Should I get certified as a Project Manager?
May 5, 2004 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I am thinking of getting my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. Can anyone comment on how valuable this certification is in the employment market?

I do project management in my current job, but it's in the context of a wacky start-up company -- we're not too picky about following proper procedures. I'd like to support my work experience with a good basic education in PM, and gain something that will help me get a foot in the door at more established companies. I'm not simply doing it for bags'o'cash, although that would be nice, too.

So, my questions for PMPs: Did getting certified help with job opportunities? Did you find it increased your asking rate? Overall, did you think it was a good investment of your time and money? (I will probably get it just for my own business education, but I'm curious about what value it has in the employment marketplace.) Thanks for your help!
posted by jess to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Warning: I'm not a PMP. Having said that, it's tough to answer your question with the info provided. After all, it sorta depends on the field you're in, and where your value is, as an employee.

...if you're in a commodity field (where domain-specific knowledge is largely irrelevant), then a PMP is more likely to have value than if you're in a niche field (where domain-specific knowledge is uncommon and valuable).

So, um, more info?
posted by aramaic at 10:51 AM on May 5, 2004

jess: I don't know about this certification, but I can tell you a thing about certifications at large : don't expect certifications to replace hands-on experience , they're a a valuable bonus IF they help solving your problems and increase your understanding of the for companies, some values certifications, some dont ...depends much on how you learned from cert, what you learned from cert, can you apply the cert productively and so on

On a rant tangent: most of times you'll find that people with -only- experience and with little education despise certification : sometimes they're right, sometimes not ..just don't take their word as gold only because "they have been in da industry" ..there is no such thing as "the" industry.
posted by elpapacito at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2004

The PMP, CPM (Certified Purchasing Manager), Six Sigma Blackbelt, etc. certifications that are on the operations side of a business are all valuable because they show that you've learned at least one recognized 'way' to do things, and you've focused your knowledge and attention in an area at least long enough to get the cert. However, they're only valuable if you can point to 3+ years of experience on your resume... otherwise they can be interpreted as 'brown-nosing' certifications, like an MBA that went right through business school without gaining a few years of experience.

However, if you have real experience, and are planning on being a member of the PMI, I would say it's a good move to take. You can expect it to be a leg up in any salary negotiation to the tune of $2k, depending on your area. You can also expect it to be a help dealing with clients, if you're in an area where that's necessary... for some reason, having a set of initials after your name on your business card helps.
posted by SpecialK at 12:53 AM on May 6, 2004

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