Licensed to Lead: 3 Certifications Every IT Project Manager Needs

Certifications are not just nice on paper, they provide ample opportunity for employees to refine—or even build—skills. However, not all certifications are created equal and it pays to narrow down which ones truly add value, especially for busy IT project managers.

So, what certifications are most valuable to an IT Project Manager? What certifications can help them refine their skills? We’ve narrowed down the three certifications that every IT project manager should earn to help improve their leadership skills.


Project Management Professional (PMP)

PMP is the industry-accepted certification for project managers. The PMP verifies that an individual can speak the global language of project management, meaning they can lead a project anywhere, with any methodology, within any industry. In short: The PMP sets an IT Project Manager ahead of the pack.

The Project Management Institute (the organization that offers the PMP exam) also offers a project management certification with lower standards called “Certified Associate in Project Management “(CAPM). This certification requires less professional experience, but still requires a knowledge of project management jargon and methodology.


Certified SCRUM Master

While there are dozens of technical certifications that an IT Project Manager can attain, it’s important to not forget the “Manager” part of the title. An IT Project Manager is also organizing a project and team, so he or she should be  certified in some sort of project management system. SCRUM is a management framework for keeping projects and teams aligned and effective. A SCRUM Master is responsible for propelling projects, and ensuring optimal procedures.


Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Anyone who has used Microsoft Excel in a professional capacity knows that it offers many more features than the average user is aware of—a lot more. The same is true for all Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, SharePoint, OneNote and Exchange. While there are competitors to the Microsoft Office Suite, Office is clearly a cross-industry standard.

Nearly every job requires some basic knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite. By extension, it’s important that any IT Project Manager has more than a basic understanding of this software. In fact, such a manager should be extremely familiar with the inner workings of Microsoft Office. And, with Microsoft offering certifications in this specific area, why skip this one? We say, go for it.




IT Project Managers are often the makers of change on any given team. However, project managers who are well-versed and certified in key areas offer a an even bigger advantage for their organizations. Set yourself apart from the rest and get started on your next continuing education course.


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