The Professional Project Management Certification and the PDU Market
The Professional Project Management certification (PMP®) is going very well. As a matter of fact, according to Wikipedia figures, there were 393,413 PMP® certified individuals in 2010. With each active PMP® required to maintain and complete 60 PDUs every 3 years, the total amount of PDUs, aggregated from all these individuals is around 23,604,780. That’s right, more than 23 Million PDUs are out there for the grabs.
After researching PDU value packages available online in the market today, I can estimate the average price of each PDU to be around $9,65 . Prices vary widely, ranging from $0.77 to $18.53 for an Interval Confidence of 95.45%. However, for the sake of this discussion, I will stick with the easy to remember average price of $9.6 per PDU.
Individuals holding a PMP® certification are required to earn 60 PDUs every 3 years. Of these 60 PDUs, 45 may be obtained by “cost free” alternatives, such as giving back to the community, volunteering, etc. Therefore, at a minimum, 15 will be obtained through approved education channels. Not all of PMPs will acquire only 15 PDUs from the Education category. As a matter of fact, some may choose to obtain all 60 of them this way. I can say that, in average, PMPs will need to obtain 30 PDUs from approved Education channels.
All right, this is where things start to get interesting. We have the average price per PDU, we have the number of active professionals and we have the estimated demand of PDUs from these professionals. We can easily estimate the size of the market created by the PDU demand, which should be somewhere around 37 Million Dollars annually, with the average Project Manager spending around $96/year.
The median salary of Project Managers in US is around $100,000. At a Discretionary Income estimated to be 10% of salary, the cost of $96 to maintain certification amounts to less than 1% of discretionary income. A very reasonable figure.
The requirements for PDUs have multiple consequences. It creates, as we have seen, a sizable market, attracting suppliers that can deliver classes, podcasts and other types of knowledge transfer programs, thus helping spread PMI’s mission and keep Project Managers updated in their profession. For those Project Managers that want to keep the cost of maintaining certification to a minimum, they too have a way of doing so, by engaging the community, volunteering, writing articles, giving training programs, generating knowledge-based materials, etc.
At the end, it seems to be a win-win situation for all: suppliers get the demand they need to be in business, project managers get the knowledge and the whole system contributes to the objectives and goals set forth by PMI.
Gil Junqueira is an Electrical Engineer with more than 15 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. Past experiences include software and controls engineering as well as mechanical engineering. Recently graduated in Technical Management. PMP® certified. Originally from Brazil, Gil lives in Dallas, Texas, USA. Gil Junqueira can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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