Top 11 Technical Manager Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications for technical managers, including details on what each certification entails and how to obtain them.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are an important factor for a technical manager in the job market. They demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise that employers look for when evaluating potential candidates. Certifications also provide proof that a manager has the necessary skills to effectively lead and manage complex projects, as well as handle any technical issues that may arise. Additionally, certifications can help managers stand out from their competition, showing potential employers that they are committed to staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends and technologies.
This article reviews some of the top certifications for Technical Managers and explains how they can help advance a technical manager's career.
What are Technical Manager Certifications?
Technical Manager Certification is a certification program that provides professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage technical teams, projects, and products. This certification is designed to help managers better understand the complexities of managing technology-based products and services. It focuses on topics such as project management, product development, customer service, operations management, and more. With this certification, managers can develop their leadership skills and gain an understanding of the best practices for managing technical teams. Technical Manager Certification also helps managers build their credibility in the industry by demonstrating their expertise in managing complex projects and products. Furthermore, having this certification can help managers advance their careers by providing them with the necessary skills to lead successful teams or departments.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of online technical manager certification courses to gain the skills necessary for success as a technical manager. These courses provide an in-depth look at the key areas of management, from understanding project management principles to developing effective communication strategies. Additionally, these courses can help you stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and techniques.
Related: What does a Technical Manager do?
Top 11 Technical Manager Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Technical Managers today.
1. Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is a globally recognized professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in project management. It is designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities of project managers.
To become a PMP, you must have either a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree or global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience and 7,500 hours leading and directing projects; OR a four-year degree (bachelor's degree or global equivalent) with at least three years of project management experience and 4,500 hours leading and directing projects.
In addition to meeting the educational and experience requirements, individuals must also pass an exam to earn the PMP certification. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that are based on the PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The exam takes approximately four hours to complete.
The cost for taking the PMP exam is $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. The cost includes access to study materials such as practice exams and online courses. Additionally, individuals may need to purchase additional books or study materials depending on their level of preparation.
2. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional certification program for individuals who want to become proficient in the Scrum framework. It is designed to help professionals gain an understanding of the basic principles, values, and practices of Scrum. The CSM certification is offered by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the use of Scrum.
The CSM program consists of two components: a two-day course and an online exam. The course covers topics such as the history and philosophy of Scrum, roles and responsibilities within the framework, common pitfalls, and best practices for successful implementations. After completing the course, participants must pass an online assessment to receive their certification.
The cost of the CSM program varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 to attend a two-day course plus exam fees. The cost may be higher or lower depending on your location and instructor.
In terms of time commitment, it typically takes about three days to complete the course and pass the exam. However, some people may find that they need more time to review material or practice before taking the exam.
3. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to provide individuals with an understanding of project management fundamentals and the ability to apply them in a professional setting. The CAPM certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage projects.
The CAPM exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within three hours. To qualify for the exam, applicants must have either a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent) and at least 1,500 hours of project experience; or 23 hours of project management education completed by the time they sit for the exam.
To get certified as a CAPM, you will need to take and pass the CAPM exam administered by PMI. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on your country/region and whether you are a PMI member or not. In general, it costs $225 USD for non-members and $300 USD for members.
It typically takes about 2-4 weeks to prepare for the exam if you are using self-study materials such as books or online courses. However, if you are taking an instructor-led course or attending boot camps or seminars, it may take longer than that depending on how much time you spend studying.
4. ITIL Foundation Certification
ITIL Foundation Certification is a globally recognized qualification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is a set of best practices for managing IT services, and the ITIL Foundation Certification provides an entry-level qualification for individuals who want to join the world of IT service management.
The certification is designed to help individuals understand how to use ITIL processes and procedures in their organization. It covers topics such as service strategy, service design, service transition, service operations, continual service improvement, and more.
The certification exam typically takes between 60-90 minutes to complete and consists of 40 multiple choice questions. To pass the exam, you must score at least 65%. The cost of the exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $200-$300 USD.
To get certified, you must first take an accredited training course with an approved provider. This course will provide you with all the information needed to pass the exam. After completing the course, you can then register for and take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center near you.
5. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a level of expertise in the Six Sigma methodology. It is designed to demonstrate proficiency in the tools and techniques used to identify, measure, analyze, improve and control processes. The certification is awarded by organizations such as the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC).
The certification process typically takes 6-12 months to complete depending on the individual’s experience and background. To become certified, applicants must pass an exam which covers topics related to Six Sigma principles, tools and techniques. There are also courses available that provide training on these topics.
The cost of obtaining a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification varies depending on the organization offering it. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$3000 USD depending on the provider.
In addition to passing the exam, some organizations may require applicants to have experience working with Six Sigma projects or completing a certain number of hours of training before they can receive their certification.
6. Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)
Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in using Agile project management principles, practices, tools, and techniques. The ACP certification is based on the PMI’s Agile Practice Guide and provides a comprehensive understanding of Agile methods.
The ACP certification requires passing an exam consisting of 180 multiple-choice questions. The exam must be completed within three hours and covers topics such as Agile values, principles, practices, tools, techniques, roles, responsibilities and more. Candidates must have at least 21 contact hours of training in Agile methods before they can take the exam.
To get the ACP certification candidates must first register with PMI and pay the required fees. After registering for the exam candidates can find study materials online or attend an approved training course. Once candidates have passed the exam they will receive their certificate from PMI.
The cost for taking the ACP exam is $435 for members of PMI and $495 for non-members.
7. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification is a professional certification program designed to help individuals become experts in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. This certification is designed for professionals who are interested in leading and managing improvement projects within their organization.
