Six Hot Project Management Certifications for 2023

These six credentials are the cream of the project management crop!

Being both a PMP and a PfMP, as I look forward to 2023, I can’t tell you enough that having a solid framework of project management skill will do wonders for your career. I cannot explain fully the way companies look at individuals with these certifications. I will say this: It’s always positive.

That's why today I'm going to discuss six project management certifications to be on the lookout for next year. We'll talk about what makes each of these credentials special or impactful, as well as why employers really want to see them on your résumé. Why do certified project managers get so much eager attention from hiring manager? We'll find out together.

I like to tell people to start small and get a certification under your belt. Apart from wanting individuals with project management skills, most employers want someone who is confident. Getting certifications will keep you sane and on track, stoke your ego, and feed the reservoir of knowledge that companies, current or future, like to reward.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Certified Associate in Project Management is the precursor to the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. For professionals without a college degree, or who have only rudimentary project management experience, this is a good place to start.

This one is an easy one to get a “win” on. Especially for newcomers to project management, this will give you a solid footing and build up the confidence you need to successfully certify. Employers will take a second look at CAPM-certified individuals because they know, like I do, that this credential is a harbinger of good things to come.

CAPM is curated by the Project Management Institute and costs non-members $300. The prerequisites are not too steep: At a minimum, you need to have and associate's degree, at least 1,500 hours of project management experience (about 9 months of full-time work) and 23 hours of project management education.

Certified Project Director (CPD)

Administered by the Global Association for Quality Management, CPD is not as well-known as its PMI cousins, but it is their equal in terms of caliber. Employers will look for this when they want an individual to that run projects that are rooted in quality control and focused on delivering via a waterfall methodology.

Certified Project Director is GAQM's highest-level project management certification. This designation is designed for experienced project managers who are involved in directing multiple complex projects and programs. CPD training focuses on managing, budgeting and determining scope for multiple projects, multiple project teams, and assessing and mitigating interdependent risks to deliver projects successfully.

The CPD program is only for those who have significant project management experience. Your out-of-pocket exam cost is just $300. Worth it: You will be held in high regard by any employer that comes across you on the market.

Certified Project Management (CPM)

These six credentials are the cream of the project management crop!

Want to show a current or future employer that you have both elite project management knowledge and cybersecurity awareness fit for a king? CPM, administered by EC-Council, is right in your wheelhouse.

EC-Council was formed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to address issues of cyberterrorism, as well as the information security of nations at large. The CPM training course is for project managers who want to benchmark their skills through hands-on experience and across various management techniques and tools necessary to successfully manage complex projects efficiently.

The CPM course includes a certification exam and is offered at two different price points across three separate training formats, depending on how in-depth and resource-rich you would like your training experience to be.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Do you like agile methodologies and standups? Perhaps your company wants to move away from a traditional waterfall approach (many companies are doing so). The use of agile methodologies has become standard, so it is not surprising that IT practitioners uniquely qualified to manage projects in agile environments are in high demand.

While there are different Scrum master certifications available, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) from Scrum Alliance is a great jumping-off point for project managers getting started as Scrum practitioners.

Scrum Alliance, which offers this credential, is a nonprofit organization that encourages the adoption of Scrum and agile practices, promotes user groups and learning events, and provides resources for professional development. The organization boasts more than 650,000 certified practitioners worldwide.

CompTIA Project+

This is an entry-level certification that is roughly on par with PMI's CAPM credential, though the recommended experience guidelines are less stringent. Managed by tech industry association CompTIA, Project+ was designed based on feedback from the computing industry, government representatives, research institutions, academia and independent experts.

Project+ is newly overhauled and upgraded, as of Nov. 8, so you'll get up-to-the-second coverage of cutting edge project management principles and trends by choosing this option. If you've had your eye on Project+ before, act now. There's no better time to get a CompTIA cert than just after it's been updated.

The exam will set you back $358. That's a small price to pay for the brand recognition and skills that you will walk away with.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

These six credentials are the cream of the project management crop!

You did not think I would finish without mentioning the biggest certification of all, did you? Every employer looking for project management acumen will want to know whether you have this certification. It is the crème de la crème of project management certs and comes at a cost: The exam is $600 and you will need 7,500 hours leading and directing projects just to sit for the exam.

The gold standard in project management certifications, PMP requires that you pass a rigorous test that covers absolutely everything you need to prove your knowledge and skill in managing the "triple constraints" of projects: time, cost and scope. The above-references Project Management Institute (PMI) administers this credential and works continuously with businesses and academia to ensure its relevance.

Go For IT!

If you go down the path of project management, and I hope that you do, then you will want to pick up one or more of these certifications. Your compensation and promotion prospects with your current employer, as well as with any future employer, will only improve. As always, I wish you  well and happy certifying.

Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author
Nathan Kimpel is a seasoned information technology and operations executive.

Nathan Kimpel is a seasoned information technology and operations executive with a diverse background in all areas of company functionality, and a keen focus on all aspects of IT operations and security. Over his 20 years in the industry, he has held every job in IT and currently serves as a Project Manager in the St. Louis (Missouri) area, overseeing 50-plus projects. He has years of success driving multi-million dollar improvements in technology, products and teams. His wide range of skills include finance, ERP and CRM systems. Certifications include PMP, CISSP, CEH, ITIL and Microsoft.