Certification for Project Management

You may have heard of the Project Management Institute (PMI), an organization advocating the “Project Management” profession (Wikipedia article). Basically, they evaluate applicants and issue certifications on their project management skills. There are two levels of certification:

  • A Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) has demonstrated a common base of knowledge and terms in the field of project management. It requires either 1500 hours of work on a project team or 23 contact hours of formal education in project management.
  • A Project Management Professional (PMP) has met specific education and experience requirements, has agreed to adhere to a code of professional conduct, and has passed an examination designed to objectively assess and measure project management knowledge. In addition, a PMP must satisfy continuing certification requirements or lose the certification.

It is said that as of 2006, PMI reported over 220,000 members and over 50,000 Project Management Professionals (PMPs) in 175 countries. Over 44,000 PSP lose their certifications annually.

Seeing as how I’ve now virtually left my 4-odd years of software development, I am planning to focus my future efforts into pursuing a career path as a Project Manager. That plan led me to discover the PMP as one of the most influential certifications in this area.

But here comes the problem. PMI has some stringent requirements for their certifications, and even the CAPM requires that you have 1,500 hours of work on a project team, while the PMP requires a whopping 7,500 (and a minimum of 60 months on non-overlapping project management experience).

Phew.

Guess I’ll have to settle for the CAPM at the moment, and hopefully aim for a PMP in my late thirties. Now I have one more goal to achieve in 2006.

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