If you are interested in pursuing a career in project management, most likely you have already considered the value of obtaining Project Management Professional (PMP) credentials. PMP is the most widely recognized certification for project managers. It verifies that you have the experience and education necessary to enable you to effectively lead and direct projects. Though PMP certification is well-known in the project management industry, the real question to ask is whether pursuing this certification is worth your time and money in the long run.

Advantages to project management certification

There are several advantages to getting your PMP certification. First and foremost is salary. Generally if you have your PMP certificate, you can expect to see about a $5,000 to $10,000 salary advantage over those who do not have their certificate. For employers, candidates who get the certificate show additional commitment to the project management career path. Therefore PMP certification enhances your resume and can open doors for you when you are seeking a project management position.

Another advantage to getting the PMP certificate is that is automatically shows employers that you have project management experience. To be eligible to receive a PMP certificate, you need both a four-year degree in addition to at least three years of project management experience. The additional education you receive will also expand your network as you engage with peers that are in the project management field.

The drawbacks

Despite several advantages, there are some disadvantages to consider if you are thinking about pursuing your PMP credentials. Time and money are a huge factor when it comes to the possible disadvantages. The cost of the exam and the courses you have to take before the exam can be pricey, in addition to applying and studying for the exam which can be time-consuming considering you have to document your education and project management experience down to the process level.

Another disadvantage can be that passing the exam does not automatically deem you a project management expert. It simply means that you passed the test and understood the framework of the project management process. This does not mean that your projects are successful; it merely indicates that you have the education, not necessarily project management skills. Finally, to keep your PMP certification, you have to earn credits every three years which have associated costs with attending classes and costs to renew your certification every year.

After considering the advantages and disadvantages of PMP certification, is it worth pursuing to further your project management career? The answer to this depends on your ultimate goals in the project management field. Of course, if you are pursuing a career in project management, the PMP certificate can help you. It is an easy way for you to enter new countries, markets, and industries because your basic project management qualifications and expertise have been validated in a universal way.

However, if you are pursuing this certification solely for salary growth and not to further your education in project management, it truly isn’t worth the time and money you will need to put into it. You need to view the PMP certification process as an investment that will further your project management career and not purely as a way to earn a salary bump.

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