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What is the best training for becoming a hirable project manager? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective project manager?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

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Sally in Austin, TX

100 months ago

>> What is the best training for becoming a hirable project manager?

Depends on what kinds of organizations you plan on working for.

For small to medium sized companies I'd say on-the-job training and experience is the best. I've taken some of the Project Management Institute classes, and they just don't seem relevant to what is actually achievable in the day-to-day processes of a regular company.

Though many employers definitely look for that PMP certificate on your resume.

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Straight Talk PMP in Fort Worth, Texas

87 months ago

Consider UT Continuing Education or other local college that offers PMP prep classes. If not available, IIL or other large training company that does courses locally. I think about 6 months and you will be ready to sit for the PMP. Here is part of an answer used on another question... there are three areas a PM needs to cover to be hired. Leadership, PM technical skills, and years of expertise in the industry you are looking in. Leadership would cover team dynamics, development, change management, presentation skills, and general/business background. By PM skills, I mean scheduling, estimating, HR, and the other PMBOK areas - not just book knowledge, practical experience in the 9+ areas. Finally industry expertise - the phamacy industry is an good example to make my point, it is rare you would see a job posting for a Phara PM. They are grown within the company, well paid and usually retained. They likely will have a Phd in science and years of hard hard knocks as a researcher. They may have wanted out of the direct research or were not succesful at finding the compounds needed. Construction, hardware, SW, aerospace, and most other industries have realized that PM are not interchangable. You must have deep imdustry experience before a company will gamble on you to manage projects that use very precious resources in particular capital & scarce people.

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PMColorado in Colorado

86 months ago

Straight Talk PMP in Fort Worth, Texas said:
Can you provide any insight of how to land a job in the DFW area for an IT project manager? I am a PMP with relevant experience.

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Greg Allen in El Dorado Hills, California

86 months ago

I'm in my the tranasational stage of my career to go from supervisor to PM, I'm not familair with the PMP? Could somebody help explain this to me.

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openmic in Winston Salem, North Carolina

86 months ago

To Greg: The PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is offered by the PMI (Project Management Institute). PMI is working to organize, clarify and promote project management practices for corporations. There are several requirements before you can get this certification -- you must have several years of project management experience with several different projects that PMI can verify, and you must pass a rigorous test. PMI is very serious about their jargon and methodology and expect you to know it by heart before they will certify you (even though some of it may appear to be excessive). It's not an entry level or prepartory certification, although if you intend to make project management a career it is good to start studying their materials now and gain experience applying them. They do have a lower level certification that requires less prior project management experience -- CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management), but again it is not entry level. PMI also requires you to take Continuing Certification Requirements in order to keep your certification. All in all a good goal to shoot for, but one that will take much work to achieve. See their website at pmi.org

Make sure you get some kind of training in project management as soon as you can because it is a hard job. You will be put between management and the workers, with a lot of stress. Many community colleges offer courses, some online.

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greg in Fayetteville, North Carolina

79 months ago

I would not recommend bothering with any course to get your PMP certification if you have no project management experience and/or lack a bachelor's. You can take the most expensive, most intense PM course out there and you will have done nothing but waste your money IF you get led astray like I did.

The 'reputable' school I went to has aggressive reps who will sell you the moon and stars and sound legit. I has to call and repeatedly ask the rep if this course would help me and she repeatedly assured me that my background and education was enough to become hired as a PM. Was I nieve? You bet. Will schools take advantage of that? You better believe it.

The ironic thing is, PMI has two different qualifiers. Experience required for those without a bachelor's and those with. The difference is around 3,000 project hours. And the CAPM? Don't bother. No one's going to care about those letters. The only thing they tell employers is that you do NOT have enough project experience to pass the PMP and in that case, they're not going to hire you anyhow.

