A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a globally recognized certificate offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is a highly respected certificate held by over one million actively certified individuals. These certifications can advance your career and help drive salary increases for qualified managers.
The need for qualified managers with PMP certifications is rising dramatically, as the business and tech sector work to keep with today’s technology. These advances include cloud computing, artificial intelligence, edge computing and digital transformation.
There are five “performance domains” the PMP exam is based on, these include:
- Initiating the project
- Planning the project
- Executing the project
- Monitoring and controlling the project
- Closing the project
The PMP certification itself is designed by industry leaders and project professionals, ensuring applicants and test takers are skilled in the following areas:
- People: The PMP certification tests your soft skills and leadership potential. These people skills are important for successfully leading teams in today’s ever-growing working environment.
- Process: Project managers and professionals need to be on top of the technical aspects of project management, such as timelines.
- Business environment: Finally, professionals need to be skilled in bridging the gap between projects and an organization’s general strategy and culture.
Holders of the PMP certification will come out into the workforce well versed in these three main aspects of project management. Holders will also learn about the predictive, agile, and hybrid approach to project leadership as well.
The test itself consists of 180 multiple choice questions. Once individuals pass the test, they are required 60 hours of continued professional education units every three years to maintain the certification.
IT professionals interested in project management facing roles and responsibilities will benefit heavily from a PMP certification. Let’s look into these benefits further.
- What are the Benefits of a PMP Certification?
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Holding a PMP certification means you’ve passed a test designed by project professionals and leaders in the project management space. This helps make individuals stand out – it often opens the doors to new positions.
PMI themselves state that employers will need to fill around 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027. Holding a PMP certification as an IT professional helps you stand out, and shows you have a relevant and diverse skill set.
The qualifications for obtaining the certification are robust to begin with. Applicants must meet the following sets of criteria:
- A four-year degree, high school diploma, or associate’s degree.
- 36 to 60 months leading projects, depending on education.
- 35 hours of project management training or CAPM Certification.
One of the more actionable benefits of holding a PMP certification is the higher median salary holders have when compared to non-holders.
PMP certification holders in the United States average about a 25% increase in their salary when compared to non-holders. In Poland and India, this number is above 30%, and in South Africa, holders average a whopping 58% differential when compared to non-holders.
Another important benefit of holding a PMP certification is the efficiency project leaders bring to the table when having one.
A study done by the PMI showed that when over one-third of project managers in a company hold PMP certifications, the company itself meets its original goals and finishes more projects on time.
Coming into a company as an IT professional with a PMP certification means you can increase this efficiency for your own department as well.
PMI certifications are broken down into different experience levels. This means that project managers can always look forward to building their repertoire as their experience grows.
Although the PMP certification is the organization’s most well-known certification for IT professionals and project leaders, PMI offers a vast amount of certifications for these groups and more.
PMI Project Management Ready
This is PMI’s entry-level course, focused on harnessing foundational knowledge of project leadership and management for professionals. Applicants can expect to learn about basic business analytics and agile methodologies in this course.
The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, or PMI-ACP, demonstrates and tests your agile team experience. Agile methodologies are increasingly becoming more necessary for IT professionals, and the PMI-ACP helps professionals hone their skills for the market.
In the test, applicants will be tested on a multitude of agile approaches, such as:
- Extreme programming (XP)
- Test-driven development (TDD)
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is built for professionals looking to strengthen their fundamental knowledge and terminology of project management. The CAPM is very foundational, and can be used as a step to qualify for the PMP certification.
The PMP is PMI’s most well-known certification. Simply put, holding the PMP can bring along a slew of benefits that might not be as available for other certification holders. As we mentioned above, PMP holders generally earn higher salaries than their non-accredited counterparts.
Beyond that, the PMP certification ensures IT professionals and project managers are equipped with the necessary tools needed for efficient and effective project management cycles. IT workers and professionals can expect to hone their predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches through this certification, and stand out in the market as a whole.
The PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) certification is targeted more toward those in need of business analysis skills. These can include:
- Working with key stakeholders to define business requirements.
- Identifying goals and outcomes for business quarters.
- Shaping general output of project cycles.
The need for business analysis practitioners is only growing. Holding the PMI-PBA could ensure you thrive in the market – or at least get you noticed.
The Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant certification, or DAVSC, tests professionals on their value stream management skills and their effectiveness in implementing them enterprise-wide.
The Program Management Professional certification, or PgMP, is one of the most exclusive certifications PMI offers for professionals. It has only been earned by a few thousand applicants. This means that passing it exemplifies your skills as an effective, all-around project leader.
The Portfolio Management Professional certification, or PfMP, is similarly exclusive to its PgMP counterpart. The PfMP focuses more on testing applicant’s experience, skills, and performance in regards to managing and aligning a relevant portfolio catered to enterprise and organizational strategy. Like the PgMP, it’s held by a few thousand leaders worldwide.
The PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) certification is one of six specialized PMI certifications. These are certifications that are built for more specialized use-cases.
In the PMI-RMP’s case, certification holders prove their prowess in regards to identifying and assessing project risks. Holders are also well versed in how to mitigate these risks and move forward with new opportunities once said risks have been cleared or worked on. This certification shows enterprises and businesses your capabilities in protecting their organizational needs.
The PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) certification is focused on what its name suggests: It is best suited for professionals looking to hone their project scheduling skills.
The PMI-SP is actually a far more important certification to hold than applicants might perceive. Scheduling and time management for project cycles is a critical skill to have, and could be highly valued by organizations looking to perfect that avenue.
The Agile Hybrid Project Pro certification, or AHPP, is micro-credential. This means that there is no need to maintain credits to hold it, like a majority of other PMI certifications. This could be reason enough for some to apply, but the AHPP comes with a number of specialized benefits for holders.
The main skill set the AHPP trains applicants in is the application of agile and hybrid project management principles. Applicants also learn about conflict management, team performance support, and mitigating or potentially eliminating obstacles in the project management cycle.
Considering the fact that this certification only requires 1-5 years of project management experience and no education requirements, it could be a perfect entryway for some applicants.