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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: BuffaloStache on February 06, 2017, 10:42:15 PM

Title: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on February 06, 2017, 10:42:15 PM
Some Background:
I'm an engineer at a firm that offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification courses for free, and will even pay for the cost of the exam (well, reimburse once you can prove that you've passed). The courses are in the evenings, 3 hours each x twice a week for two months. Unfortunately, it seems that the company has absolutely no respect for the certification at all- there are no associated raises or promotions for employees who have the certification, and it doesn't even seem like they try to move PMP certified engineers into roles that will more effectively utilize their skills.  However, if I were to ever leave the company (and I've already contemplated it before  (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/career-question-fi-earlier-or-enjoy-government-benefits/msg1292929/#msg1292929)and will likely consider it again after some major corporate changes pan out), I get the feeling that this certification may be a nice thing to have on my resume and help me land a better job- but I'm not actually sure that this is true. I would like to move into a more project-management oriented role in the future, as those jobs seem to have technical insight (cool factor) but be somewhat lower stress than my current design/production engineering job.

More on the PMP Cert:
https://www.pmi.org/certifications/types/project-management-pmp (https://www.pmi.org/certifications/types/project-management-pmp)

The Question:
If you were me, would you put in the hard work and try to get the certification? Are there any engineers out there who have this certification? Would you say it's worth it and/or helped your career at all?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: respond2u on February 07, 2017, 12:04:56 AM
In the software world I saw, experience and references were far more valuable than certifications. I'm pretty sure someone with a PMP certification with no project management background wouldn't be as valuable as someone with a project management background and no certs.

You can find the PMBOK out there somewhere and find out if the material interests you enough to dive in more. It will take 1-3 hours to read depending on how much you gloss over. (More to digest, but 1-3 hours is certainly enough to give you a flavor.) I don't know what the cert course and exam cover over the PMBOK.

I knew many project managers in software that were PMP certified. Some were pretty good, some not. It didn't seem to have any correlation with ability.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on February 07, 2017, 03:35:29 AM
It doesn't seem to have done any good for the people I've worked with that have it.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 07, 2017, 04:53:58 AM
i work for an engineering firm.  We have no associated raises for anything directly. even the PE.  There are however level ceiling you will hit and not break thru without passing the PE.  My personal experience, advance degrees and certifications outside of a PE will likely not do anything for you if you plan to stay at your company.  your experience and performance are what dictate you moving up they dont care what extra letters you have after your name if you're bringing in work and making us money.  the only way to get the highest rating a 5 on a scale of 1-5 i've been told is to effect the bottom line thru clients specifically requesting us b/c of your technical excellence or selling and managing lots of work.  neither of these require extra letters after your name.  But being an engineering firm the PE is pretty necessary.  Everything else is just if you want to IMO.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: nobody123 on February 07, 2017, 06:22:03 AM
If it's free, why not get it?  You're not going to get a raise just because you have the PMP, but it might signal to the company that you're serious about getting into project management and open a door for you.  If not, you at least have an attractive buzzword to put on your resume.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: rothwem on February 07, 2017, 06:49:52 AM
If it's free, why not get it?  You're not going to get a raise just because you have the PMP, but it might signal to the company that you're serious about getting into project management and open a door for you.  If not, you at least have an attractive buzzword to put on your resume.

Exactly.  I can't see that it would hurt.  Its free, and you might learn something!  Be glad that your company actually values their employees enough to train them. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 07, 2017, 07:10:27 AM
its not free it requires time and energy.  i can get an MBA paid for by my company but thats not free.  it takes time.  and on an early retirement board i cant see how you would gain back the value of the time spent getting the cert/degree unless you personally just want it.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: nobody123 on February 07, 2017, 07:30:12 AM
its not free it requires time and energy.  i can get an MBA paid for by my company but thats not free.  it takes time.  and on an early retirement board i cant see how you would gain back the value of the time spent getting the cert/degree unless you personally just want it.

A PMP requires 35 classroom hours.  There is an ongoing education requirement as well of 60 hours every 3 years.  I am assuming any professional is going to spend some of their free time (no pun intended) learning more about their field.  This is really a minor time investment, and given that the company offers to cover the cash obligation of the course and test, I'm guessing they actually value it whether OP realizes it or not.  Also, if everyone else is taking the classes and you aren't, you are at a disadvantage.  OP already said it's an area that interests them for potential career growth, so where is the harm?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 07, 2017, 07:58:37 AM
its not free it requires time and energy.  i can get an MBA paid for by my company but thats not free.  it takes time.  and on an early retirement board i cant see how you would gain back the value of the time spent getting the cert/degree unless you personally just want it.

A PMP requires 35 classroom hours.  There is an ongoing education requirement as well of 60 hours every 3 years.  I am assuming any professional is going to spend some of their free time (no pun intended) learning more about their field.  This is really a minor time investment, and given that the company offers to cover the cash obligation of the course and test, I'm guessing they actually value it whether OP realizes it or not.  Also, if everyone else is taking the classes and you aren't, you are at a disadvantage. OP already said it's an area that interests them for potential career growth, so where is the harm?

there isnt harm if you dont expect advancement directly related to it.  I dont really see value in advanced degree and certs. personally.  I learn executing my job and taking on more responsiblity and more often than not the top performers at my company arent pursuing these advanced letters after their names.  and management will flat at tell you if its a personal goal then go for it but it really wont get you any extra ground here.  I'd rather spend those 35 hours doing something on my own time
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 07, 2017, 08:06:33 AM
Some Background:
 it seems that the company has absolutely no respect for the certification at all

Well, they respect it enough to pay for it. 

Yes, you absolutely should do this.  There are very few objective measurements for self-improvement after college graduation, and a certification is one small way to work on something through successful completion.   Go to the classes and you'll learn enough about the other aspects of Project Management that you may not be familiar with:  Risk and decision trees, learning curves, Quality management, Earned Value Management, Scheduling and how to run a critical path, etc.  This training gives you just enough knowledge to be dangerous.  But at least you'll know all the buzzwords and you'll know areas that you need to consider when planning or executing a project.  Learn the PMI process for the exam and then forget it, because what they test is garbage.  But the content you learn for the test isn't.

I'm a strong advocate for the PMP in my industry because it is practically required for any Federal Government jobs. In my industry and my geographic location, you get more money, and you are hired faster with the PMP.  The resume-bots look for PMP and will ignore resumes that do not include this term, so I suggest to job-seekers to write "PMP candidate" on their resumes if they don't have it. 

You're lucky you get a class to walk through it.  I had to research all the books, purchase them, and study on my own time.  It was a pain in the butt.  If I could have just sat in a class for a few hours a week, that would have been great! 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Tiger Stache on February 07, 2017, 08:32:52 AM
What BlueHouse said
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 07, 2017, 08:35:41 AM
The Question:
If you were me, would you put in the hard work and try to get the certification? Are there any engineers out there who have this certification? Would you say it's worth it and/or helped your career at all?

I'm an engineer with a PMP. That certification gets no respect because it's so damn easy to get. It really proves nothing beyond you are alive and able to jump through a few easy hoops. For an engineer with a bachelor's degree or higher and a professional license it is really trivial.

I got my PMP because I was looking for new work and thought it might help. I also thought it was a more impressive certification before I received it than I do after I received it. I read the PMBOK a few times, worked through one prep text once and wrote a dozen simulated exams. Nothing epic and I passed without troubles. The PMBOK is boring as shit, but the general PM content is interesting and can be useful.

To your question I would say firstly it's not hard to get so don't overestimate the effort required to become certified. To the career benefits it doesn't hurt to have the PMP. There is no way I can say for sure it got me contracts I wouldn't have been successful at otherwise. However, it is fast shorthand on your business card for "technical skills and management skills".

Given how easy it was to get I'd get it again. The effort was low so the benefit threshold doesn't have to be super high.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 07, 2017, 08:39:19 AM
agree with retire canada.  i wonder how many of the others commenting here are actually engineers.  the PE has sub 50% pass rates. I'm sure the PMP is sky high 80-90 or higher.

but yeah 35 hours isnt a lot i can jsut think of a million other things i'd rather do ... plus increasing my income over then next 7 years prior to FIRE doesnt accelerate anything for me anymore so i want my time to be my time.

Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: AZDude on February 07, 2017, 08:57:06 AM
If it is free and it is something that interests you, then do it. There is no downside other than a little bit of lost free time.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: nobody123 on February 07, 2017, 10:57:45 AM
BlueHouse nailed it.

Obviously every organization is different, but in most (incuding mine) demonstrated real-world success is valued more than certifications.  I'm not saying that it is a binary decision of get the PMP or PE, or that the PMP is the better of the two.  If OP is 2 years from retirement, then I agree, eff it and do something more fun with your time.

Is a PMP certification easy to get?  Yes, unless you are a dolt that can't pass a standardized test.  Pre-employment drug screens are easy to pass, but idiots still fail those as well.  The company might not explicitly say that passing the PMP gets you $X more in a raise, but I guarantee they notice who takes advantage of the free educational opportunities and who doesn't.  Even if it doesn't open doors at OP's current company because PMPs are prevalent, it at least lets you check off a box and puts you on a level playing field with all of your peers with the PMP.  If you move on, it helps you pass through the automated resume screens.  Pretty much no downside.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BrickByBrick on February 07, 2017, 04:13:07 PM
I would not bother as an engineer, but since you want to move into project management roles it can only help.  It is slowly, for better or worse, becoming a more recognized certification in various industries.  As others have said though it really depends on the industry or sector (like the government).  I work as a project manager and do not have a PMP but plan to pursue it this year.  The main reason is because my management is pushing hard for younger PMs to get it meanwhile they're leaving the older PMs alone.  Many of these older PMs are on the verge of retirement and it's been heavily suggested to me by my supervisors a PMP will help me move into senior positions.  I don't know for sure if it will work out that way, but it's a relatively straightforward certification to get so worse case you've wasted your time (not insignificant, to be fair).

As others have suggested, a PMP seems relatively worthless but serves as a signal to others that you're seeking to develop.  YMMV.   
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 07, 2017, 05:32:58 PM
Just because it is easy to pass doesn't mean it has no value. You would still have the certification versus someone not having it. For example, LEED certification has always been easy to get but that didn't stop companies from wanting it as a qualification. It is free, yes it is a time commitment but unless you have something much better to do with your time, it doesn't hurt anything. Having said this, if you dont have your PE, get that first.
If it makes any difference, i am a licensed mechanical engineer. My company gives a bonus for PE (3k), although when i got my PE i was working for a different company who gave a 3.5k raise. My old company also gave bonuses for LEED certifications (original 3 tier, 1500 for green, 2500 for associate etc). Your current company may not care but you don't know if it will help you in your next job; it surely won't hurt you.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on February 08, 2017, 01:32:37 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I'm gonna do. To respond to some comments:

...given that the company offers to cover the cash obligation of the course and test, I'm guessing they actually value it whether OP realizes it or not.
This is a complicated, but they really dont. Long story short, the courses are only free because they are offered through one of our parent companies (my company is owned by others, and we can latch on to the parent company course offering for free).

If it's free, why not get it?  You're not going to get a raise just because you have the PMP, but it might signal to the company that you're serious about getting into project management and open a door for you.  If not, you at least have an attractive buzzword to put on your resume.
This is my thinking, and I would like to get into project management more.

