Who should get a PMP credentialWho should get a PMP credential?

So, you’re impressed by the new analysts at work, and you noticed they have “PMP” in their signature line. But what does that mean, and do you need to get it too, whatever it is?

First off, PMP stands for Project Management Professional. Someone who has earned their PMP certification has met specific education and experience requirements and has also passed an exam with the Project Management Institute or PMI.

Being PMP certified means you have demonstrated a high level of skill in project management and have shown that you understand how to lead teams, successfully manage a project, and connect the dots between project and organizational strategy. Wow. No wonder you’re so impressed by the new person!

How do you earn the PMP certification?

So, are you wondering why they did all that work to get the certification? Well, for starters, as you’ve already noticed, it’s an impressive skill set and a remarkable certificate to hold. PMP certification shows you both have project management skills and experience and have learned and demonstrated project management knowledge for people who are managing projects.

Widely accepted worldwide, project managers and employers regard Project Management Institute’s certifications very highly. Because of the credibility of this certification, according to PMI, salaries for project professionals in North America are 25% higher than people who don’t have certification. Having PMP certification also makes it easier for employers: If they want a project manager and hire PMP certified, they know they’re getting someone with a specific background, skill set, and knowledge.

Global Recognition

Also, this is a globally recognized certification – PMI is active in more than 200 countries around the world. Pretty cool, right? But not for everyone. The PMP certification recognizes project managers who already have project management education and practical experience leading projects. Then they take an exam to demonstrate advanced project management knowledge.

Eligibility Requirements

Specifically, to be eligible to apply for the PMP exam, you need either:

  • a four-year degree, 36 months leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education, or
  • a high school diploma or equivalent, 60 months leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education or CAPM Certification.

Then you enter all of the details about your experience into the application, study, and take the exam.

PMP Exam

The exam is just under four hours long and tests a broad range of knowledge areas. It includes a variety of types of questions and is generally considered a challenging exam. If you’re seriously thinking about going down this path, we strongly recommended that you consider a PMP prep course – like ours, for instance – which can help make sure that you use your prep time wisely and that you are successful the first time you try it.

But don’t just jump into the PMP certification process without being sure it’s right for you. There are several options. We recommend you think about your goals and make sure you choose the right path for you – impressive co-workers aside!

Other PMI Certifications

Project management is a broad field, and the PMI has a range of certification options available to match both levels of experience and different goals people may have. PMP is probably the best-known project management certification, but others are equally impressive and better suited to you, depending on your situation.

Here is a quick snapshot of options for certification from PMI.

  • PMI Project Management Ready: This is the newest certification. It introduces high school and post-secondary students to the concepts and skillsets of project management.
  • CAPM: The Certified Associate in Project Management, or CAPM, demonstrates an understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terms, and processes of project management. It’s also relevant to someone who is getting started with project management or early in their career.
  • PMP: This is the “gold standard” of project management certification, validates someone’s competence as a project manager, leading and directing projects and teams. We’ve already said a lot about this one!
  • PMI-PBA: This certification, Professional in Business Analysis, highlights expertise in business analysis. It shows your ability to work well with stakeholders to define their business requirements, shape the output of projects, and drive successful business outcomes.
  • PgMP: The Program Management Professional certification recognizes next-level project managers who manage multiple complex projects to achieve strategic and organizational results.
  • PfMP: PMI’s Portfolio Management Professional certification reflects the advanced experience and skill of portfolio managers, who demonstrate their ability to coordinate managing one or more portfolios to achieve organizational objectives.
  • PMI-RMP: The PMI Risk Management Professional certification shows knowledge and expertise in assessing and identifying project risks along with the ability to develop plans to mitigate threats and capitalize on opportunities.
  • PMI-SP: PMI’s Scheduling Professional certification recognizes demonstrated knowledge and advanced experience in developing and maintaining project schedules. For anyone who’s ever worked on a tight timeline, managing a schedule well is no small thing!

Agile Certifications

And then there are also Agile certifications. PMI has five certifications specifically tailored to recognize knowledge and expertise in Agile project management: Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM) Certification, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Certification, Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM) Certification, Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) Certification, and Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC) Certification. If you know what Agile is all about and want to read more, check out the PMI page about these certifications.

So, hopefully, you’re not confused by all of these choices. Our point was to show you there are options for everyone and that there isn’t one certification that is right for all people. Probably the most common – and maybe the best known – are CAPM and PMP. If you’re thinking about one of these, check out the post or video where we compare and contrast the two, which might help you navigate that decision.

Key Points To Consider

Here are a few key points to think about. If you are just getting started and don’t have much or any experience leading projects, think about PMI Project Management Ready or CAPM. These certifications will give you a foundation of project management knowledge. You might do the accreditation, find the topic fascinating, and discover a new life-long passion for leading projects.

