What are Project Management PDUs?

Professional Development Units (PDUs) are used to measure continuing education for project management professionals and related fields. Read on to learn more. 

Professional Development Units, or PDUs, are units used to measure continuing education for professionals working with project management. Originally coined by the Project Management Institute, PMI, this system of continuing education is predominantly used in the United States and Canada.

PDUs are designed for the project management field, and are also available in the specialized arms of project management and related fields. Examples would include program management, portfolio management, business analysis for project managers and more. Training programs that result in PDUs typically require 10 hours or more to complete. 

What certifications are available for PDUs in project management?

PDUs are offered by the Project Management Institute and other training providers. They are earned mainly through certification programs, such as the CAPM, PMP and PgPM, but are also achievable via short courses. PDU-approved programs come in many shapes and sizes, with alternatives for certification levels and course format. 

CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) is an entry-level certification in project management for professionals who are working with project management. This certification results in PDUs and helps professionals demonstrate their skills and academic knowledge of the processes and terminology of effective project management. In order to pass this examination, professionals have to register for 23 hours of PDUs.

PMP (Project Management Professionals’ Certificate) is one of the most desired in the project management field. The certification focuses on the leadership aspects of project management and demonstrates a practitioner's advanced skills. The PMP certification and the PDUs gained from it help professionals get better jobs in project management across many sectors, including consulting, construction management, information technology, software development and energy production.

PgPM (Program Management Professional Certificate) is a certificate program that is specifically designed around the software development field and other areas of information technology management.

How are PDUs evaluated?

Professional Development Units for the project management field are evaluated based on the number of credits needed to develop and maintain certain skills via approved training programs. As one PDU can be earned in one hour, PDU requirements are directly linked to the courses completed and the number of hours required to complete that course. Companies may also set annual PDU requirements for their employees.

What careers are PDUs relevant for?

Professionals with qualifications in project management are constantly in high demand, especially for their talents in managing people and complex scenarios. Common job titles for professional with project management qualifications include managers, supervisors and coordinators. In terms of job roles and responsibilities, these professionals are often tasked with coordinating and supervising and team members, arranging and leading meetings, preparing business proposals and following projects through to their completion. PDU training courses provide these professionals with the technical and soft skills they need to manage the many components of a busy environment.

PDU-qualified professionals are open to careers in a wide spectrum of industries and organizations from marketing to construction. Project management professionals often work with the marketing and product development departments of organizations of all kinds. In terms of industries, project management-qualified professionals are required for business, product and service development processes. This applies to a variety of industries, such as business, finance, real estate, construction, engineering, IT, manufacturing and more.

Another popular career alternative for professionals with project management skills is entrepreneurship. The skills to effectively coordinate and bring a project to life are extremely relevant to the process of starting a new business, with the many components that need to be linked in order to get a company off its feet. Plus, project management skills provide essential intuition and knowledge of how to maximize efficiency and cost savings, which can make or break an entrepreneur.

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