I'm an engineer with a PMP. That certification gets no respect because it's so damn easy to get. It really proves nothing beyond you are alive and able to jump through a few easy hoops. For an engineer with a bachelor's degree or higher and a professional license it is really trivial.
Thanks. This addresses a lot of my fears that this would be a massive undertaking.

All in all, it's free with minimal time investment, it could send a message to my current employer that I want to get into Project Management more, and if I do leave the current company it could help me get through resume screens in the job hunt. I'm gonna do it. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BigHaus89 on February 08, 2017, 03:36:44 PM
If you feel like you have the time and drive to take the test, I'd say go for it. Have you thought about taking the PE? It might not help at your current job, but a PMP + PE should allow you to work just about anywhere in your field.

Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on February 08, 2017, 08:22:11 PM
Okay,  I am an engineer and I teach one of the PMP classes as night school at the local college.


For engineers, I do not think it is necessary  (I don't have it) -- we have a professional project management / delivery office, and all of our engineers must take 5 project management (2-4 hour, in-house) classes, but other than that.  PMP is not needed.

However, all of the others in the Project Delivery Office who are NOT engineers, but working at the same Project Manager (aka highly paid) roles, seem to have their PMP, and are excellent at their job and know how to use the tools better than the engineers  (and they get paid better the better they do).

The students in my class, from non-engineering backgrounds, including hospitality, IT, event planning, construction, health care find the PMP immensely valued in their organizations and for their careers.

Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 09, 2017, 05:28:09 AM
Just throwing this out there but isnt one of the PMP requirements that you have already been managing projects for 3 years.  So getting the certification to "get into PMing" wouldnt be a path.  You'd have to be PMing already.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Cromacster on February 09, 2017, 05:56:00 AM
Just throwing this out there but isnt one of the PMP requirements that you have already been managing projects for 3 years.  So getting the certification to "get into PMing" wouldnt be a path.  You'd have to be PMing already.

Yea you need to prove a certain number of hours managing projects,  I think it is 2000 hrs for the full cert.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 09, 2017, 06:53:12 AM
If you feel like you have the time and drive to take the test, I'd say go for it. Have you thought about taking the PE? It might not help at your current job, but a PMP + PE should allow you to work just about anywhere in your field.

Yes. If you are not a licensed engineer and want to get ahead that's definitely something you should do.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Lanthiriel on February 09, 2017, 09:00:13 AM
Every now and then I come across an RFP in the engineering world that wants to the Project Manager to have a PMP. It's few and far between and usually for construction management projects. So far that's the only use for a PMP I've seen.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 09, 2017, 09:13:44 AM
Just throwing this out there but isnt one of the PMP requirements that you have already been managing projects for 3 years.  So getting the certification to "get into PMing" wouldnt be a path.  You'd have to be PMing already.

Yea you need to prove a certain number of hours managing projects,  I think it is 2000 hrs for the full cert.

You do not have to be "the" project manager.  You may have managed a portion of the work or a subsystem from inception to close-out.  Also, the definition of "project" is quite broad.  Even if you don't meet the requirements through work, you may have managed a project in your free time -- such as a DIY project in your home. 

As others have said, it is not terribly difficult to pass.  Before I joined MMM, I used to give advice to just take the exam and if you passed with the knowledge and common sense already in your head, then great.  If not, then you'd know what you need to study for the next exam.  Of course, that was back when the passing grade was set at 60%.  My guess though is that all you'll have to do is sit through the classes to accumulate the necessary training hours, then you'll be ready to sit for the exam. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: ysette9 on February 09, 2017, 09:17:57 AM
I find this discussion interesting because I have seen PMP around and vaguely wondered what it is. As background, I am an engineer with a large government contractor and the only PMP engineers we have are Parts, Materials, and Processes engineers. :) I worked as that type of PMP engineer for years and am now a project engineer in a program management development program. I have literally never heard of anyone in my company being PE or PMP certified. We have our own internal training and development programs. Maybe it is a Silicon Valley and/or big company thing to not emphasize these certifications?

A good step I would think would be to find out who values these certifications and figure out if that fits within your career plans. Your time is valuable and I don't want to spend time in classes right now if it isn't going to get me a fat payback.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 09, 2017, 09:35:26 AM
I have literally never heard of anyone in my company being PE or PMP certified. We have our own internal training and development programs. Maybe it is a Silicon Valley and/or big company thing to not emphasize these certifications?

I don't know about the US, but in Canada without a professional license you aren't an engineer. You may have an engineering education, but that's not the same thing. Just like you can go to law school or medical school, but unless you have a professional license you aren't a lawyer or doctor. You can't call yourself an engineer without a license in Canada you'd be taken to court my the provincial professional association.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: ysette9 on February 09, 2017, 09:44:23 AM
Wow, I had no idea it was that way in Canada. That certainly it isn't the case here in CA. Does that mean that if I emigrated then I wouldn't be able to get a job as an engineer, despite my degrees and decade+ of work experience?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 09, 2017, 09:47:18 AM
Wow, I had no idea it was that way in Canada. That certainly it isn't the case here in CA. Does that mean that if I emigrated then I wouldn't be able to get a job as an engineer, despite my degrees and decade+ of work experience?

If you want to practice as an engineer you would apply to the provincial association for a license and assuming you met the requirements they'd issue you one. You would likely have to write an exam around professional practice issues, which is not hard. If your engineering degrees were accepted [presumably they would be from the US] there would be no technical testing.

I don't think folks from the US have any particular issues being licensed in Canada.

Licenses are province specific. So if you get a license in BC and want to practice in Ontario you need a second license. It's generally a formality, but you need to jump through a few hoops and pay some fees.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: ysette9 on February 09, 2017, 09:50:55 AM
Haha, good! I have some impressive degrees on paper, but good luck getting me to regurgitate any of what I learned in school aside from broad concepts. :)
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: rothwem on February 09, 2017, 10:51:05 AM
I have literally never heard of anyone in my company being PE or PMP certified. We have our own internal training and development programs. Maybe it is a Silicon Valley and/or big company thing to not emphasize these certifications?

I don't know about the US, but in Canada without a professional license you aren't an engineer. You may have an engineering education, but that's not the same thing. Just like you can go to law school or medical school, but unless you have a professional license you aren't a lawyer or doctor. You can't call yourself an engineer without a license in Canada you'd be taken to court my the provincial professional association.

In the US, it really depends on what industry you're in.  I'm an engineer that started in aviation, and oddly enough, there were no PEs that I knew in our company.  I then went to automotive, and there were no PEs there either.  My current job is in power generation, and every engineer is a PE (but not me).  To sign off on anything in my current company, you need a PE, so just about everything I do needs review from a PE.  It means that I'm more or less relegated to a process engineer role, rather than a product engineering role.

I'm not sure if its this way in Canada, but the PE process is really rigorous here in the US.  You've got to take the FE (fundamentals of engineering), then work for 7 years for a current PE, then actually take the PE licensing exam.  Most people take the FE right after they graduate since its all "book learning" type stuff that you usually do better on if you're used to taking college exams. 

In my infinite brilliance though, I never took the FE because I had a job lined up coming out of school. I asked my soon to be manager if I needed it and they told me that nobody in aviation has a PE, so I probably shouldn't bother, and I took his advice.  I'm kicking myself now. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 09, 2017, 11:08:44 AM
I'm not sure if its this way in Canada, but the PE process is really rigorous here in the US.  You've got to take the FE (fundamentals of engineering), then work for 7 years for a current PE, then actually take the PE licensing exam.  Most people take the FE right after they graduate since its all "book learning" type stuff that you usually do better on if you're used to taking college exams.

My understanding of the current process in Canada is:

- get an engineering degree
- get experience [not sure how long it is now, but 7-8yrs sounds about right] authenticated by a P.Eng
- pass a professional practice exam

Of all those steps it's the degree that's rigorous and challenging. You don't have to be a rockstar at work, just show up and not be a moron. The professional practice exam is easy if you read/write English fluently and can pass a 4yr engineering degree.

I got my P.Eng back in 1994 or so. At the time the experience portion was just 4yr, but I recall hearing it was significantly increased.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: v8rx7guy on February 09, 2017, 11:20:52 AM
I'm a ME with 10 years experience and have never heard of PMP.  I did go throught the effort of getting my PE last year which so far has been worth it for all the extra studying I did.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: rothwem on February 09, 2017, 11:52:31 AM
I'm not sure if its this way in Canada, but the PE process is really rigorous here in the US.  You've got to take the FE (fundamentals of engineering), then work for 7 years for a current PE, then actually take the PE licensing exam.  Most people take the FE right after they graduate since its all "book learning" type stuff that you usually do better on if you're used to taking college exams.

My understanding of the current process in Canada is:

- get an engineering degree
- get experience [not sure how long it is now, but 7-8yrs sounds about right] authenticated by a P.Eng
- pass a professional practice exam

Of all those steps it's the degree that's rigorous and challenging. You don't have to be a rockstar at work, just show up and not be a moron. The professional practice exam is easy if you read/write English fluently and can pass a 4yr engineering degree.

I got my P.Eng back in 1994 or so. At the time the experience portion was just 4yr, but I recall hearing it was significantly increased.

Ah, okay so it sounds pretty similar to the US.  And yes, I forgot to mention that you had to have an engineering degree from an accredited program. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 09, 2017, 01:05:22 PM
I am a mechanical engineer PE in the US and it is not that hard of a process. One of the requirements of graduation from my university was taking the EIT/FE test. As a mechanical engineer, I didn't have to pass to graduate but I passed because IMO it was a very simple test (I chose the general test because it makes no difference and I was advised that it was easier).  If you will be taking the EIT/FE exam, I highly recommend you take the general one, much simpler.
Then you work under a PE for 4-5 years (I haven't heard 7 years for any state but then again I am not familiar with all states). Then you apply and take the PE test. The application for the PE is more of a pain in the butt than the test itself. Unless you are actively working in the area the PE questions are then it is a good idea to study.

Even if you don't need it in your current job, it will never hurt you to have a PE.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Joel on February 09, 2017, 01:22:15 PM
agree with retire canada.  i wonder how many of the others commenting here are actually engineers.  the PE has sub 50% pass rates. I'm sure the PMP is sky high 80-90 or higher.

but yeah 35 hours isnt a lot i can jsut think of a million other things i'd rather do ... plus increasing my income over then next 7 years prior to FIRE doesnt accelerate anything for me anymore so i want my time to be my time.

I just wanted to point out that the pass rate for the PMP is around 60-70%.

Source: https://edward-designer.com/web/faqs/what-is-the-passing-rate-of-pmp-exam/
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 09, 2017, 01:25:20 PM
I just wanted to point out that the pass rate for the PMP is around 60-70%.

Source: https://edward-designer.com/web/faqs/what-is-the-passing-rate-of-pmp-exam/

Quote
Since PMI does not disclose any passing mark or passing rate for the PMP® Exam, no one knows the exact answer to this question.

But according to PMP® training organizations and study groups, it is estimated that the passing rate is about 60%-70%. The passing rate is certainly not too high as PMI tries to maintain the quality of PMP® Certification – only those who truly possess enough knowledge on project management will pass the PMP® Exam.

