Most people look for ways to take the next steps in their career and up their experience and earning potential. For project managers, one of the steps considered is becoming PMP certified.
It seems like a pretty logical step to take, but many hesitate, unsure if it is worth the cost and time investment. Aside from the years of experience required to even qualify for the exam, most need additional education, as well as exam preparation. Once prepared, the exam itself is rigorous and expensive.
For this reason, project managers often want to know if all of that effort pays off, and we here at PMTI believe that it absolutely does.
There are numerous benefits that result from becoming PMP certified, not only to your career, but to your confidence and ability as well. There are also benefits for companies who hire those with PMP certification over those without.
For Project Managers
When you are looking for a job, your resume tells a potential employer about you before you have a chance to impress them in person. This means that you want your resume to set you apart from others, and one thing that will undoubtedly do that is PMP certification.
When an employer sees this on your resume, it lends credibility to your experience, your skill set, your knowledge base, and your level of seriousness about your career. Passing the PMP exam requires you to have a working knowledge of the PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide. Certification tells employers you have attained this knowledge.
Even if you don’t intend to pursue a career elsewhere, your current employer or client base will recognize your certification as evidence of your commitment to your career and to being the best project manager you can be.
Higher Salary Potential
According to the ninth edition of PMI’s salary survey, “Certifications such as PMI’s globally-recognized Project Management Professional (PMP)® provide a significant advantage when it comes to salary and earning potential. Among survey respondents, those with a PMP certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP certification.”
Because your credibility becomes instantly recognizable with PMP certification, you have an automatic advantage over those without it. With this comes higher earning potential, as well as a higher chance of advancement in the years following your certification.
Companies value PMP certification, and all that it implies, and are willing to pay more for that value. This is one thing to keep in mind when you consider the cost of earning your certification, that it is likely to be absorbed by your higher earning potential.
Better Job Opportunities
Project management is a rapidly growing need, and the need has been outpacing the supply in the last several years. This is good news for project managers, and especially those who have certification.
Because the demand for project managers is high in a variety of industries, it will be important to give yourself a competitive edge over other project managers, and the best jobs will be reserved for those who have the training, experience, and knowledge that comes with PMP certification.
Increased Networking Opportunities
PMP Certification and membership with PMI, give you an opportunity to network with other project managers in your own sector and across the globe.
Networking is an important part of getting ahead in any career, and having instant connection to others in your field is an enormous benefit. PMP certification creates this connection for you, and the benefits of this international community are extensive.
In order to be successful as a project manager, there is a lengthy list of terms that you must understand and be able to articulate to others. While you may learn the language of project management with on-the-job training, you are going to master these many terms by successfully completing the PMP certification exam.
Taking a course to prepare for PMP certification will help to ensure that you aren’t just taking the terms in and spitting them back out on paper for the sake of passing, but are really internalizing the concepts and understanding all of the terms you will be using on a daily basis as a project manager.
More Challenging Projects
If you love managing projects, making sure everyone and everything is working to the best of their ability, then you will want to continue to be challenged in your career. Project management is a rewarding career, but is most rewarding when you’ve embraced and overcome new challenges.
With PMP certification comes the potential for greater responsibility and deeper challenges. If you’ve begun to feel like the projects you’re managing are losing their excitement, getting your certification can open new doors to opportunities that will require effort and commitment to excellence in new and rewarding ways.
Useful In Almost Any Industry
Project managers aren’t limited to any one industry. Companies across many different sectors seek talented, qualified professionals to make sure their projects are executed with excellence.
Today more than ever, companies and businesses are looking to certified project managers to help bring organization and skill to their various endeavors. Leading sectors include finance and insurance, manufacturing and construction, utilities, oil and gas, and information services and publishing.
The knowledge gained through certification only increases your value to companies who need this management. While it’s true that you may need to learn some about a particular company when managing for them, most of the principles you learn when earning your certification will apply across the board, and better prepare you to manage projects for anyone, anywhere.
Since the economic recession of 2008, job security has been more fragile, and professionals worry about keeping their positions and their livelihood. Technology also plays a role in job security, as more and more people lose their jobs to artificial intelligence.
Project managers, though, continue to be in high demand. According to PMI’s Job Growth and Talent Gap Report, “Across the globe, there’s a widening gap between employers’ need for skilled project management workers and the availability of professionals to fill those roles.” This trend has continued steadily since 2008, when PMI first set out to gather data on project management demand.
Of course there is no guarantee that a company won’t undergo downsizing, but certification in project management can give you greater confidence that you will hold ongoing value for employers, who increasingly see the need for project managers.
For Companies Who Need Project Managers
PMP certification is an internationally recognized qualification. In 2007, Project Management International earned ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation for the PMP certification program. This standardization gives PMP certification credibility in the more than 85 countries that have adopted and endorsed ISO standardization practices.
This means that the global community recognizes certification as being valuable and indicating a level of experience and qualification that non-certified managers do not have. If your company seeks to have a strong global presence and influence, certification will be a valuable commodity to you as well.
Add Value to Your Company
Project managers who are certified will add great benefit and value to your company. When you hire a certified manager, you are able to rest easy, knowing that your project is overseen by someone who truly knows what he or she is doing.
This is beneficial to your company in a variety of ways.
- You’ll know that your employees are being led by someone who has the experience and knowledge to make sure they work to the best of their ability.
- A certified project manager has extensive knowledge about risk management, and will avoid unnecessary mistakes that could lead to monetary loss.
- Your clients will be able to trust that your project manager is giving them the best service possible.
Create a Healthy Business Culture
PMI reports that businesses are integrating project management into their visions for their culture:
“The most effective organizations recognize the need for formal project and program management in their “change the business” initiatives. Creating a culture that embraces project management and increases the business value it delivers involves:
- Fully understanding the value of project management
- Requiring actively engaged executive sponsors on projects and programs
- Aligning projects and programs to the organization’s strategy
- Having highly mature project, program, and portfolio management”
One way to ensure that your company has an organized, productive culture is to hire certified project managers, who bring those characteristics with them to every project.
Have Organizational Adaptability
In the same report, PMI states that:
“Organizational agility is the ability of a business to respond and adapt quickly in response to changes in the market or other parts of its external environment. These include the emergence of new competitors, disruptive technologies, or sudden shifts in overall conditions. The use of the agile/incremental/iterative tools and techniques of project management is vitally important in such scenarios as they impact projects and programs.”
A truly successful company or business will be prepared for market and environment change, and PMI’s research shows that the skills brought to the table by a certified project manager can contribute to this preparedness.
Whether you are a project manager looking to improve your opportunities and skill set, or a company considering hiring a project manager, PMP certification is a valuable asset. With it, a project manager has everything he or she needs in order to expertly lead teams and projects in a variety of industries.
Take this online PMP Certification Eligibility Calculator to see if you’re ready to take the exam, and start moving toward greater success in your field today!
Yada is not just the leader of the Project Management Training Institute (PMTI). He helped to write significant portions of the project management standards worldwide. He is helping PMI right now in reviewing, directing, and leading the development of the 7th edition of the PMBOK(r) Guide to incorporate the most monumental changes to project management standards in 35 years. He shares his wisdom with readers via the PMTI blog.