What's is wrong with a PMP generalist

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Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida

88 months ago

I am in the process of switching fields and its just not working. Even with a BBA in HR, a master in project management, my PMP and 10 years of experience in customer service and military, I still can't get a job. I'm doing something seriously wrong, I'm in the wrong place (Tampa Bay area), or I need construction or IT experience. One or all. Any advice would be appreciated, even a head hunter.

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Honest_Feedback in Irving, Texas

86 months ago

without IT experience I would imagine it is next to impossible to get a PM job in IT.

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prospectiveadmin in Greenfield, Indiana

86 months ago

You will not get a job as an IT project manager if you are not extremely knowledgeable about IT. This is one place where full of s**t "project managers" need not apply. My wife is a Database Administrator and her company just did a search for a PM. You should have seen the parade of fools who thought they could rattle off a little rediculous business speak and get the job. In the end, they hired a guru level guy from Microsoft.

Also, yes you are in the wrong place. The Tampa area is gawd awful for trying to find a decent job with a working wage. I have lived in Brandon, Lakeland and Winterhaven and the place gives me nightmares. No jobs that pay over six or seven dollars an hour, horrific traffic, scumbags, roaches, fire ants, etc.. Keep in mind, in addition to living in the places I mentioned, I have a lot of family from there and I lived in Homestead untill I was in the fifth grade so I do have some first person perspective.

Do yourself a favor and get out of there.

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PMColorado in Colorado

82 months ago

Honest_Feedback in Irving, Texas said: without IT experience I would imagine it is next to impossible to get a PM job in IT.

Who is hiring IT PMs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?

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Straight Talk PMP in Fort Worth, Texas

82 months ago

Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida said: I am in the process of switching fields and its just not working. Even with a BBA in HR, a master in project management, my PMP and 10 years of experience in customer service and military, I still can't get a job. I'm doing something seriously wrong, I'm in the wrong place (Tampa Bay area), or I need construction or IT experience. One or all. Any advice would be appreciated, even a head hunter.

Let's be candid, there are three areas a PM needs to cover to be hired. Leadership, PM technical skills, and 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. IT is complex - how do you get a set of desktops to 'talk' to a mainframe through a set of Sun server using middleware and several protocol stacks? That is a typical IT project and will require having worked on several of the systems, developing code or networks before a company will trust the reins of a porject to you. I have 25+ years diverse IT experience and am honestly qualified to lead maybe 15% of the IT projects!

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Straight Talk PMP in Fort Worth, Texas

82 months ago

Consider strongly staying in Customer Service or interfacing with the services. DC is a always looking for good people with a background in the military. Altanta has dozens of call centers, several currently looking for managers. Florida is great for tourist, entertainment and travel. I know several large industrail companies pulling out of FL, weather concerns and downtime. Consider relating to areas with strong needs for your background. Look for management positions. If you staying in FL look into starting a bit lower and working up quickly in new industies. Disney is a fantastic worker oriented company that is easy to move around in. Start in a call center and move up or around from there.

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Stephan in Downingtown, Pennsylvania

79 months ago

Whait a second here, do not put the bull in front of the wagon,... You could have all of the degree you want a PM is by definition a person that has a CREDIBILITY in a specific field of activity. A degree won't get you a job just because you did 6-7 yeras of Grad school. But rather experience and much more interaction with your peers will lead you to Manage Projects.

My two cent...

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About 50 - jobs in Frisco, Texas

79 months ago

prospectiveadmin in Greenfield, Indiana said: You will not get a job as an IT project manager if you are not extremely knowledgeable about IT. This is one place where full of s**t "project managers" need not apply. My wife is a Database Administrator and her company just did a search for a PM. You should have seen the parade of fools who thought they could rattle off a little rediculous business speak and get the job. In the end, they hired a guru level guy from Microsoft.

Also, yes you are in the wrong place. The Tampa area is gawd awful for trying to find a decent job with a working wage. I have lived in Brandon, Lakeland and Winterhaven and the place gives me nightmares. No jobs that pay over six or seven dollars an hour, horrific traffic, scumbags, roaches, fire ants, etc.. Keep in mind, in addition to living in the places I mentioned, I have a lot of family from there and I lived in Homestead untill I was in the fifth grade so I do have some first person perspective.

Do yourself a favor and get out of there.

Funny that you'd have such a low opinion of the Tampa area. I lived in Indiana. It was pleasant but freezing, deep snow and low paying jobs. A huge openly well known decrimination against women working in every place outside of Indy.

