In today's increasingly chaotic business landscape, project professionals are challenged with finding new ways to stay relevant.
Yet one of the most effective ways to stay ahead of your competition is with your PMI credential.
Whether you are personally looking for new employment or clients, or if you are part of a larger organization trying to win contracts or be at the forefront of change within your industry, your PMI credential arms you with validation of your skills and competencies.
When you maintain your credential, you assure potential employers and customers that you have a high level of knowledge in current project management practices.
Here is a detailed look at how your PMI credential helps you meet today's project expectations and stay relevant.
Current research shows that having a PMI credential not only benefits the individual credential holder, but also the organization for which you work.
Thus, if you are looking for a job, you will be pleased to know that despite the tight job market in many regions, credential holders are in high demand.
In February, our search showed that 709 (nearly 71 percent) of the project manager job listings on Monster.com either require or prefer the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential. Nearly 3 percent require or prefer the Program Management Professional (PgMP)®, while 6.6 percent require or prefer the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®.
Organizations also reap the benefits of having certified professionals on staff not only in the way of better project results, but also where customer trust and loyalty are concerned.
According to PMI's 2010 Pulse of the Profession Survey, when more than 35 percent of the organization's staff is certified, that organization is 73 percent more likely to achieve project goals and less likely to experience scope creep or deem projects as failures.
Further, having PMI credential holders on staff proves to customers that projects are being handled by people who speak the same language and use common practices that have been successful in the past.
"Some clients ask if there is anybody on the project management team with a PMI credential. The credentialed individuals help you win or maintain a contract with a client," says Vamsi Koka, PMP, an offshore project manager working from India.
Mr. Koka found that because he holds the PMP credential, upper management and the project management office (PMO) often rely on his input when it comes to organizational or system changes.
"Since I am a PMP, I can shed more light or add value ... where they are trying to make changes," he says.
Of course, earning a PMI credential is only one piece of the puzzle. Credential maintenance is essential to continuously reap the rewards of certification, as the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program requires you to continue your project management education and give back to the profession.
"I had a wise professor in graduate school who told me that, 'If you're not spending 10 percent of your professional life learning, you're falling behind,'" says David Kindle, PMP, Nokia Siemens Networks, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Early in his career, he obtained a different credential but failed to maintain it - one of his biggest career regrets. Learning from past mistakes, Mr. Kindle has "made it a point to stay vigilant with his PMP credential," taking advantage of project management courses offered by his employer and local PMI chapter meetings.
"It's good to learn from the best and worst practices from other industries and companies, and credential maintenance allows you to do that," he says.
For Paul Raes, PMP, CSSI coordinator for BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels, Belgium, "the process to maintain my PMP credential motivates me to regularly contribute to initiatives to improve project management practices in my work environment. Maintaining certification for me is both useful and fun."
Whether you use your PMI credential to find employment or to help your organization get contracts, one thing is certain: PMI credential holders have higher earning potential.
According to data from PayScale.com, PMP credential holders earn more annually than those without the credential in the following countries:
Those numbers are consistent with the PMI Project Management Salary Survey - Sixth Edition. The 2009 survey found PMP credential holders in nearly every country consistently garner higher salaries than non-credential holders. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, France, Australia and the U.S. - in that order - topped the list.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate your achievement and many benefits of maintaining your credential. Stay relevant and meet today's project expectations.