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Program Management Certification: Should It Be On Your Bucket List?


Program Management Certification

Project management is a vast field. There are so many different branches, specializations, roles, levels, etc. So, there are multiple certifications and upskilling programs catering to it. However, like CSM exists for Scrum, PMP for Project Management, and Disciplined Agile Coach for Agile Coaching specifically – what certifications are good for “Program Management”? Moreover, which program management certification is really worth investing in? 

You can opt for Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or even Master Black Belt, but that would be focused on Quality Control. You can take up Advanced Agile courses. But what if you don’t work in Agile environments? 

Should a Program Management certification even be on your bucket list then? How can program managers grow in their role without unrelated specializations?

Good News! There is the Program Management Professional (PgMP) Certification – that tackles exactly what it says! In this article, we’ll walk you through what we mean by Program Management, which certification(s) cater to it, and if you should aim to get certified this year!

What Is Program Management?

Program Management is essentially one step above project management. It involves overseeing multiple interrelated projects to achieve the bigger strategic organizational goal. Project managers focus on the process, progress, and outcomes of their designated project. In some cases, a single project manager would oversee multiple projects but those projects might be discrete and not amount to one single goal. However, program management is the process of orchestrating multiple projects in such a way as to generate outcomes that are far more valuable. In a nutshell, program management encompasses the bigger leadership and management in an organization for a massive project with several projects running under it.

Also Read: Program Management vs Project Management

With the definition itself, it’s clear that program management is no ordinary feat. It requires skill, strategic thinking, expertise in problem management, and most of all – the ability to lead well. Naturally, program managers are more seasoned professionals in the field. Usually, people with five or more years of project management experience are open to the role of a program manager.

What is Program Management Certification?

Program management certification is a testament to your proficiency in handling multiple interrelated projects to achieve strategic goals. We explained what program management actually is in the previous subsection. So, naturally, a Program Management certification is one that puts all those program management skills to the test, to give you the title of a certified program manager! A certification in program management is classified as an advanced-level credential. It’s not as simple to attain it, and rightly so! 

But, before diving into the complexities and details, comes the question – do you need a program management certification? Let’s go through our quick checklist!

Do You Need A Program Management Certification?

Certifications are always a matter of choice. You can choose to get certified or rely solely on your experiential skillset. However, certified professionals do get a leg-up on non-certified people.

Let’s put this in context: There are two professionals working in the same organization. Let’s say they work in very similar team structures too. Both have equal educational backgrounds and figuratively the same skills and working experience. However, one holds a particularly prestigious certification that endorses the global standard of program and project management. Plus, this project manager put in months of studying and an equally rigorous examination.

When it comes to handing over a massive new project (or a program), who would you rather choose? One with a global standard program management certification, or the one without it?

We think the answer is pretty clear. If it’s still not convincing, here are a few more things to consider:

  • A Certification Is Not Just A Piece Of Paper:

It shows your dedication to learn, grow, and become better in your field. It is always an admirable trait to see when even top bosses are committed to learning. The certification is a validation of your skillset, your knowledge about the latest practices, and your willingness to be current with them. Who wouldn’t want a person open to new information on their teams? More than your C Suite Execs, your program teams would be grateful to have you leading them! For complex programs especially, being backed by a credible program management certification boosts your reliability too.

  • There Is Always Something You Don’t Know:

The professionals who start believing that their knowledge bar is full, seal their potential. The belief of not knowing everything and staying open to learning makes you a great leader and an asset everywhere you go. Just imagine, the world evolving to computers, and some people just refusing to give up handwritten logs! Naturally, people who evolve to new trends and technologies stay ahead, and others fall behind. So, getting that reputed program management certification will fill the holes in your concepts and help you learn about fresh program management tools, methods, and skills. Plus, nothing beats the confidence of having solid unshakeable knowledge!

  • Projects Are More Complicated Than Ever!:

There is data for every single thing possible these days. At the same time, there are holes in every data you find. The markets are constantly changing, there are shifting priorities, and the business environment is never exactly stable. So, setting off on a project is challenging already. But a program? That just comes with added uncertainties, loopholes, missed-out details, and little ifs and buts in coordination. Despite the challenges, every organization and its leaders demand their projects run with full efficiency as well as effectiveness. Surely, you have your past anecdotes and a few tips and tricks from here and there. But, you can polish your skills better through program management training. PMI’s Pulse Of The Profession report states that there are 75% more successful projects with program management maturity in an organization.

  • Anyone Could Have Your Job Title:

There are a lot of people with the title of “Program Manager”. There are no specific criteria to get the title anyway, right? So, what will set you apart in your resume? Being a certified program manager surely does help you stand out. Besides, industries rely on Program Management for large-scale project success. Therefore, they seek skilled professionals to manage them from inception to completion effectively. Some Program Managers are even offered double their current salary after they get certified! Therefore, anybody could have the title. But, not everyone can have the credibility your program management certification could bring!

  • The Markets Are Used To 3x More Speed Now. Can You Keep Up?:

Organizations demand more outputs, more results, with better efficiency, and at a swifter pace today. All this while, the environments are increasingly complex and the projects are larger with intricate details to look after. With your current skillset, would you be able to adapt? You can surely survive in this environment – after all, being a program manager already shows your ability. But, can you truly excel without slowly succumbing to the pressure? Think of it! Program management training teaches you how to juggle priorities and deliver the best outcomes with the resources at hand.

