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Topics: PM in Academia
PMI - Shouldn't they have a University degree?
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I know I have asked this before and the general consensus was "no". But there seems to be a contradiction if PMI (through PMIEF) teach project management, are so heavily involved in the education sector, and publish peer-reviewed papers, why don't they accredit a Bachelors, Masters, Graduate Diploma or even a Graduate Certificate in Project Management.
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I don't see the rationale for PMIEF as a pathway for accreditation, but rather as an initiative to garner increased interest, especially by the younger generation, into project management, highlighting the often over-looked vastness, specialized skills, and value of the profession.

What is great to see, is PMI continuing their efforts and working closely with schools to incorporate project management into their curriculum. The skills needed are included in non-traditional ways so as to be not so formal, especially for younger students, but getting them used to working as a team with a single goal to achieve some result. There is also support for teachers in providing training to support the cause.
https://pmief.org/our-purpose/pm-knowledgeable-youth
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Aug 06, 2018 5:36 PM
Sante Vergini
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There are pros and cons to non-formal training.
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I’m guessing that PMI fears the accountability to which accreditation would expose them.
Project management is unique in that it’s an art that’s expected to produce objective, practical results. However, no two projects are alike, so there’s no way any accrediting body can guarantee a person will perform a particular project successfully. The best an accrediting body can do is prove the person knows relevant theories surrounding project management. I believe the project failure rate is currently around 66%. Imagine how we'd react to a medical school that accredited doctors who killed 66% of their patients; I believe that's how businesses would react to PMI graduates who led their multimillion-dollar projects to failure.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Aug 05, 2018 6:14 PM
Sante Vergini
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I agree, but they do accredit project management through a professional qualification. However the PMIEF is about teaching project management in an academic setting, for which they claim they have "taught" 100's of thousands of students. But not at a level they can attach an academic qualification too? hmmm.
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Sante -

I agree with Eric and also feel that PMI might be questioned by their members at jumping into an arena which:

a) is well covered by well established universities and colleges
b) is already under attack from non-traditional disruptors

I already take issue with PMI's offering certifications in domains which are well supported (e.g. Business Analysis) so this would be yet another case of "me too" squandering of member funds.

Kiron
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Maybe as said Eric!!!
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I agree with both Eric and Kiron. It would not be surprising to find that they have actually researched the market and found that it's too "big/risky" a project (for lack of a better word) to undertake at the moment.
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I'll say no, but from a different angle: Project Managers are best when they know details about the industry they're in. Get a Bachelors related to that industry, and keep the PMP as just a certification about best practices in execution. Or, get a technical degree, so you can approach it as a "horizontal" (as opposed to vertical / industry knowledge).

