Project Management

Is PMP® Certification Still Worth It?

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

A very well-known TV business personality—known for his outspoken desire to create personal wealth—spoke out this week on social media about the value of his MBA. Kevin O’Leary stated that he is frequently asked if his MBA, or any diploma in general, is worth the expense. He stated that obtaining a post-graduate degree indeed made him smarter, but it did not guarantee success. He pointed out that Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, both proud college drop-outs, are incredibly successful.

What I liked about O’Leary’s post was that he went on to speak of the benefits of the “process” of achieving his MBA. He admits to not being a strong student. He learned the importance of discipline and skills, such as how to defend an idea.

His commentary caused me to return to a question I am frequently asked when delivering project management courses. Is PMP® certification worth it?

I’m part of a number of training programs. One very large program has completely moved away from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) references in its training material. In fact, in a recent meeting, the course designers were mandated to remove all reference to PMI processes and tools/techniques.

An uncomfortable hush was palpable among those of us delivering the courses. We had, after all, all proudly achieved our PMP …

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It's like deja vu all over again.

- Yogi Berra