Is PMP certification worth it?
There’s no doubt that pursuing PMP certification is a significant undertaking. It’s not easy, it’s not simple, and it’s not a quick thing to do. So, you might be wondering why bother? Is it worth it? Isn’t PMP old school and not “a thing” anymore? We are here to help you think through all of this.
Firstly, let’s talk about relevance. Maybe you think that PMP is old school, and no one does “projects” anymore. Isn’t it all about agile, waterfall, and backlogs?
Here’s the thing: Project Management Professional or PMP certification is foundational, even if it is traditional and has been around for a long time. It is the basis for many other project management approaches – and it also gets regularly updated to reflect current trends and knowledge.
You’re not learning the same content or writing the same exam project managers in the 80s tackled. Mastering project management with a PMP means you are set up for success when going down the path of another approach. PMP is a great starting point for anyone getting into agile, for instance, and helps you navigate any project methodology you may encounter. As well, the PMP exam has elements based on and reflecting the varied landscape.
PMP Exam Guide
Check out what PMI says on their exam guide.
The research validated that today’s project management practitioners work in various project environments and utilize different project approaches. Accordingly, the PMP certification will reflect this and incorporate methods across the value delivery spectrum. About half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches, and the other half will cover agile or hybrid processes. Predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches will be found throughout the three domain areas listed above and are not isolated to any particular domain or task.
So, you’re not “just” demonstrating a solid understanding of old-school project management with your PMP certification. Being PMP certified means, you have demonstrated mastery of these other approaches as well.
A new job or a promotion?
But that’s not all: PMP certification has always had the promise of a new job or a promotion attached. Are you wondering if that’s true or still the case?
The simple answer is yes. Study after study shows that employers know what “PMP certified” means, and they value it – and are quite prepared to pay more for it. Because it is a certification that has been around for a while, is global, and is well known, hiring managers to know what it is when they see it on your resume or hear that you have achieved it.
And this translates into jobs, promotions, good salaries, and raises. It shows an employer that you have studied and mastered the discipline and that you have the experience, and the smarts, to lead a project, a team, or even lead a business transformation. What employer wouldn’t want that skill set, right?! Having your PMP has been shown to increase a salary by an impressive 20-25%.
Will a PMP certification help me get a job?
So, next question. Will having my PMP get me a job? Yes, it sure will!
Because employers know what it is and more or less what it means, without even studying your experience in detail, before they talk to you or even check a reference, they know a lot about you. They know you are hard-working and intelligent enough to pass the challenging PMP exam. They know you had enough relevant experience and education to qualify to take the exam.
They understand that an objective external organization, we’re referring to PMI here, tested, checked, and possibly even audited you to ensure you are up to snuff before granting you that credential. This proof takes a lot of guesswork and risks out of the hiring process, which is always a good thing. Who doesn’t want to hire someone who’s a sure thing?!
So, you like your job, and you are happy in your career. But you are still wondering about pursuing PMP certification. Maybe you are curious about what other reasons someone might get their PMP?
Why should I get the PMP credential?
Well, here are a few.
As an experienced project manager, this certification legitimizes your experience, training, and knowledge. It’s an external validation and a way you can prove to others that you are indeed the expert you know you are. And you will feel good about it. Sometimes proof like this can help us all stand a little taller and feel a little more confident.
PMP certification might even give you a bit more credibility and authority at work. A PMP certification shows your willingness to personally invest in improving your professional ability, credentials, and knowledge. It also helps you command respect among peers and team members. Find yourself in a situation where someone is questioning or challenging your decision or direction. You can subtly mention something you learned in completing PMP certification to demonstrate that you have proof that you know what you’re talking about. Are you not just winging it or expressing random opinions – like maybe they are? Ha!
We mentioned this earlier, but adding this certification to your accomplishments might get you a raise, a promotion, or even an exciting assignment at work. Even if you love what you do, maybe a cool project comes along, and you get picked to lead it because of your certification. A new challenge like that is always fun and can compliment the people who chose you for it, maybe in part because of your certificate.
Do you want to keep growing in your career? You can only do that by getting better at what you are doing currently. Experience may teach you to improve how you manage projects, but certification can do the same thing quicker. The process of certification might also help you learn some new skills or acquire new knowledge.
PMP Exam Eligibility
To be eligible to write the exam, you must have had a pretty significant amount of experience and related education. Along the road, you learned how to manage projects. But did you know the foundational elements, the terminology, and the discipline of the field? Are you familiar with the PMBOK Guide or Project Management Body of Knowledge?
In the process of mastering the content to prepare for and sail through the exam, you will no doubt learn some new stuff. Earning your PMP will include learning many complex (knowledge) and soft (EQ) skills. This journey will build your understanding of fundamental project management processes, tools, techniques, and methodologies.
You will gain exposure to best practices and contemporary trends in project management and new tricks and techniques in project management activities. Best of all, it’s current, and joining PMI can help you stay current and keep up to date with project management overall. So, you know what’s going on in the project management field and can more easily stay up to date on new trends, terminology, and developments.
Expand Your Professional Network
Another exciting opportunity PMP certification presents is new friends, or rather, networking. You may work at a small company where you are a single project manager, or maybe a big one where other project managers work in other parts of the world, and you don’t get to talk to them often. When you earn your PMP certification, you join a group of more than one million people worldwide (according to the PMI) who hold PMP certification. As part of this community, you can tap into a new network of people to share stories with, ask questions, bounce ideas off, and swap best practices. Earning your PMP certification and joining PMI is a great way to build your professional network and even mentor or be mentored by a project manager. You will find your squad!
Finally, this can be a step towards other certifications. Maybe today you’re happy where you are, but do you know for sure that you don’t even want to set your sights on the broader disciplines of program or portfolio management? PMP certification today can be an excellent foundation for anyone interested in progressing to one of these areas tomorrow.
Is it worth it?
So, have we convinced you that it’s worth it? It’s true; you are right if you think it’s a lot of work to achieve. And costly. A significant personal investment of time and money, too. But we believe the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and hope that you will now agree. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task to achieve PMP certification, either.
You have the experience you need, and our prep course is a great way to master the knowledge, nail the training requirements, and be sure you’ll pass the exam the first time you take it.
Remember, it’s never a waste of time, effort, or money to invest in yourself. Regardless of whether it helps you get a new or better job, a raise, or helps you feel more confident, those are all excellent reasons to go down this path and pursue PMP certification. I hope you’ll try it, and good luck!