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IT pay goes up with addition of project management certs

Foote Partners and PayScale.com study IT compensation from all kinds of angles including how certs impact pay. Read about an interesting article that explores a strong and positive correlation between seniority of project management certifications earned and IT pay.

Certification maven Anne Martinez drives a spiffy site called GoCertify.com. Her most recent article for the site is entitled "Project Management Certifications and Pay in IT." Based on recent studies from PayScale.com and the Foote Partners 2011 IT Skills and Certification Pay Index, she comes to some interesting conclusions about the added value for IT professionals from earning project management certifications.

The basic conclusion of the studies can be summarized as follows:

  • More senior project management certs add more value to IT base levels of pay at all levels of compensation.
  • The least valuable credential is the CompTIA Project+ because it is the most junior. Nevertheless it adds from 2 to 6 percent to base pay across all compensation ranges.
  • The PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) certs tie for the middle of the range (at a middling level of seniority as well) by adding from 9 to 13 percent to base pay across all ranges.
  • The PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) tops the rankings (and the seniority level) by adding from 13 to 16 percent to base pay across all ranges.

Look at it this way: you can earn a PMP by self-study and taking the exam for about $555 (exam only) plus another $300-400 for books and practice exams. If you're making $80,000 a year and you hit the mid-range 15% boost in return for your investment, it will pay off at better than 12:1 as soon as that raise kicks in. Even if you spring for a one- or two-semester long PMP class at a local community college or university nearby, your payoff ratio will still be better than 4:1 at the end of the trail.

Of course, obtaining a raise of that size after earning a new cert credential may require a job change, so there's more involved to realizing a return on your investment than marching into your bosses' office and announcing: "Guess what? I just earned a PMP. Now pay me more!" (If only it were just that easy.) Even so, it's a fabulous investment to make in your career growth and development prospects, and one that requires a relatively modest investment of time, effort, and money.

Give it a shot, whydontcha? It could have a nice positive impact on your bottom line!