PMI and the PMP is the biggest racket going right now. Heck, they even let you pay them money for a membership without your PMP. Isn't that nice of them? They'll tell you becoming a member gives you access to resume writing and help finding work. Ba-lo-neeeeee. Last time I looked at their job board, the posts were two years old. You will find many, many people who have run projects who do not have their PMP and can run circles around many, many who do. PMI has waged a very effective marketing campaign the last five years with exec's in companies, convincing them that someone with 'PMP' is somehow more knowledgable. Nope. Wrong. And, as mentioned already, most companies 'grow' their own PM's internally and, again, if you don't have a Bachelor's ( in fact, to be truly competitive you better have a Master's ) you can forget about being selected even if you're a better performer.

Don't believe the hype.

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Lee in Charlotte, North Carolina

70 months ago

I agree with Greg. I believe PMP certification has become nothing more then a money making scheme.
Right now there seems to be a trend that companies are saying you must have a PMP certification.
I’ve been a Project manager for 30 years and to have some HR person tell me that I can’t even apply for the position because I’m not PMP certified is a joke.
What I’ve seen are people going out and getting the certification by having someone say that they have completed the hours of experience needed to qualify to take the test when they have not. This practice has gotten worse in the current economic environment.

In the past 4 years I have been asked to help 5 different so called PMP certified Project Managers to get their projects up to speed and on schedule. Not a sterling example of their abilities and knowledge. Two had no IT background at all.
Also the past 5 years I have not met one PMP certified Project Manager that has completed their pre-requisite hours to be eligible to take the test.
They have done a market job on the executives and personnel departments of these companies. They’ve sold them a bill of goods. The groups that are going to pay for these indiscretions are the companies and the experienced honest Project Managers.

All this being true, a person that has a PMP certification without having the experience is suspect at best. They are discrediting the honest persons that do have legitimate certifications.
The certification has been watered down by these actions. Again, a disservice to the honest persons out there.
Right now there are thousands of websites trying to sell quick courses and providing lots of cheat sheets and saying they “guarantee you’ll pass the test in 5 days or your money back” with no experience needed. This is not a good indication for ability and experience.
Also PMI has said you have to pay them an annual fee to keep your certification. Again a money making scheme.
It’s run the standard course of all certificatio

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mazahonda in Alexandria, Virginia

69 months ago

To Greg and Lee
I read your posts with great interest. Most of the things you pointed out are true, I've wondered the same myself.
however, I really want to be a Project Manager. I have a Bachelors in Marketing and currently in an MBA program. I bought the PMI hype and got the CAPM, and attend Chapter meetings on a regular basis. For someone like me, with little PM experience, it is easy for them to convince me that with the PMP, I'll be taken more seriously, and I tend to see some sense in that. What do you guys think
My current job as a Student Accounts Manager at a University gives me limmited opportunity to participate in projects (we are currently working on a E-commerce project and I am heavily involved with planning and testing)
Thanks guys

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p in Saint Petersburg, Florida

59 months ago

Sally in Austin, TX said: >> What is the best training for becoming a hirable project manager?For small to medium sized companies I'd say on-the-job training and experience is the best. I've taken some of the Project Management Institute classes, and they just don't seem relevant to what is actually achievable in the day-to-day processes of a regular company.

Though many employers definitely look for that PMP certificate on your resume.Depends on what kinds of organizations you plan on working for.

I agree with Sally. Unless you're working for an extremely large company that has unlimited resources, and multi-year project timelines, much of what Agile/Scrum/PMI will get you simply doesn't work in the day to day grind.

In a 24x7 retail environment like the one I'm in, some projects last 3 days, some 3 months. In many cases, the time spent in practicing agile methodology is actually counter-productive. Sometimes it actually takes longer than the actual work involved in the project. I know this sounds odd, but I think much of that has to do with one simple fact:

No amount of expertise in managing a project using agile/pmi methodologies will work well if the project team itself is not dedicated (buys into) the model.

Having an agile PM working with waterfall type resources doesn't work well.

So know where you're going to be, and how the people you're going to work with work, as this will be key in determining how to develop a process that actually works in your environment.

