PMP: Project Management Professional
The Project Management Institute (PMI) not only stands behind the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, it works with academia and training companies to ensure proper coverage and currency in the various curricula that exist to support this and other PMI credentials. Boasting more than 650,000 professionals in almost every country in the world, PMI’s PMP credential remains one of the most prestigious project management credentials available. (Note: The PMP’s precursor, the CAPM cert, is covered in the next section.)
That’s why you can obtain college- and university-based PMP training from so many institutions. It’s also why you may sometimes find PMP coverage integrated into certain degree programs (often at the master’s degree level).
The PMP credential is coveted by employers seeking the most highly skilled project management professionals. Developed by project managers, the PMP cert is the highest level offered in PMI certifications. The PMI certification is designed to ensure that credential holders possess the skills and qualifications necessary to successfully manage all phases of a project, including initiating, planning, scheduling, controlling and monitoring and closing out the project.
PMP certified projects managers are also well versed and skilled in managing all aspects of the triple constraints — time, cost and scope. Employers depend on the skills of PMP professionals to manage budgets, track costs, manage scope creep, and identify how changes to the triple constraints may introduce risk into the project and minimize such risk to protect the project investment.
The standards for PMP certification are rigorous. In addition to passing a comprehensive and exhaustive exam, credential holders must first demonstrate and certify that they possess the skills and education necessary to succeed in the project management field. Credential seekers should be prepared to provide documentation regarding items such as education, projects worked on and hours spent in each of the five project management stages — initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing out the project.
While difficult to achieve, the rewards for PMP credential holders can be significant. According to PMI’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, Ninth Edition . PMPs in the United States earn an average of almost 20 percent more than their non-credentialed counterparts. The survey reports median salaries of PMPs in the United States at $111,000, compared to $91,000 for non-PMP certified project managers.
For those interested in program management or wishing to specialize in a particular project management area, PMI offers a number of interesting additional credentials including:
- Program Management Professional (PgMP) . Targets professionals who manage multiple projects on an organizational level.
- Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) . Targets professionals managing organizational project portfolios.
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) . Targets project management professionals working with the agile methodology of project management.
- PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) . Focuses on business analysis and ability to define stakeholder requirements, project scope and outcome of business solutions.
- PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) . A specialized credential focusing on risk assessment, identification and mitigation.
- PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) . A credential for project managers charged with the task of developing and maintaining project schedules.
The PMP remains a nonpareil certification for IT and other professionals whose responsibilities encompass project management. It is the standard against which all other project management credentials are judged in today’s marketplace.
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