Are you thinking about taking the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam in 2023? If so, you will join 1.2 million PMI®-certified project managers. The PMP® is the gold standard for project management certifications, recognized worldwide.
Preparing for the PMP® exam is a rigorous process that starts with providing documentation for education, projects you have worked on, and the hours you have spent leading teams and directing projects. Once your application has been accepted, you must pass a challenging 180-question exam.
The Value of PMP® Certification
Rest assured, all of the preparation pays off: The Project Management Institute (PMI)® reported in their 12th Annual Project Management Salary Survey that globally, PMPs earn 16% more than those who don’t hold the certification. That number is even higher in the U.S., where PMPs earn 32% more than those without a PMP.
The value of the PMP® translates to more than higher salary; PMPs are in demand for businesses looking to hire project managers. Business News Daily conducted a survey of job boards and found that the PMP® was clearly the number one certification for project managers. CIO Magazine ranked the PMP® as one of the top 15 certifications for IT professionals because it demonstrates that certification holders have the specific skills employers seek, dedication to excellence, and the capacity to perform at the highest levels.
Additionally, because the exam is not based on any specific methodology, it can be easily transferred between industries, market segments, and geographic locations.
To understand why people earn the credential, we asked them.
A while ago, we posted the following question in one of the LinkedIn groups we belong to:
What do you think is the main benefit you realized as a result of earning the PMP®?
Here’s a selection of what people told us:
- “Was [a] culmination of proof to myself that I have the knowledge to do the work.”
- “Don’t forget the ongoing education (requirement). There’s a degree of commitment to the PMP that adds to its validity.”
- “It changed my perspective of handling projects. It gives a structured way to approach pretty much everything we do.”
- “To stay competitive in the job market. Period.”
- “…the certification…will…get rid of various addictions, to recycle and learn the practices another way.”
- “Not all carpenters are alike. The certification gives those hiring you a comfort level that you’re serious about your profession.”
- “..When I prepared for the certification, I learned about some topics I didn’t know about. Gave me self-confidence…in spite of certifications being considered ‘a paper’ for some clients.”
- “The greatest value for me was learning a more systematic approach than the way the Army was doing things.”
- “Wanted to shape a project culture in the company and talking all with the same language.”
- “The PMP gave me a guide to follow.”
- “..most of all, it gave me the confidence to look for a new job. And of course, it helped me get that next job….and the next.”
- “The association with PMI chapters brings greater value for your career.”
Based on what people told us, we can say with confidence that there are two primary reasons people earn the PMP®:
- They see it as a challenge to meet the highest levels of professional standards
- They want greater access to jobs and higher salaries
You can’t blame them, can you? Look at it another way—can 1,200,000 people be wrong?
What’s on the Exam?
The exam is based on an Exam Content Outline (ECO) which describes the structure for the PMP Exam. It is organized into three domains:
People: Recognizing you have the skills to effectively lead and motivate a project team throughout a project.
Process: Using predictive, agile and hybrid approaches to determine which way of working is best for each project.
Business Environment: Highlighting the success of a project and its impact on overall strategic organizational goals.
Preparing for the Future
Project managers are in high demand, and likely to stay that way. PMI’s 2021 report, Talent Gap: Ten Year Employment Trends, Costs, and Global Implications, stated that the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030. Businesses are increasingly focusing on bringing value to the market and making their goals a reality. Project professionals are equipped to deliver.
When you’re ready to take that next step in your career, IIL is ready to help. We have Authorized PMP® Prep classes offered in-person, virtually, for individuals, teams, and organizations. Learn about the course here.
About the Authors
Cynthia Snyder Dionisio is the Practice Lead for IIL’s Project, Program, and Portfolio Management (PPPM) Practice. Cyndi has over 20 years of experience leading international project teams, consulting, developing courses, and facilitating training. She has received several awards, including the PMI Fellow Award in 2018 and PMI’s Distinguished Contribution Award in 2009. Cyndi is passionate about turning chaos in order, engaging with awesome teams, solving problems, and facilitating achievement.
J. LeRoy Ward is a highly respected consultant and adviser to Global Fortune 500 Corporations and government agencies in the areas of project, program, and portfolio management. With more than 38 years of government and private sector experience, LeRoy specializes in working with senior executives to understand their role in project and program sponsorship, governance, portfolio management and the strategic execution of projects and programs.
See upcoming dates for IIL’s Authorized PMP® Prep Exam virtual course here.
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Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.