Why a PMP certification will increase your abilities and allure as a project manager
It’s safe to say that most people want to be ‘the leader’ in whatever situation they are in or facing. Likewise, the benefits associated with leadership tend to be very attractive; salary hikes, your own office, and of course, having the authority / power to direct others. However, most people will never attain such a title, and it’s usually because they’re not prepared to handle the responsibilities that leadership entails and/or lack the skills / experience. While there’s no program in existence that can teach individuals the importance of accountability, there are great certifications / training courses which can definitely help prepare a person to deal with the challenges that a managerial career presents.
One of the best examples of a solid and versatile leadership preparation program is the PMP certification which is offered through PMI (the Project Management Institute). In a nutshell, a PMP certification helps to train prospective leaders in all the areas relevant to project management. In other words, students will learn all about the finer points of planning, initiating, executing, controlling, monitoring and of course, finishing projects (through study of real-world examples and case studies). Needless to say, the PMP cert is a great and immediate way to signal employers (current or future) that you have the training required to help you function as a leader in the workplace. But beyond that, such a certification demonstrates one’s willingness to step up and assume the role of someone who can “get things done” and isn’t afraid of responsibilities.
Who likes to employ those with a PMP certification on their list of credentials? Aside from the many medium to large sized businesses that routinely hire those with a PMP, governmental agencies and other types of professional organizations are also on the lookout. So, whether you are interested in climbing the corporate ladder, or perhaps learning how to manage fundraisers / non-for-profit organizations, a PMP certification should be considered very useful indeed.
Specifically, those who clearly demonstrate an aptitude for leadership roles are the perfect candidates for PMP certification. However, in order to qualify for the program and exam, you must meet one of two different prerequisites – possess a four-year degree with around three years of hands-on experience (plus 4500 hours spent directing projects). Alternatively, one can also apply with only a high school diploma as long as they have five years of experience (and around 7500 hours of project management experience).
Like many other certification programs these days, PMP credentials are not permanently valid; there is a three-year phase where at least 60 PDU credits must be attained in order to properly maintain the status of your certification. This is done for various reasons, most notably in order to ensure that professionals are up-to-date with their knowledge base and so forth. What is a PDU, you ask? PDU is short for Professional Development Unit and they are essentially rounded activities which are officially recognized as training activities by PMI. In other words, you might attend an hour-long class or seminar which details some new approach to project management, or perhaps you publish a white paper on the subject…there are multiple options for completing PDU’s. It should be noted that most individuals will likely “organically” complete a number of PDU-friendly activities throughout the course of a three-year period (especially if they are serious about a career as a project manager).
Once you finally have your PMP certification you’ll be privy to a much larger bank of potential employers, all of which will find the prospect of hiring you to be more alluring. At the same time, if you’ve put real effort into your certification, you’ll have a much larger set of resources and knowledge to draw upon when it comes time to actually engage your first major project with a new company. Sure, getting PMP certified can be time-consuming, but the benefits of an increased salary and new network connections are certainly well worth the effort for serious professionals.
We’ll leave you with this informational tidbit: most PMP certification holders end up with salaries that fall between the ranges of $65,000 – $150,000.