There is a great discussion on this, and many think about it. Maybe you are. But really, there are numerous difference between earning a PMP or MBA. The discussion tends to focus on which is the better investment.
The consensus seems to be that the MBA is a good long term investment, while the PMP is a short term investment. Here are my thoughts on this, and as you will see, there are many variables that will be different for each person:
- Since an MBA is a long term investment, you need to have a long time horizon. The most value is gained when you earn it relatively early in your career. It is also a factor if you can do it full time, inwhihc case you are probably paying for it yourself, or part time, where your employer might be paying for it in part or in whole.
- Some claim that the MBA value is realized when you reach upper management. I would counter that if you can develop an upper management perspective through your MBA studies, that alone can be worth it. It is that upper management perspective that can help you not only improve your performance on projects, but also earn the respect of upper management and improve your chances of being promoted.
- Earning a PMP will likely make you more effective on projects, but it will also likely provide greater opportunity to work on projects that you might not otherwise experience. Thus, from that perspective, while the PMP is usually thought of as a good short term investment, it can also be a good long term investment that opens doors for long term opportunities.
This discussion is about PMP versus MBA, but it applies also to many other business credentials like those in Business Analysis, Six Sigma, Agile, ITIL, PRINCE2, and the like.
You will find a good discussion at the PMI Career Central Group on LinkedIn.
John Reiling, PMP
Project Management Training Online