Program Management Certification: Why Developing Leaders Should Take Interest

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There are many benefits to obtaining your Program Management Certification. Perhaps the most important benefit is that it demonstrates your dedication to developing as a leader. The Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and it is designed for experienced program managers who want to demonstrate their mastery of program management skills. In this article, we will explore what a PgMP certification is, the difference between a PgMP and PMP certification, and the benefits of becoming a PgMP. We will also provide tips on how you can become a certified program manager!

What Is a Program Management Certification?

Those who have become certified program managers are often referred to as PgMPs, or Program Management Professionals. To reach this level in the business world, you must be a senior-level participant capable of managing multiple coordinated projects at once. A PgMP certification indicates that a professional has graduated past the ability to manage one project at a time and now has the experience necessary to orchestrate coordinated projects and oversee a program to completion.

What Is the Difference Between a PgMP and a PMP?

A certified Program Management Professional (PgMP) and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) are related, but distinct qualifications. Generally speaking, a PMP certification is a natural precursor to a PgMP—but you ultimately need to decide what your goals are. Would you rather manage projects and see them through to completion, or would you rather manage the program through which the projects are completed? PMPs gain project management experience throughout their careers while PgMPs gain both project and program management experience. Ultimately, only you can decide which path is best for you and your desired career trajectory.

What Are the Benefits of a PgMP?

Becoming a qualified PgMP will only open doors in your career and may even set you up for a promotion and a salary increase. Aside from this, you will gain new skills and cultivate existing ones, broaden your awareness, and even have new opportunities to network. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, you may want to consider becoming a certified program manager.

Are Program Management Certifications Worth It?

Only you can say if dedicating time, resources, and attention to your career is worth it to you—and while the test for the PgMP does come at a cost, if you manage to pass you will join the upper echelon of like-minded professionals that have decided to continue to invest in their career in a similar manner. In short, you will gain valuable, marketable skills that will put you in the minority of skilled labor—a professional accomplishment to be proud of, to be sure, as the number of those who have passed the PgMP exam number in the thousands, not hundreds of thousands.

Additionally, according to a study conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI), programs are up to 22% more likely to succeed when they have “mature” leadership from PgMPs. In a competitive workforce, this can mean the difference between expanding your business and scraping by.

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How Much Does the PgMP Exam Cost?

The PgMP exam is regulated through the Project Management Institute, the industry leader for project and program management excellence. For members, the cost of this exam is about $200 less than non-members at $800. Folks who are not members must pay a $1,000 fee to take the exam.

The cost of membership with PMI is $129, not including the $10 service fee—so if pursuing the PgMP is something you are interested in, it may be in your interest to become a member with the PMI. Becoming a member with PMI is also a great way to network and connect with other leaders in your field.

How Do You Become a Certified Program Manager?

Because of the challenging nature of the test and the significant fee associated with it, most professionals recommend taking a preparatory course or boot camp before the exam. The more hours of study time you are able to accrue under your belt, the likelier you will be to pass the exam on the first attempt—which may end up saving you roughly $1,000 in a second attempt.

What Are the Prerequisites for the PgMP Exam?

Not just anyone can hop into a PgMP exam, however, as certain prerequisites must be met. In addition to paying the exam fee, an applicant must also have a significant amount of experience in their industry. In order to qualify for the PgMP exam, an applicant must either have:

·      85 months of program management experience from the last 15 years of their professional career

·      A PMP or 48 months of project management experience

·      A secondary degree or international equivalent


·      48 months of program management experience from the last 15 years of their professional career

·      A PMP or 48 months of project management experience

·      A four-year degree

PMLG's Program Management Certification Courses

If you’ve got your sights set on a PgMP certification, you are likely an experienced professional, an ambitious entrepreneur, a developing leader, or some combination of those three. With the significant investment of your finances, your energy and attention, and your time, choosing to take the PgMP exam is a big step in progressing your career—but you are also taking a risk. That is why many professionals recommend preparing for the exam through a PgMP exam readiness course or boot camp, like those offered at PMLG.

Are you looking to advance your career and level up your project management skills by coordinating multiple projects at once? Browse PMLG’s curriculum of PgMP preparedness courses so you can gain the confidence, knowledge, and peace of mind you need to take the next big step in your professional development!

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