From your source. Note that PMI and all the training organizations benefit from people thinking the exam is harder than it is. So lacking any hard data around pass rates I would be sceptical of what they are using for marketing and credential credibility purposes.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on February 09, 2017, 07:33:44 PM
As background, I am an engineer with a large government contractor and the only PMP engineers we have are Parts, Materials, and Processes engineers. :)

...

A good step I would think would be to find out who values these certifications and figure out if that fits within your career plans. Your time is valuable and I don't want to spend time in classes right now if it isn't going to get me a fat payback.

My company also has that type of PMP engineers.

Your last paragraph is exactly what I'm trying to assess. While my current company doesn't seem to value this certification with a pay raise, I heave heard of others in my industry who have it, and believe that it may help me open more doors to potentially better opportunities in the future.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on February 09, 2017, 08:06:08 PM
Wow, I had no idea it was that way in Canada. That certainly it isn't the case here in CA. Does that mean that if I emigrated then I wouldn't be able to get a job as an engineer, despite my degrees and decade+ of work experience?

If you want to practice as an engineer you would apply to the provincial association for a license and assuming you met the requirements they'd issue you one. You would likely have to write an exam around professional practice issues, which is not hard. If your engineering degrees were accepted [presumably they would be from the US] there would be no technical testing.

I don't think folks from the US have any particular issues being licensed in Canada.

Licenses are province specific. So if you get a license in BC and want to practice in Ontario you need a second license. It's generally a formality, but you need to jump through a few hoops and pay some fees.

You forgot the documented engineering work experience of 4-5 years work, which is easy, except a PEng needs to sign off that they supervised the work that qualifies you. A bit of a conundrum, and yet similar to the PE.

In Canada, the engineering schools are nationally accredited, so there is no 8 hour FE type exam, only the ethics exam... BUT this means that not all US engineering degrees are immediately qualified.   If you have the FE exam done in the US, you are likely ok.

Structural engineers here take an exam similar to the US structural engineering PE exam, called the SE (Structural engineer).  California, obviously, is the most challenging jurisdiction to be certified in as a SE.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on February 09, 2017, 08:11:57 PM
I just wanted to point out that the pass rate for the PMP is around 60-70%.

Source: https://edward-designer.com/web/faqs/what-is-the-passing-rate-of-pmp-exam/

Quote
Since PMI does not disclose any passing mark or passing rate for the PMP® Exam, no one knows the exact answer to this question.

But according to PMP® training organizations and study groups, it is estimated that the passing rate is about 60%-70%. The passing rate is certainly not too high as PMI tries to maintain the quality of PMP® Certification – only those who truly possess enough knowledge on project management will pass the PMP® Exam.

From your source. Note that PMI and all the training organizations benefit from people thinking the exam is harder than it is. So lacking any hard data around pass rates I would be sceptical of what they are using for marketing and credential credibility purposes.

There are also some significant challenges for English as a second language folks trying to pass standardized test! 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 09, 2017, 08:48:04 PM
You forgot the documented engineering work experience of 4-5 years work, which is easy, except a PEng needs to sign off that they supervised the work that qualifies you. A bit of a conundrum, and yet similar to the PE.

I didn't forget it. That's part of the requirements I mentioned. I was replying to Ysette9 who noted her degrees and decades of experience so that issue didn't seem worth spelling out.

My association doesn't require the supervisor that is confirming your experience to be a P.Eng. They will accept equivalent senior engineering positions as references - particularly for foreign applicants where getting a P.Eng sign off is not practical.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on February 09, 2017, 09:24:24 PM
You forgot the documented engineering work experience of 4-5 years work, which is easy, except a PEng needs to sign off that they supervised the work that qualifies you. A bit of a conundrum, and yet similar to the PE.

I didn't forget it. That's part of the requirements I mentioned. I was replying to Ysette9 who noted her degrees and decades of experience so that issue didn't seem worth spelling out.

My association doesn't require the supervisor that is confirming your experience to be a P.Eng. They will accept equivalent senior engineering positions as references - particularly for foreign applicants where getting a P.Eng sign off is not practical.
It was a big deal here, and is a big deal for the US, which was one of the only reasons I chose not to write my PE.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 10, 2017, 04:05:25 AM
I just wanted to point out that the pass rate for the PMP is around 60-70%.

Source: https://edward-designer.com/web/faqs/what-is-the-passing-rate-of-pmp-exam/

Quote
Since PMI does not disclose any passing mark or passing rate for the PMP® Exam, no one knows the exact answer to this question.

But according to PMP® training organizations and study groups, it is estimated that the passing rate is about 60%-70%. The passing rate is certainly not too high as PMI tries to maintain the quality of PMP® Certification – only those who truly possess enough knowledge on project management will pass the PMP® Exam.

From your source. Note that PMI and all the training organizations benefit from people thinking the exam is harder than it is. So lacking any hard data around pass rates I would be sceptical of what they are using for marketing and credential credibility purposes.

On top of that I've taken business classes they are a cake walk compared to engineering. I'd like to see the engineering degree pass rates on the PMP. Probably not available
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 10, 2017, 04:58:21 AM
I just wanted to point out that the pass rate for the PMP is around 60-70%.

Source: https://edward-designer.com/web/faqs/what-is-the-passing-rate-of-pmp-exam/

Quote
Since PMI does not disclose any passing mark or passing rate for the PMP® Exam, no one knows the exact answer to this question.

But according to PMP® training organizations and study groups, it is estimated that the passing rate is about 60%-70%. The passing rate is certainly not too high as PMI tries to maintain the quality of PMP® Certification – only those who truly possess enough knowledge on project management will pass the PMP® Exam.

From your source. Note that PMI and all the training organizations benefit from people thinking the exam is harder than it is. So lacking any hard data around pass rates I would be sceptical of what they are using for marketing and credential credibility purposes.

On top of that I've taken business classes they are a cake walk compared to engineering. I'd like to see the engineering degree pass rates on the PMP. Probably not available

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 10, 2017, 05:41:41 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)? 
 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: rothwem on February 10, 2017, 05:54:19 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

Umm because engineers are smarter, duh. [/humblebrag]
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 10, 2017, 05:58:44 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

have you been an engineer and taken engineering classes.  and also taken business classes.  I can see why so many of my generation have business degrees and cant find jobs.  those classes could be passed in your sleep in my opinion. a PMP degree cert that requires you to take 35 hours of courses and you can pass the test at a 65%+ passing rate.  seems like a joke to me. People study for months to pass the PE ( i didnt but people do)  and still fail, this is in addition to usually 4 years of doing work directly in the field for the test.

That being said i'm sure i would learn things if i were to get a PMP that would be very helpful.  But that doesnt change the intelligence level needed to pass the exam.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 10, 2017, 07:29:13 AM
For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

I was taking some PM courses and the classes were split between engineers and MBA folks at that university. It was always the kiss of death to get a MBAer on your project team.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 10, 2017, 07:45:21 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

have you been an engineer and taken engineering classes.  and also taken business classes.  I can see why so many of my generation have business degrees and cant find jobs.  those classes could be passed in your sleep in my opinion. a PMP degree cert that requires you to take 35 hours of courses and you can pass the test at a 65%+ passing rate.  seems like a joke to me. People study for months to pass the PE ( i didnt but people do)  and still fail, this is in addition to usually 4 years of doing work directly in the field for the test.

That being said i'm sure i would learn things if i were to get a PMP that would be very helpful.  But that doesnt change the intelligence level needed to pass the exam.

So, if you had taken the time to understand anything at all about the PMP exam, you would know that it doesn't require much intelligence at all to pass it.  It does require some level of memorization based on when I took the exam.  In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

Do you have any understanding that the PMP certification is not and has never been compared to the PE exam except somehow in this thread?  They measure vastly different levels of knowledge.  The PMP certification is a money making tool for PMI and they've built a huge business around it.  And THAT, my friend, is why business majors come out on top.  Because they can take an imperfect idea and make a HUGE business around it.  Where is the engineer?  Probably building an excel spreadsheet with charts and graphs about why engineers should get better grades. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: trollwithamustache on February 10, 2017, 08:26:30 AM
There are several different organizations out there offering PMP certifications. My general sense has been large companies love (or at least the HR checklist?) PMPs from their specific certifying organization of choice and don't care either way about PMPs from "lesser" certifying organizations. 

So if your company will pay for it, they on some level value it. Therefore, go for it. But know that if you jump ship at some point, the next company will either love it or not care at all with what appears to be no middle ground.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 10, 2017, 10:21:40 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

have you been an engineer and taken engineering classes.  and also taken business classes.  I can see why so many of my generation have business degrees and cant find jobs.  those classes could be passed in your sleep in my opinion. a PMP degree cert that requires you to take 35 hours of courses and you can pass the test at a 65%+ passing rate.  seems like a joke to me. People study for months to pass the PE ( i didnt but people do)  and still fail, this is in addition to usually 4 years of doing work directly in the field for the test.

That being said i'm sure i would learn things if i were to get a PMP that would be very helpful.  But that doesnt change the intelligence level needed to pass the exam.

So, if you had taken the time to understand anything at all about the PMP exam, you would know that it doesn't require much intelligence at all to pass it.  It does require some level of memorization based on when I took the exam.  In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

Do you have any understanding that the PMP certification is not and has never been compared to the PE exam except somehow in this thread?  They measure vastly different levels of knowledge.  The PMP certification is a money making tool for PMI and they've built a huge business around it.  And THAT, my friend, is why business majors come out on top.  Because they can take an imperfect idea and make a HUGE business around it.  Where is the engineer?  Probably building an excel spreadsheet with charts and graphs about why engineers should get better grades.

Are you an engineer? My guess is you are not. Engineering is not just math and logic, there is plenty of memorization as well. IMO engineers are better at taking any test because they are problem solvers (doesnt have to be math or logic).
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 10, 2017, 11:17:09 AM
There are several different organizations out there offering PMP certifications. My general sense has been large companies love (or at least the HR checklist?) PMPs from their specific certifying organization of choice and don't care either way about PMPs from "lesser" certifying organizations. 

So if your company will pay for it, they on some level value it. Therefore, go for it. But know that if you jump ship at some point, the next company will either love it or not care at all with what appears to be no middle ground.

This isn't quite correct.  There is only one organization that offers the PMP cert and that is PMI (the project management institute).  There are a handful of testing centers (Pearson, etc) that are authorized to administer the exam on behalf of PMI.  There are many thousands of companies that are registered with PMI (Registered Education Providers) to give training that counts towards PMI's REP hours required.  The REPs pay for the REP designation and any training provided by an REP must be reviewed and signed off on by a PMP holder.  There are many other organizations and universities and any tom-dick-or harry that can provide training to help you prep for the exam or learn any of the underlying fundamentals.  But PMI has done a fairly decent job of making sure that they can collect every penny they can from the program and they've done a very good job of protecting the PMP certification itself as an asset. 

