I came across a couple pieces, one by Kareem Shaker and another by Derek Huether. They echoed some of my own sentiments about the real value of the PMI‘s PMP credential. I know first hand some PMP-holders who have no business running a project. They’ve passed the PMI’s test (which isn’t difficult for an experienced PM), and handed in application forms that were so light on detail they should have been flagged by the most perfunctory of glances.
The loss of intended value of a credential isn’t a new thing. Over the twenty years of my career I’ve seen it many times–particularly when the credential is managed by a for-profit body. The pattern seems to be as follows:
- For-profit body creates a new credential
- For-profit body markets credential, making success promises to hiring managers (who buy it)
- Hiring managers start to demand credential
- Shortage of credential-holders increases perceived value of credential
- Boot camps surface, making income promises to students
- Demand for credential waters-down the capability of the for-profit body to verify applicants
- For-profit body begins issuing certificates to anyone who can pass a test
- Intended value of the credential plummets
Of course, as hiring managers get wise to the fact their certificate-holding new hires can’t boil water let alone do what the certificate suggests they can, the demand for the certificate starts to wane. That has a couple effects:
1) The industry perceived value (and compensation) towards the certificate-holders’ discipline drops
2) The reputation of the for-profit certificate issuer drops
I know we’re in leaner times economically, and I’m hearing noise that suggests project managers are making less than they were a few short years ago. Is this related to a decrease in value of the PMP credential or simply the fact that times are tough?
I’m interested in what you think about the PMP. Does it continue to have value? Is the PMI doing a good enough job ensuring credential holders deserve the PMP? Is the industry watered down with too many PMP holders who can’t run a project? Or is the PMP an excellent credential that should give hiring managers confidence in their new hire?
What do you think?
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I'm Geoff Crane. After 22 years in the trenches of a lot of tough projects, I decided to change direction a little bit and focus on sparking ideas in the vibrant field of project management.
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