
6. Professional and social responsibility (9%)

The numbers in parentheses state each domain’s percentage of questions on the exam.

Candidates for the PMP exam are required to join PMI and pay a fee exam but need not take courses to prepare for it. However, the PMP exam questions are difficult and complex and most candidates do prepare in an organized way. Many review or study PMI resources and materials, like the PMP credential handbook or the PMP Examination Specification. Others prepare by testing themselves with PMP Sample Questions made available by PMI. Some enroll in a study courses offered by PMI chapters or Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) accredited by PMI. Self-study books published by R.E.P.s and other training institutions are also available.

Many candidates supplement these resources by forming study groups with peers and colleagues. In addition, candidates may study books and periodical articles about project management. Most importantly, the PMI publication A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is an indispensable resource for preparing for the PMP exam.

PMI is the largest and best known of recognized bodies offering project management certification, but it no longer has the field to itself. The American Academy of Project Managers (AAPM) offers certification in project management at three levels:

• Project Manager E-Business (PME)
• Certified International Project Manager (CIPM)
• Master Project Manager (MPM)

These certifications in project management are reserved for managers and executives and require graduate degrees and substantial professional experience. All three of these AAPM project management certifications require at least three years of verifiable project management experience. However, the AAPM has approved a number of training programs and seminars in lieu of project management experience that lead to project management certification.
Other than PMI and AAPM certifications, some universities and colleges offer programs that lead to other kinds of project management certification. It is possible to earn an MBA in Project Management from several institutions, both traditional and online. The University of Wisconsin, for example, offers a Master’s Certificate in Project Management. Project + Certification, focused on the management of Information Technology projects, is available from COMPTIA. Project + is earned by passing a 90 minute exam.

Other nations of course have their own versions of project management certification which are earned by meeting with similarly demanding requirements.

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