PMP Certification - Not worth it?

Posted on 2009-04-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Question:  While you were studying for your PMP exam, did you learn anything useful in the real world?  
I'm getting disturbing feedback from experience managers who are studying for their PMP certification.   Experienced managers working on this designation are aghast at the amount of questinoable theory they're being asked to assimilate.  
- Some say it's primarily a memorization test of new words for old supervisory concepts.
- Some say the certification group is creating a layer of elitist language that is theoretical, impractical, out-of-touch with the work-a-day world of managers.
- Some say PMP is a vital and mandatory step towards the future where organizations and employees will all be ISO certified  (see PMI web site for ISO compliance info).
... or am I totally wrong here and should I take the jump and start studying for my PMP certification.  
What do you say?  Has the PMP made you a better manager?
Question by:brothertruffle880
    1 Comment
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    All certifications have similar concepts.  Ask 10 people and you'll get a dozen answers.

    The question is: are you just starting out or are you experienced as a project manager?

    If you are experienced - then you probably don't need it unless your job is requiring it - in which case the answer is obvious.  If you are new or under a couple years experience, then every little bit can help while you are getting established.

    Just getting a certification isn't going to make you a better manager.  The preparation for it might - if you just take the 'cram' method and just pass the test - you won't get much out of it.  If you read the material - then you might.  If nothing else, even if you just come to the conclusion that it is just 'new word for old concepts' then you are able to communicate more effectively with the new-comers in the industry that are going this route that might not know the old terms.  

    If you are the new-comer, well - do you really think you know all the 'old concepts' already?  In today's world, proper training just doesn't happen anywhere.  We get trained for what is necessary and enough to get by.  The trainer is either dedicated to training and will become out of touch, or has it as an additional job duty, in which case every person they train is a potential threat to their own position.

    Relying on certs and thinking that you are really all that better because you have any cert instead of taking an objective look at any situation is elitist.  Get it because you want to learn, and that it will look good on your resume.  Be proud of the accomplishment, but it won't make you a god.

    Talking with other managers, reading books, taking courses, attending seminars - these are the things that are common for bettering yourself.

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