Telling people you have certification can be pretty satisfying, but does it really matter? Andrew Makar weighs in with an article at TechRepublic about the real value of PMP certification, and he includes the thoughts of many anonymous project managers for additional perspective.
To PMP or Not to PMP
Let’s start with Makar’s position on the subject. He says that PMP certification provides a common language foundation for project managers, which is understandably important. Standardization across any discipline is vital. But then comes application of that knowledge, for which Makar has to say:
By sharing how you apply the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) framework and demonstrating that through actions, you’ll build your own personal brand within the company as someone who can deliver. With each success, you should find experiences on larger projects across programs in different business organizations. By demonstrating greater competency managing more complex projects, you’ll also be able to compete for more senior positions.
He says when looking for new project managers, he looks for PMP certifications as a way to prioritize candidates for interview, but at the end of the day, he is still going to hire the person who just seems most competent for the job. This is echoed by the project management community that he polled.
There are a few recurring themes in the community responses that I saw. Firstly, certification is a “door-opener,” in that when you are early in your career, it can be a really good way to put yourself ahead of the fresh-faced pack. Certification also provides you with added confidence and credibility in your dealings, as well as carves out the way to higher salaries.
But like Makar says, certification will only get you so far. PMP is not very useful for someone who has already been in the game for decades. It is a sure differentiator, but the further you get into your career, the more of a blip it becomes as your work starts to speak for itself.
You can read the full spectrum of views here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-consultant/project-managers-views-on-the-value-of-a-pmp-certification/