So you can see that creating this entire business model based on something that was never actually needed, but that now creates both demand and supply is pretty ingenious.  I've since seen others create a certification, then create training for the certification.  I saw a LOT of people fall for it and it took a concerted effort of many others in the profession to publicly state that no organization that requires its own training for a certification can be a valid credential, but with the REP program, that's kind of what PMI did. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 10, 2017, 11:19:56 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

have you been an engineer and taken engineering classes.  and also taken business classes.  I can see why so many of my generation have business degrees and cant find jobs.  those classes could be passed in your sleep in my opinion. a PMP degree cert that requires you to take 35 hours of courses and you can pass the test at a 65%+ passing rate.  seems like a joke to me. People study for months to pass the PE ( i didnt but people do)  and still fail, this is in addition to usually 4 years of doing work directly in the field for the test.

That being said i'm sure i would learn things if i were to get a PMP that would be very helpful.  But that doesnt change the intelligence level needed to pass the exam.

So, if you had taken the time to understand anything at all about the PMP exam, you would know that it doesn't require much intelligence at all to pass it.  It does require some level of memorization based on when I took the exam.  In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

Do you have any understanding that the PMP certification is not and has never been compared to the PE exam except somehow in this thread?  They measure vastly different levels of knowledge.  The PMP certification is a money making tool for PMI and they've built a huge business around it.  And THAT, my friend, is why business majors come out on top.  Because they can take an imperfect idea and make a HUGE business around it.  Where is the engineer?  Probably building an excel spreadsheet with charts and graphs about why engineers should get better grades.

Are you an engineer? My guess is you are not. Engineering is not just math and logic, there is plenty of memorization as well. IMO engineers are better at taking any test because they are problem solvers (doesnt have to be math or logic).
could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in red)?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: caracarn on February 10, 2017, 11:32:08 AM
In the software world I saw, experience and references were far more valuable than certifications. I'm pretty sure someone with a PMP certification with no project management background wouldn't be as valuable as someone with a project management background and no certs.


You cannot get a PMP without proof of thousands of hours of project management work signed of by an employer. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: caracarn on February 10, 2017, 11:39:50 AM
There are several different organizations out there offering PMP certifications. My general sense has been large companies love (or at least the HR checklist?) PMPs from their specific certifying organization of choice and don't care either way about PMPs from "lesser" certifying organizations. 

So if your company will pay for it, they on some level value it. Therefore, go for it. But know that if you jump ship at some point, the next company will either love it or not care at all with what appears to be no middle ground.

This was a confusing statement to me.  PMI is the only "certifying organization" that provides a PMP.  It is their credential and trademarked. 

I have been a PMP since 2003.  Because of the work requirement to take the exam, I did not feel that I learned much of anything from the PMP prep process.  I agree with Blue that the best advice you can give anyone taking the exam is do not pick the best answer, or what you would do, pick what PMI methodology says to do.  This is what makes people feel it is a joke, but it would be difficult to build a test for a certification that let you provide any answer you wanted as long as you could logically defend it, so I feel this is a little harsh in looking at it.  I keep my PMP current because it is a benefit to have as a differentiator for hiring, and more and more places require it (I work in IT).  Even as a senior level exec where I operate now, having the project management experience makes me much more successful, but I'd be lying if I said that the PMBOK methodology is what has made me successful.  The PMP was a tool to open a door and provide a basis for intelligent discussions and to provide some framework to build off of.  I feel it is a useful credential.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 10, 2017, 11:56:22 AM
I keep my PMP current because it is a benefit to have as a differentiator for hiring, and more and more places require it (I work in IT).  Even as a senior level exec where I operate now, having the project management experience makes me much more successful, but I'd be lying if I said that the PMBOK methodology is what has made me successful.  The PMP was a tool to open a door and provide a basis for intelligent discussions and to provide some framework to build off of.  I feel it is a useful credential.
Agree 100%
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on February 10, 2017, 12:07:53 PM
Okay,  I am an engineer and I teach one of the PMP classes as night school at the local college.

Goldielocks, I forgot to follow up on this before. How did you go about becoming a night school teacher? I'd definitely be interested in something similar to this as a side-hussle in a couple of years, especially if teaching not-super-difficult technical classes is an option.

...Furthermore, how did the college let you teach a PMP class without having the actual certification itself? Seems like you found an excellent gig.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Schaefer Light on February 10, 2017, 12:38:05 PM
In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

I'd rather be right than just give an answer to get someone's approval;).  And yes, I am an engineering grad....and a stubborn one at that.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 12, 2017, 03:47:22 PM
In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

I'd rather be right than just give an answer to get someone's approval;).  And yes, I am an engineering grad....and a stubborn one at that.

but also in the world of REAL engineering there is never 1 solution or even a best solution.  there are multiple solutions and judgement calls still need to be made.  in easy cookie cutter engineering creativity is not needed and their is typically only one good solution.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on February 15, 2017, 09:51:00 PM
but also in the world of REAL engineering there is never 1 solution or even a best solution.  there are multiple solutions and judgement calls still need to be made.  in easy cookie cutter engineering creativity is not needed and their is typically only one good solution.


Totally agree with you here, but from what I've learned so far about the PMP exam (I did start taking the free classes), that kind of thinking is likely to end up hurting anyone trying to take that exam.

So far I've been "suspending my engineering brain" everytime I walk into the classroom. Seems to be serving me well so far.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 16, 2017, 06:15:30 AM
This ^^^ is why a lot of my PMP prep was taking sample exams. That was very helpful for identifying areas I needed more study or where my natural judgement didn't agree with PMI.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 17, 2017, 06:57:34 PM
In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

I'd rather be right than just give an answer to get someone's approval;).  And yes, I am an engineering grad....and a stubborn one at that.

but also in the world of REAL engineering there is never 1 solution or even a best solution.  there are multiple solutions and judgement calls still need to be made.  in easy cookie cutter engineering creativity is not needed and their is typically only one good solution.

You literally just said exactly what I said, so we're in agreement...only you're still arguing.  Why?   
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 18, 2017, 05:07:45 AM
In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

I'd rather be right than just give an answer to get someone's approval;).  And yes, I am an engineering grad....and a stubborn one at that.

but also in the world of REAL engineering there is never 1 solution or even a best solution.  there are multiple solutions and judgement calls still need to be made.  in easy cookie cutter engineering creativity is not needed and their is typically only one good solution.

You literally just said exactly what I said, so we're in agreement...only you're still arguing.  Why?

You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution. I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution. These are conflicting statements.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 18, 2017, 06:36:49 AM

You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution. I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution. These are conflicting statements.

Huh?  Let me repeat that for you and I'll color-code the parts that are exactly the same or substantially the same. 
Quote
You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution.
I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution.

Maybe I need to explain this a different way.  I think by now we both agree that engineers are going to say that there isn't one way or one solution.  Agree?

I never made a judgment as to whether or not there is or is not one way or one best way.  But the exam asks for "the best way".  And this is routinely what we see as responses:

Q:  What is the best way to do XYZ?
A:  There is no best way.

Can you guess what the exam grader will do? 

So my advice continues to be, pretend the question is written as such:
Q:  What does PMI think is the best way to do XYZ?
Because then you don't have agree with the statement or not.  You just answer the question as it is written in the book. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 18, 2017, 09:15:27 AM

You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution. I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution. These are conflicting statements.

Huh?  Let me repeat that for you and I'll color-code the parts that are exactly the same or substantially the same. 
Quote
You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution.
I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution.

Maybe I need to explain this a different way.  I think by now we both agree that engineers are going to say that there isn't one way or one solution.  Agree?

You said engineers complain that there is no one way to answer the question. What boarder is saying is why would engineers complain about that when there is no one way to do things in engineering? (Meaning neither engineering nor PMP has one solution) it is funny that you highlight the same words without looking at or understanding the whole sentence.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on February 19, 2017, 12:22:27 AM
In the software world I saw, experience and references were far more valuable than certifications. I'm pretty sure someone with a PMP certification with no project management background wouldn't be as valuable as someone with a project management background and no certs.


You cannot get a PMP without proof of thousands of hours of project management work signed of by an employer.
Bwha ha ha ha

I had an Engineering Intern, that we were having trouble progress past the preliminary stage, apply for PMP designation.  Because his degree had a lot of project management classes in it (documented training), and because he wrote up his co-op time plus the 2-3 years with (my) consulting engineering firm assisting projects as work experience, and he passed the PMP test, he obtained his PMP.  without my signature.

When I found out, and realized that I (his supervisor) would not have signed off on his engineering experience so far (partly because I would not trust him to lead any portion of the project work we had, large or small, even after 3 years), it was the trigger to let him go (fire).

I am not sure how he got his PMP experience qualified, but is certainly wasn't from his employer for all of his post - university work.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on February 19, 2017, 06:51:31 AM
You cannot get a PMP without proof of thousands of hours of project management work signed of by an employer.

You self-report your PM experience hours and provide a contact person for each organization. My contact people were never contacted so I my experience was not verified at all. In theory they could check by calling/emailing that contact person. In practice I don't know any PMP where that happened.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 19, 2017, 08:10:40 AM
I will jump in as there is a lot of misinformation here.    I design and teach the PMP exam at a college REP and am asked to teach at other places as a casual consultant.   I also teach a certification course (local not PMP) and applied and beginner courses for project management as night and weekend classes, and in my spare time.  I used to work in a PMO and was a project management consultant in my regular day job.   I have coach and taught us over a thousand students.  I am happy to answer questions for project management and the PMP as I am up to date more than people who wrote years ago, as I am starting to prepare for the next PMBOK6 changes. 

The value of a PMP for engineers (or non engineers)  is worth it under some circumstances.   I would say usually about 50 - 60% of my students are engineers.  I find that engineers that want to be more in the project management aspect or managerial aspect are the ones it will help.  I have a some close friends who are great engineers but hate dealing with people, and don't want to manage them, they prefer technicals specks, a PMP will not help them UNLESS they play to move companies.   

 A PMP does NOT mean they are good project managers.  What it does say is that they have the experience (4500 hours with a university degree leading projects or aspects of). And they have written a well accepted framework for Project management.  They should understand what, when, and how to use the tools.   Whether they use the tools properly or not is outside of PMIs control.  I use the analog, one has to get a MD to be certified to practice being a dr.   That certication means that they have the knowledge to be a dr, it doesn't mean they will be a good dr.   Same idea here.

Project  management(PM) is a different practice than engineering, (Or IT, construction), etc).   It is a softer science.  This what ALOT of my engineers have challenges with.   Being an engineer does not give them much of an advantage, in fact many engineers are more linear, detailed, and logical which is great for engineering, but it's hard for the PMP.  There are certain personalities types that will that will struggle more on the exam, I can usually have a pretty good idea on who will have problems, and who will struggle, and who will not pass.  It's not all engineers, but it is usually them  that do complain about the exam is not being logical.   The exam is actually fairly logical, BUT in the way that PMI views it.   Which is not necessarily reflective of how project are run for some people real life.   ITa the PMI isms that must be learned and understood.  Its understanding the PMIism its hard to pass the exam.

People, especially engineers who try and u derstanding it one their own, find it frustrating and quite frankly it makes no sense why in the world would PMI do that.   In fact, I learned the PMIisms to pass the exam, however did not truly understand until years later on how, why, when, where, they are applied.  I can totally understand why people (not just engineers hate it).  One can learn the the PMI way of thinking just by taking test, which is one part of the recommended strategies, but they will never get the full understanding.   Which if you are not a PM practioner, who cares.  I actullay love Project management and use it all the time, so it was fitting that I ended up teaching it. 

