The European Commission predicts that the UK will need an additional 500,000 IT professionals by 2015. This presents a opportunity for PRINCE2 and agile project managers. A recent survey by CBI (The Confederation of British Industry) also showed that 39% of the firms surveyed are already struggling to recruit workers with the technical skills required.
When planning your study goals, bear in mind what skills and knowledge you will need to climb your chosen career ladder swiftly and successfully.
There is a great advantage to gaining skills in areas that are experiencing a skills shortage, as it will vastly increase your employment opportunities.
Opportunities for Agile Project Managers
The skills shortage in IT will also naturally escalate the call for Project Managers. The job market in the IT Sector is already seeing a significant demand for Agile Project Managers. This is in addition to the continued need for Project Managers to have PRINCE2 qualifications.
The number of students writing their Agile exams in 2013 grew by an astounding 80% when compared to the 2012 figures. This is evidence of the upwards trend in the need for skilled Agile® Project Managers.
If you are currently working in the IT sector and want to become more project-focused in your role, then Agile Project Management is a smart choice.
As with PRINCE2, Agile Project Managers will need to follow a study path that includes a Foundation course and a Practitioner course. The length of study for the Agile Foundation and Practitioner courses are also similar to those of PRINCE2.
There are two Versions of Agile® Project Management:
- The UK version which is accredited by APMG International
- The US version which is accredited by PMI (Project Management Institute)
The exam structure for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) is different to the UK examination structure in that it only has a Practitioner exam and no Agile Foundation exam. You also have to fulfil certain experience prerequisites to qualify to write the Agile exam.
The UK version of Agile Project Management is a much more viable study option as there are no experience requirements to hold you back. Simply study the Agile Foundation course and, once you have passed your exam, you will qualify to study the Agile® Practitioner course and write that exam.
Recently there were some exciting changes in where you can write your Agile exams. Not only can you can write your Agile® Foundation exam from home or at an approved exam centre, but you now also have both of these options when writing your Agile Practitioner exam.
Should I Study Agile?
The Agile qualifications are reasonably quick studies considering the amount of gravitas that they add to your CV. These are also starting to become sought after requirements with recruiters; much in the way of PRINCE2. There are many permanent and contract Project Management opportunities to which Agile qualifications are the key.
Agile® and PRINCE2 work well together and are highly complementary. PRINCE2 is a more rigid and structured methodology; whereas Agile® is well suited to projects that are in need of a more flexible and agile approach to Project Management.
To maximise the appeal of your CV, consider adding both the Agile and PRINCE2 certifications as there are many companies that use a combination of the two methodologies and this can significantly increase your employment and earning potentials.