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Projectdoc in Bayside, New York

59 months ago

Most certifications get you past a toll gate. The HR person that told Lee that he could not apply for a PM job because he didn't have the PMP certification is a prime example. Alternately, you could have asked the HR person to check with the hiring manager and see if 30 years of relevant experience managing projects was enough to waive the PMP requirement. I think we can all guess the answer.

As for PMP's that don't have the pre-requisite experience to take the test, please contact PMI and report them. The give us all a bad name and PMI takes it seriously.

The PMP is a good certification because it implies some experience and some knowledge. Like any certification it does not imply that the person is a guru. We all know of people who have CNE's that have never seen a Novell server. and we all know CNE's that can manually edit the NDS database in a hex editor and not crash it. The certification is valuable not only because it implies experience and knowledge, but also because it is being used as a toll gate to filter applicants. Similarlyu Six Sigma, SCRUM, Prince II, etc. are also valuable.

IF you have the experience and knowledge to not need a course to pass the test, then I would recomend taking a course to sharpen up on the PMI way. Just like all the other certs out there you will have to spit back the PMI jargon and methodology. I used 4PMTI for my course. I already had over 10 years experience. I found the course helpful because they highlighted what was likely to be important on the test. I am certain that it was of great value in helping me pass the test in the top 10% on the first try. HOWEVER without my PM experience the course would have been confusing and useless.

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Boomer in Hickory, North Carolina

40 months ago

I have 10 years of project management experience, but I am not certified. Don't really have an interest in getting certified after seeing how expensive the classes are for the required continuing education.

What does anger me is the fact that I know several people that are going to local community colleges to get their certification and none of them have ANY practical project management experience.

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Samantha in Bourbonnais, Illinois

29 months ago

I am currently in PMP program, and has been involved with various projects throughout my 10 years in leadership roles. I want to transition into a more concentrated area but is having a hard time trying to decide. It was very interesting to see the postings about how hard it is to become a PMP, certification and experience.
How does one get hired as a PM with little experience? Should I just continue to put my resume out there and see who responds?

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moh21282 in Glendale, California

27 months ago

Hi Guys,
really need your advice, Mechanical engineer here graduated in 2005 has 0 experience in engineering i have worked as a designer. now i am grad student to study engineering management in CSUN. i don't know if this is good decisions or no ? should i change my major to manufacturing engineer ? can i find job in engineering management with no experience in engineering? and what is PMP is this same like engineering management ?
thanks alot

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moh21282 in Glendale, California

27 months ago

can u give us advice please?
can i take this course with no PM experience? you said it's very important but with no PM experience it's useless that's really confusing

Projectdoc in Bayside, New York said: Most certifications get you past a toll gate. The HR person that told Lee that he could not apply for a PM job because he didn't have the PMP certification is a prime example. Alternately, you could have asked the HR person to check with the hiring manager and see if 30 years of relevant experience managing projects was enough to waive the PMP requirement. I think we can all guess the answer.

As for PMP's that don't have the pre-requisite experience to take the test, please contact PMI and report them. The give us all a bad name and PMI takes it seriously.

The PMP is a good certification because it implies some experience and some knowledge. Like any certification it does not imply that the person is a guru. We all know of people who have CNE's that have never seen a Novell server. and we all know CNE's that can manually edit the NDS database in a hex editor and not crash it. The certification is valuable not only because it implies experience and knowledge, but also because it is being used as a toll gate to filter applicants. Similarlyu Six Sigma, SCRUM, Prince II, etc. are also valuable.

IF you have the experience and knowledge to not need a course to pass the test, then I would recomend taking a course to sharpen up on the PMI way. Just like all the other certs out there you will have to spit back the PMI jargon and methodology. I used 4PMTI for my course. I already had over 10 years experience. I found the course helpful because they highlighted what was likely to be important on the test. I am certain that it was of great value in helping me pass the test in the top 10% on the first try. HOWEVER without my PM experience the course would have been confusing and useless.

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