9 PMI Certifications to Move Your Project Management Career Forwards

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Read this guide from Coursera to learn about PMI certifications: available for different areas of project management and for different levels of project manager.

[Featured Image]:  Project Manager reviewing information to pursue a PMI certification.

From the entry level CAPM certification to advanced Portfolio Management Credential PfMP, the certifications offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) can help you at whatever stage of your project management career you find yourself.

What are PMI certifications?

The Project Management Institute is a professional organisation that accredits various project management certifications. They offer courses, exams, and qualifications that are geared from entry-level project management all the way up to experienced professionals with many years of expertise and experience managing complex projects.

The Project Management Institute qualifications are globally recognised, although in the United Kingdom employers and agencies generally prefer the Prince2 Practitioner course. PMI qualifications are widely accepted by employers though, especially in the United States, Australia, the Middle East, Asia, and Canada.

According to the Project Management Institute, the world will need 25 million new people working in project management by 2030. With emerging technologies and advancements in existing technology moving apace, businesses need to keep evolving to remain competitive. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of projects being run by companies around the world.

The certifications offered by the PMI

The most well-known PMI qualification is the globally recognised Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. However, as we have seen, there are numerous certifications available for any stage of your project management career. Let's take a look at nine certifications offered by the PMI.

The Project Management Professional Certificate (PMP)

There are more than a million holders of the PMP around the world. To attain this qualification you need to complete a comprehensive examination that stretches you on knowledge regarding business decisions, methodologies and processes, and your ability to manage people.

This qualification is good for professionals who already have experience in project management and are looking to move their careers up to the next level, or to take on more complex projects.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria for this course include having thirty-six months of project leadership experience if you hold an undergraduate degree, and sixty months if you don't have a degree. In addition, you need at least thirty-five hours of training and learning in project management. 

Cost: £419 for non-PMI members. £305 pounds for PMI members.

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

This qualification is geared towards those that are looking for entry level project management roles. Often this is the first project management qualification they are earning on their CV. The course contents are foundational, giving a good overview of many areas of project management. 

This course is good if you are looking for a junior project role with a view to becoming a project manager in the future.

Eligibility Criteria

Before you take the exam to get the certification you need to have done twenty-three hours of education in project management. You also need to have an undergraduate degree or higher. As an entry-level qualification the eligibility criteria are fairly low.

Cost: £226 for non-PMI members. £168 for PMI members.

Disciplined Agile

There are four certifications in this class of Agile, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI):

  • Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)

  • Digital Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM)

  • Disciplined Agile coach (DACM)

  • Digital Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC)

These certifications are for different levels of experience and so you can work your way up to more advanced knowledge and skill sets, and can find a qualification that's at the right level for your stage of career.

This qualification is good for any project manager who is interested in learning more about Agile methodologies and Scrum.

Eligibility Criteria

The criteria for entry vary based on the level of the certification. You need to complete a training course for each credential, and you need as many as three years of Agile team leadership experience to complete the high-level qualifications.

Cost: Prices vary based on the training partner you select and the course you choose.

Program Management Professional (PgMP) 

This is an advanced level qualification for those who manage multiple streams of work through multiple projects in a portfolio role. When you hold a PgMP, the expectation is that you can work across different cultures, industries, and in highly complex organisations and contexts.

You need to pass a panel review, as well as take a tough exam to achieve PgMP. The exam questions are highly strategic, including stakeholder management and understanding complex project risks.

This qualification is good for advanced level project managers, and programme managers that are looking to develop the skill sets of knowledge, or solidify what they have learnt from managing tough projects.

Eligibility Criteria

To enrol in the PgMP you need a minimum of forty-eight months experience in project management as well as forty-eight months of programme management experience from within the last fifteen years. If you don't have a  minimum of an undergraduate degree then you require eighty-four months of programme management experience in the same timeframe.

Cost: £755 for non-PMI members. £604 for PMI members.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

Agile is a project management approach that utilises sprints, flexibility and regular communication amongst team members to facilitate dynamic projects. PMI-ACP is a certification that demonstrates that you have achieved a level of competency in Agile project frameworks. The examination covers areas like adaptive planning, risk management, and problem detection.

