Global Knowledge Releases Certifications

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Professional training provider Global Knowledge is moving beyond the information technology market in its learning and development offerings, but it is doing so in an area familiar to many IT practitioners: The company recently announced it would be expanding its project management program in both size and scope, including new certifications in the discipline.


“We were looking for a non-IT arena to go into,” said Kirsten Hale, Global Knowledge’s director of project management and professional skills. “We’re not IT-focused anymore. This is a new step for Global Knowledge because we’re stepping beyond IT.”


Global Knowledge will offer four new certifications—in associate, professional, senior and executive tracks—for individuals and organizations seeking to verify project management skills and knowledge of concepts. “This curriculum was built from a career-path perspective,” Hale said. “We looked at basically taking an individual from an interest in project management all the way up through a director position, where they’re leading a portfolio management initiative or a project management office (PMO). We tried to align classes in all of those different segments of those career paths.”


Also included in the expansion are 25 new business-based courses that will address advanced topics, such as quality and risk management, enterprise project management, establishing the PMO, business analysis, project portfolio management and IT project management. All of the content has been developed internally, but is aligned to an extent to the programs offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), Hale said. “The terminology is going to match PMI,” she explained. “What we did was looked at the PMI’s competencies for project managers and went through the relevant points—for example, risk management or scope management—and really looked at what we wanted to include in the class, what we wanted to include through exercise, what we wanted to include through lecture and what might be more advanced and suited for a later class.


“I have a fairly large instructor pool comprised of people who have been doing this for 10 to 20 years, so I certainly drew on their experience as well,” she added. “I worked with my course directors and other instructors, and we started adding practicality. We went to people who are project managers and talked to them. For example, we asked them, ‘When you’re dealing with risk management, what are the challenges you face?’ and then talked through how they might overcome those challenges. Then we actually put the students through exercises in the class where they face and overcome those same challenges. You get to practice what you’ll have to perform while you’re in the classroom.”


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