5 Advantages of PMP over MBA

5 Advantages of PMP over MBA
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Eshna Verma

Last updated September 19, 2017


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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 in 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 type of education you consider 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.

1. There are a lot of MBAs out there

There was a time when an MBA was not very common; it was essentially a two-year, graduate degree that not many people achieved—and, there weren’t many institutes or universities that offered an MBA program.

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

Today, there are more MBA courses out there than ever before. Every institute (with varying reputations) have jumped into the MBA bandwagon. Add to this online education options, and it seems there are MBAs everywhere. 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 stagnant.

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

Another thing to consider is that the PMP is relatively new—there aren’t as many PMPs in the job market as there are MBAs.

2. MBA is generalized

MBA programs are designed to create managers. An MBA can be fairly generalized, 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, organizations—especially technology 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 this need is the PMP certification, which combines technical knowledge with managerial skills. Individuals with PMP certifications are immediately identifiable to employers as someone with real skills. PMP certification training provides specialized knowledge that an MBA usually lacks—and this has a higher value in the job market.

3. MBAs are Expensive

How much does an MBA cost? Probably more than you can afford. A good quality MBA program can cost around $100,000.

But a PMP certification is relatively inexpensive; almost every working professional can afford it. The average cost of a PMP, on the other hand, is $2,000.

Some other PMP versus MBA considerations:

  • The MBA takes more hours than a PMP to attain (time is money!).
  • The average annual salary of an MBA in the US is around $100,000.
  • The average annual salary of a PMP certified project manager is also about $100.000.

After finishing their training, the PMP is making the same amount of money as an MBA at 1/50th the cost! Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

4. The State of the Economy

The last decade has been a roller coaster, and companies have been forced to evolve to survive. Most organizations have emerged as leaner, meaner organizations while companies who have failed to make the change, have disappeared.

As a result, employers are on the lookout for professionals who fit their company’s profile—people with hard-earned expertise, who can demonstrate clear leadership in their chosen fields. It’s no wonder most companies today seek PMP certified project managers.

5. MBA, PMP, or Both?

Now that you understand 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, MBA programs teach business practices and theories that are not covered in a PMP program. In addition, if you are able to attain an MBA from a prestigious school, you will get access to better networking opportunities.

On the other hand, getting PMP certified 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 degrees, and this is the choice many professionals are making: MBAs are getting their PMP certification and vice versa. Having both is sure to make you a better-rounded professional.

If you’re considering PMP certification training, explore Simplilearn’s self-paced online classroom training courses to help you prepare for your PMP certification exam. Our courses are led by certified faculty with more than 10 years of experience—and, they are designed to help you pass the exam on the first try.

PMP is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

About the Author

Eshna writes on PMP, PRINCE2, ITIL, ITSM, & Ethical Hacking. She has done her 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 travelling and photography.


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