Author Topic: Any PMPs on here?  (Read 2603 times)

Unique User

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Any PMPs on here?
« on: December 18, 2016, 10:40:11 AM »
I'm having trouble with whether getting a PMP certification would actually be helpful for me.  I work for a consulting company, but am not a consultant.  I'm overhead and manage staffing for large projects prior to the project start.  So all the logistics and planning and hiring for up to 100+ people all starting at a client site on the same day and I often have multiple projects happening simultaneously.    Once the people start, the PM on site takes over as I have no ability to travel for the next ~3 years.  I'm not looking for an immediate pay bump as I know I would not get one in my present role, I'm more looking for greater flexibility in what my next role/company will be.   And possibly, although this may just be true in my industry, the ability to bump down from salaried to contract work sooner due to the ability to earn a higher hourly rate if you are willing to travel.   

My big concern is that without industry specific knowledge I would never get hired/contracted to be a PM.  Although I hear often enough that strong PMs can manage any project whether or not they have that specific expertise, in my industry, without specific expertise you won't get hired.  Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice.  It's a big commitment and with only about 5 years left for full time work, I'm wary of taking on a big commitment that will do little to nothing for me. 

syednaeemul

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 03:30:46 PM »
Short form: If you're at a senior level already (10+ years exp) it's not worth getting the PMP if you only have 5 years left to work; people will look at your experience (your concern) much more, and the PMP's just a dressing.

Longer form:

Where do you live? In Australia the PMP / Prince2 are almost foot in the door certs ticked off by HR; the hiring manager's much more interested in whether you have delivered something similar before. I have heard that the U.S. places more value on the cert, but again your concern is valid. Project managers are a dime a dozen, so hiring managers look increasingly at their exact experience. I'm on the PMO-side of work, so I thankfully don't get scrutinised as much there.

This being said, if you are interested in the profession, the PMP is a good investment; I often find myself referring back to the PMBOK when out in the field. You can do it for $600-ish all up if you join PMI (which itself is tremendous value) then just register for the exam. Most course hours can be gained for free through Udemy/Coursera.

Back to the PMP, it sounds like you may not have the necessary 4,000 hours project management experience to qualify for the exam: you'll need to write proof of going through a full project from initiate to close. Also look around Udemy or similar for free online courses; these count towards the required 20 hours training proof. Finally, for test practice Oliver Lehmann is the gold standard; his practice test is harder than the real thing and serves as a good gauge of your knowledge.

BlueHouse

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2016, 08:44:43 AM »
Yes - i did this partly with support from work. They brought in a trainer from Cheetah to teach us how to take the test, very effective. There was also a pre-course, if you needed it, to support the hours needed to qualify to sit for the exam. I passed the test on the first try.

to some degree, I think the whole PMP thing is a great money making scam for PMI. That said, if you join PMI you get access to lots of free courses. Sadly they don't teach you much of anything about managing a project - they mostly cover dealing with people.

Check and see if your area has a local PMP chapter. If so, you can go to their meeting for free or cheap and check out what it is like. My local chapter has folks that sign up to mentor - so you may be able to hook up with someone local and get a better sense of whether this certification will support your goals. Note - they will tell you that it will (they've all drunk the koolaid), so it is really up to you to talk with them and figure it out for yourself.

If you think you've got the background and skills, just write your resumé and cover letter to show this. You may not need the PMP.
100% agree with all of this. 
To add a bit:  many jobs in the field now require PMP and many entry-level jobs even say they require PMP (because the HR person writing the requirements doesn't understand the experience necessary for the credential).   So if you get it, be sure to add it to your resume for the keyword filters or you won't get through the filter for many jobs.  If you don't go for the PMP, write "Studying for PMP" or something similar.  That will get you through the filters and then your experience will get you the rest of the way. 
As for studying for the PMP, I suggest a 4 day course like Cheetah if you can get your company to pay for it.  If you're doing PM work or working closely with PMs, you'll know most of the content anyway. 

Giro

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2016, 12:06:49 PM »
Since you are not on a project, I would go ahead and take the exam.  I've been a contractor for the DoD for several years.  When contracting companies lose a contract or two, they start to cut overhead.  You are overhead.  If you make yourself marketable, you are able to get on a project (even temporarily) and become billable.  This is important in the contracting field.  Five years is still quite awhile.  Your company could put you on a contract a few hours a week to get your feet wet and add some experience to your resume. 

As far as the exam, You can buy the book and materials rather inexpensively and do some of the free online test preps.  That is the most frugal way to do it.  I took it like that and passed the first time.  I then passed down all of my materials to my husband and he took it and passed as well.




Unique User

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 08:16:17 AM »
Short form: If you're at a senior level already (10+ years exp) it's not worth getting the PMP if you only have 5 years left to work; people will look at your experience (your concern) much more, and the PMP's just a dressing.