From there, perhaps one day, you’ll even take the plunge and tackle PMP certification. On the other hand, you might find it not so exciting and not a direction you’d like your career to take. Even then, it’s hard to imagine anyone who could altogether avoid projects. Having a good understanding of how projects work and the basics will be helpful in anyone’s career or life. As well, this might be a stepping stone towards one day going for your PMP certification.

CAPM certification counts towards PMP, and both of these certification options lay the groundwork for you to start managing projects. Remember, you need to accumulate quite a bit of experience before you’re even eligible to apply for PMP certification.

Experienced Project Managers

If you are already an experienced project manager, but you don’t have any official accreditation and seek that next step in your career and some recognition and validation for the expertise you have developed, maybe PMP certification is proper for you. It’s not an easy path, but for someone who’s got the experience and who’s going to reap the benefits, it’s definitely worth the effort. Check our post or video about How to Prepare for the PMP Exam to learn more about this.

If you work on projects all of the time and have some specialized skills you’ve developed or that people always seem to look to you for, maybe one of the other certifications is right for you. Perhaps you’re a pro at risk management or scheduling? Those are both essential things. If you’re good at it and enjoy it, why not get official recognition for it. Certification lends some extra credibility to something you love doing and might also help you further develop your career in that direction.

And if you’re at the upper end of project management, adeptly juggling many projects and leading strategy for your company, well, then perhaps the portfolio or program management certifications are proper for you.

Hopefully, this has helped you decode the wonderful world of PMI certification options – and now you also know a little more about your new co-worker’s credentials. And maybe, you’re thinking about your next step in professional development. Certification can be a great way to take charge of your career and the direction it’s going and can also open doors. Worth considering!

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.6 out of 5.0 stars based on 60 review(s).


Passed on the first try!

- Tanya


Good courses, lots of text and reading. Not as many videos or interactive pieces that I was expecting. And some misspelled words.

- Bevin


It was great!

- Heide


The Course documents should remain open for longer than 6 months, given that PMI gives you 365 days to prepare for exam. Also, the option to extend visibility for the course documents, costs almost a 5th of the course, but opens up the docs for just 30 more days. Propose to extend this to 90 days at the very least.

- Vasily


I'm very satisfied with the Brain Sensei PMP Exam Preparation Course. All 8 Modules are very well structured and detailed. I believe that practice exams included in the course helped me a lot with the preparation for my PMP Exam. I appreciate Brain Sensei for their amazing course and for the awesome service. They responded to all my requests immediately. Thanks. Highly recommended.

- Helen Borimsky


The format of the prep-course is great overall and a great alternative to reading the PMBOK. Barring a few minor glitches here and there, the flow of information ensures that concepts are well understood not only from the point of examination but to the point of application in day to day professional activities. Explanations provided in the answers of prep exams (apart from the 1st one) are also a key to understanding the thought process to be applied. With the focus being on Agile approaches from 2021, the information in the course seemed adequate to cover the concepts. All the Best to all aspirants.

- Debraj


رقص ترانه وشادب5

- محسن گلستانی


Studied BrainSensei for 11 days and passed. Succinct and highly informational chapters. The 4 practice exams are marginally more difficult then the PMP. Borderline impossible to fail the PMP if you pass this course.

- Sarmad(Sam)


Great course! They break down all concepts in a very clear and interactive way, that doesn't put you to sleep. Would recommend to anyone who is looking to pass the PMP exam with flying colors.

- Lusine Nazaryan


شكرا على البرنامج الجميل

- اشحنولي



- اريد شدات بدون رصيد


Your course, quizzes at the end of most modules and practice exams truly challenged me. I definitely derived the value and knowledge I was looking for in preparation for taking the PMP Certification Test. In particular, I appreciated the explanations that popped-up in the tests after an answer was submitted - very educational and helpful to my learning/understanding the material and concepts better. Some areas that could be improved (and some of this is nit-picking) include: * Some of the grammar and overall sentence structures, particularly in the latest set of practice exams, needs to be cleaned-up. Some were missing 'of', 'for, or had an extra 'an' in the narrative - got confusing at times. * In the practice exams, I'd like to see shorter sentences rather than the flurry of 'and' and 'or' conjunctions that made reading the sentences go on forever (had to read them multiple times to truly understand their meaning). That said, I enjoyed the overall online course taking experience and thank you for accommodating my requested time extensions. Best regards, Scott Conn

- Scott Conn


Liked it. Need access for longer though.

