My PMP certification is due to expire within the next three months. I'm currently trying to prioritize a side business that will take considerable time and effort to build up. If I go through a project management class now to build up points needed to keep the PMP, that would distract me and slow me down from building up my side-income. It is crucial that I pursue the entrepreneurship path as quickly as possible over the next few months.

Also, my career is geared more towards analytics and some aspects of data science. I didn't fully utilize my PMP certification over the last three years and, in the long run, I would much rather become a successful entrepreneur (riskier, I know) than a project manager. Whether I had a PMP certification or not, I would still have the same knowledge I needed to acquire in order to pass the exam for it. Also, I have another certification that's geared more towards analytics and data science that I could always point to if needed.

Based on that information, would it be wise to let my PMP certification expire?

  • 2
    I applaud your efforts into phrasing what could have been an off-topic "asking us to make a choice for you" questions into something actually answerable.
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 13, 2020 at 3:31
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    I didn't fully utilize my PMP certification over the last three years... Is it fair to assume then that your main job does not require this certification?
    – BSMP
    Sep 13, 2020 at 3:38
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    DarkCygnus, thank you. I wanted to provide as much context as possible because I figured that people can't recommend an optimal path forward without knowing about my goals, the unique constraints I'm dealing with, how useful the PMP certification is compared to other competing variables, etc. Sep 13, 2020 at 4:30
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    BSMP, the PMP certification was probably overkill for my last job. It seemed like a good idea to get three years ago, but my goals changed after being exposed to new information. Sep 13, 2020 at 4:32
  • How hard is it to get back if it expires? Sep 13, 2020 at 6:33

2 Answers 2


Based on that information, would it be wise to let my PMP certification expire?

Based on all that information and priorities you have, I think you have answered yourself: it seems logical that it's best for your interests to focus on your entrepreneurship over renewing your certificate.

Think of it like this: the window of opportunity for an entrepreneurship to start and become successful (or at least have a future) can be very small, however, the PMP certification will always be there waiting for you and for whenever you wish to obtain it again.

Besides, what better way of putting into practice all that PM knowledge than actually planning, preparing and launching a whole side business successfully ;)

  • That makes sense. My window of opportunity to put everything I have into a side-business is relatively short. Most likely, my results will directly correlate to the time and effort I put into it. Sep 13, 2020 at 4:36
  • @TechnicalTim "The early bird gets the worm"
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 13, 2020 at 4:38
  • @TechnicalTim furthermore, reading the thread of your past questions, if I were to infer about your current state, I would guess that you already "jumped from the boat" from the company you mentioned on your last question (and I hope you weren't framed as per the question before that). Assuming that in fact you are between jobs then it would make more sense to pursue a side business than spending money in renewing a certification you barely have used in your career.
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 13, 2020 at 4:43

My experience with PMP is that it is a way to check a box.

I see it as a requirement on the contracts we bid on. The government wants people in these positions to Have Security+; in those positions they want certification from Oracle, in another group they need a help desk certification; and all will be led by somebody with PMP. It is there because they use it to determine if somebody has the qualifications for the job.

Inside the company having the PMP certification allows them to bid your resume on more contracts. It also allows the company to place you in specific positions in those contracts.

That flexibility is what you will be risking. Will having it get you a higher income? I have no idea. Will it make your more employable? in some environments it will.

In many companies if you have a certification then they will pay for some or all of the re-certification costs if they agree it helps them. It of course is dependent on currently being employed, and being willing to stay with them for some period of time after they pay for the re-certification.

The issue is for you to balance the time it will take to get re-certified now, and how that will impede your ability to make the side business viable; compared to what happens in a year if you want the certification back.

The factor for me would be to look at did it help you directly or indirectly make money in the last three years. If it didn't help, and it is unlikely to help in the future, it is tempting to let it expire.

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