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Project Management in IT and Certifications

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Demand for Project Management Skills

With the global expansion of today's enterprises comes major projects that may span an entire company and beyond geographical borders. The demand for professionals with project management skills has seen a dramatic increase as a result.

The IT industry is no exception. The Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Mangement Talent Gap Report estimated a demand increase of more than 12% for project management professionals between 2010 and 2020. That amounts to 15.7 millions project management roles being added globally to the 7 most project-intensive industries. 
According to a recent survey conducted by Computerworld, Project Management peaked at number 2 in the Top 10 IT skills employers are looking for in 2015. And it comes as no surprise that with the recent increased scope and complexity of IT projects, Project Management skills come only after Programming and Application Development capabilities. Survey results show that 35% of survey takers plan to hire personels with project management skill in 2015.

What Makes a Project Manager?

So what does the role entail? Technical aspects to the role include planning, scheduling, and controlling IT projects by working with project scope, work breakdown structures, schedules, resource allocations, baselines budgets, status reports, etc.

Additionally, project managment skills include a sociocultural aspect. A good Project Manager should be able to create and manage a temporary social system for each project (Larson & Gray, 2010). Soft skills such as leadership, negotiation, or teamwork are the "people" and "organizational" aspects of project management. As you can see, a lot of work and practice goes into the making of a Project Manager.

Suggested Certifications 

With this knowledge in mind, a great way to immediately impress your potential employer and show off the depth of your project management experience is with PMI Certifications recognized across many industries. There are different levels of credentials, with the most popular certification--the Project Management Professional (PMP) Credential--requiring passing a multiple choice exam, a 4-hour 200-question exam, along with minimum 3 years of project management experience and 35 hours of formal project management education. 

But if the PMP Credentials are a little too much for your needs, the most basic certification PMI offers is the CAPM Credential or the Certified Associate in Project Management. This credential requires shorter exams than the PMP and 1500 hours of experience or 23 hours of formal project management education. 

Bottom Line

If you think IT Project Management is in your career path, I highly recommend looking at PMI Certifications. Not only are they a great confirmation of your project management skills to your current and future employers, but also a terrific learning opportunity to build your knowledge arsenal.

There are also many Communities of Practice for project manager targeting a variety of industries. These communities are great for networking, advice, and mentorship. The local PMI chapter for the Central Coast can be found here for those interested! 

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