Project Management Institute (PMI)

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In 1969, Professional Management Institute was established as a membership association for those working in project, program, and portfolio management. Today, PMI helps nearly 3 million people across the globe who work in these industries have the education and resources to be successful in their field. PMI gives workers the ability to obtain certifications and to receive additional education and training related to their jobs or desired jobs. 

The Good

  • Program offerings
  • Price
  • Duration
  • Career support

The organization provides the following additional benefits for project managers:

  • Program offerings. PMI recognizes the importance for project managers to learn and grow in their career. The certifications and credentialing programs PMI offers can lead to higher salaries and career advancement. PMI offers eight certifications, each focusing on specific areas of project management. More than 500,000 people in 180 countries have a PMI certification. Additionally, PMI holds regular training and educational events for professionals. Project management professionals have access to webinars, publications, seminars and other events and resources through PMI.
  • Price. PMI membership is fairly priced, especially considering what one gets from being a member. Membership costs $129 and is open to anyone. Initial application costs an additional $10; renewal is also $129. Students currently enrolled in an accredited institution may become a PMI member for just $32; renewal is also $32. Retired persons who in the past have been PMI members may renew for $65.
  • Duration. The certifications consist of an exam for which test-takers can spend as much time as they like in preparation. Also, the other resources, such as seminars, webinars, conference, etc., vary in length from one hour to a couple of days. Options abound for the project manager.
  • Career Support. PMI's chief purpose is to help people advance and succeed in their careers. PMI offers a slew of seminars, webinars, courses and events expressly designed to arm project managers with knowledge to move forward in their careers and to achieve their professional goals. PMI's website also has a section where members can post their resume and showcase their skills to prospective employers. Members also feel connected, as they can belong to local chapters as well as an online global community. In these forums, members can exchange ideas, network and learn from and teach one another.

The Bad

  • Additional costs
  • No guarantees
  • Certifications only

While noted that membership costs are affordable and certainly a highlight of the organization, the individual certification courses (which are additional costs to membership) can be high. For example, a Project Management Professional certification is $405, and this does not include preparation materials and practice tests.

Those who take certification courses should be aware that certification does not guarantee higher salary and promotion. Certainly, certification and further education in the field enhances one's chance of advancement, but the organization is a bit misleading in its assertions that such things are bound to happen for those who certify.

PMI only provides certification, not any other type of higher education including associate's or bachelor's degrees.

The Bottom Line

Project management is a growing field and one that is critically important in a variety of industries. PMI is the foremost organization to provide continuing training, education and certification in project management. Anyone working in a project management job and looking for higher certification would be wise to check out PMI.

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Paulette Duong

February 14th, 2018 Streamwood, IL DETAILS

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It costs $70 to cancel the exam plus $100 processing fee. Non-refundable for membership. I canceled the exam 30 days before the exam and it shows in their system as 2 days before the exam and refused the refund. Customer service is horrible. What a scam.

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4

Shelly

January 4th, 2018 Missoula, MT DETAILS

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PMI has a monopoly on the Project Management certifications and such. Initial cost is fair, but then the costs get very high and very many. The biggest complaint I have is contacting and getting help with issues regarding my certification maintenance. I have paid and taken all the required classes to renew my certification yet PMI has not awarded the points, which will eventually make my certification lapse even though I have fulfilled the requirements. This is a very expensive and time consuming certification needed for my field and PMI is the worst. Very difficult to communicate with, no answer of phone calls, customer chat is always down. very disappointed.

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8

Allen Bronson

December 18th, 2017 Idaho Falls, ID DETAILS

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They do a good job of encapsulating the project management field. They have good tools to help to get ready and pass the certification test. They also have good tools to help in different aspects of project management after certification

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Steven N Lacks

December 2nd, 2017 Lakeland, FL DETAILS

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First, their certification is worthless, they've let complete frauds through their audits and then blocked valid professionals because the company seems to have little or no experience in actual PM. Second, their authorized classes are worthless. They authorized Grey Campus to do an ACP course that is a guy reading straight through what seemed to be copy pasted Google search results with no punctuation. A steady stream of words, a recitation, not a reading or lecture. When they authorize a program, they are endorsing it. Between those two things, and their pretentions of pretending to be a large organization, I gave up.

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Clifford Williams

November 17th, 2017 Vancouver, WA DETAILS

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It is ironic that PMI teaches PM but when it came to using there system online for taking the CAPM they couldn't perform...they must have contracted out the proctoring online (http://www.pearsonvue.com). The system was painful and never worked. I didn't need the CAPM but I thought it might help in some way. I asked for a refund which was hard since I had spent many many hours studying for the exam. It was an aggravating and disappointing experience.

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