You can lead or manage complex programs and projects, as well as develop corporate strategies if you earn this credential. 

Being a certified program manager showcases your great leadership and program management skills. Moreover, your enhanced performance benefits the organization as a whole along with the programs you lead. So, should a program management certification be on your bucket list? Logic says “Yes”.

Then comes the next obvious question: What certification is required for a program manager?

Let’s explore below!

What Program Management Certifications Are There?

As we mentioned in the introduction, for someone as experienced as a program manager – there are specializations that exist. However, “Program Management” or advanced project management is seldom covered in any courses. Program management certifications are not exactly targeted at a general audience either – like Agile or Scrum training.

Moreover, your course provider and the actual certification name do matter. Any old course online might not cater to the best of your needs. It could have adverse effects too. How so? Because anybody can make up a course and film a few videos. But who really knows the research, data, and actual correctness behind the methods taught to you? 

Introducing: PMI’s Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification 

This certification specifically caters to program managers with extensive working experience. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the leading body for project management certifications. To counter the concern we mentioned, PMI’s PgMP certification is backed by independent Job Analysis. This analysis is carried out to understand the contemporary program manager’s roles and responsibilities. In addition, it maps the knowledge and skill levels of these program managers. The curriculum for PgMP is crafted to reflect this data so that you learn what’s actually in demand in the job market! So, PgMP recovers the shortage in the number of program management certifications – with its rock-solid market research and end-to-end syllabus.

Let’s understand PgMP in further detail next!

PgMP Certification – The Only Program Management Certification To Exist!

Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification is an advanced-level credential that teaches you how to group multiple, related projects, manage them, and make decisions that advance strategic business objectives.

This program management certification highlights your extensive experience, skills, and performance in managing programs. It shows your ability to align resources with the organization’s objective and use strategic thinking to make optimal decisions in challenging situations. 

To put it in perspective, let’s compare it to how a PMP demonstrates your exceptional ability to manage, organize, and lead projects to meet its goals. Just like that, the PgMP showcases your ability to link those projects together to achieve the company’s strategic vision. The aim of this advanced knowledge is to deliver advantages that several independent projects cannot.

PgMP is suitable for senior-level practitioners. Your title could be Program Manager, Senior Project Manager, Portfolio Manager, or you could be Business Unit Head, etc. Regardless of the title, if you meet the eligibility criteria set by PMI, you can apply for this program management certification. You must meet any of the following sets of prerequisites: 

  • 4-year College/University Degree
  • 4 years of project management experience (an active PMP certification can waive this requirement)
  • 4 years of program management experience


  • High School Diploma or Associate’s Degree
  • 4 years of project management experience (an active PMP certification can waive this requirement)
  • 7 years of program management experience 


  • Bachelor’s or Postgraduate Degree from a GAC-accredited program 
  • 3 years of project management experience (an active PMP certification can waive this requirement)
  • 3 years of program management experience

Therefore, a PgMP requires you to have a minimum of 6-11 years of project + program management experience. We told you, this certification is truly for the pros!

Why Should You Consider Getting PgMP-certified:

  1. Direct Ticket To The Top: As per the Pulse of the Profession report, 58% of PgMP holders have a more advanced position in an organization than when they earned the certification. This shows that PgMP certification holders gain a distinct advantage in employment and promotional opportunities after getting certified.
  2. 42% Higher Salaries: As per the same survey, 23% of PgMP holders across the globe reported a salary hike after being certified. Moreover, other studies also show that PgMP certification holders earn 42% higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts. PgMP truly boosts your earning potential multifold!
  3. Join An Elite Network Of Skilled Leaders: There are only around 6,000 PgMP certification holders around the world. With PMI’s exclusive community access, you can connect with these like-minded and equally skilled professionals. It opens doors to a professional network that helps you learn and exchange ideas with people around the world.
  4. Profile Upgrade: After getting PgMP-certified, nearly 50% of PgMP holders report an increase in responsibility and larger programs to manage. So, we can confidently say that obtaining this program management certification will do wonders for your job profile.

Where to Get Program Management Certification?

You’ve come to the easiest answer of the lot! For your PgMP, you can trust our in-house PgMP Instructors and our 100% Exam Process Support by Top Consultants. ProThoughts has been training candidates for PgMP for the longest, and hence we have the right experience, insights, and tips, to get your PgMP cleared. We are the Premier Authorized Training Partners of PMI and have been having consistent batches for PgMP for years. Moreover, we are equipped with the latest ATP materials as well as The Standard for Program Management – 5th Edition. 

ProThoughts is known for three things – Experienced and Certified Instructors, Top-notch Materials, and Pre and Post Training Support. We ensure complete preparedness for the examination as well as the ups and downs of the process. Moreover, our executives also guide you through all the formalities and stay available on call till you complete it. So, rest assured – ProThoughts is the right place for your Program Management Certification!

How to Get Program Management Certification? 

Simply Schedule a Call with us. Our Experts will guide you with the PgMP application details, break down the procedure, and resolve all your doubts! And don’t worry – there are no hidden charges for a consultation!


So, should a Program Management Certification be on your bucket list in 2024? We think absolutely yes!! Nothing beats a spectacular badge of verification, combined with your knowledge, experience, and degrees. Become an unbeatable program manager today! Enroll in our upcoming PgMP Batch – Enquire now!

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