There are many ways to get ahead in your career. Developing a good network can open doors to lesser-known opportunities. Working hard can distinguish you from your peers. Both of those techniques are helpful, but they are also quite common.
If you want to leap ahead in your career, you need to develop more valuable skills. Specifically, certifications are one of the best ways to grow your skillset quickly.
Benefits Of Having a PMP Certification
There are many different ways to grow your skills in today’s world of online learning projects and side projects. You might be wondering why it makes sense to invest time and resources into earning a certification like the Project Management Professional (PMP). A high-quality certification, like the PMP gives you a few benefits:
- Comprehensive Coverage Of A Skillset. By following a course of professional study developed by experts, you will have the peace of mind that you are covering a field’s critical skills
- Open New Doors. Some companies use certifications to distinguish between job candidates. If you lack a critically important certification on your resume, you are unlikely to be considered.
- Access To New Professional Communities. Professional associations typically run the world’s best certification programs. By earning such a certification, you will be able to grow your network quickly. Even better, you will have a community of like-minded professionals to turn to when you have questions.
Certifications Are Not Created Equal
Unlike a college degree, there are no formal restrictions on who can offer professional certifications. As a consequence, certifications vary widely in quality. At one end of the spectrum, the PMP certification is highly respected because of its strict requirements. On the other end of the spectrum, some companies offer a certification just for completing a one-hour online course. Sure, such a fast and straightforward certification may give additional skills and knowledge, but it is unlikely to set you apart from your peers.
Is PMP Certification Worth It?
Here’s 6 Reasons Why The PMP Certification Is Worth Doing
The PMP certification is valuable for career development for a few reasons.
1. A Path To A Higher Income With The PMP Certification
According to the Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (January 2020), US-based PMP credential holders earn a median salary of $120,000. In contrast, non-credential holders earn a median salary of $95,000.
As with other professional careers, your experience and skill set are ultimately more significant than any specific credential. However, earning a PMP gives you an excellent foundation to lead projects throughout your career. To see more potential PMP salaries, read “Project Manager Salaries: What You Need To Know.”
2. Over 30 Years of History
Unlike other certifications, the PMP certification has stood the test of time – it was first offered in 1984. Since it is well established, the certification is well known in the industry.
3. Robust Certification Requirements
The PMP certification also requires candidates to meet multiple requirements, including passing an exam and fulfilling experience requirements. Since there are barriers to entry, earning a PMP certification is a significant accomplishment.
4. Continuing Education
Earning a PMP certification is the start of a new professional journey. Similar to other professionals, like accountants, PMP credential holders are required to earn continuing education credits to maintain their certification. By regularly spending time on professional development each year, the PMP certification encourages professionals to sharpen their skills.
5. Global Presence
While the Project Management Institute (PMI) is based in the United States, the PMP certification has a global reputation. There are dozens of PMI chapters across the United States. Also, you can find PMI chapters in Canada, Britain, Australia, and other countries. PMP’s global recognition means that your certification will be recognized and valued even if you move to another country.
Find a PMI chapter nearby by visiting the PMI chapter website.
6. Industry Recognition
PMI, which runs the PMP certification, takes steps to work closely with some of the world’s leading companies. The Global Executive Council includes participation from companies like Accenture, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and Honeywell. As a result, the PMP certification is one of the most widely understood certifications across industries. If you later decide to change industries, your PMP certification will help you to hit the ground running.
How To Decide If The PMP Is Right For You
The PMP certification is not right for everybody. If you are not interested in running projects, the certification is not a good fit. Also, the certification may not be right for you if you lack the required experience to obtain the credential. Ultimately, deciding to pursue the PMP is a personal decision.
To see if the certification is right for you and your career goals, read “What Does A Project Manager Do” and then consider these reflection questions:
- Do you like working on projects?
Project work can be stressful! Yet, opportunities like launching a new project, building a bridge, or setting a satellite into orbit are also quite exciting.
- Are you interested in project leadership?
Leading projects successfully to completion takes a combination of communication skills, drive, business acumen, and technical project skills. Further, you face an additional unique challenge as a project management professional. In many cases, a project manager has to negotiate for resources, including project team members, to achieve their goals. If these challenges interest you, project work and earning the PMP certification may be a good fit.
- Do you have several years of experience leading projects?
This requirement is critical if you wish to earn the PMP certification. If you currently lack the necessary project experience, you can earn the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential from PMI instead.
- Do you have the time and resources required to earn the certification?
Earning the PMP certification is a project! You need to self-assess your experience and education to determine if you are eligible to apply. Afterward, you need to develop a study plan to prepare yourself for the exam. On the road to a PMP, there is one proven way to shorten your path to success. Use a high-quality PMP exam study resource like Wiley’s exam preparation products to prepare yourself.