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how can pmp certification benefit my career

How Can the PMP Certification Benefit My Career?

You may be on the fence about getting your PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. “Will PMP help my career?” you ask yourself.

In this post, I will list out all the various career path available to you once you obtain your PMP certification.

Some of the choices are conventional, while a few of the other ones are not.

In essence, there are many options available in the field of project management – and that’s very exciting!

Increasingly, employers give preferences to PMP certified candidates because it shows that they know the framework for managing projects, so you should get PMP certified if you are serious about pursuing a career in project management.

Without further ado, here are the options open to you once you obtain you PMP certification:

Project Manager

This is the most common choice for PMP certificate holders. If you are eligible to write the PMP certification, you’ve already worked as in project management for many years.

As a project manager, you are responsible for managing resources to complete projects on time and on budget. You are the “glue” that holds everything together. Thus, you are essential not only to the project but also to the company.

If you have been a project manager for many years and recently immigrated to a new country, the PMP certification can helpful land your first job because it is recognized worldwide (while your degrees from your home country may not be).

Pros

– Responsible for the success of the project (your boss will be holding you responsible for completing the project on time and on budget)
– Managing multiple people and budget (you are given a lot of responsibility)
– You are “gluing” the project together

Cons

– Lots of hours worked
– Can lack work life balance
– Harder to manage technical resources if you don’t have a technical background

Program Manager

After you obtain your PMP certification, you can use it as a reason to get a promotion within your organization. The position above a project manager is usually the program manager role.

As a program manager, you are given a lot more responsibility and power. You are responsible for overseeing the success of an entire program within your organization. You are usually managing dozens (if not hundreds) of people across multiple countries.

Pros

– Lots of responsibility
– Higher pay
– More visibility and power within your organization

Cons

– Lots of hours worked
– Lots of travelling (if you are managing a global project)
– Lack of work life balance

Teaching

Many local colleges and online schools are looking for PMP certified instructors. If you enjoy helping students and designing training material, this could be an ideal job for you.

Most schools will require you to teach only one course, so this job is usually part-time.

Pros

– Usually part-time
– Flexible schedule
– Builds resume

Cons

– Job opportunities are hard to come by
– Most teachers are paid for teaching time only, and not for the time they spent preparing for lectures

Blogging

If you want to share your project management expertise with the world, you can start a project management blog. Although most people do it as a hobby, some do do it professionally.

If you enjoy writing, this can be fun. However, don’t expect to get paid (not at least right away!). Advertisers will come knocking on your doors after they see you have a substantial amount of audience, but until then, you are essentially writing for free.

Pros

– It’s fun! (if you enjoy writing)
– Improve your writing skills
– Build an audience
– Expand your network
– Establish yourself as an authority in the industry

Cons

– Usually no (or little) pay

Contracting

Contracting is a good option for those who want to start their own project management business. As a contractor, you will be managing projects for your clients. It can be a rewarding and stressful experience at the same time.

To find project management contracting positions, you need to first find agents. Clients generally do not deal with contractors directly. They will post a position, and the agents will bid for a position with your resume on your behalf. If you get the position, the agent will get a cut of your salary.

Pros

– Pay less taxes (as a contractor, you will be paying taxes at the small business tax rate instead of the personal tax rate, which is generally around 15%)
– Better pay than salaried project management roles
– Flexible schedule

Cons

– No protection from employee laws in your region (under the law, you have a B2B relationship with your client)
– Forgo employee insurance and benefits
– Long wait times in between contracts (if one contract ends, sometimes, you may not be able to find another one right away)
– Client can “fire” you will only a few day’s notice (this is because you are not protected not the employee laws so your client is not required to give you a standard 2 week notice)

Freelancing

This is the least known option. There are many small to mid-sized companies who are looking for project managers to complete small projects for them, such as building a website or a mobile app.

They want to outsource this work because they don’t want to deal with managing multiple developers or designers to complete such a task. You can bid for the entire project, and once you win the project, you will go out and assemble your own team of technical resources to complete the tasks.

This is a good option if you’ve recently became unemployed and want to get project management experiences to fill in your resume.

If you want to get started in freelancing, you can visit sites such as ziptask.com or odesk.com or elance.com

Pros

– Usually part-time
– Extra monthly income
– You can work anywhere at any time (no set location since you are communicating with your client over the internet)

Cons

– Projects are usually small, which means you are consistently looking for projects
– Not a stable source of income
– Clients can be demanding
– Budget is often small

So, to answer your question (“will PMP help my career?”), yes getting PMP certified absolutely can help grow your career. Sign up for a free class to learn more.