March 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm #177259
I was recently told by a recruiter that he couldn’t present me to the client as a candidate for a PM role without my PMP certification. Not only was this frustrating, it now poses a great question…is it worth it? I already have a Master of Arts in Diplomacy – International Trade & Commerce, and over 4 years of direct PM experience on an international scale.
I looked into the PMP yesterday and it is quite expensive to get all of the required education hours. In a world where a lot of young people are still swimming in debt from undergrad and graduate school…are the additional professional certifications worth it? Should we start forgoing the graduate degrees and go after professional certifications instead?
March 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm #177273
Jermyn K.Y. VoonParticipant
I was thinking about doing my PMP designation as well. I was talking to someone yesterday at a career fair and he told me that one should only do a designation if you would like to achieve a higher position within your organization as those professional certificates can be quite difficult and you have renew them every few years. Do you have any other professional certifications other then your masters?
Hopefully that helps a bit.
March 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm #177271
I too have looked into the PMP certification. However, the more I look into it the more I don’t want to do it. It’s easier for employers to ask for PMP certification than to go through an applicant’s KSA’s to see if what they do fits what the employer is looking for.
I ran into this when I decided to get my college degree 12 years after graduating High School. I was working for an employer and wanted to move up the ranks. I had the KSA’s to do the job, but we got a new Director and he wanted everyone in that position to have a Bachelor’s Degree. So, I go to college and get my Associates. I am working on my Bachelor’s Degree when we get another Director, who changes it back.
Just because an employer can ask for a Degree/Certification doesn’t mean they should.
March 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm #177269
Bryan Conway JD, PMPParticipant
I found it useful, it is an internationally recognized certification, and immediately opens doors to PM jobs. However, I am a federal government employee, so I was reimbursed for the certification, and my PDUs are provided at no cost to me, so I can’t speak to the monetary worth of it.
I have found that degrees/certifications appeal to those that hire, as they are an objective measure of ability/knowledge, rather than a candidates subjective “hey trust me, I am an expert, I have been doing this for X amount of years, you can read all about how talented I am in the resume that I wrote about myself”.
March 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm #177267
Herewith, I would like to make some recommendations around your question.
There are organizations asking for such certifications like PMI PMP or PRINCE2 Foundation or Practitioner for different purposes. Some need them for introducing the employee CV with such certifications especially for/during bidding participation with offers including mandatory requirements from the tender documents on included team CVs with such certifications.
Other organizations are requesting such certifications with a short-to-medium time positive experience in applying the recommendations of the PMI PMBOK Standard in order to be sure that the employee possess a high level of practical experience based on a worldwide top-tough exam and certification. Usually, the PMP exam or the entry level CAPM exam may be passed by anyone, but when someone is asked by PMI to fill up the mandatory documents with former practical experience, especially for the PMP exam, it is somewhat more difficult to prove the former real practical experience while assembling the candidate file. And this is apart of the required education hours, usually a 5 day PMI PMBOK Standard course with a REP teacher. Also, the two levels of the PRINCE2:2009 project management methodology certifications, respectively the Foundation and the Practitioner are medium and difficult level. The former is for beginners while the latter is for advanced practitioners in project management.
There is also a very difficult exam – the 6 Sigma – having many ranks, among which the Master Black Belt Professional (Expert level) allows you to manage projects in 6 Sigma ways, but also to direct and train the project managers and the corporate directors and managers, even that they are Champions.
There are many other Project Manager certifications (not Program Managers or Program Directors certifications which are totally different ) and related training courses less expensive, thus requiring less experience in advance than that for the PMI PMP.
However, it is great if you may start to learn for the PMI PMP or for the PRINCE2 Foundation then for the Practitioner level. PMI PMP certification is really worth especially in North America countries and usually a future higher rank of salary may appear for you (of course it depends of the organization vision on project managers and project management importance which should be aligned to the corporate strategic level, unfortunately few corporations or agencies understand it).