So my thought is, if your is company is willing to pay, and you are willing to work, there is study time involved, then go for it.    I will post more on studying and tips if you are interested. 

Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 19, 2017, 08:17:29 AM
Some Background:
 it seems that the company has absolutely no respect for the certification at all
[/quote

You're lucky you get a class to walk through it.  I had to research all the books, purchase them, and study on my own time.  It was a pain in the butt.  If I could have just sat in a class for a few hours a week, that would have been great!

This.   One of the fastest ways to get your PMP is to take a GOOD class.  People who take preps classes study about 100-160 hours on average vs much more for those who don't.   The Mao. Reason is knowing what to study and how.  A food class will lay that out along with all the resources.   There is a lot of lousy info on the internet, one bad source sets you back a week trying to figure what hell are they talking about.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 19, 2017, 08:25:09 AM
I just wanted to point out that the pass rate for the PMP is around 60-70%.

Source: https://edward-designer.com/web/faqs/what-is-the-passing-rate-of-pmp-exam/

Quote
Since PMI does not disclose any passing mark or passing rate for the PMP® Exam, no one knows the exact answer to this question.

But according to PMP® training organizations and study groups, it is estimated that the passing rate is about 60%-70%. The passing rate is certainly not too high as PMI tries to maintain the quality of PMP® Certification – only those who truly possess enough knowledge on project management will pass the PMP® Exam.

From your source. Note that PMI and all the training organizations benefit from people thinking the exam is harder than it is. So lacking any hard data around pass rates I would be sceptical of what they are using for marketing and credential credibility purposes.

On top of that I've taken business classes they are a cake walk compared to engineering. I'd like to see the engineering degree pass rates on the PMP. Probably not available

You are right, PMI does not publish, but I would say about 60-70% pass right. General, keep in mind more engineers write the exam than other groups, at least in my area.  I have spoken to many engineers after they write the exam, it is easier than what you take in engineering, that's not supposed to be the comparison.   I think a lot of them found it harder than they expected.  I do pretty good job of scaring my students to study so they don't under estimate it though.   I have at least one student a session, usually a really smart engineer, who wrote the exam on their own and failed.   They are usually a good reinforcement it's not a cakewalk for all. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 19, 2017, 08:28:53 AM
but also in the world of REAL engineering there is never 1 solution or even a best solution.  there are multiple solutions and judgement calls still need to be made.  in easy cookie cutter engineering creativity is not needed and their is typically only one good solution.


Totally agree with you here, but from what I've learned so far about the PMP exam (I did start taking the free classes), that kind of thinking is likely to end up hurting anyone trying to take that exam.

So far I've been "suspending my engineering brain" everytime I walk into the classroom. Seems to be serving me well so far.

This is actually good advice.   I tell my engineers that this is not an engineering exam.   One of the PMI views  is that projects can be of any form.  It can be consider a massive restrictions, construction IT, an event planning, extra.   They get managed the same way.  passing the exam is about understanding the framework, and asking what would PMI do. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 19, 2017, 08:34:54 AM
In the software world I saw, experience and references were far more valuable than certifications. I'm pretty sure someone with a PMP certification with no project management background wouldn't be as valuable as someone with a project management background and no certs.


You cannot get a PMP without proof of thousands of hours of project management work signed of by an employer.
Bwha ha ha ha

I had an Engineering Intern, that we were having trouble progress past the preliminary stage, apply for PMP designation.  Because his degree had a lot of project management classes in it (documented training), and because he wrote up his co-op time plus the 2-3 years with (my) consulting engineering firm assisting projects as work experience, and he passed the PMP test, he obtained his PMP.  without my signature.

When I found out, and realized that I (his supervisor) would not have signed off on his engineering experience so far (partly because I would not trust him to lead any portion of the project work we had, large or small, even after 3 years), it was the trigger to let him go (fire).

I am not sure how he got his PMP experience qualified, but is certainly wasn't from his employer for all of his post - university work.

You don't need t get a signature UNLESS they get audited.   If you really wanted to get back at the person, you could have just called PMI and they would have launched an investigation, though that would be really mean
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 19, 2017, 08:37:53 AM
You cannot get a PMP without proof of thousands of hours of project management work signed of by an employer.

You self-report your PM experience hours and provide a contact person for each organization. My contact people were never contacted so I my experience was not verified at all. In theory they could check by calling/emailing that contact person. In practice I don't know any PMP where that happened.
I was audited through the random process.  The verification is pretty easy though, each person you list on their application as the sponsor or managers must verify and sign off on a sheet declaring the description is accurate.   About 10-15% is audited now.      They occasionally have called all the contacts too, but that is rare. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: caracarn on February 20, 2017, 07:47:18 AM
You cannot get a PMP without proof of thousands of hours of project management work signed of by an employer.

You self-report your PM experience hours and provide a contact person for each organization. My contact people were never contacted so I my experience was not verified at all. In theory they could check by calling/emailing that contact person. In practice I don't know any PMP where that happened.

Maybe it was because I got my PMP a while ago.  We had to provide a letter signed by the employer(s) to backup every claim, and they did call my boss who is the one that signed for me.  Again this was in 2003 when communication mediums were a bit less advanced than they are now.  If that changed, then I feel it is a detriment.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on February 20, 2017, 07:54:28 AM


Maybe it was because I got my PMP a while ago.  We had to provide a letter signed by the employer(s) to backup every claim, and they did call my boss who is the one that signed for me.  Again this was in 2003 when communication mediums were a bit less advanced than they are now.  If that changed, then I feel it is a detriment.

If you got your PMP in 2003 and had the call, then you were audited back then. It was under 5% of the applications that got audited.  I got audited too.   Now, it's a higher percentage. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Fred2004 on February 20, 2017, 08:17:38 AM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

have you been an engineer and taken engineering classes.  and also taken business classes.  I can see why so many of my generation have business degrees and cant find jobs.  those classes could be passed in your sleep in my opinion. a PMP degree cert that requires you to take 35 hours of courses and you can pass the test at a 65%+ passing rate.  seems like a joke to me. People study for months to pass the PE ( i didnt but people do)  and still fail, this is in addition to usually 4 years of doing work directly in the field for the test.

That being said i'm sure i would learn things if i were to get a PMP that would be very helpful.  But that doesnt change the intelligence level needed to pass the exam.

So, if you had taken the time to understand anything at all about the PMP exam, you would know that it doesn't require much intelligence at all to pass it.  It does require some level of memorization based on when I took the exam.  In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

Do you have any understanding that the PMP certification is not and has never been compared to the PE exam except somehow in this thread?  They measure vastly different levels of knowledge.  The PMP certification is a money making tool for PMI and they've built a huge business around it.  And THAT, my friend, is why business majors come out on top.  Because they can take an imperfect idea and make a HUGE business around it.  Where is the engineer?  Probably building an excel spreadsheet with charts and graphs about why engineers should get better grades.

What Blue said.  Engineers don't really go for this unless they want to be PM's...usually for folks in the PMO.

You can take a week long course and take the exam at the end and pass.  It's not a big deal IMO...fluff for resume
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on February 20, 2017, 10:32:57 AM

You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution. I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution. These are conflicting statements.

Huh?  Let me repeat that for you and I'll color-code the parts that are exactly the same or substantially the same. 
Quote
You said engineers complain their isn't 1 way or one solution.
I was saying in the world of real engineering there isn't one way or one solution.

Maybe I need to explain this a different way.  I think by now we both agree that engineers are going to say that there isn't one way or one solution.  Agree?

You said engineers complain that there is no one way to answer the question. What boarder is saying is why would engineers complain about that when there is no one way to do things in engineering? (Meaning neither engineering nor PMP has one solution) it is funny that you highlight the same words without looking at or understanding the whole sentence.
Well, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, it all sounds like exactly the same words.  I do not understand how two people can use the exact same words and then a third can come around and explain that one set of those words means something completely different.   I'm a pretty literal person, so when someone says something, I expect that that's what it means. 

Also, I don't understand why when you accuse me of taking something out of context, you would then remove the final part of my message that just might put us all on the same page.

So my advice continues to be, pretend the question is written as such:
Q:  What does PMI think is the best way to do XYZ?
Because then you don't have agree with the statement or not.  You just answer the question as it is written in the book. 

All I can tell you is that I'm someone who has not only taken and passed the exam, but I helped write and formulate some of the exams some years ago.  Someone asked the question, and I responded with the best information I have:  do not attempt to be correct.  instead, provide the answer that PMI tells you is the correct answer. 

I do not know how to say this any other way.  But if you still don't understand, then I cannot help you anymore.   
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: boarder42 on February 27, 2017, 01:47:08 PM
blue house they are completely different statements polar opposites infact.

Your statement was engineers COMPLAIN if there isnt ONE way
i said real engineering has MORE than ONE correct way.

if you cant see how those are exactly opposite statements i cant help you. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 27, 2017, 05:20:57 PM
blue house they are completely different statements polar opposites infact.

Your statement was engineers COMPLAIN if there isnt ONE way
i said real engineering has MORE than ONE correct way.

if you cant see how those are exactly opposite statements i cant help you.

I am pretty sure you are wasting your time at this point.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 11, 2017, 12:04:51 PM
Thanks for all the insight Plugging Along.

I design and teach the PMP exam at a college REP and am asked to teach at other places as a casual consultant.   I also teach a certification course (local not PMP) and applied and beginner courses for project management as night and weekend classes, and in my spare time....


I'm more curious than anything, but how did you go from working in a PM position to becoming a teacher of PMP and other (related) PM courses? As I'm going through my classes (each session is taught by a different instructor), I can see that some are really good, and then there are others that are not so good. Seems like an interesting switch and something that is a little more low stress, especially for someone who is towards the tail end of FI savings.


I will post more on studying and tips if you are interested.

I would love that!
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on March 11, 2017, 06:04:05 PM
Thanks for all the insight Plugging Along.


I'm more curious than anything, but how did you go from working in a PM position to becoming a teacher of PMP and other (related) PM courses? As I'm going through my classes (each session is taught by a different instructor), I can see that some are really good, and then there are others that are not so good. Seems like an interesting switch and something that is a little more low stress, especially for someone who is towards the tail end of FI savings.

I know you did not ask me, but I got into it just by calling the head of the local technical institute (like community college that now offers degrees) if there were any openings for Part time instructors (evening) in the operations management / business school.   They look for a combination of advanced degrees (preferred, not required) and experience in the subject.   This is not trade / technical school, not a tier one university.

I was hoping for a different subject, but project management is growing rapidly.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on March 13, 2017, 12:42:13 PM
blue house they are completely different statements polar opposites infact.

Your statement was engineers COMPLAIN if there isnt ONE way
i said real engineering has MORE than ONE correct way.

if you cant see how those are exactly opposite statements i cant help you.

I tried to stay away because this is so silly at this point, but I just can't do it. 
If I understand you correctly, you are equating "COMPLAIN" with "MORE" and that just doesn't make sense at all.  They're completely different word forms. One is a verb and one is an adjective.  I think what you find issue with is me equating "complain" with "said".  That would make a little more sense.   Anyway, you're making my point for me and I find it hysterical.  How does this sit with you: 
"Some engineers are unwilling to mark a substandard answer on a multiple choice question, even if they know that mark will be the one that scores the point."
Does that explanation work for you?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on March 13, 2017, 11:50:21 PM
Thanks for all the insight Plugging Along.

