Certification Spotlight: Project Management Professional (PMP)

August 27, 2013

A project manager’s responsibilities can include the planning, execution, and closing of projects within an organization. And, a good project manager knows how to do all of these things while assessing risks and making cost-effective choices.

Information technology is one of the great industries in which project managers can develop their careers in a growing and challenging environment. With that being said, in an industry as competitive as IT, it can be helpful to obtain certifications to help you stand out from the rest. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

What is it?

The PMP credential is one of the most globally recognizedcertifications for project managers and allows all project managers to share a common language and standard frameworks when executing projects. This certification helps to demonstrate an individual’s experience, education, and competency in leading and directing projects and teams.

The Requirements

To apply, a person must fall into one of the two following categories:

  1. They have earned a four-year degree (bachelor’s degree, etc.) and had at least 3 years of project management experience. This experience should include 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects, as well as 35 hours of project management education.
  2. They have earned a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, etc.) and had at least five years of project management experience. This should include 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects, as well as 35 hours of project management education.

For those who do not fall into one of those two categories, another option is the Certified Associate in Project Management which has lower requirements for the amount of project management experience.

The cost of the exam can range from $250 to $600 depending on whether or not you are a member of PMI, as well as whether you choose to take the computer or paper exam.  In order to maintain the certification, project managers must earn 60 PDUs every three years, as well as submit either a $60 or $150 fee, depending on PMI involvement, in order to renew their certification.

Why get it?

  • More and more companies are posting jobs that either require or prefer PMP certification as they are recognizing the importance of strong project management skills in order to deliver successful projects.
  • It may increase your salary as education and experience often drive your rate of pay, particularly for consultants.
  • The PMP is an internationally recognized certification by the International Organization for Standardization.
  • Obtaining a PMP certification, or really any certification, shows your commitment to your professional development and it further establishes your credibility as an expert in your field.

Some people find a company’s preference for certified project managers controversial as many argue that while a certification may prove that a person has extensive project management knowledge, it does not guarantee that they have the leadership or governance skills necessary to execute a project. This is definitely a very valid point; but when it comes down to it, project managers can surely benefit both personally and professionally from the training needed to earn the PMP.

Have you earned your PMP? What recommendations would you make to others who are interested in pursuing the certification? Please share your thoughts below! 

Posted By: Briana Perrino

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