Tag: CAPM®

3 Reasons Why a PM Credential is Essential

Young team_PM Credential; photo credit iStockWhether you’re yearning to get a real job or a better one, the struggle to make your résumé stand out from the competition can be a demoralizing impediment to landing the right position. Portraying your skills and value to a company in a unique way without a long job history can seem nearly impossible. However, developing your skills in project management can make you a sought-after asset to any organization. Becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to unlock better jobs and significantly higher salaries in almost any industry. This certification will build skills to effectively managing a project from planning and projections to execution through completion.

For those who hold a CAPM certification, earning the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification will allow you to further distinguish yourself and display your mastery of the subject. This leading certification carries a significant increase in annual salary.

1. Vast Job Opportunities

Glassdoor.com, a leading job listings and information website, has over 300,000 active listings for project management positions nationwide. Project management skills and knowledge are also applicable outside the borders of the US. Skills in project management benefit practically every facet of every industry. From IT, to banking and finance, sales, medical services, human resources, and research positions; project managers are in extremely high demand. Developing your skills in project management will grant you increased access to any industry that interests you.

2. High Perceived Value

A survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit saw the majority of international executives identifying project management as “the single most important skill for their current and future success.” The US News and World Report has also ranked project management in the top three of most desired skills sought by employers. The demand for these skills means that a recognizable project management certification will distinguish your résumé from the competition in a way that a typical 4-year degree college degree cannot. No matter the industry, a CAPM or PMP certification will identify you as a necessary leader and team player who is focused on the efficient completion of assignments.

3. Greater Salary Potential

Glassdoor’s salary tracker also shows average Project Manager salaries to range from $81,000 to over $125,000 with multiple postings in excess of $200,000 annually. Simply obtaining your CAPM or PMP certification will increases your real and perceived values and have a direct effect on your income.

CAPM vs PMP

 

  CAPM PMP
Who Should Apply Entry-level employees or those with little project management experience For CAPMs or experienced Project Management Professionals
Experience Required No experience required Minimum 4,500 hours of project management experience and 35 hours of Project Management education
Certification Maintenance Retest after 5 years Achieve 60 PDUs every 3 years to maintain a current knowledge of project management issues and strategies
Benefits Access to multiple industries and lucrative employment.Salary increases and resume distinction.Introduction to the field of Project Management Resume distinction through proof of subject mastery 12.5% increase in salary vs those in equivalent position without a PMP certification.Maintaining a current and multi-industry knowledge of Project Management

The CAPM examination can facilitate your achievement of the more prestigious and financially awarding PMP certification.

According to the Project Management Institute, which awards the CAPM and PMP certifications, they both focus on:

  • The skills to initiate a project
  • Project preparation and planning proficiency
  • Executing, monitoring, controlling and completing a project
  • Estimating activity costs
  • Planning for quality at every stage
  • Performing quality assurance
  • Hiring, leading and managing a project team
  • Foreseeing and planning for the unexpected

For more information on the PMI or the CAPM/PMP certifications, visit www.PMI.org.

CAPM and PMP Test Prep

Successful CAPM and PMP candidates typically use multiple study aids to prepare themselves for the exam. Although many business schools are incorporating CAPM and PMP test preparation into their classes, standalone assistance is also available. For more information on the CAPM or PMP certifications and effective test preparation, please visit meritcd.com/courses/Project_Management or contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com.


© 2015 Merit Career Development. All rights reserved.

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When the Test Stakes are High, Practice is Key

When the Test Stakes are High, Practice is KeyRemember the morning you took the SAT? Or GMAT? Or LSAT? Like many professionals, you probably have vivid memories of worrying about these tests, not to mention pouring over test prep books and attending expensive courses to maximize your scores. After all, the results would play a major role in your future direction and career.

Even now that you are in the professional world, the testing doesn’t necessarily end. Many professions, including project management, offer test-based professional certifications where success has profound and positive professional consequences in the form of career advancement, higher salary and the respect of your peers.

However, as enticing as those benefits can be, professional exams, preparing for and passing a test—like the one necessary to earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation awarded by the Project Management Institute—is difficult. Moreover, as a working professional, test preparation not only has to be effective, it also needs to be time efficient. Few professionals have time for weeks- or months-long preparation classes.

Practice, practice, practice

The good news is that research suggests that this kind of time commitment is not necessary to maximize results. A simpler approach to test preparation can be highly effective for many people. The research indicates that the key to maximizing test scores is becoming familiar with the test format and the types of questions being asked by taking practice tests. This practice testing helps you get used to the thinking and problem solving you will need to pass the formal test.

For example, a team of German researchers found that students taking both “high-stakes” and “low-stakes” tests (based on how much of a personal investment the students had in the outcome of the test) performed substantially better when they took practice tests. Similarly, another study of school-age children found that just three hours of practice testing had a statistically significant impact on final test results.

If you are pursuing the PMP designation, for example, Merit Career Development’s Project Management Assessment offers such a practice test. The assessment consists of 50 multiple-choice questions of varying difficulty that takes about an hour to complete and tests your knowledge of the PMBOK Guide’s (Project Management Book of Knowledge®) practices and terms.

Merit’s PMI examination simulator, X-AM PMP®/CAPM®,helps prepare certification candidates in an easy and efficient way. Candidates become accustomed to the kinds of questions asked during the examination while practicing with the X-AM PMP®/CAPM®, which includes over a thousand questions with feedback on each one.

To coach or not?

Less clear is the impact of coaching on test performance. Some research suggests that coaching, while not essential, can also help prepare you and help improve your scores when coupled with practice test taking. However, one study of 500 SAT test takers who had participated in formal coaching programs found little difference in the scores of those who received this coaching and those who did not.

The core argument for practice testing is that these assessments help you understand what to expect before you take the actual exam. When you know what to expect, taking the exam becomes much less daunting. That, in turn, helps you build confidence in your ability to do well on the test. Research has shown that practice tests alone can help improve both test-taking capability and test-taking confidence.

Moreover, in a sort of virtuous cycle in which positive action leads to more positive action, as your greater familiarity with the test breeds confidence, it also makes you more motivated to take the test. And let’s face it, when a professional certification test costs several hundred dollars, building this confidence is an essential part of the test preparation. You will be more committed to taking the test and feel much more comfortable paying for it, if you are confident that you will pass.

Interested in learning more? Click here to view Merit’s Project Management Assessment and the PMI prep simulator, X-AM PMP®/CAPM®.


© 2014 Merit Career Development. All rights reserved. For more information, please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@MeritCD.com.

 

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