Does PMP certification help you to become a manager in your career?

Does PMP certification help you to become a manager in your career?

Would you like to become a manager in your career? When asked to list the major milestones in IT professionals’ career development on a social blog, many professionals said that they were aiming for a career as a supervisor, team leader or manager. Getting PMP certification would help them to reach their career goal? Let’s discuss about it now.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leader and the most widely recognized organization in promoting project management best practices. It was founded in 1969 and started offering the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certifications in 1984. Any professionals with 4 years of experience or above can take up the PMP exam. Likewise, professionals with 2 to 4 years of experience can get the CAPM certification.

In my view PMP certification would help a candidate mainly during resume screening. As we all know resume screening is the first step in the candidate screening process for an employer. In general once a resume is received, it will go for an initial screening. Either the Human Resource Department or the person who needs the position will review the resume. Some factors that might be used during an initial screening are previous management experience, education, credentials and the area of interest. When I was looking for a managerial job few years ago in US, I noticed that a few managerial positions indicated that a PMP certification would be advantageous. When I was evaluating the job market few weeks ago, I noticed that a sizable number of openings that were requesting or requiring the PMP credentials are increasing. It indicates that companies are giving more preference to certified PMPs. Hence, I would say a candidate resume with PMP credentials would most likely to cross the first rejection point easily because it tells potential employers that the candidate has gone the extra mile in proving their mettle.

Also, as a certified PMP, it is reasonable to assume that you know or you have learned the life cycle of the project. The conceptual knowledge you gained to earn the certification would definitely help you manage your projects effectively. Even though “Experience is the greatest teacher”, the knowledge gained to become a certified PMP would definitely help you become a good manager. Besides, The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) latest salary survey reveals that in six major countries, PMP-certified project managers reported a $10,000 salary advantage over non-PMP-certified project managers. In summary, as most of the companies started to prefer PMPs when hiring PM positions and even the certification could help you when managing projects, why not become a certified PMP?

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Original Author : Dr.Joseline Edward, PhD, PMP
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18 Responses to “Does PMP certification help you to become a manager in your career?”

  1. I trlyl feel like it would be great if you have passed through the PMP Certification exams. This will surely help a lot.

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  2. apm says:

    Hi,

    The certification in itself is not worth anything – what I really liked was the fact that you had to study a lot, to do research not only with the PMBoK, but also look for additional materials and expand your knowledge in multiple areas.

    I would recommend the certification only to those who really need it, but I DO recommend the learning to happen – it structures a lot the way you do things, in both professional and personal life.

    If you still want to pursue your certification :) you can have here a few hints from my learning (I’ve passed from the first try):
    http://projectmanager1.blogspot.com/2010/09/getting-pmp-certified.html

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  3. Les says:

    I agree with many of the comments above. I kind of see the PMP as a way to get everyone speaking the same language. It does a good job of identifying the “What” regarding project management. Where it falls short is the “How”, such as the soft skills and experience differential mentioned above by Dave New.

    My biggest question is if someone has been doing formal PM for more than 10 years, why haven’t they pursued the PMP credential? The world is moving toward that as the de facto entry-level standard in the discipline so I would question that person’s environmental scanning abilities and their drive/true commitment to the discipline. Sure, someone could say that they don’t need it at their org but lacking the credential would make me wonder about their drive for personal development. Additionally, the credential would add to their personal credibility, which is something that every PM can benefit from.

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  4. Hi Guys I’m a fully qualified project manager with Project Manager Professional (PMP) and Prince2 certifications and i have to say wrongly or rightly it’s the FIRST thing recruiters ask for when recruiting for a 100k + project manager role. I actually had one employer verify the credientials behind my back to make sure it was real…. wow…… might be a waste of time, but seems to almost be a requirement for some of the larger projects.

    Just my comments,
    Justin.

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  5. Pat Weaver says:

    We train people for the full spectrum of PMI credentials. At the most basic level, all any multi-choice exam will tell someone is the person has a level of knowledge. Competency based assessments are different – they indicate a person has a level of capability but only in the place the assessment was undertaken. The limitations of both assessment options are discussed at: http://mosaicprojects.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/the-value-of-your-pmp-qualification/

    From a practical perspective any recognised certification (PRINCE@, PMI, IPMA, APM, AIPM, etc) will demonstrate three things to a perspective employer:
    1. You are interested in a project management career
    2. You have a defined skill
    3. You are interested in staying ‘current’ in the marketplace

    Acquiring a certification certainly helps with the job hunt which is best depends on the work environment you are seeking – PMI is by far the widest spread but is by no means the only or best qualification in every circumstance.

