Certifications for IT project managers

IPMA, PMI or PRINCE2 - Are certifications worthwhile?

Lastly, we have analysed which are the most sought-after skills and competences in the field of Product Owner and Project Manager are. Today we want to take a special look at the different certifications for freelancers in the field of project management. In doing so, we will explore the questions of whether they increase hourly rates and job opportunities, and which ones are most worthwhile. First, we show in the following chart which certifications are most common among freelancers in the field of project management.

Around 30% of IT freelancers in project management are certified. A large proportion of these have certificates in the method PRINCE2®. However, it must be mentioned here that it is not clear from some freelancer profiles whether certification in the method is available or whether knowledge of it alone is available. This is followed in second place by certifications from the Project Management Institute. PMI®who hold the titles of Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) awarded. These are based on the project management method PMBOK. The third most common certificates are awarded by the International Project Management Association. IPMA® or the associated German Association for Project Management GPM® are awarded. These include certifications from Level D (Project Management Specialist) to Level A (Project Director). Further certifications, such as the HERMES-method or to the Scrum Master or Certified Project Manager of the IAPM®, are comparatively very rarely represented.

PMP/PMI certificates make a difference to wages

If we now compare the average hourly rates of project managers with the prominent certificates with those without certification, we find an hourly rate difference of just under 7 €/h. Project management freelancers without a certificate state an average hourly rate of about 96 €/h, while those with a certificate are asked for an average of 103 €/h. However, a significant and thus reliable difference is only made by the certificates of the PMIs. With this, freelancers even demand an average of 105 €/h.

Project managers with PMI in particularly high demand

If we compare all tenders in which project management certifications are explicitly required, in almost half (42%) of the cases of PMIPMP or PMBOK the speech. This means that here too PMI at the top. Behind follow PRINCE2 (38%) and IPMA (30%). In summary, the analysis leads to a recommendation in the direction of PMI out. Basically, it has to be weighed up individually whether and which certification is worthwhile. Certificates can be a clear advantage, but are not an absolute must for freelancers in project management.

We analysed tenders from over 60 providers and over 1000 publicly accessible project manager profiles. On our platform, you can enter your skills and certificates and have individually matching project proposals displayed. You can also find further analyses on the topic of skills and hourly rates.