Acquiring a project management certification is crucial in the contemporary project management market as the demand for project managers is swiftly increasing. As we can see that even non-IT companies have begun to realize the need to become more agile, it is not surprising to witness this quick surge in the market demand for project managers. 

On the other hand, we also notice that parallelly the number of project management certification bodies are soaring like crazy. Some of the pivotal certifications are offered by the following organizations:

As there are a variety of certification options to pick from, you should narrow down the best choice based on a few vital criteria which we will discuss in this article. Kindly take note that not all certifications from all the above-mentioned certification authorities have been discussed below. Only a few of the popular certifications have been talked about for the purpose of convenient comparison and explanation.  

The factors affecting the choice of project management certification are as follows: 

  1. Your working approach

If your current or your prospective workplace are following the Agile approach, then you may opt either Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) offered by Project Management Institute or PRINCE2 Agile® offered by AXELOS as they are the two leading Agile certifications available in the project management certification market. Both the certifications offer you an overview of the Agile approach in project management, without restraining to a particular methodology. If you are specifically looking for an Agile methodology, for instance, Scrum, then you may have to choose certifications like Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) offered by Scrum Alliance or Professional Scrum Master (PSM®) offered by Scrum.org. They enable you to inculcate the principles and skills required to become a specialist in Scrum Mastery. 

  1. Your Salary expectations

Your salary is most often dependent on a variety of factors such as previous years of experience, past workplaces, your portfolio and so on. On top of it, the certification you earn plays a key role in deciding your pay. Gaining that certification depends on the sum of money you are willing to shell out for the training and examination fee, along with the amount of time and effort you are prepared to spend. With a PMP® certification, your average project manager salary reaches up to US$105,000, an addition of above 20% when compared to a non-PMI-certified project manager. Whereas, there are other certifications which are less expensive, like the CompTIA Project+ but pays you only US$68,000 on an average. 

  1. Your Experience

Almost all of the courses offered by PMI have stringent prerequisites which have to be satisfied to sit for the exam. For instance, PMI-ACP® requires at least 2000 hours of teamwork experience in general projects, 1500 hours of experience working in Agile methodologies or being part of Agile project teams and 21 contact hours of training in agile practices. Contrastingly, candidates who are seeking to begin their career in project management with no prior educational qualification or experience may take Professional Scrum Master I (PSM-I®) certification examination. 

  1. Your Work Location

Almost all certifying bodies claim that they are globally recognized. Of course, their courses would be recognized in numerous countries. But the market demand for certain certifications is higher than the other certifications. Due to the goodwill gained by the Project Management Institute in almost all countries worldwide, their certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP®), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) and so on are highly valued everywhere. Whereas PRINCE2, which is employed extensively by the United Kingdom Government is less popular and is used only in certain countries of the UK, European Union, and Australia. 

  1. Worthiness of a Certification

PMP® has been certifying candidates from 1984 and ever since has been maintaining the highest of the standards of project management certification throughout an enormous number of industries worldwide. More than a decade later, PRINCE2 certification came into existence in the project management certification market, before which PRINCE was prevailing since 1989. Much later, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) entered the picture in 2002. That said, the worth of a certain certification may be measured by its long-standing history. 

  1. Your Native Language

As PMP® is one of the oldest Project management certifications; they have managed to cover a huge market base. So they have made the certification feasible to non-native English users too. PMI offers PMP® in 14 other languages other than English such as Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Polish, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish & Turkish. PRINCE2 is available in Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Polish. Whereas, Professional Scrum Master (PSM) is available only in English. If you are proficient in English, you have a lot of options open, but if you prefer to be certified in your native language, then you are short of choices.

As aspiring project management candidates, it is crucial for you to keep these factors in mind before choosing the most suitable certification for you. Most of these project management certification examinations require prior live training and classroom instruction to give a sure shot attempt. You may contact PM Training school, one of the leading project management training schools in Auckland, New Zealand which offers training and assistance in pursuing your certification examination. Click here to get in touch with them and your queries shall be answered.

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