PMPs Need Not Apply?

Patti Gilchrist, PMP, is a Senior Technical Manager with more than 20 years of IT experience. Visit her website at

It seems there is a recent trend for professionals to debate the importance and requirement for a Project Management Professional certification. In fact, I recently was talking to a colleague who was a newly appointed manager about his department, and he asked my opinion on the matter. Before I could answer, he went on to assert that the PMP credential is not an indicator for success in the role. He thus concluded it is an unwarranted and unnecessary prerequisite for a job description and an imprudent use of time for perspective project management candidates.

Since he never did get around to letting me voice my dissenting opinion (i.e., I couldn’t get a word in), I will express it here. Although I don’t proclaim to be an expert on hiring, I have done more than my fair share of project management staffing throughout my career, so I feel that I offer a credible perspective (in fact, in 2011 I grew my team of project managers to more than 300 percent).

Although I would agree that a PMP credential is not a guarantee that a potential candidate will ultimately be successful in the role, one cannot conclude from that account that the PMP credential does not offer value, is not a worthwhile accomplishment for an individual and is not sought after by employers as a differentiating tool to choose among the multitude of candidates.  Many would argue that one …

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