This certification is good for you if you work in project management and have a certain amount of Agile experience, and want to take it to the next level.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have a minimum of twenty-one hours of Agile training, twelve months of project management experience from within the last five years, and agile project experience to the tune of a minimum of eight months in the last thirty-six months.

Cost: £328 for PMI members £374 for non-PMI members.

Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) 

Business analysis is a key component of running a successful project. This certification evaluates you on business criteria such as project evaluation, project planning, project assessment, project monitoring, and project strategy.

This certification is good for project professionals who are looking to enhance their business analysis skills.

Eligibility Criteria

To take this certification you need five years of experience in business and a minimum of thirty-five hours of learning on the topic of business analysis. If you have a minimum of an undergraduate degree then the amount of experience required decreases to thirty-six months of experience in business.

Cost: £419 for non-PMI members. £205 for PMI members. 

 PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

This qualification is designed to test and validate the risk assessment and management skills of advanced project management professionals who work on large and complex projects.

The 150 questions on the examination incorporate areas such as risk management principles, stakeholder engagement and education, and risking process analysis.

This certification is good for project management professionals who specialise in risk and have many years of experience.

Eligibility Criteria

You will require a minimum of thirty-six months of project risk management experience from the last five years, and project risk education of forty hours if you do not hold a minimum of an undergraduate degree. If you have a degree or master's degree, then you need twenty-four months of experience in project risk management and ten hours less of education in project risk management.

Cost: £506 for non-PMI members.£393 for PMI members.

PMI Project Management Ready

This course is designed for current students and is a basic introduction to project management concepts. This is a foundational credential to help you understand more about what project management is and to ease you into the discipline.

This certification is good for current students who want to gather some information on what project management is all about.

Eligibility Criteria 

All you need to complete this certificate is basic computer skills, and the time to complete the training and exams.

Cost: £92

PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Being able to run a schedule for a project is a crucial skill. The PMI-SP qualification validates your ability to produce and run optimal schedules for complex teams across office-based and remote workers.

The examination involves 150 questions that test your ability to understand risk analysis in scheduling, estimate task durations, and manage overall project scope in smaller milestones.

This certification is good for project management professionals who want to enhance their scheduling competencies, and to show that they have developed scheduling skills.

Eligibility Criteria

To enrol on this course you will need to be able to demonstrate that you have experience of handling schedules in projects, or related environments. If you have an undergraduate degree or postgraduate education, you will require twenty-eight months of experience involved in project scheduling, from within the last five years, and thirty hours of project scheduling education. If you don't hold an undergraduate degree then the criteria is more stringent, with forty months of project scheduling experience and forty hours of scheduling courses.

Cost: £506 for non-PMI members. Fringing £93 for PMI members.

Is it worth getting a PMI certification?

PMI certifications are globally recognised. However, if you live in work in the UK, you may be better off getting a UK-based qualification; a certification that features in more UK job adverts.

PMI certification can give you an excellent skill set and can enhance your CV if you're applying for roles in Australia, the Middle East, Dubai, Qatar, or in another expat location.

How do you get PMI certifications

Eligibility Criteria

As we went through this article we saw the various eligibility criteria for courses. For most PMI certifications, you need to check with the Project Management Institute that you are eligible before you apply. You can do this through the PMI website.


Most of the certifications can be done on a self-study or course basis. Most of them require that you take an examination, which will normally be a mixture of fill in the blank, multiple-choice, hotspot, and matching questions. The more advanced qualifications have a panel review, and are extremely high-level.

Maintaining your PMI certifications

Certifications hold their validity for three years. You will need to earn PDUs over that time, which are professional development units. Thirty professional development units equates to thirty hours of time. Each certification requires a different number of units in order to maintain certification.

Considering moving into project management?

If you're looking for an easily accessible online course to begin your project management journey, then the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate may be a good option. This course provides foundation level learning on a broad range of project management methodologies and approaches, helping you to develop a firm understanding of the core concepts in this field.

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