Whether you’re new to project management, or looking to take the next step in your PM career, there are several reasons you should consider getting a PMI certification.
In this article, we’ll take a look at:
- Benefits of attaining your PMI certification
- Project Management Institute certification options
- Resources to help you get certified
Let’s dive in!
Benefits of a PMI Certification
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is widely recognized as the global standard for project management.
This means a certification from PMI will make an impact, with employers around the world recognizing the value you can bring to their organization.
A PMI certification signals that you possess the skills and general knowledge to be a successful project manager.
A PMI certification can be a worthwhile investment in your career, significantly boosting your earnings potential.
According to a 2021 report from PMI, project managers who possessed a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification made, on average, 16% more money annually than their counterparts without certification.
Resources and Networking
Becoming a certified project manager, or a PMI member, or joining your local PMI chapter — or all three! — provides access to many resources and networking opportunities.
PMI is a treasure trove of project management resources, with reference materials and data that will help you continue growing throughout your career.
In addition, you can easily connect with other certified project managers through PMI or one of its local chapters, giving you built-in networking that can enrich your career opportunities.
PMI Certification Options for Project Managers
So which PMI certification should you go for?
PMP: The most widely recognized PMI certification is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate. Build up some experience working on projects before you apply to take this exam — and you can absolutely get creative here; you don’t have to officially be employed as a project manager for project experience to count. Since the PMP exam does require you to have some experience managing projects, this is the certification most project managers should consider once they’re ready to take the next step in their careers. It’s a difficult exam, but with hard work and preparation, you can absolutely pass it on your first attempt.
CAPM: PMI presents the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) as somewhat of a stepping stone for an individual who is just starting out in project management. PMI notes the CAPM is an “essential first step in building a career as a project manager” and that gaining this certification first can help a new project manager on their way to gaining a PMP certification. The CAPM certification demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts and processes of project management, and can help you land your first job in the field.
PMI Project Management Ready: PMI offers a “Project Management Ready” certification for high school and post-secondary students. This introductory certification is excellent for individuals who are considering a path in project management down the road. The PMI Project Management Ready certification is a great way to demonstrate a solid grasp of the basic concepts in project management.
More PMI certifications: PMI offers quite a few other certification options that could be relevant and valuable for project managers in many different fields. The PMI-CP (Construction Professional in Built Environment Projects) is specific to construction project managers; and the (PMI-RMP) PMI Risk Management Professional demonstrates expertise in risk management, which can be useful in many different types of project management. Other certification options include Program Management, Portfolio Management, and Business Analysis, among others.
Resources for Becoming a Certified Project Manager
We’ve got a lot of great PMP Exam resources here on this site that we definitely think you should check out.
Here are some additional resources to consider:
The Project Management Body of Knowledge, from PMI, is an essential resource if you’re planning to get your PMP Certification.
This book breaks down everything you should focus on for the exam and includes information and best practices on most of the day-to-day project management tasks and challenges you’ll face.
Books and Podcasts
There are many great resources out there to help you boost your knowledge of project management.
Among our favorites is Project Management Happy Hour, an excellent podcast with tons of useful insights for project managers at all stages of their career.
Online Learning Tools
Many online courses exist to help you prepare for PMI certifications.
The options you choose will depend largely on your preferred style of learning, your budget, and your timeline.
For a self-paced option, consider the PM PrepCast, which has everything you’ll need to know before taking the PMP exam, including sample tests.