Project management is a nearly universal career regardless of the industry. Every business, from the smallest to the largest, will have a project working at some point. Many of those projects require a project manager and the best Project Manager have PMP Certification.
As with many careers, there are those who are simply doing the job and those who are professionally trained to do the job. Also, as with most professionals, a test and certification is the hallmark of someone who has proven their abilities in that chosen field.
Project Management is a field that has many people who do the work but aren’t certified. They may be very good at what they do, but without a proper certification, it’s difficult to prove to a prospective employer or client.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a global, non-profit organization that sets the standards for the industry. More than simply a testing firm, they also have over 300 chapters around the world where PMI members can meet and share ideas and find new solutions to problems.
There are only about 900,000 PMP (Project Management Professional) PMI-certified Project Managers in the world. This means that anyone who is PMI-certified is part of an elite group that has proven their qualification for the position that they occupy or are applying for.
If you’re considering studying for and taking the test for your PMP exam, there are a number of reasons that having your PMP certification is advantageous to you professionally as well as to your employer.
- Professional recognition – Like any other professional certifications, like CPA or even MD, PMP says that you know what you’re doing. More than that, it’s instant recognition. Anyone who presents a resume or CV with PMP after their name makes it clear that they are more than a project manager, they are a Project Management Professional. This certification is recognized around the globe by employers and recruiters as the gold standards for our industry. There is, in fact, no other project management certification that is accepted as widely or respected as well as PMI’s Project Management Professional certification. In short, being a professional PM requires that you get this certification.
- More challenging projects – One of the reasons that many people become project managers is for the intellectual challenge. Any general or parent of more than three children can tell you that getting a large group of people to all move in one direction toward a common goal is a skill. As a project manager, the more challenging the project, the more satisfying it is when the project is completed successfully. As a PMP, you will find yourself being as to manage more complex, more interesting, and more challenging projects. All this will make the project more satisfying as you figure out how to put the disparate puzzle pieces together to bring the project to fruition.
- Better employment opportunities – If you find yourself looking for work, a PMP after your name is an instant signal to potential employers that you know what you’re doing. Many project manager positions require a PMI-certified professional. Having your PMP makes it clear that you know what you’re doing and the finest companies in the world will be able to see that.
- Better salary offers – As with many professional certifications, you will be offered more money as you’re a pro at what you do. The PMP after your name will command a higher salary than a project manager without that certification. As is obvious from the chart below, the salary difference for a PMP or a non-certified candidate is a double-digit increase in salary. Given that the investment in training for the exam and the exam itself costs less than $2000, that’s a great ROI. Read our list of the Top Ten Highest Paying Cities for Project Managers.
- Recession-proofing – Not matter what the economy is doing, having a PMP is an excellent way to stay employed. In fact, during a recession. PMPs are more likely to get employed and stay employed. When there is an economic downturn, firms are much less likely to want to gamble that a project won’t be done perfectly the first simply because there is a less money to “waste”. When a firm is trying to stave off the effects of a bad economy, they will often choose the best people for the job simply because they want to ensure that the work is done correctly. A PMP certification demonstrates that you are that person.
- Multiple industries – Nearly every industry uses project managers. From construction to pharmaceuticals to education, industries in every sector of the economy use project managers to ensure that their projects are going well and on time. What this means for most PMPs is that they don’t have to leave their industry to continue to grow. In fact, some professionals, who decide that they want to leave their current positions, will become project managers so that they can use their experience in that industry in a new position, increasing their value (and salary).
- Recruiter visibility – When a recruiter is seeking to hire a project manager for any company, the first thing that they will often look for is the PMP certification. It’s the fastest way to eliminate the less qualified candidates and narrow the field quickly. For a recruiter who might review 100 applications in a single day, having a quick way to get through the stack is very important. In fact, in the era of automated hiring systems, many project management positions will be set to only allow through those candidates who have PMP certification.
- International contacts – Once you’re PMP certified, you are a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). This also makes you eligible to attend meetings, find colleagues around the world, and use the international tools that the institute offers to expand your employment opportunities or even to find co-workers to share your workload with. Many project managers have been able to find work, as well as solutions, by reaching out to the international family that PMI offers.
- Better job performance – PMPs are better. As a group, PMPs have a proven proficiency as project managers than none certified candidates. This means that they have a clear understanding of how to manage the nine resource areas: project scope management, human resource management, cost management, integration management, time management, risk management, quality management, communication management, and procurement management. The PMP certification is evidence that you know what these areas are and how to manage them.
Studying for the Project Management Professional exam is vital. The exam is very specific as to the language used, the ways that problems are posed, and the answers that are sought. As with many professional certifications, you might know the material very well, but unless you can relay that knowledge using the universal language of the industry, there is no way for anyone to objectively measure your skill.
Professional certification, including PMP certification, is vital in many industries. The exam for project managers is tough, but it needs to be in order to assure that everyone who takes the test really knows the subject.
The most efficient way to ensure that you pass the PMP exam is to study for it. PMT Institute offers class across the United States to get applicants ready for their exam via our PMP Exam Prep Training. Classes are happening all the time and are even available online. Check the latest schedules and look for a class near you via our schedule portal.
PMP certification is the most widely accepted credential for Project Management Professionals in the world. Increase your salary, your job security, and even enjoy work more by getting the only certification that is recognized the world over: Project Management Institute’s PMP Certification.
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.