What Should I Expect from a Project Management Certificate Program?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2019
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A project management certificate program is completed by professional staff who want to increase their career options and compensation. The process to obtain a project management certificate is complex and time consuming, but offers a broad range of career options and opportunities. Project management certification programs are available from a range of schools, offering classes online, part time and full time.

Completion of a project management training program is often required for project manager and middle management level positions. The development of the information technology sector has resulted in an increased demand for these skills, as most work is project-based. Engineering disciplines from civil to mechanical have all incorporated project management courses into their undergraduate programs. Many professional engineers complete a project management certificate program to help them advance their career.

There are 12 courses required to complete a project management certificate program. These courses cover organizational structure, time management, project methodology, life cycle management, and related concepts. Anyone who wants to obtain the Project Management Professional® (PMP®) certificate from the Project Management Institute® will need to complete additional courses, meet experience requirements, and write a comprehensive examination.


Courses in project management are available from a range of colleges and private institutions. Check with the Project Management Institute® to ensure that the school is recognized before registering. If not, there is a risk that the courses will not be accepted toward the PMP® certificate. The courses will then have to be repeated, incurring additional cost and wasting time.

The experience component of the project management certificate program is very important. Talk with your current employer about opportunities to work on projects in a range of roles. As you gain more experience on a project team, take the time to observe the behavior of the project manager. Methods used to manage the project, track time, and encourage collaboration are all part of project management.

Upon completion of a project management certificate, start looking for opportunities within your own firm. Build on your primary area of expertise, and volunteer to manage projects or implement new technology. These opportunities will increase your profile with senior management, broaden your area of scope and responsibility, and will provide access to other positions.

Keep in mind that a project manager has the most responsibility of anyone on the project team. As a result, he or she is expected to work longer hours and coordinate the efforts of all the team members. Depending on your primary field of expertise, a certified project manager can obtain a position in a consulting firm, travel the world, and implement projects that have impact on a wide range of people.



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