As a young professional, I've slowly made my way into the Project Management role and I absolutely love it. I now work at a large nonprofit in the Atlanta area and my mentor and I are discussing whether or not I should work towards the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).
Does anyone have the certification in the nonprofit tech world? Any suggestions?
Hey there Samantha. While I am a big fan of project management I myself do not have either certification. However, I do know that Joe Moran who works with True Colors Fund and Beth Spriggs who works with Leadership for Educational Equity both have PMP. Might be a good place to start reaching out :-)
Thank you for your question! I would love to get the larger community's opinion on this very subject.
Much of my past experience has been in corporate and I can tell you that although certification and continuous learning is always beneficial to you as an individual, I am not certain there is enough benefit to PMP certification to justify the cost (both time and money).
I maintained certification early in my career and I do believe it opened quite a few doors for me. That was over 10 years ago. Within the last 5 years I ran a very large PMO and we did not require nor request PMP or CAPM certification and that seemed to be more the norm. We placed quite a bit of influence on Scrum Master certification. As for the nonprofit sector, I have yet to meet a fellow PM working in this sector who still maintains PMP/CAPM certification - but I will say I have only been working with nonprofits for 2 years now.
It took me about a year and a half to obtain my PMP and a week to obtain by Scrum Master certification. I believe certification is still a GREAT addition to any resume but if you are currently holding a Project Management position that you are happy with then there are many great resources that are less expensive and less time consuming that can provide educational material to improve your PM skill set.
Is PMP certification still as time consuming/challenging to obtain as it was in the past and are newly certified individuals satisfied with the training and career options they've gained by obtaining their PMP/CAPM certification?
Please, please, please let me know if my opinion is out-of-date or just plain wrong:)
I've always looked at the PMP as something that works at larger companies on longer projects. Working at smaller companies, it seems like overkill and confining for shorter projects. I agree with Maria that Scrum certification is probably more desired these days.
I say this as I went back for my MBA and took over 4 years to complete that while working full time. Do I think it helped distinguish my resume a bit more over others? Maybe. It didn't automatically raise my salary or land me a position. From a strict cost-benefit analysis, it did not pay off (and that's not considering all the personal time it took). So I think you really need to look at it from the personal achievement point of view and whether you want to devote your hours towards that.
I see certification as useful for those that don't have much or any PM experience, as it can show you know PM methodology. But those of us that have been doing it for a long time, know you need to shape the process to the company. And the skills that I think make a good PM - ability to problem solve, work with various audiences, motivate others, etc. are not necessarily something you learn in a class.
Would love to hear from others that thought it was beneficial to their career. And also would love to hear about other training that PMs find useful. Since I work with Drupal, I do like to attend DrupalCon although it is mostly devoted to developers (although finally had a PM track last year). I find it really useful to hear what other PMs are doing.
I am very interested in your comments as I am halfway through earning my MPA, and one of the first jobs out of the box is project manager. While the professors during class make an argument for the cost benefit of the degree, I very much doubt that I will see more zeros on my paycheck when I get my next job. Baruch also has a PMP certificate, which I decided not to get.
However, I do think that my education has been worthwhile, and I'm glad I did it!
Thank you all for the input! I greatly appreciate it.
We are a larger nonprofit in Atlanta, but with that being said, it's not a large corporation. As I continue to read about the PMP, it seems like it may not be the best choice!
I will definitely look into the Scrum Certification though!
I saw this thread a while back and had been meaning to respond, but have been too swamped managing projects :)
Anyway, a few years ago I did embark upon the PMP certification. It was interesting circumstances -- I had received a good amount of Agile training and even the PMI Agile Practitioner certificate. I was working primarily on software projects, but making the move to helping an organization (publishing) transition to new ways of working and managing projects. As that progressed, I sensed an underlying tension between Agile and Waterfall, or traditional PM. So, I underwent the PMP training mostly because I wanted to be trained in the "traditional" side of things. All of my PM experience, and it had been many years by then, was on-the-job (aka by-the-seat-of-my-pants).
The PMP training was very helpful because it taught me about the full life cycle of a project. I learned about the nuances of different stages in the life cycle, particularly the early stages. I was able to see where Agile and good old fashioned PM had things in common -- particularly a strong emphasis on communication and stakeholder management. Much of what I learned was extremely helpful.
Did I learn things that I don't really use? Yes. The PMP is geared toward a wide range, from PMs overseeing bridges being built to PMs overseeing software projects. So there were things about procurement and earned value management that don't figure into my day-to-day. At the time, certification was important to me (and the job I had), so it was well worth it.
If the certification itself is not so important, but you are more interested in the training and having a better understanding of the project life cycle you have other options. And more recently, some great opportunities for learning have been popping up -- for example, the Coursera Specialization in Project Management from UC Irvine. It's less of a hefty investment (time and money) and might provide you a good learning experience as well!
I hope this is helpful.
I'm at the very beginning of the process! I'm trying to figure out what is the best courses to take for a nonprofit startup. I think I need to find a mentor in my area to help me walk through the basics of Project Management and making the nonprofit financially self-sufficient. Most grant and funding opportunities I've looked into are for nonprofits already up and running.
I'm working with a very small population, i.e. people with early-onset dementia. We tried sending out jumbo postcards to doctors in the area, letter with our brochures to doctors, and especially neurologists, in the area. We've advertised in the local newspaper but although we are receiving some referrals from the Memory Clinic at Kaiser and doctors we have yet to enroll anyone in the Program.
I am a geriatric nurse practitioner and I've never had to think about managing a business before! It is a little over-whelming at times. Anyone else feel this way? Anyone else taking the first steps to starting the nonprofit.
I don't need help with the initial setup, that's been done. I'm registered as a nonprofit in company and received out 501 (c) 3 determination last year. I need help with the nuts and bolts of a business.