I design and teach the PMP exam at a college REP and am asked to teach at other places as a casual consultant.   I also teach a certification course (local not PMP) and applied and beginner courses for project management as night and weekend classes, and in my spare time....


I'm more curious than anything, but how did you go from working in a PM position to becoming a teacher of PMP and other (related) PM courses? As I'm going through my classes (each session is taught by a different instructor), I can see that some are really good, and then there are others that are not so good. Seems like an interesting switch and something that is a little more low stress, especially for someone who is towards the tail end of FI savings.


I will post more on studying and tips if you are interested.

I would love that!

I have quite a different background than a lot of PMs.   I am not an engineer, in construction or in IT.   I did a lot of continuous improvement, and strategy type projects.  I also managed a training group, hence I was able to teach too.    Teaching is my part time thing I do for fun, because I really enjoy project management.  I have a full time job in  The day too.   Fortunately for me, i enjoy both what I do. 

I got in by applying at the local college and they brought me in after an ineterview and a sample of my training style.  I get asked to teach /consult quite frequently from my students.     My spouse and I also have our own consulting firm (I am a busy person) too.    I find teaching is a different stress.   I teach full consequetive days, so I find its out have to be 'on' for the whole time.  My students have tones of questions so I end up skipping lunches, breaks, and staying to ask their questions.   I find I get anxious for students whent hey are not getting it and the exam is close.   I really want to see them succeed.    During the days I teach, there is no time for anything else.   You can't call in sick, or be late if there is an emergency.    On the other hand, once the class is done, the stress is over, even though many of my student still contact me for tips.  though, I have no major intent to RE, I like the idea of having this as a side gig. 

In terms of tips, it easier if you ask specific questions.  I can answer them rather than giving random information.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 22, 2017, 10:28:23 PM
I know you did not ask me, but I got into it just by calling the head of the local technical institute (like community college that now offers degrees) if there were any openings for Part time instructors (evening) in the operations management / business school.   They look for a combination of advanced degrees (preferred, not required) and experience in the subject.   This is not trade / technical school, not a tier one university.

I was hoping for a different subject, but project management is growing rapidly.

...I got in by applying at the local college and they brought me in after an ineterview and a sample of my training style.  I get asked to teach /consult quite frequently from my students.     My spouse and I also have our own consulting firm (I am a busy person) too...

Thanks for the responses here. Did you have to develop your own curriculum, or did you just base it off of the PMBOK and go from there? And/or did the college give you materials to work with?

Also, PluggingAlong, what in your opinion is the best study method? I'm doing "Brain Dumps" (writing out of pertinent information) about twice a week, and plan on taking 1-2 weeks after the class ends but before the exam to just take many many many practice exams. Think I'm on the right track?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Goldielocks on March 22, 2017, 10:44:39 PM
I know you did not ask me, but I got into it just by calling the head of the local technical institute (like community college that now offers degrees) if there were any openings for Part time instructors (evening) in the operations management / business school.   They look for a combination of advanced degrees (preferred, not required) and experience in the subject.   This is not trade / technical school, not a tier one university.

I was hoping for a different subject, but project management is growing rapidly.

...I got in by applying at the local college and they brought me in after an ineterview and a sample of my training style.  I get asked to teach /consult quite frequently from my students.     My spouse and I also have our own consulting firm (I am a busy person) too...

Thanks for the responses here. Did you have to develop your own curriculum, or did you just base it off of the PMBOK and go from there? And/or did the college give you materials to work with?

Also, PluggingAlong, what in your opinion is the best study method? I'm doing "Brain Dumps" (writing out of pertinent information) about twice a week, and plan on taking 1-2 weeks after the class ends but before the exam to just take many many many practice exams. Think I'm on the right track?

My course is the last one of 5 in the PMP certificate / training certificate they issue.  I was given a half page course objectives and learning outcomes, and had to develop a curriculum based on that.   I also received a suggested textbook that was used in two of the first classes in the series to help, or I could randomly choose my own.   Steep learning curve to put it (content) together the first time.  And yeah, writing an exam is more intimidating at first to start it than actually doing it.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: FLBiker on March 23, 2017, 05:13:01 AM
Personally, my opinion is if the emphasis (in terms of your motivation) is on getting the qualification rather than on the learning itself, and the qualification doesn't get you anything tangible, I wouldn't bother.  Free or not is irrelevant to me.  Time is valuable.  I'd only do it if you think the course would be interesting / fun for it's own sake.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on March 23, 2017, 07:45:58 AM
Personally, my opinion is if the emphasis (in terms of your motivation) is on getting the qualification rather than on the learning itself, and the qualification doesn't get you anything tangible, I wouldn't bother.  Free or not is irrelevant to me.  Time is valuable.  I'd only do it if you think the course would be interesting / fun for it's own sake.
By this measure, I would have to give my certification back. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Gondolin on March 23, 2017, 08:46:10 AM
Quote
Do you have any understanding that the PMP certification is not and has never been compared to the PE exam except somehow in this thread?

This. I can't fathom why these two assessments are being compared. It's like comparing getting your Boy Scout's First Aid badge to completing your MD with a specialty in podiatry.

The PMP is a soft well-marketed hurdle that impresses some people in a few industries.

The PE is a rigorous national professional certificate that exists so people know who to sue if you build a building and it falls down.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 29, 2017, 09:26:24 PM

My course is the last one of 5 in the PMP certificate / training certificate they issue.  I was given a half page course objectives and learning outcomes, and had to develop a curriculum based on that.   I also received a suggested textbook that was used in two of the first classes in the series to help, or I could randomly choose my own.   Steep learning curve to put it (content) together the first time.  And yeah, writing an exam is more intimidating at first to start it than actually doing it.

Thanks! this is the sort of info I was looking for.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Blissful Biker on March 29, 2017, 10:45:34 PM
I always recommend getting a PMP because it is "good bang for the buck".  It has say 20% of the market value of an MBA for 1% of the effort.  But I also don't personally respect it a lot because a monkey could get a PMP.

I signed up for an exam prep class at my local college but grew frustrated with the pace and ended up just working my way through Rita McCulahy's Exam Prep Workbook.  Much faster than going to the class and I passed with no problem (even after I found out I was expecting my first child the night before the exam!).

Here is a link to a free download of her latest workbook.  Or if you love the feel of real books, like I do, order on Amazon instead.

http://innovativeprojectguide.com/pmp-exam/6-pmp-exam/300-free-download-pmp-exam-prep-book-pdf-rita-mulcahy.html

I kept the PMP for 12 years and eventually gave it up because I had progressed successfully in my project management career to the point where the designation was no longer valuable.   I would have kept it to show my support for PMI but at $300 a year it had to go.  My P. Eng is another $300 per year but I am keeping that.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on March 30, 2017, 12:21:27 AM
I know you did not ask me, but I got into it just by calling the head of the local technical institute (like community college that now offers degrees) if there were any openings for Part time instructors (evening) in the operations management / business school.   They look for a combination of advanced degrees (preferred, not required) and experience in the subject.   This is not trade / technical school, not a tier one university.

I was hoping for a different subject, but project management is growing rapidly.

...I got in by applying at the local college and they brought me in after an ineterview and a sample of my training style.  I get asked to teach /consult quite frequently from my students.     My spouse and I also have our own consulting firm (I am a busy person) too...

Thanks for the responses here. Did you have to develop your own curriculum, or did you just base it off of the PMBOK and go from there? And/or did the college give you materials to work with?

Also, PluggingAlong, what in your opinion is the best study method? I'm doing "Brain Dumps" (writing out of pertinent information) about twice a week, and plan on taking 1-2 weeks after the class ends but before the exam to just take many many many practice exams. Think I'm on the right track?

The curriculum is based on the PMBOK, as that is the foundation for the exam.  I sat in a class where the PMBOK was regurgitate, and it was awful.  Obviously, I know how to read.   My base material is based off the PMBOK, but the real value is the interpretation on the content which I add.   That's why students take my class. 

Writing out pertainent information will only get you so far, and it's really boring, it also doesn't make the connections nor the way PMI really wants you to answer it.   Writing out the info, is good for understanding the glossary, but not great for passing the exam.    Honestly, I recommend picking up Rita Mulcahleys PMP exam prep text book.   Don't be too mustachian and pick up an older but cheaper version (the exam has changed).  Get version 8 Updated (like version B).    I usually recommend student that's self study read through the PMBOK, make some notes, go through the glossary (critical that you know the PMI terms because they make up fake terms), the go through rIta's book.   Do the questions there, then do practice tests and questions.   I am currently out of town, so don't have my outline on my recommended study tips, but will try and post when I get back if I remember. 

What PMI did of class are you taking?   Can you post a link or a sample curriculum.   Not all are great. 

Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on March 30, 2017, 12:27:05 AM
I always recommend getting a PMP because it is "good bang for the buck".  It has say 20% of the market value of an MBA for 1% of the effort.  But I also don't personally respect it a lot because a monkey could get a PMP.

I signed up for an exam prep class at my local college but grew frustrated with the pace and ended up just working my way through Rita McCulahy's Exam Prep Workbook.  Much faster than going to the class and I passed with no problem (even after I found out I was expecting my first child the night before the exam!).

Here is a link to a free download of her latest workbook.  Or if you love the feel of real books, like I do, order on Amazon instead.

http://innovativeprojectguide.com/pmp-exam/6-pmp-exam/300-free-download-pmp-exam-prep-book-pdf-rita-mulcahy.html

I kept the PMP for 12 years and eventually gave it up because I had progressed successfully in my project management career to the point where the designation was no longer valuable.   I would have kept it to show my support for PMI but at $300 a year it had to go.  My P. Eng is another $300 per year but I am keeping that.

I am just curious why you are playing $300 a year for the the PMP?   The renewal fee is $60 every 5 years if you have a memebership, or $110 if you don't.   Quite honestly, I usually only pay for my membership on years I plan on going to a conference, and then I renew my PDFs that year too.    Where did the $300 come from. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on April 03, 2017, 11:31:11 AM
The curriculum is based on the PMBOK, as that is the foundation for the exam.  I sat in a class where the PMBOK was regurgitate, and it was awful.  Obviously, I know how to read.   My base material is based off the PMBOK, but the real value is the interpretation on the content which I add.   That's why students take my class. 

Writing out pertainent information will only get you so far, and it's really boring, it also doesn't make the connections nor the way PMI really wants you to answer it.   Writing out the info, is good for understanding the glossary, but not great for passing the exam.    Honestly, I recommend picking up Rita Mulcahleys PMP exam prep text book.   Don't be too mustachian and pick up an older but cheaper version (the exam has changed).  Get version 8 Updated (like version B).    I usually recommend student that's self study read through the PMBOK, make some notes, go through the glossary (critical that you know the PMI terms because they make up fake terms), the go through rIta's book.   Do the questions there, then do practice tests and questions.   I am currently out of town, so don't have my outline on my recommended study tips, but will try and post when I get back if I remember. 

