Attention Haters - Big Numbers For PMPs In 2009

Data from 2009 issues of PMI TodayThis morning I picked up my January 2010 issue of PMI Today hoping to find something inspirational to write about. Upon realizing PMI Global Congress 2010 - North America is going to be in Washington DC, this October, I decided to write a blog post about it.  Just when I thought I had something local to write about, I noticed some statistics on PMI® Certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs) on the same page.  Though the statistics are only through November, they were very compelling. You may ask, how did I create the chart depicted above?  I went back to each copy of PMI Today and located the monthly data on PMP credential holders.  I know there are haters out there who go on and on about how having the PMP doesn't make you a better project manager.  No, but it does say you speak and understand the same "PMI" language.  According to the data, 356,419 people are currently certified in "speaking" the language.  That is one hell of a number!  We may have all drank the cool-aid but let's face it, the credential IS recognized when people are looking to hire a project manager. So, here are some interesting specifics.  In January 2009, there were 322,250 Active PMPs. In November, the most recent data available, there were 356,419.  Do the math and you find an overall increase of 34,169 in 11 months.  As I looked at the month-to-month numbers, I did find some attrition.  That attrition really surprised me in October.  Even with 3,102 new PMPs, there was still an overall loss of 14,092.  With an individual membership renewals priced at $129, I imagine that opened a few eyes.  Did these people no longer find value in the credential?  Did they retire? Did they die?

Another interesting data point was for the months of June and July.  June saw the certification of 13,920 new PMPs, up from 8,419 the month before.  That number plummeted to a mere 689 in July.  Again, what happened?  Did everyone go on vacation?

One of my jobs is to see trends in data.  I've been doing it for years.  When you look at two dimensional data over time, it does some really interesting stuff.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.