Are you a PMI-ACP aspirant looking for the right training course to crack your certification exam? Are you relying on your independent learning skills or have you considered instructor-led bootcamps?
With more companies switching to Agile work environments, Project Management Institute - Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) has become a matchless credential that will help you stay employable and adaptable to changes in your industry. With an average salary of $123,000 and a steady growth rate in their careers, PMI-ACP professionals earn 28% more than their non-certified professionals. Since there is a shortfall in the number of such practitioners, ACP-certified professionals have become the most sought-after candidates in the job market.
You may also like: Project Management Interview Questions and Answers
Provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI), ACP certification is recognized globally and certified professionals are sought by companies all over the world for their flexibility, good judgment skills, openness to change, leadership and collaborative skills, quick deliveries, and efficiency. Agile working environments demand creativity, flexibility, require rigorous feedback cycles, and intensive collaboration of cross-functional teams.
PMI-ACP training programs help professionals acquire the skill set fit for Agile work environments and modern-day project management practices. Choosing the right PMI-ACP training program can be a challenge as there are endless options to choose from. But the toughest call an ACP aspirant has to make is whether to opt for self-learning courses or bootcamps. While both have proven useful, bootcamps with immersive training programs yield faster results. Read on to find out why.
Here are 5 reasons why you should choose a PMI-ACP bootcamp over a self-study course:
1) 21 Hours of Applied Learning
The basic eligibility requirements to appear for PMI-ACP requirements include 2,000 hours of project management experience and 1,500 hours of Agile Project experience. PMI also mandates that you need 21 hours of training in Agile practices before you attend the exam.
Now, why exactly do companies go gaga about Agile work environments? While the focal point of a traditional work environment is the end-delivery of the product, Agile methodologies break down the projects into tasks and help professionals tackle them individually. Such spaces require a professional to meticulously apply Agile principles, methodologies, and tools that involve intensive collaboration, continuous planning, and efficient communication.
While self-learning experience can help you understand the methods, you will still need to learn to apply them in real-life settings. Applied learning in bootcamps enables the candidates to apply the takeaways in projects and review the results. Individual and group practical exercises, discussions, and reviews are some of the techniques used in bootcamps to promote applied learning.
You may also like: PMI-ACP vs SAFe
2) PMI-ACP Simulation Exams for Self-Assessment
The PMI-ACP exam is not a cakewalk. It requires you to have an in-depth knowledge of a broad range of subjects. Just like how a movie trailer tells you what a movie is all about in a nutshell, simulated exams help you know and assess your skills before you appear for the real exam. Multiple simulated exams help candidates get accustomed to the real exam environment. They help you map out which topics you have mastered and which ones you have yet to learn. This benefit of familiarity also reduces stress, fear, and anxiety. Unlike self-learning experiences, bootcamps give candidates the opportunity to attend simulated exams and help them learn from their mistakes. They are also known to increase the retention of information. What you learn on practice tests sticks with you better than what you absorb during your all-nighter attempts before the real exam.
Competitive exams are always lengthy. Sitting down for hours can be a very draining experience. Similar to how athletes train hard to increase their stamina, one can attend simulated exams and increase their endurance. Time is undoubtedly an important resource that must be used wisely during the test. Being able to answer the questions quickly will help the candidate answer all the questions and review them before submission. The simulated exams organized in bootcamps help the candidates discover any knowledge gaps, identify their strengths, perfect their timing, and more.
3) Live Online Classroom Training from Industry Experts
If your independent learning skills are satisfactory, self-learning courses can be of help, for sure. But without proper guidance, you might overlook any blind spots, lose motivation, and possibly stray away from the right path. Though your determination and hard work can certainly bear fruit with self-paced learning, an industry expert is, without a doubt, a catalyst who can accelerate the process. This is where the significance of live online classrooms come in.
In bootcamps, the learning experience is personalized and your goals are more defined. Unlike self-learning experiences that are potentially littered with dead ends, bootcamps come with comprehensive, structured lesson plans and industry experts who can guide you to success. Why would you prefer a self-learning experience over a mentored, immersive learning environment that yields faster results? With an instructor at your disposal, you can become familiar with different learning styles, be in an engaging environment, have a deeper understanding of new concepts, and clear your doubts at will. There is a reduced chance of you becoming lethargic as the routine is rigid and well-structured.
4) Industry Case Studies & Real-Life Examples
Bootcamps are more effective and faster because of their holistic approach to learning. Bootcamps embed both case studies and real-life examples in the lesson plan to create a better understanding. While case studies provide a lucid explanation of complex concepts, real-life examples bring clarity to complicated, abstract ideas. Apart from making the classes more engaging, this helps people link the concepts they learn to real-life scenarios and understand the complexity of the problems they might encounter in their workplace.
Case studies and real-life examples touch upon the following aspects of a situation:
A good mix of real-life examples and case studies can encourage critical thinking, enhance problem-solving skills, and help call forth the proper application of the tools learned. They promote deeper contextual analysis of situations and expect learners to come up with potential solutions for open-ended problems. This helps them explore how they can apply their conceptual understanding in a particular situation.
5) Professional Networking
Professional networking is one of the best ways to strengthen your profile. Being exposed to different perspectives, ideas, and most importantly, the latest developments in your industry will help you expand your horizons. Having a large network can easily improve your chances of success; every individual in your network is a potential enabler who can open a door of opportunity. The idea is to let your peers know who you are and what you are capable of so that you will be remembered when there are potential job leads. Good networking can also come in handy if you cannot seem to get out of a rut in your workplace or if you ever need a career switch.
Getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there can be intimidating. But there is nothing more inspiring than being around people who share your goals and plans. Bootcamps actively place you in an environment that has like-minded people with similar career objectives. You are immediately surrounded by professionals with whom you can develop reciprocal professional relationships. It is a highly-engaging environment where you can also put your observational skills to the test and learn from your peers. From sharing insights about the industry to being referrals, bootcamp networks help you build fruitful long-term professional relationships and increase your access to opportunities that you otherwise might not know about.
Self-learning can be an overwhelming experience as you are solely responsible for structuring the lesson plans, curating the topics, adjusting the pace, conducting evaluation, and so on. In addition, there are greater chances of overlooking any potential knowledge gaps. Bootcamps make sure you have access to the right learning materials, a solid lesson plan in place, and that you are treading the right path. You end up acquiring an impressive set of project management skills and an incredible professional network without having to overstrain yourself.
GreyCampus is a leading PMI-ACP certification training provider that has partnerships with industry leaders. Its bootcamps include live lessons, mentorships, continuous assessments, simulated exams, hands-on projects, insights on self-organization, and 24/7 assistance. If you are looking for quality project management bootcamps to crack your exam in one go, GreyCampus is the right place to begin.