PMP Certification: To Get Certified or Not?

Project managers that have PMP (Project Management Professional) certification earn an average salary 21% higher than those who do not have it. What is this certification for and how do you obtain it?

“In another era, the project manager was a generalist. He had to apply his knowledge differently from one project to another,” explains Joel Dubois, IT director and PMP certified project manager. “Today we are looking for specialists: a project manager in IT, building or others… ”

Nonetheless, it remains as true today as yesterday that the project manager has to have a solid base of knowledge in management of teams, scheduling and financial resources. The best way to do this is to obtain PMP certification, recognized internationally, Joel Dubois believes.

“Certification provides knowledge in 30 areas of expertise,” adds Joel Dubois. “The most important are assessing the scope of a project, time management, the budget envelope and communications. In fact, over 80% of the work of a project manager is communicating the right information to the right people at the right time.”

In addition, certification opens the doors to professional networking. “In training you are in contact with other people who are also working hard to pass their exam,” says Mr. Dubois. “Then you have the opportunity to get in touch with people who already have this PMP certification.”

PMP Certification creates envy in the community

Due to the difficulty of the final exam, the PMP certification has the distinction of making people in the circle of project managers envious, we learn from Joel Dubois, who admits of having had to try twice to succeed.

“The exam includes 200 questions and takes 4 hours… You can’t drag your feet!”

Before undertaking certification, it’s essential to first take a course in project management at university, have completed a university degree or equivalent, as well as having managed projects for a minimum number of hours.

In addition, the PMP certification requires a financial investment. The price of the course and exam ($1,900 CAN in total) can in some cases be reimbursed by the employer. Then it takes time, about 35 hours for the course and 40 hours of recommended study, over a period of 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the student’s pace, as per PMImontreal.org.

So is it worth it? “Yes!,” Joel Dubois responds. “Certain employers and certain projects require certification. Obtaining it is a benefit for both the employer and the employee. It’s a measure of quality.


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