I too have family in Tampa who have been there 25 years. Mkt wise they do have tons of financial type people and then of course the 50+ market of business... not to mention the retirement - vacation business. True, I doubt its a hot bed for IT. Possibly IT related to Hotels i.e. keeping the internet and conference IT and such up and running.

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Texas - jobs in Frisco, Texas

79 months ago

PMColorado in Colorado said: Who is hiring IT PMs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?

There are an abundant IT people in the TX area already. There are more IT people than there are jobs hence the many people who have had to start there own business by necessity.

There are also tons of people from other countries (generally India or Asian) who have extreme skills in IT and have been transplanted here permanently with the many HQ and corporate jobs.

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Texas - jobs in Frisco, Texas

79 months ago

Have you looked into the Seattle area. IT's a hot IT area per major Business magazines.

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Sandy in Tacoma, Washington

77 months ago

Texas - jobs in Frisco, Texas said: Have you looked into the Seattle area. IT's a hot IT area per major Business magazines.

Oh, please don't. Magazines are full of it. If you want one of the highest costs of living, bad commutes (they have no place to put highways -- you'll spend 4 hours on the bus per day if you contract and can't live close to your employment site) and to compete with an over abundance of IT people who read business magazines ... you'll be competing with a lot of qualified people. One recruiter told me they had over 50 qualified resumes within 4 hours of posting a Port IT job. You'll probably be contracting. One well know company is <70% outsource and <30% employees.

So what if Indiana pays a little less ... living costs are less. The discrimination against women is a different matter ...

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Bob in Lake Zurich, Illinois

76 months ago

Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida said: I am in the process of switching fields and its just not working. Even with a BBA in HR, a master in project management, my PMP and 10 years of experience in customer service and military, I still can't get a job. I'm doing something seriously wrong, I'm in the wrong place (Tampa Bay area), or I need construction or IT experience. One or all. Any advice would be appreciated, even a head hunter.

Where is your PMP from or with, please fax or scan a copy and send to me, some are reconized adn some are not 847 890 6166, I'll let you know

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Gertrude in New Port Richey, Florida

76 months ago

PMP from PMI. I didn't know you could get it any other way.

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Mynja in Cambridge, Massachusetts

75 months ago

Gertrude in New Port Richey, Florida said: PMP from PMI. I didn't know you could get it any other way.

I didn't think so either.

Boston/Cambridge is hopping for PM type jobs. Some will do generalist PMs, though you may need to start as a project analyst (midrange salary of 70k as panalyst, lots of healthcare VC going around)

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steve in Severna Park, Maryland

69 months ago

lower your price if you are interested in getting in on the ground floor

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Rob240 in Washington, District of Columbia

68 months ago

Because of the federal govt. in the DC area, it's easier to find an entry level generalist PM position doing federal contracting. If you can't move, try looking at large govt. contractors in Florida.

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Gertrude in New Port Richey, Florida

68 months ago

Thank you. I didn't think about that

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Liz in Somerville, Massachusetts

67 months ago

Mynja in Cambridge, Massachusetts said: I didn't think so either.

Boston/Cambridge is hopping for PM type jobs. Some will do generalist PMs, though you may need to start as a project analyst (midrange salary of 70k as panalyst, lots of healthcare VC going around)

I am actually interested in exploring fields to a project management/analyst role. I currently have a very strong sales background and work for Oracle. I am considering going back to school to get my MBA with a focus in project management. Do you have any suggestions for me to help in this transition? Are there some good recruiters in the Boston area that focus on project analyst/entry project mgrs?

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Rob in Dublin, California

63 months ago

I couldn't agree more. A lot of companies want a guru software architect or IT specialist who happens to know project management. They're looking really for a hands on technical manager. Most experienced project managers have lost their technical skills a long time ago, still know the terminology, but concentrate on high level project management, budgeting and reporting.

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lcecil in Commerce Township, Michigan

63 months ago

Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida said: I am in the process of switching fields and its just not working. Even with a BBA in HR, a master in project management, my PMP and 10 years of experience in customer service and military, I still can't get a job. I'm doing something seriously wrong, I'm in the wrong place (Tampa Bay area), or I need construction or IT experience. One or all. Any advice would be appreciated, even a head hunter.

