In 2008, the Project Management Institute (PMI), in conjunction with Anderson Economic Group (AEG), conducted and assessment of project management employment and industry, projecting the growth of need in project management professions.
Since then – in 2012, and now in 2017 – they’ve conducted the assessment again, and not only has project management job need met expected growth, it’s surpassed it. In fact, according to the recent study, “by 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management oriented roles.”
With this dramatic increase in job opportunities for project management professionals, there’s no doubt that project management is a career that is worth the time and investment necessary for ongoing success. One of the most important aspects of project management readiness is PMP coursework and certification.
Wondering why PMP certification is worth it? Here are six reasons to give it some thought.
1. It Boosts Your Resume
When your resume comes across the desk of a potential employer, one thing that person will be scanning for is whether or not you are PMP certified. If your resume is in a stack with competitors, it’s possible that you could be passed over in favor of someone else based on PMP certification. If an employer is debating whether she ought to hire you or another applicant, certification could be the deciding factor.
In fact, many employers – particularly in countries with high demand for capable project managers – will not even consider applicants unless they are PMP certified. Certification means that your resume looks better, but it also increases the likelihood that it will make it to the desks of potential employers.
“Hiring PMP-certified consultants is now especially beneficial to global organizations because they can reference the ISO 17024 certification,” Shannon Belew reported for The Balance. This simply means that PMP certification is accredited with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a fact which appeals to many employers worldwide.
Make sure the person who gets your resume automatically knows that you are qualified for the job by becoming certified and including the crucial “PMP” next to your name. It will definitely up your appeal in the increasing PM job market.
2. It Shows Employers You Have Experience
One of the things that PMP certification reveals to potential employers is that you have a specified amount of experience and education. Before you can apply to take the exam you must have:
- An Associate’s Degree, five years of project management experience, 7,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects
- A Bachelor’s Degree, three years of project management experience, 4,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects
On top of this, you must receive 35 hours of project management education. This education is valuable in preparing you both to take the exam AND work in the field of project management.
Successfully passing the PMP certification exam also informs employers that you well-versed in Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide, which is the primary source of PMP terminology and practices.
Because all of this is required if you are to even qualify to apply for certification, the certification automatically informs an employer that you have a significant level of experience and commitment to the field.
3. It Provides Networking Opportunities
When you are prepared to take the PMP exam and earn your certification, you do so by signing up through the Project Management Institute. The exam is $555 for non-members, but only $405 for members, so many opt to join when registering for the exam. But joining PMI doesn’t just get you a discount, it gets you so much more.
When you become a PMI member, you have an automatic link to all other PMPs who are members as well. According to PMI’s 2016 annual report, there are over 740,000 PMP certified professionals. Of that number, more than half are outside of the United States.
That means that you have access to contacts not just in the U.S., but all of the world. The recent report showed that the two fastest growing countries for project management professionals are India and China, and being a member gives you a connection to these communities.
PMI offers opportunities to network with other PMPs by having regular PMI meetings in their local chapters. These meetings are times to learn from one another and from experts in the field, as well as to share and hear about job opportunities that are available. It is also a chance to earn Professional Development Units, which are required for the certification renewal PMPs must complete every three years.
4. It Ups Your Earning Potential
One question that comes up when considering the value of PMP certification is that of salary potential. Does it really impact your earning ability if you become certified in project management? PMI has continually reported this to be so over the last several years, and that’s based on research and data.
One area in which PMP certification makes a significant difference is that inif Information Technology. Mark Langley, president and CEO of PMI, said “We’re seeing huge demand for IT project and program managers.The data in the survey demonstrates that.” This was back in 2012, and the need in this area has only risen.
“The PMP certification is one of a handful of factors that positively influence project managers’ salaries,” Meredith Levinson wrote for CIO. PMP certified project managers consistently make 20% more than those without certification.
The 9th Edition of PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey reports on earnings statistics with data gathered from 26,000 project management professionals in over 34 countries. The study found that PMP Certification meant greater earnings than non-certification in almost all countries. It also showed that the longer a person’s PMP tenure, the higher the median salary.
The two most notable examples of this were South Africa, where the differential is 47% between PMP certified managers and non-certified managers, and Saudi Arabia, where the median salary of managers certified for more than 10 years is more than twice that of managers certified fewer than 5 years.
5. It Proves You’re Serious About Your Profession
There is a difference between having some project management experience and pursuing project management as a profession. Many people experience leading a project or two throughout their career experience, but not everyone pursues the necessary training and certification for excellence in the field of project management.
Certification tells others that you take project management seriously, and aren’t just dipping your toe in the water of this career to see how it will pan out. Employers want to hire managers who are passionate about doing so to the best of their ability, and certification lends credibility to that passion.
6. It Improves Job Prospects
PMP certification is the world’s most popular project management certification, and as such, is recognized by employers all over the world. Employers looking for project managers will view certification as a valuable credential, whether it is required for a position or not.
If you, as a project manager, are searching for a new position, PMP certification will give you an edge over competitors, and will open the door to a broader range of possibilities, as some companies actually do require certification for their managers.
When all’s said and done, PMP certification is worth the time, financial investment, training, and education required to achieve it. If you are serious about profession of project management, PMP certification is proven to increase job opportunities, earning potential, and overall success for years to come.
Check out our courses and boot camps here, which will guarantee readiness to pass the PMP certification exam, and set you on the road to success.