The PMP exam by rule of thumb requires a minimum of three years of experience in leading project teams and managing multiple projects under the title of ‘Project Manager’. Many questions the exam tests you on are real-world work-place scenarios which they expect you to know how to tackle because you would have already had the experience. That being said, it is never too early to apply for a PMP and any veteran project manager would tell you that the best course of action for your career would be to take the exam as soon as possible.
The ideal plan would be to complete your bachelor’s degree (which is also the minimum educational requirement for the exam) and to then work in your company of choice. You would have to work your way into the trust of the managers in your company because they probably would not put a newbie fresh out of college in charge of calling the shots in the project team. Once you show your mettle and get to the hallowed project manager title, it is advisable to perform the duties and rack up the valuable experience for a minimum of three years (another requirement for taking the exam) before you sit for it. Most PMPs on forums such as LinkedIn suggest that preparing for the PMP exam on the company’s clock is not condoned but in fact encouraged by the managers because they would not mind increasing the numbers of the PMPs in their ranks.
PMP is a highly reputed certification in the project management and information technology (IT) community. It shows that you have invested time and money to further your level of knowledge and increase your skills in a competitive workplace. I would strongly recommend distinguished and experienced project managers without PMPs to apply for the exam right now because of the high number of positive externalities it has for you and your company. Firstly, knowing that your company has you and other PMPs might increase the business prospects of your company. Personally, you would be exposed to the new-age methodology of project management and this will surely increase your productivity and that of your team. The respect that you gain from possessing this professional certification, if played right, can increase your status in your organization and even fast-track progression up the professional ladder.
PMP is also a good way to get your foot in the door and it has been seen that companies give preference to individuals carrying the PMP tag during their hiring process, opening career opportunities to upgrade yourself to a bigger firm and a bigger paycheck. Most importantly, people will realize that your PMP shows professional commitment, a higher level of knowledge attained and the impression that you are always seeking to learn and better yourself as an individual.