If you’re considering enrolling in an online PMP training course, it is probably only one part of a broader effort at long-term career planning. In fact, you should probably reconsider your efforts if you don’t have this context for your pursuit of PMP training or any other training program that is relevant to information technology careers.
Certainly, PMP training and certification will go a long way toward establishing your qualification for a career in that field. But if you want it to have the greatest possible impact, you should do everything in your power to make sure you obtain that certification at the right time, with the right certifications and training programs surrounding it.
There may be a good reason why PMP training is the first item off your lips when you’re asked about potential qualifications that seem relevant to your career goals. But if you plan to ascend to a high level within your field, it’s unlikely that PMP training is the be-all and end-all of your skills acquisition. Over time, you may find yourself pursuing ITIL training, certified business analyst training, or giving yourself an alternative to PMP by pursuing certified scrum product owner training.
Staggering Your Training
If you agree that one or more of these may be relevant alongside your PMP training, you should view them as parts of the whole when considering your overall career plan. That is to say, it may be necessary to stagger different aspects of your information technology training, and when you do so you should try to maximize both the efficiency and the effectiveness of your career development.
Naturally, the first thing you should do is prioritize the different programs you might end up pursuing. But this means ranking them not only according to importance but also according to each certification’s potential to get your foot in the appropriate door. You may be absolutely committed to a career in project management, but you should research attractive firms and the qualifications of your individual competitors before you enroll for PMP training. You might find that ITIL training is more sought after. And while this may not immediately brand you as a project manager, it could help you to obtain an entry-level position in a company where you can then work toward acquiring a project management position.
Another factor you might want to consider is the timeframe for potential updates to the certification you want to pursue. ProjectManager.com indicates that the Project Management Institute conducts an industry wide survey every five to seven years, after which PMP training and certification standards are likely to be updated. The last such update occurred in January of last year, meaning that current PMP training should be fresh for a while. But if you find yourself thinking of enrolling four years from now, you might wish to consider focusing on another area of information technology training, if PMP certification can wait.
The bottom line is that there are many factors that go into determining what types of IT training are most deserving of your attention at any given point in your career. Don’t make a hasty decision based on what seems most attractive at a glance. Instead, recognize every training decision as a link in the chain toward your overall career goals, and make sure that none of those links are neglected for the sake of short-sighted goals.