Top 5 Project Management Certifications That You Should Consider for Your Career Growth in 2020

Project management has become an integral skill in the IT world. In fact, the PM credentials are on the top of the list among other IT certificates. This is purely because they are critical to various operations in the field. Regardless of whether you want to take up a job role of a project manager or simply want to add the PM abilities to your existing soft skills, the sought-after project management certifications highlighted in this blog post can make a significant difference in your career in 2020. So let’s get right into covering them in more detail!

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

It will be practically impossible to create a list of the best project management certifications without having PMP taking the top position. It is the gold standard when it comes to the PM certificates. It is also the most prestigious credential in this field. According to the report from the PMI, the holders of this certification in the USA earn an average of $115,000 per annum. It is about 23% more than $92,000 earned by the non-certified project managers.

PMI PMP is designed to equip the applicants with the qualifications and skills required to successfully handle all different phases of projects. And, of course, there are specific prerequisites that must be fulfilled before you can obtain this certificate. This includes two variants. The first one is a 4-year degree, 35 hours of project management education, and 3 years of leading and managing projects. And the second option is a secondary degree, 35 hours of project management education, and 5 years of leading and managing projects.

As for the prerequisite exam, the PMP certification comes with one rigorous test, which is made up of 200 questions. It is available in both versions: paper and CBT, and the candidates are allowed 4 hours for the completion. For the PMI members, the fee is $405 and $275 for a retake. The non-members should pay $555 to take the exam and $375 for a retake.

2. Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

Offered by ASQ, CSSBB is the highest Six Sigma certification by this vendor and is also one of the top project management credentials of this year. It is aimed at the experienced professionals with an extensive understanding of the Six Sigma methodologies, systems, philosophies, and tools. It’s important to mention that there are about 18 certificates offered by ASQ in total and three of them are focused on project management. Black Belt is from the Expert level, it equips the applicants with the skills and knowledge required to manage and lead teams. The individuals for this certification must have a minimum of three-year work experience in at least one of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge.

Earning CSSBB requires a rigorous preparation process. First of all, the students should pass a comprehensive exam. The test can be taken on a computer or with paper and pencil. The first option is made up of 165 questions with the time duration of 4 hours and 18 minutes. The paper-based version consists of 150 questions with a four-hour time allowance. The exam is administered by Prometric, and before you can take it, you are required to pay the fee of $438 as a member and $538 as a non-member. And then, it requires completing two different projects, employing the Six Sigma processes and tools with the goal of achieving an improved project completion with positive financial implication.

3. Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)

This professional-level credential is designed for the experienced Six Sigma specialists. Most times, the Green Belt practitioners work under the instructions of the Black Belt professionals. To get CSSGB, an examinee is expected to have a minimum of 3 years of work experience in the Six Sigma processes, tools, and systems. It has to be paid and full-time employment. In addition to this, the candidates must have worked in a minimum of one of the areas of the Green Belt Body of Knowledge.

The certification exam is available in two versions: computer-based and paper-based. The CBT contains 110 questions and the time allowed for its completion is about 4 hours and 30 minutes. The paper-based test includes 100 questions with the time duration of 4 hours. The price is $338 for the members and $438 for those individuals who are without membership.

4. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

There are a lot of organizations that have adopted the Agile methodologies to build quality and streamline the processes that go into product development. With the growing popularity of these methodologies, there is a growing demand for the certified professionals who can manage Agile projects. No doubt, there are numerous Scrum Master credentials out there, but CSM is number one on the list of the highest-paid project management certificates.

If you are just starting out as a Scrum practitioner in the field of project management, CSM is a great entry-level certification to consider. It validates your knowledge of Scrum principles and values. This credential also verifies the students’ skills in applying and implementing Scrum in real-world scenarios. To earn this certificate, you are required to complete a 2-day CSM training course followed by a single exam. The test consists of 50 questions and the time allocated for the completion is 60 minutes. The course and exam cost between $920 and $1,295, depending on the training provider you choose.

5. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

This is another certification from the stable of the Project Management Institute (PMI) that is regarded as the stepping stone to a more advanced credential – PMP. It is of the Associate level and is ideal for those individuals who want to obtain PMI PMP. To get the CAPM certificate, a candidate needs to have a high-school diploma or an associate’s degree as well as 23-hour project management education.

There is only one exam that is required to pass and it can be taken as a paper-based test or on a computer. The certification exam contains 150 questions, including 15 unscored ones. The time allocated for the completion is three hours. To take this test, you need to pay $225 as a PMI member and $150 for a retake. The non-members are required to pay $300 and $200, respectively.


Here you have them! These are the top project management certifications of 2020 that can significantly impact on your professional growth. If you want to boost your career, we recommend that you pursue the one of the list.