Planning to Embark on a PMP Exam Preparation Course? Educational and Experience Requirements

At some point in your professional life, you might want to secure a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). Your reasons for doing so might include career advancement, employer requirements, or new knowledge. Whatever your reason, you have to assess your educational and experience history even before you think about engaging in a PMP exam preparation course.

Educational Requirements

You can take the PMP examination, and engage in a PMP exam preparation course for that matter, if you possess either a high school diploma or a baccalaureate degree, or their international equivalents. In a sense, being a successful and certified project manager does not only boil down to higher education, but more importantly to higher motivation.

A high school diploma is generally defined as the certificate evidencing that you have completed high school. As you well know, it is the minimum educational requirement for government jobs and higher education. For PMP exam preparation course purposes, the successful completion of the General Education Development (GED) tests is its international equivalent. If you have a GED certification, you are deemed a high school graduate in the United States and in Canada.

A baccalaureate degree (or a bachelor’s degree) pertains to two things: first, it is an undergraduate degree usually designated as either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, with majors in specific areas; second, it is a postgraduate degree like Bachelor of Civil Law.

Indeed, securing a PMP certification is very liberal. Well, at least where educational requirements are concerned. The experience requirements are another, and more stringent, matter.

Experience Requirements

Since there are two types of educational thresholds, there are also two corresponding experience requirements that you have to acquire before you even think about embarking on a PMP exam preparation course.

If you have a high school diploma or its international equivalent, you will need a minimum of five years’ (60 months) experience working as a professional project manager. During this time, you should have worked a minimum of 7,500 hours on leading and directing the projects’ tasks. These hours must be logged up to eight years’ from the time your application for certification is filed.

If you have a bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent, you will only need a minimum of three year’s (36 months) professional project management experience. You will also need lesser hours logged – 4,500 hours only – on leading and directing project tasks.

However, you have to note that for both instances, the working experience should be unique and non-overlapping projects. If you have two projects going on at once in the same six months, you can only add on six months’ experience towards the total.

However, the hours spent directing and leading project tasks work inversely to the months logged. If you have multiple projects going on at the same time, you can recognize the number of hours worked for each project and add them to the total number of hours required.

Contact Hours of Formal Education

There is also an additional requirement for 35 contact hours of formal education, which you can secure from various sources. The easiest way is through a PMI Registered Education Provider through its PMP exam preparation course, but you can also avail of employer sponsored programs and other sources to get your PDUs.

Indeed, these requirements are the professions’ assurance that not every Tom, Dick and Harry can cash in on a PMP exam preparation course, take the PMP examination, and subsequently besmirch the profession’s reputation through ineptitude.

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