What is PMP Certification and Why Becoming a PMP?

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Answer by PMI®: PMP® is the Go-to Certification for Project Managers

The Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). The PMI® was the first organization in the world offering certification and credential program for project managers in recognition of their experience and expertise in the area of project management. PMP® was original developed in the US by project management practitioners. Over the years, PMI® has made important changes to the content of the examination so that the knowledge is now relevant internationally (click here for a detailed description of the PMP® exam syllabus).

The Project Management Professional Certification “objectively assesses and measures experience, education and professional knowledge—the foundation of competent practice as a project manager.”  ~ PMI®

Project management related certification programs offered by PMI® includes:

Of these, PMP® is the most popular and renowned certification of PMI®. It is also the most recognized and accepted project management certification in the world, particularly in the US, most parts of Asia (including India and China) and Australia. According to salary surveys, accredited project managers tend to have higher salary than their un-certified counterparts. Many international companies even make it a must for project managers to have the PMP® certification, especially in the information technology IT industry.

In an era where organizations are increasingly recognizing the true value of experienced and accredited project managers to the overall business goals, getting the PMP® credential will equip you with an professional edge for your career.

Answer by the Rest of Us: Get PMP® If It Helps Your Career or Life

While the picture painted by PMI® for the PMP® Certification is quite rosy, the value of PMP® is a heated debate these days especially when the total number of PMP® in the world tops 600,000.

This article by Andrew Makar quotes some of the view of current PMP®s. Most of them think PMP® is valuable, but more as a door opener to resume screening as the PMP® credential is a pre-requisite for some positions. However, real-life job experience counts more. It is somewhat a kind of fundamental education for serious project managers but NOT the guarantee to land you an esteemed job with higher salary than those without PMP®.

The search for PMP® on Google also shows a decline in the interest of PMP® credential over the past few years from the peak at 2008-2009:
And the interests in PMP® is highest in the Asia and Middle East but not in the United States where PMP® originates:
These together suggests that PMP® has lost some of the lusters it once had.

Of course, PMP® is still a highly valued certification in the field of project management. It provides a framework to help project managers with a holistic view of all the project management process and provides a common language for project manager to understand each other. It is still consider essential if you are serious about a career in project management. Just you will need to forget about the research that PMP®s get higher salary.

Eligibility for Project Management Professional Certification

Not everyone is eligible for the PMP® credential, that’s why PMP® Certification is a much sought after certification these days, especially in the IT industry where there is always a shortage of skilled professionals.

You are eligible to apply for the certification if you have either:

  • secondary degree (e.g. high school diploma, associate’s degree) with at least 5 years of project management experience with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • four-year degree (e.g. bachelor’s degree) with at least 3 years of project management experience with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects

The experience of leading and directing projects must involve initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing a project— the “5 process groups” as defined by PMI® in the PMBOK® Guide. However, there is NO minimum for experience in each process group, you can in theory report 0.01 hour for one process group and still be eligible for the PMP® exam (in theory only as this is a signal that you might not be able to pass the PMP® exam as you don’t have enough practical experience for that process group).

The Next Step >>

After knowing the values of PMP®, you might like to get an overview of the PMP® Certification process in a simple to understanding format (an infographic).

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