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The Top 10 Certifications for Project Managers 2020 Edition

Whether you’re in the early stages of your project management career or have decades of experience working across multiple industries, there’s always more to learn. Project management is a dynamic discipline, which is why the best practitioners strive to stay abreast of new methodologies and emerging trends.

Project management certifications provide some of the best opportunities to improve your skills, challenge your knowledge and earn the trust and respect of your employers. So whether you’re a junior practitioner or a senior manager, here are 10 of the top certifications to keep on your radar in 2020.

Associate Level Project Management Certifications

If you’re new to the project management field, it’s important to arm yourself with strong fundamentals. These three certifications will put you in good stead towards building solid foundational knowledge.

1. PRINCE2 Foundation Certification (6th Edition)

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management that provides a flexible and scalable method for managing a range of projects, from small to large and in private and public sectors. It’s a de-facto standard for project management, which is practised in over 42 countries.

Completing the PRINCE2 Foundation certification will greatly bolster your career prospects in the early stages, enhance your project management capabilities and arm you with practical tools and processes that can be applied in a variety of professional environments.

2. Agile Project Management (AgilePM) Foundation Certification

Agile Project Management (AgilePM) is all about enabling fast, flexible and controlled project delivery, and is one of the most popular methodologies in technology sectors. The methodology is built on the concept of “agility with rigour”, and establishes the business, management and solution foundations prior to developing a solution.

With an AgilePM Foundation certification, you’ll develop an advanced, applied level of knowledge to contribute to the successful delivery of agile projects, and strengthen your ability to respond to a rapidly changing business environment.

3. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Alongside the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is one of the Project Management Institute’s most popular accreditations.

The CAPM certification is suited to entry-level project managers, project coordinators, administrators and other project stakeholders, and addresses fundamental project management concepts including project lifecycles, management processes, time, cost, scope and risk management, and effective communication with project stakeholders.

The Project Management Institute’s CAPM exam is regarded as a challenging test, which is why thorough preparation is highly recommended. To help you gain your CAPM certification, we at MetaPM offer a professional CAPM Exam Preparation Course that includes the 23 hours of specific project management education required to qualify for the credential.

Mid-Weight Project Management Certifications

If you’re a mid-weight practitioner, the following certifications could be the key to taking the next step in your career.

4. PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification (6th Edition)

The Practioner grade of the PRINCE2 certification builds upon the project management methodologies outlined in the Foundation course, and arms students with the practical experience to successfully manage complex projects.

The PRINCE2 course was designed with feedback from practitioners, project management professionals and a comprehensive review panel, resulting in a best practice methodology that can be tailored to a range of working environments.

For this reason, PRINCE2 accreditation can be an attractive point of difference for mid-level practitioners looking to step into more senior positions.

5. Agile Project Management (AgilePM) Practioner Certification

Like the PRINCE2 certification, the AgilePM certification includes both a Foundation and a Practioner grade. The AgilePM Practitioner course is the practical extension of the Foundation course and challenges students with a comprehensive, scenario-based exam.

The Practioner extension of the Agile Project Management course is a worthy challenge for professionals looking to put their theoretical knowledge of the methodology into action.

6. Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) Foundation

Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) outlines a decision-enabling/delivery support structure for organisational change. It provides globally applicable guidance that enables individuals and organisations to successfully establish, develop and maintain appropriate business support structures.

The Foundation grade of the P3O certification outlines theoretical concepts that will prove valuable to any mid-level practitioner looking to expand their knowledge of structures for achieving strategic objectives.

7. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification

No list of recommended project management certifications would be complete without making mention of the Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation. As the most widely-recognised and in-demand project management certification in the world, becoming a bona fide Project Management Professional is a worthy goal for any mid-weight practitioner.

The PMP certification is a globally-recognised accreditation issued by the Project Management Institute, is held by more than 1 million people worldwide, and is a trusted indication of expertise within project management.

It is not specific to a single methodology or standard; rather, the management skills gained through completing the certification can be applied to a range of businesses, and the qualification is accepted across sectors.

Senior Project Management Certifications

If you’re a senior project management practitioner, you know the value of continuous improvement when it comes to your professional development. These three courses are suitable for those with extensive experience in delivering complex or high-risk projects.

8. Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) Practitioner

Building upon the concepts and methodologies outlined in the Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) Foundation certification, the Practioner grade is designed to confirm whether you’ve gained sufficient knowledge of the P3O guidance to design, implement, manage or work within any component office of a P3O model.

9. Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Foundation

The AXELOS Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) certification is a best-practice guide to programme management, and offers three grades; Foundation, Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner.

The MSP framework consists of a set of principles, governance, themes, and processes with the flexibility to be adapted to individual programmes. Senior practitioners who implement this methodology will provide organisations with structures to help them avoid common mistakes and achieve their goals.

10. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe Agilist 5 Certification)

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agilist certification is designed to arm project professionals with proven success patterns for implementing lean-agile software and systems development up to enterprise scale.

A Certified SAFe Agilist is able to apply lean-agile mindset and principles, plan and execute program increments, execute and release with agile release trains and build an agile portfolio with lean-agile budgeting.

As you can see, project management professionals have boundless opportunities for improving their knowledge and practical skills with market-leading certification programs.

If you’re interested in tackling one of the certifications listed above, contact MetaPM about our professional training courses and learning pathways, and take the next step in your career trajectory today.

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