Many of my colleagues wish to do career in project management. Some of them think of doing PMI PMP certification. However for junior people , they may not become eligible due to requirement of "project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects"
If you are a junior associate willing to make career in project management , then CAPM certification (CAPM - Certified Associate in Project Management ) can be a good starts.
To do CAPM certification you need have:
A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) AND At least 1,500 hours experience OR 23 hours of project management education. If you already have some experience you can directly appear for the CAPM exam. If you want to obtain training then there are numerous training institutes to get training. Also some online training sites provides it by means of Audio Video Podcasts such as SimpliLearn or project-management prepcast . PMP training PDUs can be accounted towards CAPM certification.
More information about CAPM certification such as fees , reporting experince etc can be found on PMI CAPM handbook.
Link to PMI - CAPM handbook
Link to PMI CAPM site
Once you complete CAPM certification you do not need to earn PDU's to maintain it. CAPM certification cycle is of five years. At the end of five years you can retake the exam or you can go for PMP at that point as you may have earned enough experience to apply for PMP.