By Edward Jones
About the Author: Ed Jones works for Firebrand Training as a Content Strategist within the Marketing department. Ed spends his days thinking up topics for surveys, article titles and concepts for engaging infographics. You can check out a range of his most recent work via the Firebrand Press Page.
Put plainly, being a Project Manager is tough. You are responsible for understanding a range of processes, implementing the correct strategies and making best use of the tool available, and god forbid it all goes wrong there is only one person to blame. The practice of Project management allows organisations to significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of their organisation; this means improved profits, so it is no surprise that Project Managers are in high demand. It’s also a highly rewarding role offering work variety, competitive salaries and long term career prospects, so it comes as no surprise that competition is higher than ever.
So in an increasingly competitive marketplace, how do you stand out from the crowd? Past experience is critical, however an increasing volume of professionals are turning to project management certification as a way of elevating themselves above the average Project Managers CV. Certification is proof of knowledge and endorsement from an independent third party that you can apply the necessary practice.
Top of the list is PMI’s Project Management certification.
More about PMP Certification
Like other professions, there is a membership association in place for the project management profession – it’s called the Project Management Institute (PMI). Regarded as the World’s leading professional association for Project Management their flagship offing is the Project Management Professional (PMP), which is a globally recognised and transferable project management credential; moreover, this program is the very first certification to be honored with the ISO 9001 quality certification.
The members of PMI enjoy direct access to the skills, knowledge, networking opportunities, educational support, and everything else required for a business to yield positive results through portfolio management, program management, and project management. According to the most recent Project Management Salary Survey, your PMP certification will give you increased marketability to employers and a higher overall salary, responses from over 30,000 project managers is fairly compelling results. By now you’ll probably find yourself asking, how do I obtain a PMP credential?
Are you eligible for a PMP Credential?
Due to the ever increasing status of the cert, to even apply, you must now have either:
- Five years experience of project management accompanied by 7500 hours of leading and directing projects, 35 hours of project management centric education and a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent).
- A 4 year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) 3 years project management experience accompanied with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
Not only do you need to meet the eligibility criteria, you also need to pass the PMP examination. An especially designed test that includes 200, multiple-choice questions.
Misconceptions of PMP
Some candidates think they have a strong project management background, so they don’t have to prepare seriously for the exam. It’s nothing but a misconception. The test is designed to be tough and checks your knowledge and understandings of different project management related concepts. The difficulty of attaining the certification ensures an employer quickly understands that a candidate with a PMP certification has a solid foundation of experience and possesses sufficient knowledge of every issue related to the field of project management. Therefore, it is important to prepare vigorously otherwise you could easily fail your PMP exam.
How to ensure you attain your PMP Certification
Aside from meeting the pre-requisites, to give yourself the best chance of passing the exam and securing your certification there are several training routes you can go down:
Classroom learning – whilst a more expensive option, classroom learning offers a structured environment conducive to learning with a qualified instructor to help prepare you, thus improving your chances of winning. There are range of Official PMI training providers which includes Firebrand who offer a 4 day all inclusive PMP bootcamp designed to fully prepare you for passing the exam.
Self-Study – for the self-disciplined amongst you, not looking/unable to invest significant funds in training, self-study is a viable option. As always there a range of official and non-official study guides available on Amazon, the benefit/downside of this method is that it’s up to you when and how you chose to study.
Distance Learning – This falls somewhere in between self-study and classroom learning both in cost and structured/unstructured training. The market is currently flooded with a range of operators offering varying levels of service with interactive video learning and live instructors on hand to help you if you get stuck.
Pros and Cons of Obtaining a PMP Certification
By now you should know all about the PMP and how to obtain it, lets take a look at some of the pro’s and con’s some of which have already been included earlier in the article.
- According to figures from IT Jobs Watch the average Project Manager (without certification) earns £50,000 per annum, whereas Project Managers who are PMP certified command an average salary of £57,500, a 15% increase!
- As a universal certification, PMP is applicable to and coveted by a wide range of industries offering a wide array of career opportunities across the globe.
- PMP is regularly listed among the top 10 in demand certifications as reflected in this recent post from Tech Republic.
- As a reflection of demand and its high reputation the pre-requisites are tough, if your just entering the project management sector it may be a long time till you become eligible.
- Preparing for the exam is expensive if you wish to get the right kind of training to ensure you pass, of course this can be nullified if your company is paying or by increased salary offsetting the cost of training.
Having read the article you should now know what PMP is, whether your eligible, common misconceptions, methods of training and the Pros/Cons of obtaining the certification. So now all you need to know is whether it’s right for you and if so when you start training. Good Luck.