All About Project Management Certification

If you want to be certified as a project management professional, you need a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least 4,500 hours (10 to 12 weeks of full time work) that covers the five project management areas: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Alternatively, you could get a diploma in this field from a secondary program and show that you have 7,500 hours of work experience in these five areas. In both cases, the emphasis is that your education was both knowledge-based theory and hands-on practical.

After you meet the initial requirements for project management certification, you have to take at classroom course that covers at least 35 hours of learning. There are several courses that meet this qualification. Upon submitting your paperwork, you can then take the project management professional (PMP) test, which is a 200 question multiple-choice exam that will last about four hours.

The PMP test is available through the Project Management Institute, through you don’t have to be a member to take the exam and receive your certification. Membership costs $100, and currently, members can take the test for $405. Non-members can take the test for $555, so financially, it does make sense to become a PMI member, though there may be other unrelated reasons that you opt not to be a member of this organization.

While the PMP test is a one-time exam that you have to take to be certified, you do have to have continuing education in order to remain certified as a project management professional. Every three years, you must earn at least 60 professional development units, which boils down to about 60 hours of professional education. You can do this through volunteering, taking PMI quizzes, publishing professional papers, taking registered educational courses, taking part in online classes, and more. Many of your professional development units may come for activities you already do as a member of processional organizations or by working with your company, so it is simply a matter of remembering to submit the paperwork.

Although the certification process is expensive, by getting your certificate, you’ll qualify for better jobs at higher salaries. Many companies hiring entry-level project managers specifically look for candidates who are seeking certification or who currently have certification, and if you want an advanced degree in your field, your school may require this certification to even enter the program.

The first step, obviously, is finding a degree or diploma program that fits your career goals. Look for a program that offers a concentration in project management, while still sticking to the industry you enjoy the most. This will increase you chances of finding a job you love when you graduate. Programs for computer technology, communications, business, and more are available for project managers both online and offline from accredited schools, so begin your search today to learn more about your options in this field.

Top Master of Project Management Degrees

Project managers are relied on to plan and execute projects within a wide variety of industries, including computer networking/IT, construction, software development, telecommunications, and more. Typically, project managers should have at least a four-year bachelor's degree, but employers usually prefer a master's degree (either an MS, MA, or MBA). The schools below all offer accredited online degree programs specializing in project management.


Kaplan University has become a well-known university offering programs at their many campuses, as well as through their extensive online division. Kaplan offers an online Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Project Management is a 56-credit program, 16 of which focus specifically on various aspects of project management.
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With more than 307,000 students attending the online campus alone, the University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university. Founded in 1976 to meet the growing need for flexible learning options for working adults, the university has been making higher education more accessible ever since. Programs are available in business, education, nursing, and more. UoP has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, since 1999.
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Project Management is a specialization under the MBA program at American Intercontinental University. The Project Management specialization teaches critical management skills that will successfully take students through any project life cycle.
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As one of only 21 institutions in North America with Project Management Institute GAC (PMIGAC) accreditation for several of its programs, Colorado Technical University’s Project Management offerings give you everything you need – from skills and know how to confidence and credibility – to take charge of your career.
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