Is the CAPM worth getting?
A certification offered by the Project Management Institute, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is considered to be just the right entry-level certification for project practitioners who do not have the experience necessary for PMI PMP®, but have made up their minds to make a career in the discipline of project management.
Considering that the certification has been designed keeping in mind professionals with little or no project experience, the CAPM certification makes you come across as a person with the theoretical understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management. On the part of the employer, your certification can mean that you are equipped with the basic knowledge of how to handle the project management processes and teams.
For candidates, who are new to project management, and for those who may be serving as a subject matter expert on project teams, the CAPM can give a direction to their career path or take it to the next level.
Who should invest in the CAPM certification?
For those interested in the field of project management, CAPM can be the right certification if:
- You have little experience as a project practitioner and are looking to demonstrate your commitment to project management,
- You want to improve your abilities by managing larger projects and earning additional responsibility, and
- You want your resume to stand out to potential employers.
The good part about this certification is that it does not require the high amount of project management work experience that the PMP does. Moreover, even though it is based on PMI’s project management framework as explained in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the CAPM is not as difficult a nut to crack as the PMP exam.
CAPM Eligibility Criteria:
The CAPM certification is meant for all those who are willing to get a PMP certification but do not meet the eligibility criteria as required by the PMP certification. This certification clearly demonstrates a professional’s knowledge, skills and focus on the standard project management practices.. All you need to qualify to take the CAPM exam is:
- A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) and
- At least 1,500 hours experience OR 23 hours of project management education.
CAPM: Promise and Prospects:
A CAPM certified prospective employee is seen as someone who is dedicated to making a career in project management. Though managers or recruiters know that CAPM does not translate to experience in leading and directing projects, it does show that you are committed to your career. The recruiters know a person won’t invest the money, time to prepare for the certification exams, and the efforts to apply and study for the exam without a genuine interest in making a career in the project management field. If you complement your resume with a strong interview, it can go a long way to help you secure a project management position or at least a role where managing projects or parts of projects become a part of your job description.
You must understand that even though the PMI’s processes do not represent the entirety of what it means to be a project manager, its framework surely focuses on major aspects of the role. Simply breaking down a project into work packages and planning the effort associated with these work packages accordingly can take you a long way towards effective project management. Success in the project can be attained by sticking to processes, adherence to proper procedure, and development of a strong Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)—a CAPM basic.
In short, just knowing about project management processes and knowledge about how to manage time and effort are valuable professional skills that are weighed heavily when you are considered for a job profile in project management. Though there have been examples of some extremely successful project managers who have had no professional certification, some good-to-have knowledge about project management can help to set you apart from your counterparts in this fluidic business environment of today.
Once you decide to go for it, the CAPM certification can be the much needed competitive advantage in today’s professional market to prove your capability over those who remain left behind in the dilemma of “to invest or not to invest” in a basic but a vital stepping-stone among the professional certifications.
Author : QaisMujeeb