Which project management course is right for me?
The landscape of project management qualifications can feel daunting.
With so many certifications, awarding bodies, and specialisms to choose from you’d need to work full time just to understand what you need and for what purpose.
Luckily, we do. So, we thought we’d share our industry expertise.
Are you a project management beginner?
If you’ve got no experience of managing projects or project management as a discipline at all then your best bet, like with anything, is to start with the basics with courses such as PRINCE2® or CAPM.
PRINCE2® is probably the most popular and perhaps the most widely recognised project management methodology in Europe. It’s available at three different levels: Foundation, Practitioner and Professional depending on your expertise.
Taking a PRINCE2® course will show employers you know the hard and fast fundamentals of project management.
In fact, it’s often a minimum requirement when applying for project management jobs that you have a PRINCE2® certification. The recruitment process for project management roles can be a long hard slog, so hiring managers will probably not bother reading the CVs of anyone without the minimum of a PRINCE2®.
The course embodies proven best practices within the industry so it’s pretty much a necessity for everyone working on projects. Plus it’s a great course if you want to try your hand at project management before you go full speed ahead.
The general purpose of the CAPM and the reason to take the certification is to get yourself up to a level of project competence that matches the million other project managers across the globe. It’s like an industry standard, so again, it’s perfect to show employers you know the bare bones of project management – just using an alternative methodology.
CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management and is globally recognised. Getting this certification demonstrates your understanding of fundamental knowledge, terminologies and processes of being able to implement effective project management.
The Association of Project Management are the only chartered body for the project profession. APM certifications range from a fundamental awareness of project management and its concepts through to the management level itself.
The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) acts as the perfect launchpad for those starting out in project management. There are no prerequisites for the qualification, and by completing the training, you will understand the critical elements of the project management life cycle.
The APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) will validate your skills and help you progress as a project professional. PMQ develops your knowledge and understanding beyond your learning from PFQ level to help you grow into a committed and capable project professional.
Are you a project manager with intermediate level experience?
If you’ve been working in the project management field for a year or more, maybe you’ve already done the PRINCE2® Foundation, the next course you conquer should probably be the PRINCE2 Agile® practitioner.
PRINCE2 Agile® Practitioner
The PRINCE2 Agile® Practitioner has a prerequisite, that candidates must hold an existing PRINCE2® certification. Other accepted certificates are: Project Management Professional® (PMP), or Certified Associate in Project Management® (CAPM).
By having a few different methodologies under your belt, not only does it look great on your CV, you’ll also be able to start making decisions for yourself about what style of project management works for you. You’ll also be able to scope out the types of roles you see yourself applying for based on which companies use which methodology.
It’s all about learning and developing your version of project management. Having a rounded view of the many different ways of managing projects will help you choose your own perfect blend.
Are you an experienced project manager?
A seasoned PM? All you probably need is validation of your skills. There are a number of courses that can show off your project management knowledge. A couple of the most popular are the PMP and the Six Sigma black belt.
The PMP is up there as one of the most highly regarded project management qualifications. It requires you to have a few years experience leading projects and completing the qualification proves your experience and competency level in managing projects effectively and efficiently.
Hiring managers love to see this qualification on people’s CVs as you can’t just get the certification outright. It proves how valuable you would be to the company without you having to verbally convince them.
Six Sigma is a process-improvement program driven by data – its whole philosophy is about delivering quality and the loyalty of customers all the while improving efficiencies of products and processes.
There are different levels for different experience levels and the goal of an experience project manager would be to reach black belt. Reaching this certification will deliver with a £100k salary job.
The Six Sigma belts go as follows:
Each of the Six Sigma belts are suited to different experience levels. From beginners through to masters. Those who tend to love the Six Sigma training model are those who work best using the Agile methodology. The two frameworks go hand in hand.
Benefits of a project management course
- Job opportunities
- Much better salaries, seasoned pros can earn up to £100k
- Skills recognised around the globe
- Delivering more successful projects
- Get more efficient and feel the productivity increase
Why is project management a good career for you?
Project management is the career for you if you want to gain a totally different working experience each day and never get bored. If you hadn’t realised it before – project management is literally everywhere. It’s in every industry, every sector and part of every business in one way or another.
Becoming a qualified project manager or validating your skills with certification opens so many doors in a whole wealth of different directions.