So there are a lot of certs that are really hot right now, CEH, CISSP, CCNA and I can go on a little longer (but I’ll spare you). Arguably the hottest right now is the PMP by PMI. The PMP is a tremendous cert IMO. It’s definitely a difficult test, it demands a great deal of experience, requires you to memorize many terms and some basic equations as well. In fact, there is even an experience “pre-requisite” – I’ll address my reasoning for the quotes in just a moment. So all the items that go in to making a certification valuable seem to be in place.
The job market has certainly responded well to the PMP cert. In fact, PMP’s make more money than almost any other certification out right now and the demand for people to have the PMP is everywhere. Government agencies, private sector companies and almost all Government contractors are requiring the PMP for Project Managers, Project Team leads and Program Managers.
So, there is a really huge overflow of people getting this certification right now. More people are achieving the PMP in 08 then the pace in 07, and the exodus was huge in 07. So the demand is out there, people have caught on to it and the word has spread. So the flood gates are open and too many people are getting it.
Now, back to my “quotes about the pre-requisite” from earlier. I believe that a major part of the problem is PMI’s lack (intentional or unintentional) of auditing the applications to determine validity of the pre-requisite. I have had many conversations with Project Management industry insiders and have even seen with my own eyes the fact that many people who do not technically meet the pre-requisite are getting by the application process by stretching the truth on their app and then not getting audited by the PMI. I think it’s a possibility that the PMI may be doing this (turning a blind eye) on purpose because any time there is a major rush for a cert, there naturally is going to be a lot of money to be made, on many fronts, but definitely in the test taking department – $550+ a pop!!
So what does this mass exodus do for the cert? I’ve seen it happen on other certs in the past and the results are never positive. The cert diminishes in value and loses credibility within the industry eventually.
It happened majorly with the MCSE back with versions NT4.0 and even on the Server 2000. The problem there was that there was a huge demand which caused money to be made on the Internet through selling test answers. The result there was paper MCSE’s flooded the IT industry and people began to realize that possessing an MCSE didn’t mean diddly.
Now Microsoft is wayyyyy too smart, savvy and strong to let this happen for too long and they changed the test (big time – way more application based now) and they also went after the main test answer provider, testking, and are now suing them. They definitely restored the value of the MCSE, the 2003 is tougher than ever, there are much fewer 2003’s out there at this point in the cert’s life versus where the 2000 was at the similar life span time frame (does that make sense – sounds funny??).
So the PMI is going to have to do something with the PMP, maybe push their focus of true value to another cert (PgMP??). The PMP will definitely take a dive in value soon though because of this huge rush. I’m waiting with baited breath to see what comes of it too. Well, no I’m not, but being that I’m the Training Guru, yeah, I stay interested in this stuff, so I’ll have the channel on while I do my other cert stuff.
My Official Prediction: The PMP exam requirements become revamped in about 6 months to 1 year from now. The PMI will tighten up their application auditing and target more than 75% of applications (right now it supposedly is about 1 in 5 apps get audited).