The Real Value of PMP Certification

Many people question the real value of the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, and ask themselves how it will boost their career. For one, it establishes a common language among project managers and helps others work within a common framework. It is also globally recognized that you have the experience, education, and credentials to manage and lead a successful project. Besides from career development, 8 out of 13 project manager jobs posted on Dice.com either require or strongly prefer candidates who have their PMP certification.

On the flip side, the PMP certification is merely a test and it does not prove that you have a historic track record of success. It is sometimes used by hiring managers to screen out and prioritize certain candidates, but project success is what most managers look for in a quality candidate.

Here is what some project manager’s had to say about the PMP certification:

  • “My PMP credentials got my resume past the HR screening process into the hiring manager’s hands. Once I got the interview the PMP added confidence while responding to the questions. Now that I have the job, the PMP adds to my credibility when interacting with other teams. It’s a high value credential, particularly working in a Department of Defense environment where many folks are titled ‘program manager’ but don’t have the experience. They often seek advice and I’m able to mentor new managers.”
  • “I came into project management before the PMP existed, looked at it, but never thought it was a certification I needed.”
  • “My PMP credentials boosted my self-confidence and skills. My organization currently does not recognize, support or require the PMP credential for any of our job classifications. I have promoted the value of PMP credentials to colleagues and several have pursued acquiring this credential.”
  • “I have found the PMP to be a “door opener” — the minimum requirement for most opportunities. After that, it’s about how I apply the information, demonstrate leadership, and apply the skills to project challenges that help advance my career.”
  • “I have interviewed many people with PMP certifications that I would not choose to work with. I have interviewed many people without PMP certifications that I subsequently hired. The PMP certification is not a guarantee of performance.  That being said, I learned much in preparation for the exam. It wasn’t necessarily the memorization of project areas and earned value that I found useful. Rather the appreciation I gained for the discipline of successful project management. “

For the most part, many project managers truly value the PMP certification, but others merely look at is at a requirement for getting an interview. Do you have your PMP certification or are you looking to become certified in the future? Let us know your thoughts about how important the PMP certification is to you.