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Value of Professional Certifications (PMI Certs: PMP, PgMP, PfMP) #is #pmp #certification #worth #it


Te Wu CEO, Professor, Entrepreneur, Expert on Strategic Business Execution

Value of Professional Certifications (PMI Certs: PMP, PgMP, PfMP)

June 10, 2014 34 отметки «Нравится» 7 комментариев

I was at a Vocus marketing conference last week, and someone asked me about my certifications. Are they worth it? This got me thinking and now writing. First, some background: I have 3 certifications from PMI. They are Portfolio, Program, and Project Management (PfMP, PgMP, and PMP). According to PMI’s certification registry, there are less than 50 of us in the world with these 3 certifications.

All my certifications were “defensive” moves. By defensive, I mean that I no longer truly need it for professional growth. My philosophy on building defense certifications is that I will likely tumble at some point in my career. And once I start falling, how far do I fall before I can pick up again. By having these certifications, my hope is that the fall from grace is a bit gentler as my resiliency is higher; I can start climbing again quicker.

I know that my certifications actually hurt me in my last job as the global director of project services at KPMG (and also as a professor at a college). In both cases, having the PMI certifications pegged me into a small box. Thus, fairly or unfairly, I know firsthand that certifications can actually hurt. To further prove the point, as a hiring manager, I rarely was impressed with certifications by themselves. Unless professionals have real and proven experiences, certifications can even damage their professional credibility by pursuing a role that’s beyond their capabilities.

So what is the worth of these certifications? Here is my take:

  • It’s worth it. For those who are climbing the professional ladders, certifications will provide immediate credibility. Even for those who like me have progressed beyond the need for these certifications, PMI’s body of knowledge provide excellent framework to organize our knowledge and experiences. Plus, the credibility of both experience and certifications comes very handy.
  • But it is not worth it for people who have no real experience in these areas. There are two major resulting problems: 1) By not able to deliver, you are putting yourself and the hiring organization at risk. 2) You are furthering damaging the credibility of the certifications. Here, I advocate to my junior colleagues and students that consider pursuing CAPM (for project management) or take on project management roles and build a solid experience before embarking on PMP, PgMP, PfMP, or other certifications. The truth is rather simply, if you climb too quickly and not ready, the fall can be disastrous for everyone.

What you thoughts and experiences? Please share.


Te Wu CEO, Professor, Entrepreneur, Expert on Strategic Business Execution

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