PMI PMP is one of the most popular certifications in the project management profession. Nevertheless, you may have the wrong expectations for it. Many see it as a booster to their salary and job offers. But the real benefits are different.
I also had the wrong expectations as well. But I corrected them quite fast. Here is how it was.
To keep up with the demands of the employers, I regularly go to interviews. I do it even if I do not plan to change the job. It helps to stay in good shape, find new networking opportunities, and track the demands of the skill set.
So, right after I got my certificate, I went for a job offers hunt. I submitted to different companies in different countries. I tried different professional levels, even the lower ones. I also went outside the software development industry.
I should note that it was a period of economic decline here. Nevertheless, I was invited to seven interviews in two weeks.
Well, to put a long story short – I was a bit disappointed. The certificate itself had no demand on the market.
Right after that, I was determined to justify the efforts and money spent on certification. Frankly speaking, it was a positive experience. The true benefits of PMI PMP I discovered are much more valuable.
How Does PMI Position PMP Certification?
“The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers.” – says the Project Management Institute.
Therefore, it is globally and industry-recognized. So, it certifies that you are capable of managing a project in any industry and any country. But it doesn’t mean that all organizations around the world apply PMI’s processes and procedures.
Keep in mind that you will learn a universal project management approach. So, it may not be efficient in all cases. Moreover, it might not be compatible with the policies and procedures of a performing organization.
So, here is my interpretation of the certification.
It proves that you are capable of selecting and applying best practices to manage a project of any size and complexity in any environment.
Therefore, you will learn about the great diversity of processes, tools, and techniques. The majority of them may not be practically applicable in your case.
It is something that frustrated me a lot in the beginning.
You will find out a lot of useful ways to manage a project. But there will be many valid reasons why you can’t apply them to your organization.
A Promise of a Better Salary
“The PMP also increases your earning potential. PMP Certification holders earn 20 percent more than their non-certified peers according to Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, Ninth Edition.” – Another quote from PMI’s site.
But I would correct it to say, “Long-term PMP certificate holders earn more…”
PMI PMP certificate sends a strong signal to employers that you are serious about your professional development. Moreover, you have a required set of theoretical knowledge.
However, in practice, everyone is only interested in your current experience, skills, and achievements. Theoretical knowledge is an excellent addition. But it doesn’t guarantee that you are capable of solving real-life problems and conflicts.
Additionally, expectations from PMP certification holders regarding abilities are much higher.
So, the PMI PMP certificate can provide you with more interview opportunities. However, only your experience, skills, and achievements will secure you a job offer.
True Value of PMP Certification
What are the true benefits of PMP certification?
Here are the three that I believe are the most important.
1. It is an Achievement
Take a look at the prerequisites:
- A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent)
- 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management education
- Four-year degree
- 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management education
In addition to that, you need to prepare to and successfully pass the exam. Two hundred multiple-choice questions and four hours to complete it.
If you do all that, you can be proud of yourself. It will boost your confidence. It will teach you to think bigger and dream for more.
All in all, you are now capable of managing a project of any size and complexity.
2. Strong Self-Education Momentum
You can’t spot learning. After some much effort to prepare for the exam, you will have the momentum to learn even more. It will be easy.
Additionally, you will now need to maintain your certification through Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program. In fact, it will replace your personal self-accountability system.
There will be clear goals and the necessity to read just another work-related book.
3. PMI community
You can become a part of a community without a certificate. You just need to get a PMI Membership. It costs $130 a year. And I believe it is worth every cent.
It will give you access to Local PMI Chapters. They are aimed at improving the project management profession in your area. And usually, they are aligned with your local realities. It is a great source of knowledge sharing, networking, and professional development.
Additionally, you will get your free copy of the PMBOK® Guide and access to the resources of projectmanagement.com.
Even if you do not plan to get the certificate right now, I would suggest you join PMI anyway.
As you can see, the major benefits relate to your personal and professional development. In the long run, they stack up into considerable achievements. You can then present these achievements to acquire a better job and salary.
PMI PMP certificate is worth the effort. However, don’t get derailed by marketing pitches. The true value is different.
So tell me, are you going to get a PMI PMP certificate soon?