What PMI did of class are you taking?   Can you post a link or a sample curriculum.   Not all are great.

Thanks for the response. Since my company is a subsidiary/part owned by the Boeing Company, the course is the Boeing Company's internal PMP exam prep class. They have paid all the necessary fees to make it an "official" prep course (certificates are issued at the end of the class that are valid for the exam), but each session is taught by a different instructor. Some of the instructors are very good, and others just regurgitate the PMBOK and are terrible.

Based on your advice and the advice of others I did go ahead and purchase Rita McCulahy's prep book. I plan on working through that in it's entirety before I take the exam (TBD, but I think I'll target an exam date sometime over the summer).
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: pmalik on January 02, 2018, 11:17:37 PM
Yes, PMP Certification is worth it for Engineers.
It has many advantages, for example:
*It provides a significant advantage when it comes to salary and earning potential.
*It opens doors to new opportunities. There is a high demand for the skilled project managers in various different industries.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: mm1970 on January 03, 2018, 09:25:57 AM
I saw this thread pop back up based on a more recent comment.

It's interesting to me, because I"m an engineer (have been for 25+ years), and was just, um, forced into a Project Manager position.  (Without any kind of PM training or cert.)

So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Retire-Canada on January 03, 2018, 09:27:25 AM
So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.

It can be a demotion! ;)
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Schaefer Light on January 03, 2018, 10:41:26 AM
I saw this thread pop back up based on a more recent comment.

It's interesting to me, because I"m an engineer (have been for 25+ years), and was just, um, forced into a Project Manager position.  (Without any kind of PM training or cert.)

So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.
If you don't mind me asking, what is it that you don't like about being a project manager?  It's one of the few positions that pays a salary similar to mine that I think I might be qualified for.  My concern is that it seems like most PM positions are roughly akin to herding cats.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: mm1970 on January 03, 2018, 01:00:36 PM
I saw this thread pop back up based on a more recent comment.

It's interesting to me, because I"m an engineer (have been for 25+ years), and was just, um, forced into a Project Manager position.  (Without any kind of PM training or cert.)

So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.
If you don't mind me asking, what is it that you don't like about being a project manager?  It's one of the few positions that pays a salary similar to mine that I think I might be qualified for.  My concern is that it seems like most PM positions are roughly akin to herding cats.

Basically, I don't like herding cats.

I think I have an affinity for it - I'm very organized and good at keeping track of many things.  And good at record-keeping (*important for finding the information later, especially as you age and should not rely on memory.  I'm a stickler for documentation.)

I simply prefer the more technical engineering work, running a couple of projects, improving yields, doing data analysis.  So far this feels like it's going to be herding cats, also seems a bit like it's not a *true* PM job.  Not that I know what that is.  But I did google.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on January 03, 2018, 02:39:56 PM
I saw this thread pop back up based on a more recent comment.

It's interesting to me, because I"m an engineer (have been for 25+ years), and was just, um, forced into a Project Manager position.  (Without any kind of PM training or cert.)

So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.
If you don't mind me asking, what is it that you don't like about being a project manager?  It's one of the few positions that pays a salary similar to mine that I think I might be qualified for.  My concern is that it seems like most PM positions are roughly akin to herding cats.

Basically, I don't like herding cats.

I think I have an affinity for it - I'm very organized and good at keeping track of many things.  And good at record-keeping (*important for finding the information later, especially as you age and should not rely on memory.  I'm a stickler for documentation.)

I simply prefer the more technical engineering work, running a couple of projects, improving yields, doing data analysis.  So far this feels like it's going to be herding cats, also seems a bit like it's not a *true* PM job.  Not that I know what that is.  But I did google.
yep, it's all about herding cats.  You do other stuff too.  Sometimes cool stuff, sometimes not.  But you have to be able to herd cats or you won't succeed at project management. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Minnowstache on January 03, 2018, 03:19:03 PM
Agree with BlueHorse - project management is herding cats! I am an IT PM with 25yrs experience :) larger the project - more cats - best thing to do is learn about personality types - people that used drive me crazy now just make me roll my eyes and adapt to their working/communication style (unless they are incompetent and then all bets are off). I think my advantage is I don’t come from a technical background but I am quick to pick up technical concepts. I don’t have an engineer brain but understand how they work. I have a degree in English literature! I am not a visual person and hate that the fact that people have to write on a board to understand concepts - but I put up with it as most people I work with seem to like it and I even use it myself on occasion.

 Going back to the original topic, I have prince2 rather than pmp but I have found the qualification really helped my earning potential and credibility. I know pmp is more or less defacto in the states but if you live somewhere where Prince2 is offered do that as it is easier and, I think, a little more sensible. However, neither teach you much about PM - I think personality type and experience give you that.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Schaefer Light on January 04, 2018, 07:30:31 AM
I saw this thread pop back up based on a more recent comment.

It's interesting to me, because I"m an engineer (have been for 25+ years), and was just, um, forced into a Project Manager position.  (Without any kind of PM training or cert.)

So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.
If you don't mind me asking, what is it that you don't like about being a project manager?  It's one of the few positions that pays a salary similar to mine that I think I might be qualified for.  My concern is that it seems like most PM positions are roughly akin to herding cats.

Basically, I don't like herding cats.

I think I have an affinity for it - I'm very organized and good at keeping track of many things.  And good at record-keeping (*important for finding the information later, especially as you age and should not rely on memory.  I'm a stickler for documentation.)

I simply prefer the more technical engineering work, running a couple of projects, improving yields, doing data analysis.  So far this feels like it's going to be herding cats, also seems a bit like it's not a *true* PM job.  Not that I know what that is.  But I did google.

Thanks for the response.  That confirms my suspicions.  Like you, I'm also good at keeping track of things and staying organized.  I have an engineering degree, but haven't really used it since entering the workforce in 2002.  I think I'd have a much easier time getting a project management job than an engineering job at this point.  Unfortunately, I don't care for herding cats ;).  I guess if I could to into it with the mindset that I have no real control over the situation, then I might be able to handle that kind of job.  I'm a people manager now and often feel like I have no control over anything, so I'm kind of used to feeling that way.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Plugging Along on January 04, 2018, 11:43:53 AM
I saw this thread pop back up based on a more recent comment.

It's interesting to me, because I"m an engineer (have been for 25+ years), and was just, um, forced into a Project Manager position.  (Without any kind of PM training or cert.)

So far, I don't much like it.  It certainly didn't come with a promotion or raise.
If you don't mind me asking, what is it that you don't like about being a project manager?  It's one of the few positions that pays a salary similar to mine that I think I might be qualified for.  My concern is that it seems like most PM positions are roughly akin to herding cats.

Basically, I don't like herding cats.

I think I have an affinity for it - I'm very organized and good at keeping track of many things.  And good at record-keeping (*important for finding the information later, especially as you age and should not rely on memory.  I'm a stickler for documentation.)

I simply prefer the more technical engineering work, running a couple of projects, improving yields, doing data analysis.  So far this feels like it's going to be herding cats, also seems a bit like it's not a *true* PM job.  Not that I know what that is.  But I did google.

Lol...  yep, good Pming is all about stakeholder and risk management aka herding cats but on a scheduled.

I work with a lot of engineers, and many ask me about PMing.   You are right those who like the technical should stay that way.  I find it always interesting that management says, hey that guy is good at engineering or developing (something technical) they should PM which is not technical and all about people management.   It’s like telling an accountant to Manage people because he is Good with numbers. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: mm1970 on January 04, 2018, 01:06:38 PM
Quote
Thanks for the response.  That confirms my suspicions.  Like you, I'm also good at keeping track of things and staying organized.  I have an engineering degree, but haven't really used it since entering the workforce in 2002.  I think I'd have a much easier time getting a project management job than an engineering job at this point.  Unfortunately, I don't care for herding cats ;).  I guess if I could to into it with the mindset that I have no real control over the situation, then I might be able to handle that kind of job.  I'm a people manager now and often feel like I have no control over anything, so I'm kind of used to feeling that way.

I've done people managing too, and I enjoyed that because I was still able to do technical work while training my younger engineers.  And it still required organization.

Quote
Lol...  yep, good Pming is all about stakeholder and risk management aka herding cats but on a scheduled.

I work with a lot of engineers, and many ask me about PMing.   You are right those who like the technical should stay that way.  I find it always interesting that management says, hey that guy is good at engineering or developing (something technical) they should PM which is not technical and all about people management.   It’s like telling an accountant to Manage people because he is Good with numbers.

I'm going to continue to try and keep some technical aspects of my job anyway. We'll see if there is time for that.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: pmalik on January 18, 2018, 01:47:23 AM
Project Management concepts are applicable to all industries.

PMP can help you in opening new doors & advancing your career. It is a well renowned & respected certification. According to many surveys and career websites, it is one of the top 10 certifications in the world.
Another reason to do PMP is salary. According to PMI's Salary Survey 9th edition - those with a PMP certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP certification.

If you are in a PM role, you must attain PMP or an equivalent certification.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: YoungInvestor on January 18, 2018, 05:48:27 AM
For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

I was taking some PM courses and the classes were split between engineers and MBA folks at that university. It was always the kiss of death to get a MBAer on your project team.

What about engineers doing an MBA?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: civil4life on January 18, 2018, 09:40:35 AM
Did not read through all the posts.

Some thoughts since I have considered the same thing for quite a while.

Main reason I have not taken it is that I have not set aside time to study.  I meet all the requirements.  I earned my Masters in Project Management which qualifies for the education requirement.  In my current position I would not receive any bonus, pay raise, or even help with testing costs.
I have found that the PMP is more industry specific.
However, since it is not limited to engineering, it would help you break into other fields of interest.
I am considering looking for work and I have seen it be a desired qualification.
Since it is free I would do it.

I am actually looking to move from PM back to design.  How is your design more stressful than PM?  That has not been my experience.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on January 19, 2018, 05:33:12 PM
...
Another reason to do PMP is salary. According to PMI's Salary Survey 9th edition - those with a PMP certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP certification.

If you are in a PM role, you must attain PMP or an equivalent certification.

Do you think this is an inherent trait of the PMP certification, or more that the people who actually go through the effort to get a PMP are more likely to be high achievers/ask for a raise?
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on January 19, 2018, 07:22:05 PM
...
Another reason to do PMP is salary. According to PMI's Salary Survey 9th edition - those with a PMP certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP certification.

If you are in a PM role, you must attain PMP or an equivalent certification.

Do you think this is an inherent trait of the PMP certification, or more that the people who actually go through the effort to get a PMP are more likely to be high achievers/ask for a raise?
here's an anecdote:  I started a new job while I was studying for the PMP (well, it was on my list of things to do someday).  I wrote "PMP candidate" or something like that on my resume to get through the text filters on job search boards.  When I was negotiating for the job I wanted, my future employer told me (without me bringing up the PMP) "Salary is $95,000 with a $5000 bump in salary when you pass the PMP exam".  I was going to do it anyway, this just made me do it faster. 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on January 19, 2018, 07:57:08 PM
^I've never heard of anything like this, so it's reassuring to me that this happens.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on January 22, 2018, 01:07:21 PM
^I've never heard of anything like this, so it's reassuring to me that this happens.
government RFPs often require PMPs to do the work and often even prefer to award contracts to companies with higher percentages of employees who hold PMPs.  So even if you're not customer-facing, having a PMP can be an asset to a company who then inserts the "% of employees who hold PMP" statistic into their proposals. 
It's a self-perpetuating situation:  Government asks for personnel with PMPs, companies try to make everyone a PMP, Government thinks it must be a high-quality certification, companies think government really wants it. 

