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Companies Are Paying a Premium For Certified Project Managers

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Project Management Professionals (PMPs) are highly sought after, especially in the project-oriented world of technology and even in the agile dominated world of software development.

It is not so long ago that a project to launch a new initiative, organisational model or product could develop within a business for a year or two before it was unleashed on the customers for their highly vocal feedback.

It was even longer before the competition responded because their projects took years too. The relentless pace of development has forced the world to change and highly disruptive technologies require businesses to launch fast and update often, embracing digital transformation.

To do that qualified project managers with proven ability to drive change are becoming the key players.

According to Global Knowledge’s 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report PMPs currently earn an average of $135,798 per year (£110,000).  This is the second-highest paying certification after the Google Certified Cloud Architect.

The Global Knowledge report, a worldwide study of 12,200 professionals from 159 counties, revealed that a premium is being paid for certified PMPs and showed that a majority of managers who authorised training last year did so to prepare their teams for certification or recertification.

In fact, ninety-three per cent of decision-makers believe that certified employees bring value to the organisation above and beyond the cost of certification.

Project managers who hold the PMP credential possess a minimum of three years and 4,500 hours of leadership experience in projects. They also have an exam-verified level of understanding of project management, as established by the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

The main benefit of certified personnel, according to the survey’s findings, is the ability to close organisational skills gaps. Certified professionals are also better at meeting client requirements, increasing productivity, reducing time to troubleshoot, and completing projects more quickly.

There were other advantages mentioned too by the survey respondents, including providing an edge over competitors, the faster deployment of projects and making hiring easier.

When asked to estimate the economic benefit of certified employees versus their non-certified peers, 63% of the survey respondents said it exceeds $10,000 a year. Twenty-two percent placed the number above $30,000.

Project Management Professional (PMP) certification established by the Project Management Institute (PMI), is one of the most valued and respected credentials in project management. However, it isn’t the only certification offered by the PMI.

In fact, the PMI offers eight project management certifications, most specialising in different disciplines, including programme management, portfolio management, business analysis, agile development methodology, risk management and scheduling.

And project management certification options reach further still. In EMEA, two other project management or software development certifications can be linked to higher salaries.

Certified ScrumMasters have an average salary of $83,221 or €76,255 and PRINCE2 Practitioner who command an average salary of $87,987 or €80,622.

Achieving Project Management certification can take years, but the effort pays dividends.  In fact, if we are honest, project management is about lifelong learning and maintaining accreditations such as PMP or PRINCE2 Practitioner require verifiable continuous professional development activity.

Also, the skills, transferrable across industries and sectors, are hailed by those professionals who are looking for a varied career path.

Having the certification is not an absolute guarantee you will be a great project manager. What it does do though is give you a level of credibility and displays your commitment to professionalism.

Having the certified skills to handle change couldn’t be more relevant at a time when digital transformation, in its many guises, is an integral part of every organisation’s growth plans.

More and more companies are declaring themselves digital businesses as they realise that whatever sector they’re in – banking, retail, public sector, etc – their customers and beneficiaries are wanting to engage with them independently, electronically and with immediacy.

That requires a constant state of development, a constant state of change and a constant demand for professionals who can usher the business through each new stage, because the end goal will only ever signal the start of the next project.

Barry Corless is Global Product Director at Global Knowledge.

Barry Corless
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