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Project management colleagues and connections have asked me recently whether or not they should take the PMP exam. After searching on the good ol’ interwebs, I quickly found that outside of PMI or Project Management software tools & sites (like, Smartsheet) that promote project management, there weren’t a lot of great resources, so I decided to write this article.
What is the PMP exam? Like the Bar exam for lawyers, the PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification designates a high level of understanding in project management complexity. Passing the exam provides a seal of approval from PMI (Project Management Institute) that you, as a project manager, know your stuff and can effectively lead and manage projects.

Deciding to get my PMP boiled down to the three points below:  

1. Earning Potential

A survey from PMI advised that certified PMs made 20% more than non-certified PMs. Taking a look at my own situation, I began earning 48% more per year after earning the PMP & a solid job change. While I would’ve been happy with the reported 20%, I was ecstatic with the 48% increase! Although I was doing well before, the increase was life changing, creating opportunities to give more, fuel other investments, and start my own virtual project management firm.

2. Legitimacy

Those little letters pack a lot of punch when employers and clients are sorting through candidates on Linkedin & other job sites. Having this designation confirms your project management skillset much easier than looking through employment experience. In order to take the PMP, there is a certain level of experience and education required, so having the designation creates legitimacy. Time is money, and many won’t take the time to search through your Linkedin profile or resume to verify you’re what they’re looking for.

3. Growth

It’s on us to grow & invest in ourselves professionally. I had been through undergrad and grad school already, and honestly didn’t feel like accruing a ton more debt for potentially not much of an increase in income. With that in mind, I began looking at different certifications that could help legitimize my current skillset, increase my earning potential, and provide self development along the way for a lower cost & shorter time investment. Professional certifications can be a great way to show future clients and employers that you’re not afraid to invest in yourself, commit to a program, and grow (while saving some dough in the process).

There you have it. Those three points – earning potential, legitimacy, and growth – are what it boiled down to for me. If you want to chat about the PMP, or have any questions, feel free to email (, or DM me. I’m always happy to provide my two cents, or help in any way.

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