    If you are in employment, the acquisition of new certifications, courses, knowledge are important to demonstrate your continuing interest – life long learning is now mandatory if you wish to remain successful.

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  6. Sanvir Singh Jham, PMP says:

    Lucas, Well, take it this way its a formal education ( defacto study while you appear for PMP) for the required position. Whereas experential knowledge is required for a certain level of handling as desired by the position

    Nothing stops you from becoming a good manager even if you didn’t have a PMP, but it does provide a formal framework for you to implement your skills.

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  7. Naveen Yarlagadda says:

    Not only that they lack in-depth knowledge in Technology and Education to back their profession (let’s call it as a Cone) ..Soft-skills (let’s call it as an Ice-cream) are quite essential but those who have these skills are very rarely possess much needed technical knowledge (some mangers can’t even estimate accurately)..PMP certification is just like a “Cherry” on top of an Ice-cream cone….The hiring managers needs to give preference to all those who can deliver and exclude the race/religion/language/politics etc for the betterment of the world.

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  8. Bob Cooper says:

    An individual having the “head” knowledge about what’s in the PMBoK and other books on PM covering material on the PMP exam and successfully passing the exam does not necessarily assure the individual has the “soft skills” to be a successful or effective PM in applied project management. I’ve seen it over and over again. Many technically oriented PM’s do not have the people skills, communication skills, or leadership qualities and it can be a strong detriment to project success.

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  9. Luca Polidori says:

    Just my personal experience: I didn’t take the PMP exam yet and I’m not sure that I will ever do, but during my last 6 years each time I had to take a decision between different choices and the PMO was unable to help, I have always searched in the PMBOK and found at least a good suggestion.

    The certificate helps in being hired because it’s now requested by all the hiring people. Unfortunately the 90% of them don’t know what they are speaking about.

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  10. Jeff Furman, PMP says:

    If anyone is interested, a few years ago I interviewed 4 senior PMs for an article related to this discussion topic, where I asked them each to respond to a set of 10 questions around the value of the PMP knowledge versus the value of the certification. (We didn’t get into contrasting PMP with other certifications like some of you are interestingly exploring, just the PMP). It’s a free download at:
    http://www.jeff-furman.com/wp-content/2009/01/pmpcertificationorknowledge.pdf

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  11. Robert Jackson says:

    I would suggest any skill set that contributes to one’s ability to perform any function better contributes to one’s POTENTIAL to mange better.

    Being able to visualize projects, project steps, project definitions, etc. can help one manage people better in that everything is a process.

    Same can be said about Lean Six Sigma; a methodolgy that prepares one to critically and repeatably analyze waste and variation in processes. Once understand this methodology helps one do a better job of improving performance and thereby likely helps them manage better.

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  12. Adrian Tomlinson says:

    First read we demming , then taylor s works on management , then manage then worry about a pmp .

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  13. Anju Aggarwal says:

    Well, I would agree the fact about helping in resume screening and some companies giving it the PMP certification an edge over others. But whatever studies related to PMP’s need and the salary bracket are conducted with in US.
    Is there any study in India which can give us some status for the advantage of PMP certification or the PM salary surveys, I would love to hear any comments from others on this

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  14. Dariusz Michalski, PMP says:

    Honestly? Not really. I’d rather say it is an obstacle on the way of switching from PM into a manager/leader. Those three letters in your CV (PMP) clasifies you in the eyes of a headhunter/potential employer as a skilled project manager rather than a future manager.
    It is my private opinion of course ;)

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  15. Pranav Kumar says:

    Hi Lucas, I truly agree that PMP certification helps to become a knowledgeable manager. A person having PMP profile by default tells that you know the worldwide standards of project management and the common language used during project management communications.

    I know many people got better jobs / salary after completion of PMP. Along with this I would like to highlight that certification in profile provides the 1st level of picture that the candidate has the knowledge, BUT it does not mean that the person is always a good manager.

    As per my understanding a person with hard work / dedication / positive thinking / proper management can execute project successfully and become a Good Manager.

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  16. Anthony Manning, PMP says:

    I recently obtained my PMP with the exact intent of moving from a techie role to a management role. No luck yet, although I have received many congratulations from colleagues on obtaining the cert….

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  17. Dieter Thoma says:

    The PMP is an approval that you did x hours of project management and passed the examn. Thats all it is.

    It does not state anything about the quality how you deliverd the projects, if your company and your clients were satisfied with the outcome.

    I saw a lot of capable PMs without the PMP and I was working with PMPs were you really had doubts how they coulod get the necessary hrs.

    For the screening process it is great to have and in North America you really should have it.

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  18. Amir Zuker says:

    Thanks Lucas,
    Well written

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