University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Project Management Monthly: April 2013: Tips and Tricks
 
Navigating Certificates, Certification and Credentials,
and Training Hours

 
Professional development and training can solidify your expertise as a Project Manager or Business Analyst, help you contribute to your organization’s success, and advance your career. In these ever-changing and growing fields, certificates, certification and credentials play vital roles in keeping you prepared for what’s to come. But how do you know which ones are right for you? It depends on your experience and goals.

First, you need to understand the basic difference between noncredit certificates and certification and credentials.
 
Noncredit certificates, like the Project Management, Advanced Project Management and Business Analysis Certificates offered by the UWM School of Continuing Education, are awarded for successfully completing a series of courses that cover the PM and BA knowledge areas and areas of practice.

Certification and credentials on the other hand, are designations recognized industry-wide, and can be awarded by organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI)® and International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)® to people who have proven experience in the PM and BA fields, have taken professional development courses, AND have passed an exam demonstrating proficiency of the practice of project management or business analysis.

You should consider your current experience and goals.
 
You can pursue a certificate whether you are new to the field or have many years of experience. The courses offered as part of a certificate program are a great way to build your knowledge, increase your skills, demonstrate your commitment to your career and earn professional credits [called different things by different groups, e.g. Professional Development Units (PDUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs), Continuing Development Units (CDUs) and Continuing Education Units (CEUs)]. For each course you complete, you will earn these professional credits. When you complete a specific set of course requirements, you will earn a UWM certificate in that area. The certificate enables you to meet the education requirements for a PMI® or IIBA® certification or credential, and provides a foundation for taking the certification exams.

Earning a certification or credential is a longer-term goal for most people. You need the requisite years of experience and professional development hours before you can apply to take the exams. These requirements vary depending on the credentials that you seek. The most common are the Project Management Professional (PMP)® and the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP)®. Always refer to the PMI® and IIBA® websites for specifics about the tests and other requirements.

PMI® Certification
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)®
  • PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)SM
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)®
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)®
IIBA® Certification
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP)®
  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA)®
The UWM School of Continuing Education is an excellent resource for earning PDUs, PDHs, CDUs and CEUs. Courses run year-round, making it easy to jump in and get started at any time.

 

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