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Topics: Career Development, Pharmaceutical
Any PMs in the pharmaceutical industry out there have higher degree, such as an MBA?

Any PMs in pharmaceutical industry out there have higher degree, such as an MBA with a pharmaceutical development focus? If so do you find it more relevant to the field than the PMP accreditation?

I am considering pursuing either an MBA and/or the PMP, just wondering which you find the most helpful and why.
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Meredith, I am not in pharmaceutical industry but I have both MBA and PMP. I think you are trying to compare apples and oranges. MBA and PMP are totally different. In MBA, you can become a professional in managing the business and with PMP you can become a master in the project management.

Meredith, we had such discussion before so in a nutshell the MBA is an Academic qualification people can graduate and no experience but it is powerful degree, PMP means that you have passed certain requirements with some kind of practical field experience but it doesn't guarantee that you are the excellent project manager but it is a powerful designation when you have it you know you are among the Elite Group, now in reality some people don't have both yet they become CEO or director of a company, now for you look at the time frame you have which one you can get faster you should go for it first.

I have a Bachelors degree in Biology, a Masters in International Management, and I have worked for a number of prominent pharmaceutical companies. That said, a PMP is far more valuable to a PM in the Pharmaceutical field than an MBA, for the reasons Riyadh described. As a PM, the more you know about the business your organization performs the better, but an MBA won't provide that knowledge (an MBA provides useful but generalized knowledge about common business practices).
Having an MBA doesn't mean someone will trust you to manage a high-profile, multi-million dollar project. However, if you have a PMP they will be much more inclined to do so.

Hi Meredith, as a PM delivering projects to clients in the Pharma industry (PMP but not MBA) I would say that, regardless of industry, PMP certification should be your first choice as it it will be a foundation and framework for all you do.
Later if you have or want to have an opportunity to influence company strategy or move beyond a purely operations role an MBA would have a lot to recommend it.

Hi Meredith, I am going to echo what Michael has mentioned. I believe a PMP is important initially when you start your project management career. Having that opens the doors to get a PM position. However in the companies I have worked in, to move up in the organization, even in the field of project/program management and obtaining the more senior positions, such as global program manager, a second degree became more important, this could be a PhD, MSc, or MBA. So I would say PMP first, than later MBA.

I work as Global Project Manager in one of the leading pharma companies and for this position it is certainly of bigger value to have PMP rather than MBA title. It makes sense to embark on PMP certification after few years of getting some experience in PM field but indeed, what is more important is to have the appropriate qualification to understand what the drug development is about. In my case I am Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in biomedicine. I guess this is more important to than the PM experience but it depends on your area of expertise. I guess for an IT field the selection criteria may not be so strict.

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