Published on Dec 18,2015
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A PMP certification is your ladder to career progression, even if your current work profile does not include project management. The general misconception is that you have to be a project manager or at least be associated with a project in some capacity, in order to compete for a PMP certification. This blog aims to clear this very misconception and will guide you towards successfully approaching the certification even if you are from a non-project background.

Most job roles will end up encompassing one or many of the five project management stages, namely Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling & Closing.

Eligibility criteria based on educational qualification

In order to take the PMP certification exam, you would first need to clear the eligibility criteria.

The eligibility depends on your educational background. If your last educational qualification is a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree, you need to have at least three years of work experience out of which at least 4500 hours should be dedicated to project work. Additionally, you would need 35 contact hours that can be attained through classroom training or through a Registered Education Provider (REP).

If your last educational qualification is a high school diploma or a similar degree, then you need to have at least five years of work experience out of which at least 7500 hours should be dedicated to project work.

Eligibility for PMP, when working in a non-project environment

PMI does not mandate that you beformally associated with a project in order to earn the project experience of 4500 and 7500 hours. It would suffice if  you have dealt with different aspects of managing a project, eben in a non-project nature of work.

Elements of project management in a non-project environment

Let’s learn this with an example. Assuming you are working as a pure operations professional in the IT industry, your day at the office might include:

  • Business planning
  • Resource planning
  • Cost optimization
  • Application of Lean Six Sigma
  • Training new employees
  • Benchmark analysis
  • Planning for next fiscal year
  • Process improvement
  • Quality planning
  • Automation
  • Root cause analysis for major deviations, among others.

The good news is that all the time you spend handling these tasks can be documented as project experience, boosting your eligibility for the PMP examination. All you need to do is to put these tasks under the relevant buckets in the 5 stages of project management. PMI does not verify credentials of everycandidate before the exam. Out of all the applications received, PMI randomly picks 20% of applications and audits them. If your application is selected for an audit, you will have to produce your education certificates and in order to certify your project related experience, you will have to get it validated from a stakeholder who was involved in the project, or in the area of work, in the case of a non-project scenario.

Career progression with PMP for non project managers

Even in a non- project environment, a PMP certification will ensure healthy career progression by helping you align the goals of the organization with the goals of the customer. PMP training also teaches you to speak a language that resonates both with your stakeholders as well as your team members. Also, it helps you articulate specific aspects of your job responsibility such as optimum utilization of resources and handling the risks and constraints.

The role of an REP

In a scenario where you hail from a non-project background, associating with an REP will help you attain the 35 mandatory contact hours. Additionally, an REP provides resources for exam preparation.

Edureka is a PMP REP.

With its innovative course delivery backed by industry-renowned practitioners, Edureka has helped more than 250,000 professionals upgrade their skills across 80+ specially designed courses. From its inception in 2011, more than 50,000 hours of classes have been delivered on the Edureka platform. To know about Edureka’s PMP Exam Preparation course, please visit

Got a question for us? Please mention them in the comments section and we will get back to you. 

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Shradha Sethi
Published on Dec 18,2015

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