Although not aimed specifically at IT professionals, Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) Certified Manager (CM) credential program would be of benefit to workers in the field, particularly those who want to enhance their career development opportunities, said Lynn Powell, ICPM’s director of administration.
“The Certified Manager, or CM, is intended for managers of all types in all industries,” she said. “We call it a ‘generalist’ certification, because it’s not specific to any particular industry or any type of manager. It covers people in government, nonprofit organizations, banks, military, health care—we’ve got them in all walks of life. That would include IT managers too because you have individuals managing other individuals who could utilize the training and the credential.”
ICPM is fairly well established. Operating in conjunction with James Madison University, it has been training, assessing and certifying the competence of managers for more than 30 years, and more than 10,000 managers in various industries around the world have earned the CM. The credential requires successful completion of three exams—Management Skills 1: Foundations of Management, Management Skills II: Planning and Organizing, and Management Skills III: Leading and Controlling.
The CM covers two primary sets of skills. It deals with technical side of management, particularly organizational issues, as well as softer skills like communication, interpersonal skills, conflict resolutions, change management, employee evaluation, leadership empowerment and delegation. “It covers a pretty broad brush,” Powell said. “Most people have skills in the technical area, whether it’s IT, engineering or manufacturing, but they never get those people skills. Because this is a comprehensive program, this is a place where they can actually acquire some formalized training in interpersonal skills, project management, decision-making and team building, and getting everybody working in the same direction. This will cover all of those areas that they need to get some background in.”
“As a certification, it reflects personal achievement in the area of management,” she added. “It also helps in terms of career opportunities, and it’s a public credential that other people would know about. It demonstrates your commitment to management that you want to be at more than the worker level. It’s an excellent opportunity for individuals that are either in management already or those who are looking to get into management to show that they have an interest in the area, and that they’re willing to make the extra efforts on their own to go out and get training and certification.”
For more information, see http://cob.jmu.edu/icpm.