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Certification Requirements to Become a Program Manager

Program managers manage disparate projects and ensure everyone is working towards a common goal, no matter their role. Certification programs train students in how to deal with the myriad issues which may arise. Read further to learn the requirements for becoming certified in this important field.

Program Manager Certification

Program managers orchestrate disparate projects in order to ensure that all the experts can focus on their particular duties while working in the company's best interest. Earning a certification in program management shows that you have the skills necessary to do the job effectively. Certification courses are offered by industry organizations, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Axelos as well as universities.

Essential Information

Certification programs for program managers typically require applicants have an undergraduate degree and prior experience in program management. For instance, to apply to take the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification test offered by PMI, those with a four-year degree will also need 6000 hours of project management experience and 6000 hours of program management experience. Those who only have a high school diploma or associate's degree will need to have spent 6000 hours in project management and 10,500 hours in program management. However, one can sit for the Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) certification exam from Axelos after taking a training course from an approved partner.

What Skills Are Learned in a Certification Course?

Certification proves you have the skills necessary to do the job; in this case that you can effectively manage programs. These courses teach you how to manage multiple projects involving people of many different backgrounds, roles, and expertise, with the purpose of keeping them all in sync and working towards a single goal. You will also learn to handle complicated issues that may arise, such as stakeholder engagement.

Does One Need to Be Certified to Be Hired as a Program Manager?

In most instances one does not need a certification to be hired as a program manager. In fact, program manager certifications often require that one already have prior program management experience. However, as with all certifications, you cannot be hurt in the hiring process by having a certification. Certification shows you already have all the skills necessary to do the job effectively. This will give you a leg up over uncertified competition. Certification is particularly useful when applying for senior-level positions.