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Fast-Tracking Your Career: 6 Reasons to Become a Certified Project Manager

Fast-Tracking Your Career: 6 Reasons to Become a Certified Project Manager

In today's competitive business landscape, it's important to have a defined career path. Following that path means constantly learning and upgrading relevant skills. For those interested in moving up in the business world, that could well mean pursuing a project management professional (PMP) certification. Read on to find out about six of the top reasons to get PMP certified and become a certified project manager.

  1. Keep Up-to-Date on Industry Standards

Keeping up-to-date with changing industry standards is one of the best ways to remain competitive in today's business world. Pursuing an Online Project Management Certification lets professionals do just that. It doesn't just help on a resume, although PMP-certified job applicants are more likely to be called in for interviews.

Keeping that knowledge base current will also improve managers' on-the-job performance and give them the confidence to keep pushing forward in their careers. That's true whether PMPs plan on moving up the company ladder or applying for external jobs with competitors. A job applicant who is confident in his or her skills and can discuss the latest industry standards will always perform better in interviews.

  1. Craft a Better Resume

There's no way to ace an interview if applicants can't even get an interview. That's why having a standout resume is important. Given that more organizations than ever now consider a PMP certification a prerequisite for project managers, the ability to put it on a resume can help to ensure that job applicants get noticed by hiring managers.

Having a better resume will also make job candidates stand out to recruiters. Recruitment firms are committed to finding the best person for the job, so if client companies request PMP certification, they'll only draw from candidate pools that have that additional credential. That's often true whether the position actually requires PMP certification or not.

  1. Ever-Increasing Demand

It used to be the case that senior managers or seasoned employees were more likely to be designated as project managers within their companies. In today's world, though, seniority counts for far less than experience and education. Organizations across the globe are re-thinking this strategy and building more systematic project management practices. Many companies now prefer external hires with project management experience to internal promotions of employees who don't have this specific skill set.

Most of today's most prestigious companies demand certified project managers. It's not just the companies, either. Clients also prefer to work with certified professionals, so those who pass the PMP exam will be more likely to land the best jobs within their companies.

  1. Better Pay

PMP-certified project managers are better paid than their non-certified counterparts. The salary for senior project manager positions in the United States, which almost always requires PMP certification, average $118,449 per year. The average regular project manager, who does not need to be PMP certified, is just $86,390 per year. That's a huge difference.

The pay difference between PMP and non-PMP certified project managers extends well beyond the United States, too. One PMI salary survey showed that certified PMs made an average of $10,000 USD more than their non-certified counterparts in six major countries. That higher salary allows employees to maintain a better quality of life and a healthier work-life balance.

Those numbers are just averages, too. Highly skilled project managers often wind up landing even better-paying jobs after proving their worth. Getting PMP-certified is a perfect way for ambitious businessmen and -women to get a foot in the door.

  1. Networking Opportunities

The Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded in 1969. Today, it has over 600,000 members and 300 chapters across the globe. The organization's credentialing program wasn't introduced until 1984, but since then, it has become the de-facto industry-standard certification. While credential holders are not obligated to become members of PMI, they can definitely benefit from the resources offered by this global-scale organization.

PMI organizes meetings in most major cities that are open only to PMP-certified project managers. Attending these meetings affords certified PMPs the opportunity to network with others and get access to new career opportunities. It's even common for organizational leaders to share information about available job opportunities, giving attendees the chance to get a foot in the door at a new company.

Official meetings also allow PMPs the chance to learn about new industry standards to keep their knowledge bases up-to-date and earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) that can help them when it comes time to renew their certifications. That means there's no need to sit exams every three years, which is good news given that the PMP exam is known for its difficulty and PMI has very high standards.

  1. Improved Job Performance

So far, this article has focused mostly on how PMP certification can help business professionals looking to become a certified project manager and progress in their careers find new job opportunities. Getting certified isn't just about looking better, though. It's about improving project management capabilities and honing relevant skills.

Completing the course and sitting the exam will give PMPs all the knowledge they need to come up with better strategies for project management. Their performance won't go unnoticed by higher-ups in the company, who are always looking for aspiring employees with unique value propositions. Those who are able to perform their jobs better make more money for their companies, which means they'll also have more opportunities to progress up the career ladder within those companies.

The Bottom Line

The PMP exam is known for its difficulty, but it's worth taking the time to get certified. To be a PMP certified project manager looks great on a resume and gives job candidates some excellent talking points when they land interviews. It also offers countless opportunities for career progression, from networking with other PMI members to improving on-the-job performance to make it more likely that project managers' hard work will be noticed by the higher-ups.

Given how difficult it is to pass the PMP exam, it's important for those who plan to seek certification to take advantage of educational resources. Find a well-respected training course and devote the time and effort required to completing it before sitting the exam. It's the best way for current and aspiring project managers to increase their chances of success.

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