No, you're not doing anthing wrong. Your education background is solid, experience level good and PMP is always a plus in our business. I am in the same situation; 21 years in Healthcare as Facilities Development Project Manager, managing projects in the millions of dollars, have a BSBA and a MBA in Healthcare Management, and still not job. Can't even get someone to call. So, as the theory goes, the simplest explaination seems to be correct. The problem in not external to the industry, it's internal. I had one auto engineer explain it this way. In corporations today, unless you have a "God Father", your career will go down the tubes, no matter how much education you have. Makes you wonder how new individuals can come into a corporation and within less than 5 years be promoted to Director level status. Not without having a God Father you won't. The long and short of it, is that the God Fathers have imbeded themselves into ever corporation out there, including healthcare. See it for what it is and deal with it accordingly. My take, all the God Fathers need to run out of town.

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PMP Hopeful (NON-IT) in Hicksville, New York

62 months ago

I, like Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida, am switching fields. Prior to my current role, I was an operations project manager. I then heard of PMP through PMI. In the past years, becoming PMP certified has been the talk around town. I'm interested in project management, but NOT in IT. In the Project Management industry, IT seems to be the most sought after. I'm interested in operations. My queries are: Is becoming a PMP for operations a foolish venture. Is it worth the time and cost to become PMP? Any and all opinions are appreciated. I'm looking to make a chnage in my life for me and my family. Thanks.

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Carolina in Oshawa, Ontario

62 months ago

Brian in Colorado Springs, Colorado said: Companies that think that you need to be an IT guru really don't understand project management.

Brian, I agree with you that you don't need to be an IT guru to be a PM for an IT project. I have over 15 years of experience as a IT Contractor, and I've worked on many projects from building applications for Mainframes to client-server interfaces to doing BA work for a new PAD channel of payment between a government and a bank, asset management project, integration of call centres, etc. I can honestly say that each experience I have learned from the experts on the team who themselves have the expertise in programming, architecture, Business Analysis and Business Subject Matter, etc. A project is always a new venture and as such, a new learning curve for the team members and for the PM. The PM is a facilitator, co-ordinator, planner, etc. and without relying on the many skills of her team, she would not be a Project Manager.

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james in Atlanta, Georgia

62 months ago

I work as a consultant for a large IT consulting firm. Got PMP and working on MSPM. I am in agreement that you do not need to be an IT guru to manage IT projects; However, as previously said, many companies think that you do. That said, it is really next to impossible to change that mindset. I have seem many PM's come and go in the last 6 or 7 years, none certified or formally educated, but all mostly from within the industry. Somehow the bribed their previous employer to validate them as a PM and they juiced their resume to reflect such. Common sense should tell management that if they are so great why are they not doing PM stuff where they were previously employed. Of the lot not a single one was competent in my opinion, because they left with the project still unfinished and in disarray. The scary thing is that these idiots were hired. Being in the industry and having studied formally, I strongly believe that the basic principles learned from a formal education in PM (scheduling, budgeting, management) are priceless. The challenge you face is to convince the hiring managers of such. Fortunately for me I have the IT experience and the certification, and one semester away from MS in PPM. And honestly it has been the things I have learned through certification and my masters program that have made me a decent PM. Of course knowing the difference between a software FW and a appliance helps but is not a deal breaker.

I encourage all PMs out there to do their part in changing the mindset, so that we can improve the number of projects that are successfully completed from the dismal 27% to something respectable.

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Robek in Carmel, Indiana

60 months ago

PMP Hopeful (NON-IT) in Hicksville, New York said: I, like Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida, am switching fields. Prior to my current role, I was an operations project manager. I then heard of PMP through PMI. In the past years, becoming PMP certified has been the talk around town. I'm interested in project management, but NOT in IT. In the Project Management industry, IT seems to be the most sought after. I'm interested in operations. My queries are: Is becoming a PMP for operations a foolish venture. Is it worth the time and cost to become PMP? Any and all opinions are appreciated. I'm looking to make a chnage in my life for me and my family. Thanks.

Get your PMP if you want a solid knowledge base. If you are not in IT most organizations see it as an unknown credential only. I think that unless a company culture is projects the certification means little in terms of getting the job.

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Kelly in Round Rock, Texas

60 months ago

Hi everyone - any tips on what employers might be looking for in my cover letter or resume to show them that I am a competent and capable PM? In your opinions, what is the most valuable information to share that grabs attention? Good luck to everyone out there looking for work!

