Joslyn Earns Industry Certification as WSOB Student


Zach Joslyn not only graduated from Dalton State with a degree in business management last month, but he is also the first to have earned a project management certification while still a student.

Joslyn received his Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification before graduating from the Wright School of Business. Typically professionals pass the exam after they have gained knowledge in the workforce.

“This is a big step for my career,” Joslyn said. “It is going to allow me to stand out and get into a project management pipeline faster than those without the certificate.”

CAPM is an entry-level certification for those entering into the field of project management. Testing for CAPM certification is extensive, requiring test-takers to complete at least 23 hours of project management education. The certification requires knowledge that has been gained not only from the classroom but also from independent research.

“It’s a grind for sure, but if you put in the work and don’t give up, you’ve got it,” Joslyn said.

Dr. Fernando Garcia teaches the project management course at Dalton State and encouraged Joslyn to become certified. He is proud of this achievement because he knows it will set Joslyn apart from others in the job market.

“This is a great achievement for a student,” Garcia said. “Non-certified project management professionals usually have to complete additional courses or go back to school to meet requirements, all while working.”

Being CAPM certified is highly advantageous to students planning to go into the project management field as it establishes credibility, gives them experience in dealing with large scale projects and distinguishes them from other candidates, Garcia said.

Dean Marilyn Helms of the Wright School of Business believes it will become critical for students to have certifications like the CAPM.

“Increasingly, businesses encourage their employees and new hires to earn industry certifications,” Helms said. “In today’s strong economy, these credentials and certifications are often as important as a graduate degree.”

Joslyn is interested in pursuing a career in government contracting as he would enjoy the flexibility and being able to travel, but he is also looking into the regulatory compliance and financial risk field at accounting firms.

“I love the challenges that come with project management,” Joslyn said. “I see it almost like a puzzle that keeps my mind active, and I can’t wait to do more with it.”