In Healthcare, which is where i've been for 12 years (retail before that), the best PMs are either the ones with health-oriented degrees or technical degrees. The others just tick off checkboxes and dictionary definitions of what to do, based on their prior non-healthcare experience.
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Aug 05, 2018 10:39 AM
Replying to Eric Simms
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I’m guessing that PMI fears the accountability to which accreditation would expose them.
Project management is unique in that it’s an art that’s expected to produce objective, practical results. However, no two projects are alike, so there’s no way any accrediting body can guarantee a person will perform a particular project successfully. The best an accrediting body can do is prove the person knows relevant theories surrounding project management. I believe the project failure rate is currently around 66%. Imagine how we'd react to a medical school that accredited doctors who killed 66% of their patients; I believe that's how businesses would react to PMI graduates who led their multimillion-dollar projects to failure.
I agree, but they do accredit project management through a professional qualification. However the PMIEF is about teaching project management in an academic setting, for which they claim they have "taught" 100's of thousands of students. But not at a level they can attach an academic qualification too? hmmm.
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1 reply by Eric Simms
Aug 05, 2018 11:37 PM
Eric Simms
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I view the PMP as an accreditation of Project Managers’ knowledge regarding project management, but not their ability to successfully use that knowledge. I looked at the PMIEF site and it seems to teach people knowledge of project management but carefully avoids making any claims regarding students’ performance.
I think refusing to issue a diploma is a wise business move on PMI’s part, for it allows the organization to be valued for its project management knowledge while avoiding blame for the failure of practitioners to successfully utilize it. I believe if PMI sponsored a diploma people would interpret it as a guarantee of the bearer’s ability to execute a project successfully, and when that failed to happen PMI would be blamed.
Perhaps the answer is simply that a diploma confers a guarantee of performance, whereas a certification doesn’t. For example, we expect medical doctors to have medical degree. Now, would you trust a surgeon who only received a medical certificate to cut you open? I doubt I would.
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Aug 05, 2018 6:14 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
I agree, but they do accredit project management through a professional qualification. However the PMIEF is about teaching project management in an academic setting, for which they claim they have "taught" 100's of thousands of students. But not at a level they can attach an academic qualification too? hmmm.
I view the PMP as an accreditation of Project Managers’ knowledge regarding project management, but not their ability to successfully use that knowledge. I looked at the PMIEF site and it seems to teach people knowledge of project management but carefully avoids making any claims regarding students’ performance.
I think refusing to issue a diploma is a wise business move on PMI’s part, for it allows the organization to be valued for its project management knowledge while avoiding blame for the failure of practitioners to successfully utilize it. I believe if PMI sponsored a diploma people would interpret it as a guarantee of the bearer’s ability to execute a project successfully, and when that failed to happen PMI would be blamed.
Perhaps the answer is simply that a diploma confers a guarantee of performance, whereas a certification doesn’t. For example, we expect medical doctors to have medical degree. Now, would you trust a surgeon who only received a medical certificate to cut you open? I doubt I would.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Aug 06, 2018 1:04 AM
Sante Vergini
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I think I am the other way around: namely that I feel that a PM professional certification confers more of a guarantee (if that is the right word) than an academic diploma. The evidence of this is that employers and recruiters value the PMP over a diploma. You are correct that doctors, engineers, architects etc. require academic degrees to prove their skill and knowledge, and that degree is what is used as the trust that they will do their jobs properly or get sued, but I think PM's are the other way around. I also noticed as you did that PMIEF is careful to attach their teaching to anything concrete, which forms part of my ongoing research. Thanks.
Network:14702



Aug 05, 2018 11:37 PM
Replying to Eric Simms
...
I view the PMP as an accreditation of Project Managers’ knowledge regarding project management, but not their ability to successfully use that knowledge. I looked at the PMIEF site and it seems to teach people knowledge of project management but carefully avoids making any claims regarding students’ performance.
I think refusing to issue a diploma is a wise business move on PMI’s part, for it allows the organization to be valued for its project management knowledge while avoiding blame for the failure of practitioners to successfully utilize it. I believe if PMI sponsored a diploma people would interpret it as a guarantee of the bearer’s ability to execute a project successfully, and when that failed to happen PMI would be blamed.
Perhaps the answer is simply that a diploma confers a guarantee of performance, whereas a certification doesn’t. For example, we expect medical doctors to have medical degree. Now, would you trust a surgeon who only received a medical certificate to cut you open? I doubt I would.
I think I am the other way around: namely that I feel that a PM professional certification confers more of a guarantee (if that is the right word) than an academic diploma. The evidence of this is that employers and recruiters value the PMP over a diploma. You are correct that doctors, engineers, architects etc. require academic degrees to prove their skill and knowledge, and that degree is what is used as the trust that they will do their jobs properly or get sued, but I think PM's are the other way around. I also noticed as you did that PMIEF is careful to attach their teaching to anything concrete, which forms part of my ongoing research. Thanks.
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1 reply by Raja Shekar
Aug 06, 2018 3:14 AM
Raja Shekar
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I am even thinking of having an MS degree in Project management from Drexcel university.
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Sante, this is very complicated matter.
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