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roasthawg in Auburn, California

59 months ago

Passing the PMP certification exam is a good first step. Here's a link to a site with software to get you ready for the test: www.pmptestpass.com/

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Mike PMP in Hillsboro, Oregon

59 months ago

lcecil in Commerce Township, Michigan said: No, you're not doing anthing wrong. Your education background is solid, experience level good and PMP is always a plus in our business. I am in the same situation; 21 years in Healthcare as Facilities Development Project Manager, managing projects in the millions of dollars, have a BSBA and a MBA in Healthcare Management, and still not job. Can't even get someone to call. So, as the theory goes, the simplest explaination seems to be correct. The problem in not external to the industry, it's internal. I had one auto engineer explain it this way. In corporations today, unless you have a "God Father", your career will go down the tubes, no matter how much education you have. Makes you wonder how new individuals can come into a corporation and within less than 5 years be promoted to Director level status. Not without having a God Father you won't. The long and short of it, is that the God Fathers have imbeded themselves into ever corporation out there, including healthcare. See it for what it is and deal with it accordingly. My take, all the God Fathers need to run out of town.

Be careful of the Queen Bees, their sting can end your life.

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Kchase in Novi, Michigan

59 months ago

Stephan in Downingtown, Pennsylvania said: Whait a second here, do not put the bull in front of the wagon,... You could have all of the degree you want a PM is by definition a person that has a CREDIBILITY in a specific field of activity. A degree won't get you a job just because you did 6-7 yeras of Grad school. But rather experience and much more interaction with your peers will lead you to Manage Projects.

My two cent...

Check out this site for an excellent book on project management -
Knowledgechase.com

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Rebus in Pleasanton, California

58 months ago

A generalist is fine starting out, but you need the subject area expertise unless you're managing very small projects. And the health care field is probably the worst in terms of required work experience and knowledge of the industry. It's better to work in an industry first, then get your PM experience.

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PM hopeful in Seattle, Washington

48 months ago

Is there any way to earn the PMP credential without PM experience?

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Relocating to GA in Lansing, Michigan

48 months ago

General Question if anyone in this forum can assist:

I have been laid off because my last employer had cash flow problems / technical product cert issues (failed to get UL certs for a new start-up company that I had joined from being a management consultant for over 8 yrs) and looking for work in Michigan for nearly a year.

I am thinking of relocating to GA and thinking of getting a PMI-PMP certification to stand out from the crowd. I have a MBA and certifications from GBCI-LEED, BPI-Building Analyst, and AEE (BEP)for primarily energy efficiency and building performance. Had Federal security clearance and worked for a government outsourcing contractor in the past as well. Will the PMI-PMP help in the job market in metro-Atlanta region? And if so, which companies are hiring?

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Migrant worker in the Data fields in Windsor, Connecticut

46 months ago

Straight Talk from Ft. Worth INDEED. PMP is a baseline knit into your existing developer,manager,architect,engineer fabric. I so love optical & high end gear after 30 years of IT plumbing....yet every day I'm a new student working out.

Hey, new guy...fly to India and join a local TCS team or Anglo site. Open up some cross cultural skills, prove in @ an IT Helpdesk and pick up a few Unix/Network certs. Run the project $$ book and get IT done under budget because you filled the change control process....only then get a PMP. I'm sick of interviewing metrosexual queens who can hail a cab,look fab and fail miserably.

Be real, pay up and you will have your day....still looking join Special Ops,get shot at and every day after is real easy....

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otti59 in Clerwater, Florida

43 months ago

Gertrude in Tarpon Springs, Florida said: I am in the process of switching fields and its just not working. Even with a BBA in HR, a master in project management, my PMP and 10 years of experience in customer service and military, I still can't get a job. I'm doing something seriously wrong, I'm in the wrong place (Tampa Bay area), or I need construction or IT experience. One or all. Any advice would be appreciated, even a head hunter.

First and foremost they are correct without IT experince you can forget it, second your PMP is basically a joke no pun intended. That certification is just a piece of paper from a governing body who lets companies generate a number profile to account for points to verify their "own" people to be qualified to take a "test: which cost around $175 to get a piece of paper. Its BS, without proper field experience you won't make it. I used to require my engineers to be in field for me for at least 2 years doing "super's" work to get the field training needed to understand the functions of their scope of work. People with this "certificate" pmp or CCM from the CMMAA I would pretty much throw in the trash.

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LongTimePM and IT manager in Saint Louis, Missouri

41 months ago

Here are some things you need to know about PMP before you go and sign up for the classes, the boot camps.
It’s a very expensive certification.
It use to be a requirement that you had to have 4500 hours of PM experience if you had a college degree, (any kind of a degree) or 7500 hours if you didn’t have a degree, and an IT 2 year associate degree doesn’t count. This is discriminatory in and of it’s self. There’s no way a person with a general college degree will ever be able to compete with a 2 year concentrated IT associate degree.

