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Hiring PMP's

Mike Mullaly has an article on Gantthead.com about hiring PMP's. (you will have to log in). He cites the statistic that over 200,000 people have held the PMP (but only 100,000 are currently certified). At $500 each for the exam alone that is a $10 million business for PMI alone, to say nothing of the opportunities for consultants and trainers.

The business aspects stretch further. As Mike points out:

the number of organizations that use the PMP as a screening criterion in their process of hiring project managers has gone through the roof. Today, it is the rare job posting for a project manager that doesn't ask for PMP certification as a qualification. More importantly, hiring managers candidly admit that they only look at resumes of those who have their certification; other resumes simply don't get a second glance.
Now this would be a fine thing if there were some merit to the PMP certification, but in actual practice I see little or perhaps an inverse correlation between project management skill and possession of a PMP certificate. In my experience PMP certificate holders appear to mostly be newcomers to the profession and as such have little real world experience. Companies screening on this basis are just being stupid.

Comments (8)

Fully agree. Companies (especially big ones) always want screening capability. If it's not PMI Certification, then it's going to be something else. I don't know the solution. I speak as someone who likes PMBok, but do not have nor plan to get PMP certification!

You'll be interested in this week's Economist magazine which gives some visibility to Project Management, PMI, and other ideas to a powerful global readership. On web at http://www.economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=4065653



As a Global Chartered Registered Education Provider, and PMP #740, I can assure you that in the "old days" (Prior to Virgil Carter hijacking the organization) those of us providing training were DISCOURAGED from "Teaching to the Exam". It was only after Virgil came on board and turned the organization into "PMI INC." that "shake and bake" PMP's were being turned out by the Rita's, Cheetah's, "PMP for DUMMIES" et al.

FWIW, there is a rumor on the street that both Rita and IIL have been sued or threatened to be sued by PMI for copyright infringements? Be very curious to find out if there is any truth to these rumors, and if so, what the details are.

PDG, Jakarta

I agree. What about tools? Anyone can pass a test, but can they manage an actual project in MSProject? Can they actually calculate the critical path? Can they manage a budget? Do they understand resource scheduling? How about leveling?



No doubt PMP guidelines and theories help the experienced PMs to have a common language and terms to communicate with their team members. It is also helpful for organizations to standardize on on PM methodology.

The tools, techniques and processes are nothing new to any experienced project managers.

The problem is with the use-less hiring managers, who only look at the papers and know nothing about project management.

I've used several PM methodologies in the past 10+ years, CMMI, Six Sigma, PMP, etc. However, I never think of getting a certificate from any of the above standards. To me, it is nothing more than a standard approach to communicate with the team members and stakeholders.

For those jokers (hiring manager) that are only hunting for PMP certs then good luck to them. Only fresh graduates and enjoying life PMs will have the time to spend on preparing and sit for the certs.




Great insight, unfortunately you have missed the boat it seems. Like any evolution (er revolution) change takes time. It is a big step that employers recognize the PMP as a standard for their project managers. Now they need to socialize that standard and workforce opportunity into real value to the bottom line.

You see, most businesses think of the PMP as a "tool" and not as a change agent. Bringing in all PMP certified project managers doesn't solve anything for the employer unless they are committed to process improvement in the current business practices. This is why there is such strong focus on hiring PMPs. Businesses recognize this but don't know how or have the capcity to make change happen becuase of current business pressures. It is the professional responsibility of PMPs to bring this value to their employer in everything they do. PMP's should have the competency to recognize delivery opportunity and/or threat.

Bottom line, unless you have been living in a cave, we are at global economic war in America, and each business is like an army. If the army loses the battle/war, you will lose too. Align your skills as a PMP to match/exceed the values of the business and you will become fulfilled beyond your dreams.


I don't get that. Isn't a PMP required to have at least 7500 hours of real word PM experience?


What do employers think of the CAPM Cert? I haven't been able to find any companies requesting or requireing that. I am an software engineer with no experience as a PM, but I would like to get started if I can find a way to land a PM Position. So I was going to get an MBA, but a head hunter suggested I get at PMP Cert instead. But I can't get that cert without experience right? I can't really work my way up to this job, either. Honesly I'm not that great of a programmer that's one reason why I would prefer to get into management. So any thoughts on how to get started? I don't want to take the CAPM if no one cares about it.

Joe Gartrell:

I have 28 years of direct management experience and 15 years of direct project management experience. I write project management curriculum for a major university and I've been a troubleshooter on problematic enterprise wide projects. I have also successfully launched new products. I have CONSIDERABLE project management experience, but was asked by a client to get my PMP, so I obliged. I never needed the credential before; however, it's helped me considerably since. I have managed project managers, some of which had the PMP and some of which did not. I never stressed it in the hiring process, but it was a "nice to have." Here's the reality - like it or not, in today's economy employers are routinely screening out those candidates without a PMP; it's not right, it's just the way it is. No amount of whining about it will change it. In my case, as a free agent, the PMP is even more critical because work is almost non-existent without the PMP. The PMP itself isn't worth a hill of beans, but if it's a requisite, then it's useful. Disparaging those with a PMP without knowing their backgrounds is wasted energy.

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