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Why choosing PMP over MBA in 2024 is the smart move?



In today’s competitive business world, professionals always search for ways to enhance their career growth and stay ahead. Two popular options for career development are obtaining a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. While both have unique advantages, PMP certification offers significant benefits that an MBA cannot match. PMP certification is a globally recognized credential that verifies project management skills and knowledge, while MBA programs typically offer a broader business education. In this article, we will explore why it is a better choice for professionals looking to advance their careers in the project management field. So, if you’re considering the best path for your career growth, keep reading to learn about earning a PMP Certification.

Before diving into the comparison, let’s first understand what PMP and MBA stand for and what they entail.

Introduction to PMP and MBA:

1. PMP

PMP stands for Project Management Professional, a certification the Project Management Institute (PMI) offers.  Among the most widely recognized credentials in the world is PMP. Obtaining this certification validates a professional’s project management knowledge and experience. A Project Management Certificate program is perfect for individuals who want to advance their careers. Project management candidates must have at least three years of experience and 35 hours of formal education before applying for the PMP certification.

2. MBA

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration, a postgraduate business management and administration degree. The course covers topics such as marketing, operations, and management. Individuals in a variety of business sectors will find it ideal. Furthermore, the most common prerequisites for MBA programs are a bachelor’s degree and a few years of work experience.

Which option is better for you? It depends on your career goals and interests. If you want to focus specifically on project management and demonstrate your expertise in that area, then a PMP certification is the way to go. However, an MBA is the better choice if you’re interested in a broader range of business topics and want to pursue leadership roles in various business areas.

PMP vs MBA: Understanding the Differences

While both PMP and MBA are qualifications that demonstrate a high level of expertise in the business world, they differ in their focus, scope, and objectives.

One of the main differences between PMP and MBA is their focus. PMP certification focuses on project management, whereas an MBA covers many business topics. PMP is ideal for individuals who want to specialize in project management, while an MBA is ideal for individuals who wish to gain a broad understanding of various business concepts.

Another difference is the PMP certification requires a bachelor’s degree in any field, three years of project management experience, and 35 hours of instruction, while an MBA requires a bachelor’s degree and work experience. 

1. PMP vs MBA: Career Prospects

Depending on the industry and specialization, PMP certification and MBA programs can lead to lucrative career opportunities.

  • PMP

PMP certification is highly regarded the project management and is recognized globally as a standard for excellence. Project management is a field that offers many career opportunities for people who hold a PMP certification. In addition, it demonstrates to employers that you have the knowledge and experience to manage projects efficiently. Also, PMP certification can lead to higher salaries, as project management is often well-paying. A PMI survey reported that PMP-certified professionals earn 23% more than non-certified professionals.

  • MBA

MBA programs can lead to many career opportunities, depending on the specialty and industry in which they are offered. In addition to providing people with a broad understanding of business principles, it prepares them for leadership roles in various sectors. However, the competition for MBA graduates can be fierce, as many individuals hold this degree. 

2. PMP vs MBA: Salary Comparison

Depending on the industry and specialization, PMP certification and MBA programs can lead to higher salaries.

  • PMP

According to the PMI, PMP-certified professionals earn an average of 23% higher salaries than non-certified professionals. The annual salary for a PMP-certified professional ranges between INR 7.0 to INR 36.0 Lakhs, with an average yearly wage of ₹ 16.3 Lakhs.

  • MBA

According to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey, MBA graduates earn an average salary of INR 7,71,801. MBA graduates also earn a high salary, with an annual salary of INR 7,00,000 to INR 12,00,000. However, the pay can vary depending on the industry and location. 

3. PMP vs MBA: Cost and Duration

Both PMP certification and MBA programs require significant time and money.

  • PMP

The PMP certification cost varies depending on the country and PMI membership status. In comparison to an MBA, the PMP certification is more affordable. For PMI members, PMP certification costs around $405 – $425, whereas for non-members, it costs $575 – $595. It depends on each candidate’s availability and preparation time and how long it takes to obtain PMP certification. In general, it takes six months to complete this certification.

  • MBA

MBA programs vary in cost depending on the school and program. There are a variety of price ranges for a full-time MBA program, ranging from $50,000 to more than $200,000. There is a wide range of durations for MBA programs. Moreover, MBA programs can last for up to two years. 

4. PMP vs MBA: Skillset Acquired

Both PMP certification and MBA programs provide valuable skills and knowledge required for success in the business world.

  • PMP

Obtaining a PMP certification allows individuals to develop specialized skills in project management. Additionally, it provides an in-depth understanding of the framework and methodology of project management. There are topics such as project planning, execution, monitoring, and control covered in this course. Furthermore, Individuals who obtain PMP certification develop risk management, quality assurance, and stakeholder management skills. 

  • MBA

MBA programs provide individuals with a broader skill set in various business fields. It covers topics such as finance, marketing, operations, and management. Also, MBA programs provide opportunities for Individuals who obtain an MBA to develop skills in strategic planning, leadership, and decision-making skills. 

5. PMP vs MBA: Industry Recognition

The business community recognizes PMP certification and MBA programs and provides credibility and validation to professionals.

  • PMP

PMP certification is globally recognized and respected in the project management field. This certification validates a person’s knowledge and skills in project management. By demonstrating your project management expertise, you show your competence to employers.

  • MBA

MBA programs are recognized globally as a standard for business management and administration. Employers highly regard MBA programs and perceive them as credible and validated. A degree in this field can lead to many career opportunities in different areas. 


In conclusion, PMP certification and MBA programs are highly regarded qualifications in the business world but cater to different career paths and objectives. While both PMP and MBA programs offer valuable skills and knowledge, choosing PMP over MBA in 2024 is a smart move for those looking to advance their careers in project management. However, PMP certification demonstrates a high level of expertise in project management. It is recognized globally, making it a valuable asset for professionals who want to work on complex projects across different industries. Furthermore,  It is more affordable, leads to higher salaries and better job opportunities, and takes less time to complete the certification.

By enrolling in the ProThoughts PMP Certification Online Training, you can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your career and achieve your professional goals. Enroll today and take the first step towards a successful career in project management with PMP certification.

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