Why Every Project Manager Should Be PMP-Certified

Work team completing project concept

The most successful organizations are now focused on developing their employees' leadership, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills — alongside traditional IT and technical skills. Businesses are increasingly realising the benefits of qualified project managers. This is a massive opportunity for professionals if they can prove their skills through certification and continuous learning.


In the United States, one credential stands out amongst the crowd: the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). More than 710,000 professionals have achieved this certification — which is aimed at experienced project managers — and PMP holders can be found leading projects in nearly every country.


Every project management professional, regardless of experience, should aim to achieve this globally recognized certification. Here are some important reasons why:


Complete more successful projects


Studying for — and achieving — the PMP certification provides professionals with the knowledge they need to complete more successful projects on time and on budget. "Without a doubt, good project management drives more success, lowers risk, and increases the chance of success for delivering the economic value of the project," says Bill Seliger, PMP, Director of Supply at LSC Communications.


Often referred to as the gold standard project management certification, the PMP teaches expert knowledge, built on years of best-practice and experience. Professionals will take on a tried-and-tested project management framework, and study the five PMP domains, covering the advanced knowledge needed to lead projects from planning to execution.


Achieving the PMP proves professionals can speak a common language dictated by a globally understood framework. For better or worse, project managers spend the majority of their time communicating with team members. The globally-recognized project management language provided by the PMP certification will streamline those many hours of communication.


Employers will benefit (and they might pay for it too)


PMP-certified professionals are a valuable resource for any organization. PMP is the largest and most popular project management certification out there, and PMPs can be found leading projects in nearly every country and every vertical.


PMI's own research shows that when more than one third of project managers within an organization are PMP-certified, that organization completes more of its projects on time and on budget while meeting original goals.


Project outcomes are significantly better in organizations that invest in project management training, but many professionals find it hard to ask their employers for support in achieving their PMP.


A PMP certification is a significant investment of time and money, but it's in any organization's interest for their employees to be certified. Organizations benefit from employees with knowledge of PMP's domains, processes and techniques.


A PMP-certified employee will be able to act as an in-house resource for project management, able to teach colleagues in the principles of the PMP Body of Knowledge. Learn how to demonstrate PMP's return on investment to your manager — and convince your employer to pay for your PMP training and exam costs — with this great handy guide.


Boost your career


Successful project management concept

The PMP exam assesses a project manager's education and experience, and will validate a professional's skills in the eyes of current (and future) employers. By proving an ability to complete challenging projects, your value as a project management professional will increase, giving you the scope to lead, direct and implement increasingly difficult (and rewarding) projects.


PMP holders are an elite network of professionals who actively network and engage with each other. Become a PMI member during your studies and you'll be able to interact and learn from others in your field. Join a PMI chapter in your local area and stay in touch with other project managers — this is a great way to network and may even lead to new career opportunities.


You never know who might help you obtain your next job. The more you put into your field, the easier it will be to get the job you want when it's time to move up the career ladder.


PMP holders can also expect a 20 percent higher salary than their uncertified peers, according to data from PMI's Earning Power Salary Survey. Plus, the average salary (as researched by PayScale) for a PMP-certified project manager working in IT is between $65,000 and $125,000.


What's next? Become agile


New research has shown organizations that embrace agile methodologies and practices for project management are more likely to be successful; 71 percent of organizations are now using agile approaches within their projects.


Success rates for IT projects are now on the rise, according to a recent Pulse of the Profession report from PMI. Many link this trend with the increasing use of agile methodologies that emphasise flexibility and creativity to stay on schedule despite from unforeseen problems.


Agile skills are increasingly being seen as crucial for project managers. For PMP holders, there's already a route to proving this knowledge with the PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner).


Through the PMI-ACP, IT professionals can invest in learning the agile skills and methodologies that are increasingly crucial in every industry. Professionals will learn how to lead agile projects with a reliable framework that spans many approaches, like Scrum, Kanban Lean and extreme programming (XP).


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About the Author
Alex Bennett of Firebrand Training

Alex Bennett is a technical writer for Firebrand Training. Working at the forefront of the IT training industry, Alex uses his insider knowledge to write regularly on IT security, networking and cloud technology.