Top 10 Reasons NOT to do PMP

Why not to do PMP Certification ?

Today we will talk about 10 drawbacks of PMP.

We will talk about why someone should not go for PMP.

Needless to say that PMP certification is a globally recognized and highly ranked credential for the Project Management professionals in various industries with the number of PMPs around a million. 

PMP is acclaimed by global leaders in project management, designed and developed by PMI, making it the most sought-after project management certification.

Please understand that this is the alternative view, and is based on my experience of being PMP certified for more than a decade.

No doubt that PMP is the gold standard of Project Management and this article gives you a different perspective. 

We know that there are various PMP fanboys and fangirls out there, but please be patient and read the article till the end to understand the other side of it.

This video is also helpful for anyone who is planning to appear for the PMP exam.

Let’s start.

Preparation Time

First con is the amount of effort which you need to invest in preparation for the exam.

PMP exam is based on PMBOK and requires a lot of mugging up,

your real-world experience can help a bit but still, you need to memorize a lot of information to pass the MCQ which will require a good amount of time to prepare. 

For clearing PMP one may spend several weeks to several months in the preparation.

Many people sacrifice family time and some of them do take the preparation to work as well, impacting both personal and professional life. 

So, If you can’t commit to the hard work and spending the time for preparation it’s better to avoid it. 



PMP exam is costly and you need to spend a good amount of money on the certification exam, training, books, and other materials. Let’s look at the cost in detail. 

First is the certification exam cost.

Taking the PMP exam by joining PMI membership is cheaper by 11 $ and no wonder everyone does that but it costs 544 $ which includes PMP® Certification Exam fee of 405 $ with PMI® Membership of 139 $ for a year.

Next is the training cost which usually varies depending on the location from which you are.

Attending the training will cut your pocket between 200$ to 3500$ depending on the location and the type of training which you choose.

Next is the book’s cost and the exam simulation cost which will cost you somewhere around a hundred to 200 dollars depending on the type of content which you choose.

So the total cost which you spend for the PMP exam preparation and certification comes in between $1,000 to 4000 dollars.

There are some other costs which people overlook.

PMP exam rescheduling fee is 70$, So be sure on the date when you want to take the exam Else you will end up spending 70 additional dollars.

PMI charges a re-examination fee for retakes which is $275 So you need to be well prepared else be ready to shell out more money 

Many people do take several days off from their work to prepare for the exam, so leaves are an indirect cost that you can add up to the overall cost.

If your company financially supports this type of professional development and is paying the bill, as well as giving you time to study and take the exam, my advice is to highly consider it.

But if you are sponsoring yourself, you need to be prepared to spend such a hefty amount for a certification.


PMP credential Maintenance

Some of the people who are preparing for the exam might be thinking that after doing such kind of hard work and spending a bomb on a certification you are done and this was a one-time activity and you hold the certification forever but the reality is far away.

Every 3 years from the date when you clear the exam you need to renew your certification. 

Renewing the certificate cost’s between $60 to 150 dollars depending on the PMI membership. 

You also need to accumulate PDU’s,  for beginners consider 1 PDU is equal to 1 hour.

So, Every 3 years 60 PDU’s are required to be accumulated and you can gain PDU’s by self-learning, attending training from PMI partner institutes, and some other ways as well. 

So, you need to spend money and effort to maintain your credentials which is a recurring exercise.

Application and approval process

The prerequisites for taking the exam are pretty hefty, and won’t be able to be met by those new in their careers.

Filling out the application is intense and can take 10-15 hours in and of itself. You’ll need to scour your work history and memory bank to provide the level of detail needed for the application.

Don’t cut corners here as applications are randomly audited.

The application process is quite tedious and requires significant effort in case if your application is randomly selected for audit. 

If you are selected for audit it may take several weeks to even months in some cases, and you may lose the preparation pace.

So if this bothers you a lot, don’t go for PMP.

Doesn’t guarantee a job

If you think once you will clear the PMP exam, Organisations will stand in a queue to hire you, that’s not going to happen. 

So, Passing doesn’t guarantee a job and Not many companies will give a higher weightage to PMP vs others.

So if you are Someone who thinks that PMP will supremely empower you to get a job that’s not going to happen.

No guarantee of Salary hikes or Promotion

If you think that clearing PMP will make you eligible to get a hike or promotion, there is no certainty to it.

While few organizations may consider it but others don’t see it as a direct benefit towards the company and is considered as personal development only.


Some of the PMP professionals have encountered strange interviews where the panel has asked basic definition level PMBOK based questions.

How many of you remember specifics which you have learnt at the time of PMP preparation. 

SO you need to revise PMBOK if you are anticipating any interviewer may go in PMBOK details.

Doesn’t guarantee that anyone will be able to play the Project Manager role

Passing doesn’t guarantee that you are the great project manager out there and doesn’t really display that you have real knowledge.

PMP can’t transform a bad project manager to a good one or a good project manager to a better project manager.

Holding a certificate should not obscure the fact that real-life experience is by far more valuable than any certificate and cannot be replaced by it.

A true project management professional is a person with a great project management experience and track record of successfully implemented projects – not a person with a certificate.

Industry relevance


What kind of industry do you currently work in and in the future where do you want to work? 

If you’re working at new-age startups and tech organizations, don’t bother as the methodology that the PMP teaches isn’t relevant in these types of organizations,and the PMP certification would likely not benefit you in this environment. 

For newer and smaller tech companies, I would recommend an Agile related certification instead of PMP, as this methodology is more prevalent in tech and software development. 

Also, It does not work well in situations

  • With a high level of uncertainty or
  • Where an emphasis on creativity and innovation may be more important than an emphasis on planning and control to achieve predictability


And the 10th drawback is that PMP is Not the only standard and Framework

PMP will teach you a Bookish standard and many other frameworks are available. Europe and UK prefer PRINCE 2 over PMP whereas various countries don’t have a preference.

PMP or any other certification will take a back seat in front of real-world experience for any organization. If you are from other countries that prefer prince2 or CompTIA over PMP then better avoid PMP.

In today’s world, A project manager needs to be capable of using a broader range of methodologies to fit the nature of the project rather than Force-fitting all projects to a traditional plan-driven approach.  

So Is PMP Still a Good Foundation? Some elements of PMBOK and PMP are definitely useful as a foundation for any kind of project management.

However, the depth of study and knowledge required for PMP certification tends to “brainwash” people into thinking that PMP/PMBOK is the only way to do project management and that is not the case.

Someone who only wants a foundation of knowledge in traditional plan-driven project management principles probably doesn’t need that depth of knowledge.

The full PMP certification would still be appropriate for any project managers who plan to specialize in traditional plan-driven project management.

However, that depth of knowledge in plan-driven project management should not be needed for someone who wants to develop an integrated Agile Project Management approach.


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