How do I get IT Project Management Certification?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 January 2019
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There are three steps required to get IT project management certification: post-secondary education, IT project management experience, and completing the certification examination from the Project Management InstituteĀ®. Information technology (IT) project management is a professional skill that combines computer knowledge with well-known project management skills. A project manager is responsible for directing a team of professionals to complete a specific project within a predetermined time frame and budget.

People who want to get IT project management certification have usually been working in information technology for several years and enjoy project management or related work. The IT project management certification is granted by the Project Management InstituteĀ®. Successful graduates can use the designation PMPĀ® (Project Manager Professional) after their name on business cards and related stationary. This certification is internationally recognized and reflects a specific level of knowledge and expertise in project management.

The first step toward getting an IT project management certification is to complete a post-secondary education program. An undergraduate degree is not mandatory, but is a great benefit, reducing the number of years of experience required and providing employers with more assurance when selecting a project manager. Programs in business, general arts, or computer science are all relevant to this career path.


A minimum of three years IT project management experience is required before you are eligible to write the project management certification examination. This must be verifiable project management experience, where you are solely responsible for a project from the planning to implementation stage. This type of experience is usually earned over a period of four to five calendar years. Most people who have obtained the required experience are at least ten years into their careers. Employers rarely provide new graduates with the opportunities to manage an IT project, given their limited experience at that stage of their careers.

The IT project management certification examination is three to four hours in length and is a combination of multiple choice and essay questions. There are a wide range of schools that offer preparation courses and seminars to help students prepare for this exam. This exam is notoriously difficult, covering a wide range of topics in both information technology and project management at a very detailed level.

Upon successful completion of the IT project management certification, candidates can look for employment opportunities as IT project managers, set up their own IT consulting firm, or work for one employer providing project management services. This type of certification is often required to advance an IT career from analyst or supervisor to managerial level.



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