If you are already working in project management or are considering a move into this career, then you will probably have heard a little about PMP qualifications. It’s a globally recognized course and qualification, that stands for project management professional.
Are you considering undertaking a qualification in project management? Are you looking into various project management courses on offer? Want to know more about PMP certification?
Here’s some valuable information that could help you evaluate whether enrolling in a PMP course is the right step for you.
Do I need a PMP to work in project management?
There are many people currently working in project management without this qualification, usually in more junior roles. Perhaps you are one of them. Work experience is, of course, a really valuable asset in most professions and you may have got on very well until now.
However, you may find that as you wish to progress in your career further, not having a PMP qualification may be a barrier to success despite your experience. You might notice that some job vacancies require a PMP certification or that having this qualification would make you a far more competitive candidate.
Having a PMP certificate proves to all that you have clearly demonstrated a high level of knowledge and skills in project management. This should mean that you are more attractive to employers and that you should also command a higher salary. Many would argue, “Can you afford not to get a PMP certificate?” at this stage.
What does a PMP course cover?
Almost everyone who undertakes a PMP course already has some experience working in project management. It is often a prerequisite to have some familiarity with the profession, either through practical experience or other certifications.
That said, a PMP course begins with the fundamentals to ensure that all course participants have a firm knowledge base from which to build. After this introduction, the course will swiftly move on to
- Project management at an organizational level- influences, teams, stakeholders, governance
- Project management processes and life-cycle
- How to initiate a project and develop a project charter
- Planning and developing a project
- Time and schedule management
- Management of budget and costs
- HR, communications and quality management and control
- Risk analysis (qualitative and quantitative)
- Project execution and team management
- Closing a project
In short, a PMP course covers all aspects of project management required to plan, develop, manage and control a project from beginning to end.
What time commitment is required?
It is typical to take a PMP course over three months, with one in-depth lesson per week with an instructor, and additional self-study. You may also find a condensed course over a shorter period of time, or a more flexible course that allows you to study over a longer timescale.
However, if you take a PMP course, be prepared for at least 200 hours of combined lessons and self-study to be fully prepared for the exams.
Is it difficult to get PMP qualification?
PMP is a very thorough course. It requires many hours of dedicated study and the acquisition of a much deeper knowledge of project management. Benchmarks are set by the Project Management Institute that must be adhered to in the delivery of the qualification by all providers. It is all these stringent measures that indicate how PMP qualification has an excellent reputation globally.
That said, if you are accepted into a course by a reputable provider and are able to attend sessions and study as required, then you should be a successful candidate.
Is a PMP better than an MBA?
A frequently asked question involves comparing an MBA with PMP certification. In truth, it is in some ways difficult to compare the two qualifications. An MBA is a graduate degree that usually takes two years of full-time study, so it is a very different undertaking.
Here a few things to consider if you might be interested in either:
- An MBA is a more time-consuming and much more expensive course. You should compare the investment of both time and money in both courses before deciding which is most appropriate for you. A PMP will certainly provide a good return on investment within a shorter timeframe.
- The MBA course covers a broader range of business skills so it will also cover HR, accounting, marketing and much more, as well as project management. This may not be relevant to your intended career.
- Someone with an MBA may still not have the skills required for a project management role. Employers may look for PMP candidates with more specific knowledge for some jobs
Knowing both your short-term and long-term goals is important when considering which to take. If you have a clear direction in terms of the roles you’d like and have been able to identify a career development path, this will help during decision-making.
What are my career options with a PMP?
The PMP is a highly regarded qualification. With this on your CV, you can expect the following benefits:
Improved career progression
The PMP is a rigorous, extensive course. If you have the certification, you have already proven your abilities in project management. You should be better placed to help your organization to improve project delivery, stay within timelines, be cost efficient, and accomplish its goals.
This would hopefully result in a step up the ladder, and a higher salary to match. More senior roles usually held by those with a PMP include:
- Project managers
- Team managers
- Project engineers and executives
- Project delivery managers
- Technical project managers
- Project management consultants
The most lucrative industries to work in these roles include pharmaceuticals, aerospace and engineering.
Opportunities in multiple industries
You may already be working in the industry of your choice. If you wish to move into another industry, then having a PMP certification would be extremely beneficial.
By taking the course, you learn skills that apply across all industries. As such, it should broaden your knowledge of project management processes outside of the industry you already work in.
For industries that are particularly sensitive or highly regulated, a PMP would usually be considered essential. Examples of such are careers in pharmaceuticals, financial services, government, or health services amongst many others.
The PMP is globally recognized, which means that you will be a desirable candidate wherever you are in the world. If you wish to travel and work overseas as part of your career, taking a PMP course is a positive step to make.
If you are interested in progressing your career with a PMP qualification, don’t hesitate to contact course providers.
This could be the ideal qualification that sets you apart from other candidates and make a significant difference to your career within a fairly short time.
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.