Is The Project Management Certificate Worth It?

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The million dollar question – if the Project Management Certificate is really worth it?

A recent PwC survey states that certified Project Management Professional project managers handle more than three fourth of the high performing projects. Companies with more than one-third PMP certified managers have better project success than companies that do not. Also, PMP is the fifth highest-paying certification currently. Let us first understand what PMP is; Project Management Professional (PMP) is a globally recognized professional certification offered by Project Management Institute (PMI) - a nonprofit professional organization based in Pennsylvania, USA. Founded in the early 1980s with PMP credentials; PMI over a while has added several other certifications.

Insights of PMP exam

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), with industry standards, is used as a guide for testing candidates. The PMP exam tests the applicants on tasks of five performance fields: Initiating the project (13%), executing the projects (31%), Planning the project (24%), Monitoring and controlling the project (25%), closing the project (7%). The exam has around 200 multiple choice questions, out of which 25 are not counted towards the final score. These are used as pilot questionnaires to improve the standard of the exam. As the exam will be a closed book test, no reference material will be allowed during the examination.

The eligibility criteria

Before applying for the exam, one has to verify whether they are eligible. The PMI states if you are an experienced project manager taking responsibility for aspects such as project delivery, directing cross-functional teams and, leading teams, then choosing PMP is the right choice for you. Candidates should meet certain prerequisites to be certified. A candidate must have either a secondary degree or global equivalent, 7500 hours leading and directing projects, 35 hours of project management education or a four-year degree, 4500 hours leading and directing projects, 35 hours of project management education.

The several costs one has to pay

Now that we understood what PMP is all about and its prerequisites, let's look into "is PMP certification worth it" as the certificate has both costs and benefits. Many experts and certified professionals agree benefits outweigh the costs. If you are not a PMI member, then the price for the PMP certification is $550; however, if you are a member, you need to spend $405 to take the exam. Even though the membership itself costs $139, there are many more benefits, like the fee for the exam's retake. In total, one needs to spend at least $750 to obtain this certification.

Not the only certification is costlier, but it is also a difficult exam to crack. The exam tests your memory of concepts and the practical application, so many consider it the most challenging exam they have ever taken. With a time limit of 240 minutes to answer 200 questions, it becomes terrifying with added pressure for even a seasoned project manager. Along with financial costs, many people have problems with time as the certification requires 35 hours of mandatory training. Also, they need to set aside some time daily to master PMBOK and attend sample tests.

is the project management certificate worth it

Do the benefits really outweigh the costs? Let’s talk.

Even though the problems look intimidating, but the advantages of PMP certification makes issues irrelevant. The vital benefit each would get with PMP is it adds value to your resume. PMP certification is considered the most valuable certification program. As the interviewers are aware of its credibility, they will prioritize profiles with PMP certification over those who do not have such accreditation. With the increase in demand for project management, candidates applying for these jobs are also increasing. It is time and resource-consuming for the organization to interview and assess all the applicants' potential—the PMP certification proves beneficial for interviewers as they are able to filter out the candidates while screening the candidates for interview.

Furthermore, many companies are making PMP certification mandatory to have; in such cases, you cannot even apply for some positions without this certification. This certification can also be valuable if you plan to advance in the company you are currently working. It puts you way ahead of your colleagues in terms of moving up in the career ladder, as a certified manager can do much better in a grueling project management interview than a non-certified one. PMP is globally recognized and works with any industry and location; you need not worry about your professional background and industry.

Companies recognize certified managers as they are better at completing the project on time and within the budget. With high standards of PMBOK, you will master the practical implementation of what is suggested in PMBOK. You will also learn several hard & soft skills, build knowledge of fundamental project management processes tools & techniques, and methodologies. Furthermore, you will have exposure to best practices and current trends in project management, along with new tricks and techniques in management activities. With 773840 active PMP certified professionals worldwide, they arrange frequent meetings for members to earn PDUs so that they can fulfill CCRs required to keep certification for three years.

The biggest draw of PMP certification

Yes, you are right! The biggest draw of PMP certification is the higher salary it can bring to managers. Across the industry, the average salary of certified project managers is considerably 20% higher than non-certified. A recent PMI survey concluded that the average median salary for a project manager with certification is $1,08,000 and a non-certified project manager is only $91,000. Also, the trend indicates the wages with PMP will only continue to grow in the future. Apart from higher income, this certification improves your job security. Because many companies value the core competencies learned through accreditation. Hence, a PMP credential helps you fight potential lay off better than not being certified.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, there is a specific condition needed to be satisfied before getting PMP certified. If you are an associate, you require 60 months of experience, and if you are a bachelor's degree holder, it requires 36 months of work experience. With very high standards necessary to pass the exam, the employers understand the dedication you have to the job. It indicates your seriousness about your long-term career path in project management. In summary, few people might view PMP certification as time-consuming, expensive, and challenging. But many hiring experts believe PMP certification is an important credential that adds credibility to your resume. Further, it helps you build essential skills to excel in your career.

The Author : Learning Mudra


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