The person that said you need a godfather is totally correct.
I have been in companies where they have promoted persons (their friends) to Manager of the Project managers, Director of Project management etc. with no IT background what so ever. So to make them look legitimate they would send them to the PMP classes. Then the mangers or directors who promoted them would simply lie about them having the required hours of background, and if PMP came back to check they would simply lie again.

So now PMP requires you to have 35 hours of classes. (Along with the hours)

Those classes cost $3500.
Also the study guides are about 1500 to 2500 dollars.
Currently here in Nashville the test boot camp costs 1499 dollars
If you’re not a member of PMI then the cost is something over 500 dollars.
And there are some other costs as well.

Also if an IT manager or Personnel manager refers you to the class they get a referral commission and I’ve seen this happen several times and anyone can get that referral commission.

Also when recruiting firms ask for PMP certification for a job and you don’t have it they will say we can set you up for those classes (at your cost) they’re just trying to make some additional money. That is happening here in Nashville quite a bit and those recruiting firms are affiliated with PMI here in town. They recruit for other positions as well but they make money with PMP.

So this has turned into not

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LongTimePM and IT manager in Saint Louis, Missouri

41 months ago

So this has turned into nothing more then a money making scheme.

Also after you are certified you now have to pay them some amount each year to keep your certification and you arte required to take additional classes to get what they call PDUs and you have to have so many of those as well. Another way to generate more money on going.

I’ve been managing projects for 32 years and have never met anyone who did the required hours of experience before taking the test

I disagree with the person that said you don’t need an IT background to be an IT project manager. Without a background in IT you will not know how to talk to persons in their respective areas or the correct questions to ask and understand the answers that they give you. You also need to know how things work together so you don’t go down the wrong path and get yourself and the in trouble.

On half a dozen occasions in the past 4 years I've been asked to help the PMP certified Project Managers to get their project back on track or to get it back on schedule because they didn't know what they were doing in the real world. None of those persons had any background in IT or project management. Yet they took the test and now there project managers.

I’ve seen numbers that show that PMP managed projects have a failure rate of something over 60%. They don’t meet costs, timelines requirements or quality standards. Much higher then the norm. Probably because the persons don’t have the experience required to do the job.

Also PMP is playing catch up to other methodologies like SOX and Six Sigma and others and have changed several things to reflect the same functionally as the others. They just changed there names of the phases etc. I just bought the PMBOK V4 for reference and the changes they’ve made reflect the other methodologies more closely now then before.

I’ve taken classes for all of the above and several others dating back to 1977 and the fundamentals haven’t changed.

Whenever a ce

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LongTimePM and IT manager in Saint Louis, Missouri

41 months ago

Whenever a certification starts having you pay them an annual fee or requires you to take additional classes and pay them additional moneys then that certification is nothing more then a way to make money and is on its way down. Examples Novell, PowerBuilder, Microsoft etc. etc. etc..

Companies are starting to catch on and because of the above they are looking at PMP certification with skepticism.

I have been A CIO, Vice President, and director for 15 years and if I saw that someone said they were PMP certified because of the above and having been through it I would look for the persons with the experience.

If you already are an experienced project manager who are these persons to tell you that now you have to take there test and pay them several thousand dollars to prove that you can do what you’ve been doing for the past X number of years. They just want your money.
If you do spend the money and the time to get the certification there’s no guarantee that you will get a job.

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Aj in Saint Albert, Alberta

39 months ago

I m totally lost in my career. A Bs in industrial engineering and a Ms in proj mgt. 8 yrs experiemce in construction as scheduler and PM and recenty got PMP. I dont have a deep kniwledge in any area but a perfect view about many sectors and industries. I dont know where i belong.

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Sam in Saratoga Springs, New York

38 months ago

Guys, please join Project Management community www.facebook.com/TheProjectManagement

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Sam in Saratoga Springs, New York

38 months ago

Aj in Saint Albert, Alberta said: I m totally lost in my career. A Bs in industrial engineering and a Ms in proj mgt. 8 yrs experiemce in construction as scheduler and PM and recenty got PMP. I dont have a deep kniwledge in any area but a perfect view about many sectors and industries. I dont know where i belong.

Aj, Every experience counts and knowledge never goes waste.
PLOT ALL YOUR OPTIONS ON PAPER, ANALYSE AND DECIDE!

Please join the free project management community/resource at
www.facebook.com/TheProjectManagement

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JReb in Denver, Colorado

27 months ago

Not sure what all the fuss is about - in my experience, a PMP certification is about the most worthless credential ever. The PMs think they're the equivalent of a PhD in just about everything, nobody else attaches much value at all.

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