Your Project Management Career Opportunities
Thinking of a project management career......
......or perhaps you were recently “volunteered” to be a Project Manager......
Either way you have a few decisions based on the information on this page. My objective is to provide enough information (and one or two recommendations) so you are able to consider your options and make the decisions that will best develop into PM career opportunities. All of these areas will be covered in detail, on subsequent pages.
Project Management Training
There are perhaps thousands of various educational organizations wanting to sell you their project management courses. These organizations include:
- Traditional universities, like Villanova University and Boston College
- Non-traditional institutions like University of Phoenix and Kaplan
- Training offered online and in classrooms through companies such as Learning Tree and Global Knowledge
- Even the two worldwide project management associations - Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Project Management Association (IPMA).
If you have decided to take project management courses and eventually want to earn your project management certificate through either PMI or IPMA (more on them below), I suggest going to one of the accredited, “name” institutions that offer online courses, as post-graduate certificates in a specific project management discipline.
You can work at your own pace, in your office, home, or when traveling, and the cost is very reasonable, from (USD) $1000 to $2000 per course. After several months of research, I went through Villanova University and took their Masters Certificate in Applied Project Management courses, which ended with a one month exam prep class for PMI’s PMP certification.
Project Management Governing Bodies
There are two major project management professional associations worldwide – the Project Management Institute and the International Project Management Association. Both offer their own networking opportunities, resources, publications, and certification, with no collaboration between the two organizations.
Although I am a member of both, I highly recommend membership in at least one of these organizations (I recommend joining the one you decide to certify with). Both also have a good international presence.
Remember - Join before you apply for certification, because....
Both organizations offer a substantial discount on the cost of PM certification to existing members.
As mentioned above, both worldwide PM organizations offer several levels of certification. All project management certifications are based on experience (years of experience and project experience) and competency testing (in the case of PMI) or peer reviews and testing (in the case of IPMA).
The Project Management Institute is a global organization with chapters in many countries and regions. Membership is 2-3x the cost of the ASAPM membership due to a fee charged for membership in SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and in local chapters.
PMP Certification currently costs (USD) $450.00, and has a 3 year term. I highly recommend an exam preparation course - there are hundreds out there - make sure it is through a reputable source (an accredited college or university, or an established training company). During your 3 years of certification, you will have a continuing education requirement that must be satisfied before certification renewal.
As the International association, IPMA’s North American member organization is the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (ASAPM). Membership in and certification through ASAPM gives automatic membership in the international association IPMA.
Project Manager Certification (aCPP.C™) is currently (USD) $975.00, and has a 5 year term. It is a test and a detailed peer review. I also recommend an exam prep course. Recertification requires demonstration of “…continued involvement in project and program management”.
PM Career Opportunities
Although I will go into more detail on a following page, project management career opportunities are rich and varied. Examples include:
- In-house project management for product delivery
- Independent, contract-based project management career (perhaps by consulting through your own company entity)
- Advancement into Program Management and project management office (PMO) setup and management
- Exploring a project management career in new industry sectors – healthcare, construction, environmental cleanup, etc. It’s not just a technology focused career by any means.
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