Is Earning Your PMP® Certification Worth the Costs?
In the project management field, the question of whether or not to earn your Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is often in the air. Many would argue the Project Management Institutes (PMI) PMP certification is an important step forward and a wise career move while others might say that while it is certainly a well-respected credential, it is not for everyone.
Enterprise Resource Planning Analyst, Derek Singleton recently asked several Project Management and hiring experts to give their opinions on who should get a PMP certification, what it takes to get one, and the potential payoff. Below is some of what they said.
Real-World Experience is Necessary for a PMP Certification
The most basic thing to understand about the PMP certification is that individuals seeking it must already have a strong base and interest in project management and certainty that they want to pursue it as a career.
In addition, you must have professional experience managing projects. The amount of experience necessary is dependent on your education path to PMP certification. All experience must be had no more than eight years before submitting your application. Education requirements for project management certification can usually be met within three to four months through PMP courses. Criteria for what types of tasks, knowledge, and skills this experience must align with are further outlined here.
After passing these requirements you must pass a 200 question exam which costs $405. Once you pass this exam, you will become a PMP certified project manager. The question for many individuals is whether the amount of work it takes to become certified is worth it. According to the experts, it is.
PMP Certification Shines on a Resume
As with any type of well-respected certification, a PMP certification adds credit to your resume and makes you far more competitive. Kevin Archbold, a Consulting Manager at Key Consulting explains that many recruiters divide resumes into two different piles based on those with and those without certification. This means even those who have proven past success in project managing can greatly benefit from PMP certification.
Competition within the project management discipline is high and employers can afford to be selective. PMP certification in any industry is almost always helpful and in many industries it is even necessary.
PMP Certification Yields Higher Salaries
The average salaries of project managers with certification are significantly higher than those without certification. A 2011 survey of 30,000 project management professionals indicated an average salary of $111,824 per year for those who had received PMP certification compared to an average yearly salary of $97,829 for those who were not certified.
PMP Certification Enables Stronger Communication
Many of the PMP experts revealed that PMP certification greatly helped them in their ability to articulate important aspect of a project charter such as project goals, needed resources, assumptions, and risks. It provides you with a common language that allows you to better communicate with clients and vendors and cuts out confusion, need for explanation, and difficulty conveying a point.
It is of course possible to learn these skills without formal training. However, formal training provides standardization, a common set of definitions, and a set of best practices that can be difficult to successfully grasp otherwise. Having a strong understanding of these concepts are critical for successfully managing and completing any project.
PMP Certification Allows You to Plan Ahead for High Project Manager Demand.
The Anderson Economic Group is predicting that 1.2 million project management positions will need to be filled yearly until 2016. The job market is particularly strong in the IT industry where 40 percent of IT executives state that they have plans to hire a PMP in the next year. With this being said, planning ahead for this demand and putting yourself in a strong position for the future by obtaining certification is wise.
If you do not already have the project management experience required to obtain certification, experts recommend starting with a training course. Maggie Donovan, a Program Manager at Dell Storage Marketing worked in the financial department at Apple. After completing a PMP training course, she landed in her current job and her salary instantly doubled. Donovan says of starting with a training course, “You’ll be so much more effective at your job and understand why things get done in a certain way if you start with formal training. After gaining enough experience, then you can go for certification.