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Know the Value of Having PMP Certification
By Shawn Futterer

Foote Partners LLC, an IT workforce research company, assesses the skills and pay of more than 35,000 IT professionals in over 1,800 North American and European companies. In a recent survey, they found that the Project Management Professional certification provides the best bonuses for IT professionals, averaging 15% of base pay.

Just what is a PMP certification and why does it add so much value to the people who hold it? The reason is mostly due to the fact that the Project Management Institute issues the certification. The Project Management Institute, or PMI, is a global organization, with chapters in all but about four countries throughout the world. PMI has a rigorous criteria and a very difficult – many might say mentally abusive exam, which potential PMPs must pass before they can become certified.

There are two categories of people who can pursue PMP certification. The first category is for those who have college degrees. People in this category must have 4,500 hours of continuous, non-overlapping project management experience for 36 consecutive months within the past five years. The second category includes those project managers who have not attended college. People in this category must have 7,500 hours of continuous, non-overlapping project management experience for 60 months over an eight-year period. Both categories must also prove that they have participated in 35 hours of project management training within the past ten years.

Project Managers who meet either category must file an eligibility application with PMI. Once PMI reviews an application and determines if a candidate is eligible, they release an eligibility letter. A candidate then receives the eligibility letter to take the PMP certification exam.

The certification exam is a difficult one. The industry standard pass rate is rumored at 60%.

Presently there are in excess of 100,000 PMI members, with many others joining PMI to pursue the PMP certification.

Based on the salary increases experienced by IT professionals with the PMP, this credential carries some clout and is capturing great interest. Membership statistics from PMI indicate that the Computers/Software/DP and IT industries are the top two industry areas among PMI members, with about 15,000 and 12,000 members respectively in each industry category (estimated in 2005).

In whatever way people prepare to become certified Project Managers, the benefits are immeasurable to both the employee and the employer. Employees are rewarded with increased salaries, job promotions, and in general, better job prospects. Employers who use PMPs are assured that they have hired Project Managers who have a core competency in Project Management and the requisite experience to perform as a project manager. Studies have shown that projects managed by people who are not certified Project Managers have only a 25% chance of success, whereas projects run by those who are knowledgeable in Modern Project Management tools and techniques – as are people with the PMP certification – have a 75% success rate.

Who do you think companies would prefer to have at the helm of their projects?

Become a PMP! Put yourself in the spotlight, and start increasing your earning potential without further delay!

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