What are the hidden advantages of PMP over MBA?

What are the Hidden Advantages of PMP over MBA?


Last updated March 10, 2017


Before getting into the differences between the PMP and MBA, ask yourself this question.  

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What about 10 years?

A professional degree like an MBA or PMP is supposed to help you get ahead in your career. Therefore, it should fulfill these three requirements.

  • It should make you more suitable for the job market.
  • It should help you earn more.
  • It should have long term as well as short term benefits.

Any course you choose should be evaluated according to these parameters. At the end of the day, the answer will depend on your personal career choice. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you take a decision.

There are too many MBAs out there

There was a time when an MBA was not a very common thing. It was essentially a two year post graduation course which not many could opt for. Also, there weren't many institutes or universities that offered an MBA program.

But as the demand for MBA rose, many institutes started offering shorter executive MBA programs. This made it much easier for a working professional to get an MBA degree. And everyone who could afford a degree, got one.

Added to this is the fact that there are more MBA courses out there than ever before. Every institute (some not really very reputable) have jumped into the MBA bandwagon. There are MBA degrees being handed out a-plenty wherever you look.

The final nail in the coffin has been the glut of online MBA certifications. It has now become possible to get an MBA degree from the comfort of your home (and rightly so).

But is the industry ready for so many MBA professionals? Apparently not. More and more professionals are realizing that even after spending thousands of dollars to get an MBA, their career remains just as stagnant. 

On the other hand, the PMP works based on the need of the industry. You get trained in the vertical of your choice to meet a specific requirement of the industry. In fact, it helps you build on the skills that you have already acquired while working for the industry.

Another thing – the PMP is relatively new. There are not a lot of PMPs out there. 

So, there is a smaller chance of the demand for PMPs reducing. 

Preparing for PMP Certification? Take this test to know where you stand!

MBA is generalized

The MBA programs are designed to create managers. 

An MBA is a pretty generalized degree and is seldom focused on a particular industry or functional area, which is its greatest strength. Ideally, an MBA should be able to find employment in any industry, in any vertical.

However, corporates, especially the technology based companies, have realized that they need more than just managers. They need managers who understand and work with technology. They prefer technocrats to just bureaucrats.

The answer to their need is the PMP certification. This certification combines technical knowledge with managerial skills. It also shows promise of a skilled candidate. 

If you have a PMP certificate, this is what it essentially tells a prospective employer – 'here’s a guy who knows his stuff. The added advantage - his leadership skills'. 

No wonder many companies around the world prefer PMPs. They find that PMPs can quickly assimilate into their functional areas and start contributing faster.

A PMP also has specialized knowledge that an MBA usually lacks. And this has higher value in the job market.

The MBA is Expensive

How much does an MBA cost?

You know the figure.

Probably more than you can afford.

On the other hand a PMP certification is relatively inexpensive. Almost every working professional can afford it.

  • A good quality MBA program can cost around $100,000. The average cost of a PMP on the other hand is $2,000.
  • The MBA takes in more man hours than a PMP (and time is also money).
  • The average annual salary of an MBA in the US is around $100,000.
  • How much does the average PMP certified project manager make, you ask? Well, around $100.000.
  • So after finishing their degrees the PMP is making the same amount of money as an MBA at 1/50th the cost!

Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

The State of the Economy

The last decade has been a roller coaster - more of riding down than up. And companies had to evolve to survive.

Most corporate houses have emerged as leaner meaner organizations. Those companies who have failed to make the change, have disappeared.

As a result employers are on the look out for professionals who fit their company’s profile - people with hard earned expertise, who can demonstrate clear leadership in their chosen fields.

No wonder, most companies today seek PMPs. 

To conclude: MBA, PMP or Both?

Now that you know the advantages of the PMP over an MBA, the choice is yours.

However, there are some positives to an MBA that a PMP certification cannot match. For instance in an MBA program you will learn business practices and theories that are not covered in a PMP program. In addition, if you are lucky enough to be doing your MBA from a prestigious school, you will get access to better networking opportunities. 

On the other hand PMP prepares you for what is now one of the fastest growing professions in the world today. It requires a professional to have solid work experience, which the certification then builds upon. As a result, a PMP Certification makes you job ready.

In the ideal world, you should aim for both the degrees. And this is the choice that many are making. MBA’s are getting their PMP Certification and vice versa. This is sure to make you a more rounded professional.

While you are making your decision, take a peek at a sample video that takes you through the basics of the PMP certification. Hope you find it beneficial.

However in a head to head comparison, the PMP wins. At least, in today’s job market.

[Click here to download this ebook to crack PMP in 45 Days]

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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