The PMP is a globally recognized certification with a curriculum broad enough to apply to project environments in nearly any industry, while offering enough specifics to directly sharpen your everyday project management skills. It has been ranked as the number one IT certification in recent years by a number of publications and studies including CIO Magazine and the IT Skills & Salary Report. On average, PMP-certified project managers earn about $10, 000 more per year than those without the certification. More importantly, many, if not most, project management positions require you to either have a PMP before applying or to earn it within six to twelve months of accepting employment.
The value of the PMP may be clear, but how to earn it is a little more complex. There are a number of prerequisites you must meet prior to applying for the exam. If you have a bachelor's degree or higher, you must have at least 4, 500 hours and three years of project management experience under your belt. Those lacking a four-year degree can still apply, so long as they have a high school diploma or associate's degree, but must meet a more rigorous requirement of 7, 500 hours and five years of project management experience before doing so.
This experience doesn't have to be accrued as the sole manager of a project; simply overseeing a portion of a project or serving as part of a project management team can help you accrue the necessary experience to sit for the exam.
In addition to the educational requirement, you'll need 35 hours of formal project management training prior to applying for the PMP. Our series of project management courses will fill this requirement once complete; the first few courses are already available.
Any quality training regimen will cover many of the same core concepts. First, you can expect to learn more about the exam's structure and contents (spoiler alert: there are 200 questions covering the five key phases of project management). Next, you'll learn more about how organizational structure can impact the project environment, and the different kinds of roles and responsibilities that most often fall to the project manager and other key stakeholders.
After that, you can expect to spend a substantial amount of time learning about the 10 knowledge areas covered in the "Project Management Body of Knowledge, " the guidebook released by the Project Management Institute on which the PMP exam's questions are based. These include managing a project's scope, time and cost, as well as how the entire project is integrated into one cohesive whole. Other core knowledge areas include quality and human resource management, as well as managing communications, risk, procurement activities and stakeholder relations.