The IT industry has become quite competitive these days. Technologies are advancing at a rapid rate and the knowledge that you have today may not stay relevant in the years to come. Upskilling is of utmost importance for IT professionals so as to learn the in-demand languages, tools, and frameworks that will shape the future of the workforce. Among the various ways available to upskill and reskill, one that stands out among the rest is achieving industry-recognized certifications. Today, there are vendor-neutral as well as vendor-specific certifications in areas like cybersecurity, cloud computing, customer relationship management, quality management, software development, and more that are highly regarded by employers worldwide.

Project management is also an important field in the IT sector. Projects can be brought to a successful completion only when it is handled by a highly-experienced and skilled project manager. Certifications are available for project management as well, and professionals often take them when stepping into a management role. Some of the highly acknowledged certifications in this field include the Project Management Professional or PMP, Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Projects in Controlled Environments or PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner, CompTIA Project+ certification.  

In this article, we will discuss why PMP certification is the gold standard in the field of project management and why it is considered the best of all available credentials.

How PMP Certification Fares Better Than the Rest

The PMP certification is administered by the well-known credential body Project Management Institute (PMI). There is a reason why project professionals are attracted to pursue the PMP certification in over 200 countries. It is known to deliver real value in the form of professional credibility, in-depth knowledge, and increased earning potential. The credential is not only about achieving credit for polishing your project management skills, but about pushing yourself to excel, and then being recognized for excellence. It is also accredited against the internationally recognized ISO 17024 standard.

The popularity of project management certification varies according to location also. For example, it has been noticed that the PMP certification is in higher demand in the USA, Middle East, Canada, and India. On the other hand, the PRINCE2 certification is the first preference for professionals in Europe, the UK, and Australia. When it comes to experience level, only experienced professionals can apply for the PMP certification exam – around 4500 hours of experience in leading and directing projects for those who have a four-year graduate degree.

Another reason why PMP certification is preferred among IT professionals is the high earning potential associated with it. PMI has pointed out that PMP certification holders earn over 25% higher salaries in North America than the non-certified counterparts. The US national average salary paid to the PMP certified project managers is around $112K per year. Switzerland seems to pay the highest salaries to PMP certification holders, around $131K annually, as per the PMI Project Management Salary Survey.

Companies believe that certified professionals have the skills to drive business results and increase the organization’s impact in the office and across the world. It is one of the top reasons why over 1,000,000 individuals worldwide have achieved PMP certification. Even the demand for project management is going to increase in the future. This fact is supported by research that indicates companies worldwide would need to fill over 2.2 million new project-oriented roles every year through 2027.    

How to Achieve the PMP Certification?

Now that you have many reasons to pursue a PMP certification, you should know how to achieve it. The certification is indicative of your proficiency in using the PMBOK Guide, i.e. The Project Management Book of Knowledge. First off, you need to check whether you qualify to take the PMP exam. The eligibility requirements include a four-year degree, 36 months leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education/CAPM certification. If you only have a high school diploma or an associate degree, then 60 months of experience in leading projects is required.

If you fulfill the above requirements, then you need to pass the PMP certification exam. It is a test covering 200 multiple-choice questions that last four hours. Mentioned below are the domains tested in the exam along with the percentage of questions asked from each.

  • People – 42%
  • Process – 50%
  • Business Environment – 8%

The entire description related to the domains and tasks included in each of them is mentioned in the Examination Content Outline that you can download from the PMI website.

When you crack the exam, you will be notified of the result and achieve the certification. It is important here to understand that once you achieve the certification, it remains valid for three years. Then you need to engage in continuous professional development in order to maintain the credential.

If you are concerned about the preparation, you have two options – self-study and online training. The former option is unsuitable for working professionals as they have to go through the hassle of arranging the study materials and chalk out a study plan. The latter option is viable and many professionals prefer it to prepare with ease. Moreover, you will not have to search too much for a reliable training provider as PMI has authorized some of them to impart training so that one can find out the benefits of PMP Certification. So, wait no more and step into the world of project management today.