8 March 2009

On PMP Certifications

Raven asks why we have or haven't got a PMP certification.

I don't have it.

I do have a masters degree in project management.  I have a reasonably good work history with the ability to provide good references.  I lecture part time on project management at a university.  And of course there is this blog, which is basically my learning journal on the topic.

I figure that my personal network and paper history will put me in the front of the pack for most jobs I apply for, but right now I am not in the market so not thinking about it (until now.)

I can talk and manage my way though the PMP, and as you'll note from reading this blog, my thoughts extend way beyond the PMBOK so I can handle a curveball or two also.  I know the content and I don't see doing the test is going to help me learn much.  But that's because I did the masters degree.

I may get the PMP for the resume eventually.

I recently sat the certified scrum master training, mainly because I wanted the formal structured learning to make sure I had all the bits and peices evenly understood.  I also recognise it will help me in my future job hunting.

So, if you haven't had advanced training - I'd recommend it.  I would definitely put a university course ahead of a 3 hour multiple choice questionnaire, but if that's what you can afford, and it gets quick results, why not?
Photo by me


  1. Hi Craig - thanks for sharing your thoughts on PMP, such an interesting subject. Here in the US you won't find a job description without PMP attached to it, though as you say experienced PMs can work their way through an interview and jump the hurdles just fine if you exhibit you have a solid understanding of the PM world. As my post states, I also do not have PMP certification and am holding my own just fine. Of course, I am an 8 year member of PMI and must say that having the membership helps get me in the door.

  2. Anonymous8:07 am


    Absolutely agree - certifications are neither necessary nor sufficient. In fact, many folks do certifications for the wrong reasons, as I've discussed in this post.



  3. Anonymous7:50 pm

    Personally I don't have PMP certification. When I recruit i don't really care whether people are certified or not but what are their skills and experience.

    I would definitely choose an experienced PM over someone who has a bunch of certificates but doesn't impress my during interview.

    I think that the rule of thumb is the bigger the organization is the more certificates are valued. It happens because in big companies recruitment process is often disconnected from a manager a candidate would work for. Quite often HR people don't have other choice but look on certificates.

    Anyway I may get the certificate someday but that's definitely not one of my priorities.

  4. All my life I was selected for the jobs based on my merit, my experience, and my capabilities, and I didn't bother about any certifications. However I noticed that more and more companies were advertising for the PMP certification, and upon further investigation, I found the PMP certification program to be quite interesting and challenging. I decided to take up this challenge, and I must say it opened my eyes to a new way of managing projects. Studying for it and taking the test was quite a task, and having done it, I would suggest that every aspiring project manager must get a PMP certification as it certainly gives you a new and much larger perspective on project management, as well as open new doors.

  5. Anonymous9:01 am

    PMP simply put is crap and nothing more then a money making scheme for the PMI organization. At this point in time I believe it costs over 5000 dollars to go to the classes and get the study guides and take the tests etc. You can go to a lot of excellent classes for 5000 dollars that you will learn no only about project management but a lot of other things. I have never met a PMP certified person that did the prerequisite number of hours before they took their tests. And I’ve had to save several of their asses because they couldn’t do the job
    I’ve seen a number of managers lie about the hours of experience that a person has so they can take the test. It allows persons that don’t have the background into a field that they shouldn’t be in.
    Also to say that a person that doesn’t have a college degree has to do 7500 hours and a person that does only 4500 hours is nothing more then hipacritical. I’d take the person that had the greater successful experience every time.
    Also I have been managing projects for 30 years and have taken a number of classes during that time. To have someone come and tell me that all my training and experience is of no value any longer is really arrogant.

    Also if companies continue to insist that persons have a PMP certification and they have to have 4500 to 7500 of Project Management experience before hand then they’re only creating a catch22 situation and they’re not going to have any Project managers anymore.

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  7. Anonymous3:45 pm

    Most project managers are nothing more than skilled bullshitters who can't do anything productive, so they gravitate to the PM role where they just track due dates and percent complete numbers. Some can't even correctly do that. Lucky for them, corporations think their position is necessary for even small projects where you've got a dumbass PM sitting on his ass acting important while 3 or 4 people do the actual work. PMP certification is a joke and in general, PMs are a waste of money.

  8. Anonymous6:48 am

    Total waste of time. Most PMP are like trash. They do certification which is like a admin being certified to get organized. Engineers, with MBA's are your best bet or Six Sigma, which validates your work and existence. PMP is for dumb asses who can't finish college