Top 5 Project Management Certifications

Top 5 Project Management Certifications
By , Mary Kyle

The most sought-after top-level credentials for Project Managers.

If there’s onProject ManagementProject Managemente set of soft skills that has remained high on the IT radar for the past five years and more, to the point where they’ve become almost as sought-after and every bit as valuable as other top-level credentials, that has to be project management.

Thanks in very large part to the immensely popular and hotly-pursued Project Management Professional, or PMP, certification from the Project Management Institute (or PMI) this area has become an incredibly valuable “merit badge” credential for IT professionals of all kinds, because it enhances and expands on the value of just about any other kind of technical credential.

If you’re wondering why this should be the case, think about what project management means and involves for a moment. It has everything to do with planning, scheduling, budgeting for, and then executing and reporting on projects of all shapes and sizes. Because anything and everything that IT does can be understood or handled as a project of some kind – either a “one of a kind” activity that happens only once or very seldom (think hardware or OS upgrades, or migrating from older to newer platforms or infrastructures), or a recurring series of activities that repeat regularly (think security patches, software updates, or other regular maintenance tasks) – project management is incredibly important to IT operations of all kinds.

Recent salary surveys show that IT professionals who hold the PMP credential regularly earn $85K yearly or better, no matter what area of IT they work in. In turn, this explains quite nicely why the PMP has showed up in nearly every Top 10 list of popular, targeted, or most desirable certifications since the early 2000s. But there’s more to project management certification than just the PMP (though it is very much the “big dog” of this pack) as our article will illustrate. Just to cover the most important base in this arena, however, we do begin our Top 5 parade with the PMP in first place.

Ed Tittel is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who’s worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written and blogged for numerous publications, including Tom's Hardware, and is the author of over 140 computing books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.

Check out Ed's Tom's IT Pro  Making It in IT - Certification & Training blog here.

See here for all of Ed's Tom's IT Pro articles.

Mary Kyle is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and project manager based in Austin, TX. A former IBMer, Mary has over 10 years of project management experience in IT, software development and IT-related legal issues.

(Shutterstock cover image credit: Concept)