It is very common in my region to see even entry-level positions require a PMP (which is ridiculous, because the PMP requires 4 years of experience).  It just shows how crazy things are.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: caracarn on January 26, 2018, 08:30:23 AM
Even though I have had to explain the benefits of a PMP in an interview, because they did not always know what it was (other than three letters), I have found the explanation got a very positive reaction from the person interviewing as to most people project management means "can keep track of a to do list".  Explaining there are actual techniques for risk, schedule creation and adherence, monitoring progress etc. opens a lot of eyes.

I do worry about things like the above post continuing to water down the credential, just like happened with the MCSE.  When people are just getting it to check a box, not to actually be better at their job you get a lot of people who can pass a test and cannot project manage themselves out of a paper bag.  Similar to when I hired an MCSE who could not build a server and ended up crashing our entire network because of configuration changes they made.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Rightflyer on February 07, 2018, 08:25:24 AM
A long time PM here (>15 years).

I agree with those above that any credential itself is not an indicator of expertise or talent but... it does mean you have at least been tested on an accepted methodology.

Lots of varied experience, constant curiosity about new methods and tools, solid management skills and a willingness to stretch your comfort zone is a recipe for a competent Project Manager.

As for the value of a PM credential... Look at the job boards.
The vast majority require a PMP/APMP/PRINCE2 accreditation at the least.

(And as for herding cats. Yes, it does feel that way sometimes LOL)




 
 
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: scottish on February 19, 2018, 06:35:50 PM

For some reason this reminds me of a class i took for MBA. The teacher was explaining something to do with graphs and causally said to use the triangle area formula. Out of about 20 people in the class, maybe 3 people knew! These are college educated people. Granted the teacher was too technical for the class (90% switched classes that day) but i was shocked that people don't know basic math. So you are probably right, engineers probably have a better outcome.

 could you explain how you reached this conclusion (in bold)?

have you been an engineer and taken engineering classes.  and also taken business classes.  I can see why so many of my generation have business degrees and cant find jobs.  those classes could be passed in your sleep in my opinion. a PMP degree cert that requires you to take 35 hours of courses and you can pass the test at a 65%+ passing rate.  seems like a joke to me. People study for months to pass the PE ( i didnt but people do)  and still fail, this is in addition to usually 4 years of doing work directly in the field for the test.

That being said i'm sure i would learn things if i were to get a PMP that would be very helpful.  But that doesnt change the intelligence level needed to pass the exam.

So, if you had taken the time to understand anything at all about the PMP exam, you would know that it doesn't require much intelligence at all to pass it.  It does require some level of memorization based on when I took the exam.  In my experience, engineers actually do worse because it takes them a really long time to stop complaining about how there isn't just one way to complete a process, or even one best way.  But the exam is based on a (few) book(s), so you really have to memorize PMI's method and order of events to pass their test.  There is literally NO MATH involved.  No Logic either.  No problem solving.  It is a regurgitation of ideas that aren't even the best ideas. Sometimes engineers are so stubborn that they will take the exam, know the answer that PMI is looking for, and still give a different answer.  Why?  because they're right.  What does that get them?  A failing grade.  I have had to instruct many people that the exam isn't looking for the correct answer...it's looking for the PMI answer. 

Do you have any understanding that the PMP certification is not and has never been compared to the PE exam except somehow in this thread?  They measure vastly different levels of knowledge.  The PMP certification is a money making tool for PMI and they've built a huge business around it.  And THAT, my friend, is why business majors come out on top.  Because they can take an imperfect idea and make a HUGE business around it.  Where is the engineer?  Probably building an excel spreadsheet with charts and graphs about why engineers should get better grades.

We usually wind up working for the business major who doesn't know when it's important to listen to our advice.   In technology there's no requirement (aside from certain safety critical systems) to actually have the work approved by an engineer, so the business types often wind up making short term decisions that have unfortunate long term effects.

At least that's been my usual experience.   My current company's not bad this way, though, so it's not completely endemic.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: kelvin on February 20, 2018, 08:07:42 AM
I'm a software developer working for the federal government in Canada.

PMP type certs are useful for certain types of contract work, especially if you're looking to be managing and overseeing the project on behalf of a company. The guy who taught the course I took had left engineering behind and was a consultant, both in and out of the federal government, and ofc he taught these courses on the side.

I think it partly depends on what type of career you hope to have going forward, what your FIRE plan looks like. Is there a particular job you've had your eye on for when you leave your current place? Do you have a plan to get your resume to the top of the pile for that specific job type? Does PMP fit in that plan?

Best of luck.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 22, 2018, 02:07:30 PM
For what it's worth, I thought I'd respond to this thread with an update:

-I passed my PMP examination today and am now certified!

While I'm still not convinced on the value of the credential in it's own right, I decided to do it mostly for the following reasons:

Thanks everyone for all of the insight!
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Minnowstache on March 25, 2018, 04:40:07 AM
Excellent work! A qualification will help your credibility and from what i’ve heard PMP is quite a hard slog so well done! I have just completed a managing successful programmes with Prince2 practitioner course. It is good to keep your qualifications and skills up no matter what they are! Here’s hoping you get a great job to reward your hard work soon!
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: shelbyautumn on March 26, 2018, 01:06:50 PM
Congrats!

I'm taking my PMP course next month. I know a woman making $310k a year plus commission and the PMP is her only certification/education beyond high school. I think it can open a lot of doors if you want it to!
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 26, 2018, 10:13:49 PM
Congrats!

I'm taking my PMP course next month. I know a woman making $310k a year plus commission and the PMP is her only certification/education beyond high school. I think it can open a lot of doors if you want it to!

That's incredible, what industry is she in?!
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: shelbyautumn on March 27, 2018, 09:01:59 AM
@BuffaloStache she works in Healthcare (kinda). On the sales side of things, now, mostly responding to RFPs for anything from Insurance Companies to Medicaid.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: pecunia on March 27, 2018, 06:55:35 PM
This money mustache thing has been a real eye opener.  I hadn't expected it to be an eye opener on project management.  I've seen those guys as bean counters.  They don't care about quality, but only about cost and schedule.

However, I now see that there are bad ones and good ones.  The good ones are those that have worked themselves up and know who and what they are managing rather than just tasks on a paper.

I presently am working on a construction project where the PM didn't ensure the materials were on site to perform construction at the right time.  Things are not being built in the right sequence due to his scheduling.  Due to poor scheduling there will be a lot of re-work.  The manager did not meet with the people doing the work to develop a schedule.  He just took a SWAG.

Now that I'm approaching the end of my working days, I wish I had taken a more open mind towards those folks.  I could have helped them do their job and that would have helped me do mine.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 27, 2018, 09:21:07 PM
...  The manager did not meet with the people doing the work to develop a schedule.  He just took a SWAG...

This is actually a repeating theme in the PMP training: involving all of your stakeholders early (including project team members) and often is very important to successfully completing any project.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Gone_Hiking on March 27, 2018, 09:40:59 PM
For what it's worth, I thought I'd respond to this thread with an update:

-I passed my PMP examination today and am now certified!

Congratulations!  Well done.

This money mustache thing has been a real eye opener.  I hadn't expected it to be an eye opener on project management.  I've seen those guys as bean counters.  They don't care about quality, but only about cost and schedule.

The difference between OK PMs and great PMs is how they deal with people.  The bad ones just keep asking for percent complete.  Or say things like "I want this done by the end of the week".  The good ones say things like "If we get it done by Thursday, we will have an extra day to catch up on other things.  I've heard the boss will get us pizza for lunch".
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: pecunia on March 28, 2018, 03:23:15 AM
Quote
The difference between OK PMs and great PMs is how they deal with people.  The bad ones just keep asking for percent complete.  Or say things like "I want this done by the end of the week".  The good ones say things like "If we get it done by Thursday, we will have an extra day to catch up on other things.  I've heard the boss will get us pizza for lunch".

Heh heh - The bad ones sometimes turn out to be good ones,.......for my pocketbook.  Many times I've had to work weekends or twelves to meet their schedules.  Glad I am no longer salary.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: caracarn on March 28, 2018, 06:39:58 AM
Having operated in this space for nearly two decades, yes it takes a lot of work to be a good PM.  The PMBOK gives you tools and techniques but you need to use them properly.  It's no different than getting certified on anything else, like an HVAC tech.  If I try to insert a thermocoupler in my air conditioner to help with gas flow it will not work out too well.  90% of the job is communication.  The other 10% is what the PMP exam measures.  That's the problem with people thinking that because someone has a PMP that gives them some capability it does not.  It is a measure of your understanding of a toolset, but not really if you can use it properly and if you can actually bring a project across the finish line.  That measure is if you keep your job after the project is done or if you are fired because it was a disaster.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: Rightflyer on March 30, 2018, 03:45:58 AM
For what it's worth, I thought I'd respond to this thread with an update:

-I passed my PMP examination today and am now certified!

While I'm still not convinced on the value of the credential in it's own right, I decided to do it mostly for the following reasons:
  • Because of an affiliate arrangement with my previous company, the classes were free to take, so I took them last year.
  • The exam is changing on 03/26/2018, so once I had taken the classes I figured it was now or never
  • I don't plan on leaning on this certification to get any future job, but do see it as a potential career path within my current company. I wanted to make sure that door remained open.
  • as @Kelvin stated, I took a look at my FIRE plans and... I think I like the idea of being a PMP instructor as a potential post-FI part time gig. Getting a PMP opens that door.

Thanks everyone for all of the insight!

Congrats Buffalo

I've tossed around the idea of finally getting a PMP for several years now.
I have the prerequisites, just need to apply to do the exam.

You may have inspired me...
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BlueHouse on March 30, 2018, 11:00:13 AM
For what it's worth, I thought I'd respond to this thread with an update:

-I passed my PMP examination today and am now certified!

Congratulations!  Well done.

This money mustache thing has been a real eye opener.  I hadn't expected it to be an eye opener on project management.  I've seen those guys as bean counters.  They don't care about quality, but only about cost and schedule.

The difference between OK PMs and great PMs is how they deal with people.  The bad ones just keep asking for percent complete.  Or say things like "I want this done by the end of the week".  The good ones say things like "If we get it done by Thursday, we will have an extra day to catch up on other things.  I've heard the boss will get us pizza for lunch".
Project Management is about more than just keeping a schedule.  That's like one out of nine knowledge areas.
Title: Re: Engineers: Is PMP certification worth it?
Post by: BuffaloStache on March 30, 2018, 04:32:22 PM
...

Congrats Buffalo

I've tossed around the idea of finally getting a PMP for several years now.
I have the prerequisites, just need to apply to do the exam.

You may have inspired me...

If I can do it, then you definitely can. The biggest piece of advice I'd give with the process it to apply early! My application got hung up for various reasons, but once you get that out of the way you have ~1 full year in which to take the exam.