When we’re in school, the path forward is clear. Participate in lessons, study for exams, make an effort on your projects.
However, when it comes to our career, the path forward can be ambiguous. In this article, I will go over one of the paths you can take as a project manager to propel your career forward: the PMP certification.
1. More credibility
A PMP certification lends you credibility as a candidate. It shows that you’ve had experience as a project manager and that you have a working knowledge of the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK Guide.
The PMP is often referred to as the gold standard of project management certification. Gaining this credential is a way to formally showcase your expertise to employers.
In order to sit the exam, you will have either had a minimum three or five years of project management experience and have spent a minimum of 4,500 or 7,500 hours leading projects. You will have also completed 35 hours of project management training, through an online course for example.
2. Better job prospects
In 2013, PMI reported that 83 percent of organizations had difficulty finding qualified project management candidates to fill open PM positions. Their survey also found that 1.57 million new project management roles will be added by 2020 across the globe.
The low supply of qualified candidates coupled with the high growth of open positions means that there are an abundance of jobs for project managers, and plenty of job security. Those who are a PMP will have a greater chance of landing the first-rate jobs because the certification is emblematic of expertise and experience in the field.
Moreover, project management skills are desirable across many different sectors. Most notably in finance, insurance, and manufacturing.
3. Higher salary potential
Having extra credibility not only means access to better jobs, but it also means a higher salary potential. According to PMI’s tenth salary survey, “respondents holding the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification (82%) report higher median salaries than those without a PMP certification―23% higher on average across the 37 countries surveyed.”
This is an excellent return on investment. The PMP will cost you $405 or $555 to sit (depending on whether you’re a PMI member) and a renewal fee of $60 (member) or $150 (non-member) every three years, as well as the variable amount for earning your PDUs.
4. Better job performance
In order to pass the PMP certification exam, you need to know the five process groups (planning, implementing, monitoring, controlling, and closing) and the process within each group, identify the ten knowledge areas and their processes, and much more.
Having an internalised understanding of all the concepts crucial to project management is not just important to pass the PMP exam – this knowledge will equip you to run better projects day to day in your role at work.
Having a certification can also mean that you’re entrusted with more responsibility and challenging projects. This means that your ability to develop skills and project management acumen also increases beyond the exam.
5. You can pay it forward
Being a knowledgeable and experienced project manager will help you mentor others more effectively. It will be clearer to see where people’s strengths and weaknesses lie, which can help you evaluate potential employees, but also identify areas of growth for your team.
Demonstrating your leadership skills in this way will also likely impress your employer, and may put you on the fast track to higher managerial positions.
6. Global reach
Since the PMP is an internationally recognized certification, the benefits above can be reaped worldwide. If geographic flexibility is something that interests you, then a qualification that can follow you worldwide will be an asset.
Furthermore, becoming a member of PMI will give you access to a network of over 750,00 PMP certified project professionals worldwide. This gives you the chance to make valuable connections, learn from those more knowledgeable than yourself, and even discover new opportunities for growth in your career.
Earning a PMP certification is a sure-fire way to propel your career forward in project management and potentially in other sectors too. The benefits that come with the added experience, internalized knowledge of the PMBOK, and global network can have a powerful effect on your salary and career development the years to come.
Krystal Tolani does all things Marketing at GoSkills. She’s a recent Boston University graduate with a B.A. in international relations and a minor in communications. When she’s not at work, you can find her listening to podcasts or watching comedy specials on Netflix.