PMP Certification Exam Prep – Professional Development Goals
For those new to PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, the process is not as complicated or exhausting as some think. Mind you, it takes some work, but it is not a worthwhile endeavor. So, first of all, let’s start with the principal benefits of becoming certified:
- According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) recent salary survey, PMP-certified professionals earn about 25% more than their non-certified colleagues.
- The certification sets you apart from the competition.
- Research indicates that there will be a need for 2.2 million project-oriented professionals per year through 2027
- Every year, more and more companies require the PMP of all their new project management hires, making it a prerequisite for internal advancement.
- You will gain many skills and tools to make you a more efficient and effective project manager.
- Once you become a PMP, you will be part of a global community of professionals such as yourself. And your options will be limitless.
To sit for the exam, PMI will need to authorize you to take the exam. The requirements for you to apply, as well as gain access to the exam, are as follows:
- A four-year university or high school degree, but with additional years of experience. See below
- 36 months of experience leading projects or 60 months if you only possess a high school diploma
- 35 hours of project management training/education
Once you have met these requirements, you can apply for PMI (www.pmi.org). In approximately 4-5 business days, you will receive confirmation from them authorizing you to proceed to a test center to take the exam, which, for most people, is the biggest challenge in the process, and for a good reason.
The test consists of the following:
- You have 4 hours to answer 175 questions
- Approximately half the questions represent project management approaches, while the other half represent either Agile or hybrid approaches.
- The questions are based on three domains, which include the following:
- Domain I – People (42%): questions about managing conflict, team leadership, empowering team members and stakeholders, etc.
- Domain II – Process (50%): questions about communications, engaging stakeholders, planning and managing budgets and schedules, etc.
- Domain III – Business Environment (8%): Planned and managed project compliance, supported organizational change, and more.
Maintaining Your Certification
At the end of the exam, you will receive an evaluation based on your success in each of the above domains. You do not receive a score; however, you will know immediately if you have passed the exam. The certification is valid for three years. During this time, you are expected to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs), which you will need to renew your certificate for an additional three years. The 60 PDUs can be earned by:
- Working within your project management profession, there is a limit, which is important for you to gain newer tools and techniques.
- Volunteer as a mentor or by performing pro bono work
- Attend conferences, workshops, training courses, and so on
- Write and publish books, articles, and white papers on project management.
- Attend and lead webinars and seminars in project management
To learn more about the PMP and PMI, please visit their website at www.pmi.org.