PMI logoIt’s surprising how many seasoned IT Project Managers do not have a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). Getting certified is certainly an investment in both time and money, but in this competitive job market it’s important to set yourself apart from the next candidate. Especially for those that consider Project Management to be a long-term career and not a stepping stone, it holds tremendous value.

Some don’t give much merit to professional certifications, but a growing number of employers prefer consultants who are PMP holders. It can be argued that after years of schooling and actual professional project management experience, a PMP accreditation will not teach you anything new, and this may be true in a sense. However, in this competitive economy where employers receive a multitude of resumes for a single job opening, a PMP certification acts as a sort of “proof of competency” which often speaks for itself and can be the difference in making the first cut. There are other benefits to consider as well:

  1. Display (Verification) of Professional Ability. Even though you know that you’re a great project manager with extensive experience delivering projects on time and within budgets, a PMP will give you the additional proof many employees are seeking.
  2. Provides Networking Opportunities. Once you’re PMP certified, you are a member of a large professional network and you have access to a shared body of knowledge and can collaborate with colleagues and other PMP holders to increase efficiency and share ideas.
  3. Stay up-to-date on Industry Standards. In the constantly evolving high-tech world, it’s important to update your knowledge on industry standards. There is great value in creating a shared framework and set of industry standards such as those laid-out in the PMBOK guide. PMP certification isn’t a stagnant piece of paper but an opportunity to continue to learn about and apply the latest project management trends and developments.
  4. More Career Opportunities. Having a PMP doesn’t automatically imply a qualified project manager, but it does indicate a certain level of knowledge. Employers perceive PMPs as a plus because it is an industry standard that tells them that you are indeed qualified. It doesn’t replace your real world skills and experience but rather enhances them.
  5. Recognition in Community. You can distinguish yourself from others as a PMP holder and it’s definitely something you can brag about!

There is a lot of debate in the industry about whether or not to get PMP certified and how much merit it really holds. As a recruiter who works with hiring managers every day, I can tell you that from the employer’s side, right or wrong, there is a growing preference for PMP holders. That is certainly something to consider when deciding what’s right for you. If you have questions about PMP certification, or are looking for IT project management opportunities, please contact me!

Swathi Rammohan
Technical Recruiter
ATR International

Looking for a Project Manager position? Connect with Swathi today!


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