Current trends in Project Management Certification and PMP®

The Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certificate from the Project Management Institute – the USA enjoys continued popularity. It is not the most widely used project management certificate in the world (the number one PRINCE2® Foundation), but it is the most prestigious.

Let’s see what the latest trends in PMP® and project management certification are.

Trend # 1: PMP® is a commodity

As my TenStep colleague Julio Fuster says, today “PMP is a commodity and everyone’s PMP” – “PMP is a commodity and everyone is a PMP”. I remember a time when PMP® was thought to be a certificate for a small number of very experienced and successful project managers and certified in Bulgaria counted on one finger. Today, in many developed markets, PMP® is a mass certification. There you would rather excel if you did not have such a certificate than if you had one. Find out what is PMP Project Management Certificate of the PMI.

PMP® certification is publicly available and is no longer considered as heroic an effort as it used to be. Possession of this certificate becomes normal, a necessary minimum condition, a fashion item such as a smartphone or a garment.

Trend # 2: Younger people with less experience

This trend is directly related to the former. Previously, it was thought that one had to gain solid experience as a project manager to undertake a journey called PMP® certification. The certificate was a way to validate a long career in project management.

Today, more and more young people with several years of experience are being certified. They do this early in their careers to support their early career development. And that’s a good approach.

The Project Management Institute itself promotes early certification with the 3-year experience requirement. You do not have to have experience as a project manager! You must have experience in project management and management. The Institute defines the roles in which you can gain such experience:

  • Project Contributor
  • Supervisor
  • Manager
  • Project Leader
  • Project Manager
  • Educator
  • Consultant
  • Administrator
  • Other (!)

As you can see, the “hardest” role – that of a Project Manager – is just one of the options. You can prove that you have the necessary experience with only some / some of the other roles, including the role “Other” :)). The door is wide open.

Trend # 3: More women in project management professionals

This is probably the most positive trend of all! In the traditionally predominantly male world of project management, we notice that it narrows the gender gap in terms of PMP® certification. We derive this trend for the entire world as we have the relevant data (the majority of people certified by PMP® Certification in having passed our PMP® Exam Preparation course).

The data are indicative:

  • Our first PMP® Exam Preparation course in 2007: 36% women and 64% men
  • Total for our PMP® courses for 2007-2012: 39% women and 61% men
  • Total of all our PMP® courses so far: 41% women and 59% men
  • Total for our PMP® courses for 2013-2017: 43% women and 57% men

Trend # 4: Project Management and Program Management Fast Track

Traditionally, preparing for the PMP® certification exam has been a serious undertaking. For starters, it is recommended that applicants read the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) at least three times. This is a great hero in itself, as the PMBOK® Guide is one of the driest fabrics you could ever read. With the steadily increasing volume of management (the sixth edition has 589 pages, and the seventh is likely to exceed 600 pages!), This prospect is becoming increasingly unattractive.

“… it has a definite tendency to put me to sleep”,

one reader writes for the PMBOK® Guide, and this opinion is not uncommon.

Extending the PMP® program management and director certification leads to accelerated exam preparation methods. And here is the new trend – today it is not considered absolutely necessary to read the PMBOK® Guide in order to prepare for the exam (it is still better to read it). Instead, it relies on effective intensive training with good and very detailed teaching materials. These materials should include, among other things, a full detailed summary of the PMBOK® Guide. It also relies on many exercises with sample test questions and so-called. Cheat sheets – summaries of individual topics for quick memorization. (This is, for example, our approach to PMP® Exam Preparation training, which we conduct periodically.) Product Management training and certification are also growing rapidly.

The tendency is to prepare for the exam with more effective, more focused and less effort, in a shorter time.

Trend # 5: My professional development is in my hands

We notice that many PMP® Exam Preparation training has recently involved many people who self-fund the certification or pay another family member. In some of the courses, these people are prevalent. This is an interesting and, in my opinion, a very positive trend. I do not have statistics on a global scale, but from my conversations with my TenStep colleagues from other countries, I understand that this is happening to them as well. we are talking about a global trend.

For these people, it is not an option for the employer to cover the costs. The main reasons, in my opinion, are that:

They are in the process of changing their job/position or looking for a new job, so they seek to improve their skills and market value on their own.
The employer does not fund such certification for one reason or another
The employer’s reimbursement of these costs is linked to additional (binding) conditions, which makes it undesirable
This trend shows increased market recognition of the PMP® certificate by demand (employers) and supply (certified people). On the one hand, many people see PMP® certification as a profitable personal investment. On the other hand, many employers expect that the people they hire have already made this investment and that they do not have to make it, even though they consider it good.


These are the five current trends in PMP® certification. If we need to summarize them in one sentence, the general trend is as follows :))

More and more young people, especially women with little professional experience, are looking for an effective way to get certified in project management and often pay for it themselves (or pay another family member) in order to get the goods they want quickly – PMP ® certificate.

Now you may be interested in understanding what are the most common reasons for failing in project management practices. This is a nice article that focuses on the most popular mistakes of project managers. You will understand about the bad communication that most project managers experience. Scope management is another important topic that you really need to understand well.

The protection of the project scope may be your most important activity as a new project manager in your organization.

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