The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification typically takes about four to six weeks to complete, depending on the provider. The certification consists of five core courses: Introduction to Lean Six Sigma, Define Phase, Measure Phase, Analyze Phase, Improve Phase and Control Phase. Each course requires approximately 24 hours of study time.
In order to get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, you must complete the five core courses and pass an exam at the end of each course. The exams are typically administered by a third-party provider such as ASQ or IASSC. Once you have successfully completed all five courses and passed all five exams, you will receive your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.
The cost of the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $1,500-$2,000 USD for all five courses and exams combined.
8. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in Microsoft technologies. It validates the ability to design and build technology solutions using Microsoft products and services, including Windows Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Lync Server, System Center and the Azure cloud platform.
To obtain an MCSE certification, you must pass one or more exams that demonstrate your knowledge of Microsoft products and services. The number of exams required depends on the type of certification you are pursuing. Generally speaking, it takes between 6-12 months to complete all of the requirements for an MCSE certification.
In order to get an MCSE certification, you must first register with Microsoft Learning and purchase exam vouchers for each exam you plan to take. Exam vouchers cost approximately $165 USD each. You can then register for any available exams at a local testing center or online through Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers. Once all of the required exams have been passed successfully, you will be awarded your MCSE certification.
9. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is an industry-recognized certification that validates your expertise in designing and deploying applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. This certification demonstrates your ability to effectively design, deploy, and manage AWS cloud-based solutions.
It typically takes about three months of study and preparation to get certified. During this time, you should become familiar with the AWS platform, its services, and its best practices for designing and deploying applications on the platform. You will also need to take a practice exam or two to ensure you are ready for the actual exam.
To get certified as an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, you must pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that measure your knowledge of the AWS platform, its services, and its best practices for designing and deploying applications on it. The exam costs $150 USD.
Once you have passed the exam, you will receive an official certificate from Amazon Web Services confirming your status as an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate.
10. CompTIA Security+ Certification
CompTIA Security+ is an internationally recognized certification that validates a professional’s knowledge and skills in IT security. It is designed to demonstrate competency in areas such as network security, compliance and operational security, threats and vulnerabilities, access control and identity management, cryptography, and more.
The CompTIA Security+ certification exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and performance-based items. To get the CompTIA Security+ certification, you must pass the exam with a score of 750 or higher on a scale of 100-900.
To prepare for the exam, you can take an online course or attend an instructor-led training session. You can also purchase study materials from CompTIA or other vendors that offer practice exams and study guides.
The cost of the CompTIA Security+ certification exam varies by country but generally ranges from $320-$400 USD.
11. Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure is a comprehensive set of services and tools that provide the foundation for building and running applications on Google Cloud Platform. It includes the core components such as Compute Engine, App Engine, Container Engine, BigQuery, Storage, Networking, and Identity & Access Management. It also includes additional services such as Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Machine Learning Engine, Cloud Spanner, and more.
It typically takes two to four weeks to get up and running with Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure. This time frame can vary depending on the complexity of your setup and how quickly you are able to configure it. To get started with Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure you need to sign up for an account with Google Cloud Platform and then create a project in the console. Once your project is created you will be able to access all of the services available through Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure.
The cost of using Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure depends on the services you use. Each service has its own pricing model which can be found on the pricing page for each service in the console. Generally speaking, most services have free tiers or discounted rates for new customers so it is important to review these options before committing to a plan.
Do You Really Need a Technical Manager Certificate?
The short answer is no, you do not need a technical manager certificate to become a successful technical manager. However, having such a certificate may be beneficial in certain circumstances.
A technical manager certificate can provide proof of knowledge and experience that could be useful when applying for higher-level positions or when working with more complex technology. It can also demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary skills and experience to handle the additional responsibilities associated with managing technical teams.
In addition, having a technical manager certificate may give you an edge over other applicants when it comes to job interviews and negotiations. Employers may view your certification as evidence of your commitment to the field and your ability to stay on top of industry trends. Additionally, some employers may require a specific type of certification for certain positions, so having one could give you an advantage over those who don’t.
Ultimately, whether or not you need a technical manager certificate will depend on your career goals and the expectations of potential employers. If you are looking to move up the ranks in the technical management field or if a particular position requires certification, then obtaining one may be worth considering. However, if you already have significant experience in the field or if certification is not required by potential employers, then it may not be necessary for you to pursue such a credential.
Related: Technical Manager Resume Examples
FAQs About Technical Manager Certifications
Q1. What is a technical manager certification?
A1. A technical manager certification is a professional credential designed to demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to manage complex projects and teams in a technology-focused environment.
Q2. How do I become certified as a technical manager?
A2. To become certified as a technical manager, you must typically complete approved courses or exams that cover topics such as project management, software development processes, IT infrastructure management and more. You may also need to pass an exam to prove your understanding of the material covered in the courses or exams.
Q3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a technical manager?
A3. Becoming certified as a technical manager can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs in the field, demonstrate your commitment to professional development and give you an edge over competitors in job interviews. It can also open up opportunities for career advancement, higher salaries and increased job security.
Q4. How long does it take to get certified as a technical manager?
A4. The amount of time it takes to get certified as a technical manager depends on the type of certification program you choose and how much time you dedicate to studying for your exams or completing your coursework each week. In general, most programs take between one and two years to complete depending on the level of difficulty involved with each program or exam taken.
Q5. Is there an industry standard for technical managers certification?
A5: Yes, there is an industry standard for technical managers certification known as the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute (PMI). This is one of the most widely recognized certifications available for project managers and those working in IT-related fields.