Longer form:

Where do you live? In Australia the PMP / Prince2 are almost foot in the door certs ticked off by HR; the hiring manager's much more interested in whether you have delivered something similar before. I have heard that the U.S. places more value on the cert, but again your concern is valid. Project managers are a dime a dozen, so hiring managers look increasingly at their exact experience. I'm on the PMO-side of work, so I thankfully don't get scrutinised as much there.

This being said, if you are interested in the profession, the PMP is a good investment; I often find myself referring back to the PMBOK when out in the field. You can do it for $600-ish all up if you join PMI (which itself is tremendous value) then just register for the exam. Most course hours can be gained for free through Udemy/Coursera.

Back to the PMP, it sounds like you may not have the necessary 4,000 hours project management experience to qualify for the exam: you'll need to write proof of going through a full project from initiate to close. Also look around Udemy or similar for free online courses; these count towards the required 20 hours training proof. Finally, for test practice Oliver Lehmann is the gold standard; his practice test is harder than the real thing and serves as a good gauge of your knowledge.

I'm in North Carolina.  Senior level - not really, I've been in my current industry/role type for 8 years.  I do have the 4,500 hours required as I've been managing staffing projects for the last three years.  That leads into my concern, my title is staffing manager, not project manager.   My role is pretty specialized, but the skills to get it done are all PM skills, I'm managing the teams and processes.  However, without industry specific knowledge, would I ever get hired as a PM with or without a PMP?   

Metta

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 12:25:43 AM »

I'm in North Carolina.  Senior level - not really, I've been in my current industry/role type for 8 years.  I do have the 4,500 hours required as I've been managing staffing projects for the last three years.  That leads into my concern, my title is staffing manager, not project manager.   My role is pretty specialized, but the skills to get it done are all PM skills, I'm managing the teams and processes.  However, without industry specific knowledge, would I ever get hired as a PM with or without a PMP?   

I was really surprised by how useful my PMP certification was. I did get a boost in pay that I didn't expect and suddenly became attractive to recruiters.

PMI doesn't care about your job title for the PMP certification. It just cares about the PM type work you are doing. You need to list what you do in the varies phases of the project and list the hours you spent doing it. Lots of people I know with job titles like Business Analyst or Programmer/Analyst are able to prove they do enough PM work to qualify. Your title of Staffing Manager should not be a barrier.

BlueHouse

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 06:17:05 AM »
To add on to giro's comment: 
Even if you're in a non-billable position, the credential can make you more attractive to employers. Government RFPs all have a section about management of the company and its personnel. Almost every proposal I've ever seen, the company has identified how skilled it's workforce is by including how many employees have advanced degrees or certs. The PMP is always identified separately, as in "xyz company has 12 certified PMPs". I promise you, companies like to be able to say that, even if they see no increase in value in the work that you do as a result of the cert


Unique User

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 07:26:06 AM »
Thank you Giro and Blue House - Invaluable info and right on the money.  We just had more layoffs of overhead and while I made it through, it has certainly made me nervous to be non-billable. 

I just got my PMP this past year, so I may not have as much knowledge or insight as others, but I would say given the information you provided it would be worth it.  You stated that you have only 5 years left of FULL TIME work.  That leads to me believe you might be doing part time work afterwards.  I believe that the PMP would only enhance your part time work and open up more opportunities for you.  In addition not all industries/companies require previous industry experience.  The company I work for has the mindset of hiring the right person with Project Management and leadership skills and teaching them the technical skills.

This is great info, thank you!  I really love the PM aspect of my job, so to be able to expand beyond staffing would be fantastic.  And yes, I do plan to work part time afterwards or if I can swing it, bump down to part time even sooner than five years. 

I was really surprised by how useful my PMP certification was. I did get a boost in pay that I didn't expect and suddenly became attractive to recruiters.

PMI doesn't care about your job title for the PMP certification. It just cares about the PM type work you are doing. You need to list what you do in the varies phases of the project and list the hours you spent doing it. Lots of people I know with job titles like Business Analyst or Programmer/Analyst are able to prove they do enough PM work to qualify. Your title of Staffing Manager should not be a barrier.

Thank you, again great info!


Mgmny

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Re: Any PMPs on here?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 07:54:40 AM »
I'm a program manager and have been a project manager in a few different healthcare-software companies. Very few of my colleagues have the PMP, and I only personally know 2 who were pursuing it. No one ever asked me if i was pursuing it, interested in pursuing it, or seemed like they cared about it at all.

I feel like if you are a capable individual, no one is going to care if you have a PMP certification. Sure, you may be able to leverage it for a raise or title-promotion, but you should be able to accomplish those things without the certification too.