- Jerome


What I like best about Brain Sensei is the interactive nature of the course. I think this material would be numbing if delivered as simple lectures with slides. This method is an improvement on that. On the other hand, an in-person course, while more expensive, would likely be even more useful if you have the funds and the time. I haven't taken the PMP exam yet, so I can't comment on how useful the practice tests are.

- James



- Yennyfer


The Brain Sensei PMP program is a wonderful program that condenses the PMBOK into digestible and retainable bites leveraging the power of story telling. If you're looking for a program that will get you your credit hours but also help establish a foundation of PMI knowledge this is the program for you!

- Kenny Dalen


Passed first attempt

- Lee


Truly the best course in town if you wish to pass the PMP exam on the first try. I love the idea of playing the role of the samurai and practice your project management skill in her shoes. And not to forget, the generous amount of practice exam gave me just the right dose of confidence before taking the real one. Highly recommended

- Minh Vo


The course was great, though I found a lot of parts hard to comprehend. I feel a lot more prepared and better skilled to manage projects in my career. Thanks, Brain Sensei.

- Jill Finkelstein


The BrainSensei PMP preparation course provided me with all the material required to be ready for the exam. It is well structured, explains the concepts clearly, and most importantly, provides ample training questions through the four mock exams and assessment questions at the end of each module. I passed the exam with Above Target in all sections on the first attempt.

- Gael Riethmuller


Overall I really liked this learning course. It was very helpful and allowed me to be well prepared for the exam. The 2nd and 3rd practice exam are great to give you real example questions and help prepare you for what to expect. BrainSensei's customer service was the best. I had to delay taking my test due to COVID and they extended my membership for free. They went above and beyond my expectation which was great. Only changes I would recommend is to add 1 or 2 more practice exams like the 2nd and 3rd exam and get rid of the agile practice exam. This is not a real focus of the test and therefore is not really applicable in my opinion.

- Ronnie


BrainSensei developed a great learning method to prepare for the PMP certification exam. Their customer service is always very professional, fast, spot on and dedicated to your success. I recommend them.

- G. Buchs


I've sent several emails to BrainSensei (one of them not so nice, but the rest were okay) and the team has always been so polite in answering the questions. I'm a very straight-forward person and don't like the PMI-ism type questions because they seem like 'gotchas' or traps, and this is not how I manage my team. I took the Master of Project course (which was garbage) then failed the PMP exam. Throughout the PMP exam I felt so out of touch. Even with the first practice exam on BrainSensei I felt out of place, but I am not getting the hang of things. I hope to pass the exam on the second attempt! The brain sensei experience has been *miles* ahead of the Master of Project garbage. Brain Sensei should be proud of both their product and of their team! I love getting replies to my concerns so quickly. Nice work :) !!!

- Joseph Mather


This course was great. it laid a great foundation for the PMP exam.

- Marc Vazquez


very useful

- Dan


I was very pleased with the preparation provided for the PMP certification. I went through the materials twice and passed the exam on the first try. A couple of the questions need to be polished up, but very good training overall.

- Glen


Very easy to work with and quality product.

- Joan


The storyline provides excellent examples that provide context for understanding the core concepts and processes

- Ann


Good self paced learning tool

- Muneer


Outstanding job

- Jerome


This is by far the best way to prepare yourself for the PMP exam. The material is presented in a unique and engaging way that makes learning it easy and also fun! The company behind this course is also very professional and responsive. Keep up the great work!

- Amir Afifi


I have studied with other programs and I didn’t feel prepared. After a short time with Brain Sensei, I had the confidence to succeed on exam day, which I did on the first try after studying with Brain Sensei. It was worth every penny.

- Andrew Grady


Great program

- Ashley


Course is made for people who are already grounded in the material, not for someone that needs all the basics. Was budget friendly and OK content.

- Andrew


Brain Sensei is great tool to have in the study arsenal while preparing for the PMP exam.

- Derek


I really enjoyed the modules and content offered by Brain Sensei! I passed the PMP Exam on the first try and would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for a great PMP Exam Prep.

- Delfin Gallegos


Overall layout is good, but there are some quality issues. Progress isn't always saved across all devices and progress gets lost. Some small spelling mistakes. I loved the practical storyline...

- Riaan


Passed my PMP on first attempt using Brain Sensei Prep course.

- Mohammad Ali


Quick and helpful response. Thanks!!

- Laura


Absolutely Fantastic learning software. Highly recommend it! Very well thought out and creative. Really enjoyed my study time. Excellent mock tests and mock exams. So so helpful. Thank you Brain Sensei Team for being part of my PMP journey!

- Tracy


Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

- Amir


The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

- Cameron


Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin


I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra


At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

- Charlene LU


Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams


SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne


The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn


This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit


Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy


Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol


A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal


Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh


One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire


Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta


I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie


Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia


It was good!

- Sergei


Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris