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The new (and harder) PMP certification exam originally planned for last December 15th has been postponed twice, first to the end of June 2020, presumably to help training companies adjust, and now to Jan 1st 2021 because of the current pandemic related crisis: However, it is coming.
This shift is will mean quite a change for training companies, for trainers, but most of all for the exam candidates. The current material (already quite a hefty load) will represent approximately 50% only of the new materials. PMI has shared the list of recommended reading for the exam and it is a just as interesting collection of books as it is no quick read - to be exact: 10 books(!), including the Agile standard and the PMBOK - check it out here.  Agile experience is also recommended.
This clearly means two things: 

Firstly, PMI is clearly reiterating how involved and committed they are to their flagship certification. The PMP certification is clearly going to be backed up, marketed, and supported far into the future.

Secondly, the value of having obtained the PMP certification is going to rise even more (it is already the most valued PM certification). The fact that it now includes a committed and pervasive amount of Agile practices really boosts the value of this certification even further.

In uncertain times, the skills and ability to deal with change are at a premium. Salaries of senior project managers have proved this by regularly increasing year on year at a higher rate than their relative industry’s average. And PMP vs non-PMP salaries show this trend even more clearly (25% more cash according to PMI):

“The median salary for PMP holders in the U.S. is 25% higher than those without PMP certification, according to PMI's most recent Project Management Salary Survey

Summarizing; if you are a project manager if you are committed to your career, if you see your future in project management, then there has simply been no better moment to get that “PMP” stuck to the back of your name than now!

I’ve been in international project management since nearly a quarter of a century and running PMP prep sessions since over a decade: this is really a golden moment for us in project management.

Why? Because opportunities for PMs grow as the need for professional “cool heads” grows, the need for people who are not put off by customers changing their minds and their specs, or business needs constantly evolving and technology offering new emerging opportunities at every corner.

If this is where you feel that you thrive as well, then go for it! Take advantage of “corona-holidays” (if you got them) and/or of summer, to prepare the current PMP content (before the upgrade in Jan 2021). 

If possible, get your current employer to pay for it (since they will benefit from it probably more than you will), if that is not an option consider making this investment in your own future and go it alone (oh, and changing employer...).

There are many prep programs out there. I am running one shortly as well. If you are interested click here.

By the way, did you know that the PMP certification can now also be done comfortably from home (during the pandemic, this may or may not be extended) with an online proctored exam? More info on that here.

Max Langosco June 2020

 

 

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