May be you may allow some money and start to follow the 5 day (or less) training course on the PMI PMBOK Standard for the PMP exam, after which you may receive the training certification which is mandatory. Then, at any moment of time but still valid for the current Standard edition to be applied for the PMP exam you may assemble the file with PMI requested documents (see on the http://www.pmi.org site) and apply for the exam, then you have at least 6 months for preparing it. During this interval you may tell to a recruiter that you are already enrolled for the PMP exam at a date already agreed with PMI. It is a chance to win something.
As I have previously mentioned in my intervention on GovLoop/PM group in May 02, 2012 on https://www.govloop.com/profile/MihailSadeanu you must choose when you want to practically apply a real project management methodology like the UK OGC PRINCE2:2009 – used especially throughout Europe, Asia (India the most) and Commonwealth countries, being a prescriptive one – and a standard or a BOK (Body Of Knowledge) recommendations like PMI PMBOK or ISO 21500 which are non-prescriptive. You may find also more details about their differences and other current BOKs details on my private site http://www.method-pm.com/ . It is noticeable that a standard or a BOK is conceived for the profession of project manager, while a project management methodology is conceived from best practices by the best gurus in practical appliance of the project management technique and art as well.
I am a PMI PMP final reviewer and contributor to the Fifth Edition of the PMI PMBOK Standard 2013 and PMP certified some years ago.Apart being a final reviewer and contributor of the last PMI PMBOK Fifth Edition 2013, I am also a former member of the working group #3 for the ISO 21500 Standard – Guidance on project Management finally issued in 2012, and a contributor and final reviewer of the ASAPM/IPMA aPRO Standard on Corporate Performance on Project Management, 2010.
Should you have other additional questions on these topics you are welcome.Sincerely yours,Dr. Mihail SădeanuProgram & Project Director/Manager Freelancer,Mihail Sadeanu PFA (Company)APMG PRINCE2® Registered Practitioner, PMI PMP, IAPPM CPD,6 Sigma Master Black Belt Professional, ExpertRating TQM,Mobile Phone: +0040 729 038 832
March 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm #177265
The entry-level CAMP certificate might be more practical and cheaper than going for the PMP. I think the advantage of having the certificate is that it establishes a baseline for all managers in terms of knowledge or skills and allows everyone to communicate using a standard vocabulary regardless of the field you belong to. This is important because the quality of education varies from institution to institution. Jargon can also be highly idiosyncratic. You might be able to convince an employer that your experience plus the CAMP is enough plus it would give you an advantage over someone without any form of certification.
Given the level of responsibility associated with a job, a PMP certificate might be a waste of time even if a recruiter requests it. Recruiters are not good at evaluating skills so they ask for credentials. The NYT had a story last month about a law firm asking for bachelor’s degrees for entry-level administrative roles (which previously were filled by high school graduates) simply because they could. Why would you hire someone overqualified for a position? Do you think that person is not going to be bored and jump ship the first chance they get? Employers do very stupid things and then complain about employees not being loyal or that training is too expensive. Paradoxically, they then become more rigid and demanding when it comes to qualifications.
In the field of international development, many projects are managed by individuals that have no relevant training despite holding graduate degrees. An MA/MS is designed to prepare a candidate to pursue a doctorate therefore coursework in leadership, budgeting, human resources, strategic planning, organizational development and the like are not typically required. The knowledge and skills of a scholar differ from those of a practitioner. I decided to complete an MPA with a specialization in International Management for that reason. After trying to run projects as a Peace Corps volunteer, I discovered that there was a lot I didn’t know and had to make up as I went along. Experience is the best teacher but you don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
March 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm #177263
Here’s a link that allows you to explore various certifications.
The thing to keep in mind is that some certifications are worthless so it’s definitely a case of buyer beware. However, there are many types available and some are highly specialized.
Btw Candace, your posts are great! You ask very good questions.
April 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm #177261
Very good points. You would think your graduate degree would have more merit than being depicted in this economy! I am pursuing a second Master’s in Project Management to see if this helps with the transition into the PM career field.
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