Project Management Institute (PMI) is the most widely recognized association for the project management profession. The professional, not-for-profit organization boasts over half a million members in 185 countries worldwide. Through its globally recognized standards, career-advancing certifications, and commitment to training, education and research, the organization seeks to advance the profession and support project management professionals in every industry.
Unlike advanced certifications that take years of experience and education, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) allows entry-level IT professionals to demonstrate a solid understanding of project management practices.
The Project Management Professional (PMP) cert is a mark of the elite in IT management. What does it take to earn the designation?
PMI and the information technology profession
Although PMI supports project managers in any industry, it is particularly valuable in the field of IT. Because of the IT industry’s close attention to disciplined practices and project controls, the global standards set forth by PMI are especially applicable. PMI credential holders are in high demand and top technology companies often require their project managers to be certified. In fact, Global Knowledge’s 2011 IT Skills and Salary Survey found that 7 percent of the 12,000 respondents hold PMI’s flagship PMP cert, and because these professionals are in high demand, they bring home a healthy average salary of $103,570.
Key PMI certifications
Over the years, PMI certifications have grown to cover more specialized areas within the project management profession. A certification from PMI can be a valuable asset to one’s career and signals a solid wealth of knowledge and experience in project management standards to employers. According to PMI, the PMP certification increases a project manager’s earning power by about 10 percent over those without the credential.
Certifications currently offered by PMI:
- Project Management Professional (PMP) – The most popular of the PMI certifications, the PMP is for experienced project managers and requires they pass a rigorous exam testing knowledge from the Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Next, professionals must earn credits over a three-year period to maintain the PMP credential.
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) – The CAPM is an entry-level certification for professionals with less project management experience, and in turn is less rigorous to pass. Many CAPM holders continue on to earn their PMP a few years later.
- Program Management Professional (PgMP) – The PgMP signals an advanced skill set in program management, demonstrating one’s ability to manage a complex set of related projects grouped together to achieve strategic business objectives. Like the PMP, the PgMP requires documented years of experience before sitting for the exam.
- PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) – The PMI-SP certifies a project management professional in the specialty skill of project scheduling.
- PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) – Like the scheduling certification, the PMI-RMP certifies a professional’s competency in project risk management. This certification recognizes one’s commitment to risk identification, risk analysis and risk mitigation practices across the project lifecycle.
PMI’s professional development opportunities
On its website, PMI offers a wealth of resources for members and non-members alike. Professional development opportunities include worldwide seminars and training events as well as the opportunity to join communities of practice around different project management subject areas. White papers and other publications can be found inside PMI’s virtual library. So, whether one takes advantage of a career-advancing certification, a training event, a published resource, or ongoing participation in a PMI chapter, any IT professional can find great value in PMI membership.