Julia Boyer: How I Renew My PMP – PMP PDU Options

Julia Boyer is a PMP-certified Professional from Dallas, Texas. In this “How I Renew My PMP” article, Julia explained her PMP renewal journey, why she renewed her PMP, how she found PMP PDU resources, and other hints about the PMP renewal process. Julia Boyer penned this article based on interview questions, and our editorial team reviewed the article.

📌 Hint: Do not skip this article, you will find FREE PMP PDU resources throughout the article.

Who is Julia Boyer?

Question: Before we dive into your PMP renewal journey and how you earned PMP PDU hours, can you please tell us a bit about your background?

I was born in 1976, in Brooklyn, New York, as the third and last kid of the Boyer family. My father was a truck driver and my mother was a housewife. I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a B.A. in communications degree in 1999. I started my professional career right after the university as a Logistics Specialist at FedEx. Since then, I worked in different companies and I have taken different roles in each company. Now, I am working as an Operations Manager in a Fortune 500 company in Dallas, Texas.

Julia Boyer - PMP Renewal - PMP PDU

Why I Decided to Take PMP Certification

Question: When and why did you decide to take PMP certification?

I have been working for more than five years in functional roles. Then, I decided to take managerial roles and looked for alternatives to pursue my career. At that time, I decided that the best option for changing my career was going through project management roles.

I’ve applied for some project management jobs, however, since I did not have any prior project management experience, I was not successful in securing a PM job. Roughly, more than half of the PM roles I am applying for were looking for “PMP certification”. That is when I decided to take PMP certification.

PMP Renewal - PMP PDU resources
A Project Manager Job Posting – Requires PMP certification

After spending six months of preparation time, I earned my PMP certification on the first attempt. Then, my phone started to ring more frequently regarding the jobs I applied for. I joined a Healthcare company as a Project Manager four months after I earned my PMP certification.

60 PMP PDU Online Course Program – Renew Your PMP Certification

San Francisco Business School offers an online, self-paced comprehensive PMP renewal course program. Enroll in the 60 PMP PDU Training Program. Complete three self-paced online courses. Earn 60 PDUs and renew your PMP certification. PMI approved renewal process.

PMP PDU - PMP Renewal Program

Why I Renew PMP Certification

Question: After you earn it, why do you keep on renewing your PMP certification? 

PMI requires PMP certification holders to earn 60 PMP PDU hours every three years. There are further PMP PDU requirements as well such as you must attend some activities rather than professional work. At first, I thought I earned PMP, I secured a PM job, and I could pursue my career even if I did not renew my PMP. However, I saw several benefits of renewing PMP certification.

First of all, it keeps me up to date on the changing project management dynamics. For instance, when I was preparing for PMP certification, the exam content and actual project management world were turning around waterfall methodologies. Since the 2000s and especially after the 2010s, Agile methodologies have been widely adopted by many organizations. The PMP renewal process pushed me to be aware of these changing dynamics, and even if I was not working on Agile, I attended PMP PDU courses regarding Agile methodologies and I enhanced my skills in Agile as well.

The second benefit of the PMP renewal process is, that you increase your chances for PM-related jobs. Still, many organizations look for PMP-certified professionals for their project management vacancies. So, keeping PMP certification active is very important and must have assets.

The third benefit of trying to earn PMP PDU hours is enhancing your network. There are 11 ways to earn PDUs and some of them are attending events, seminars, and meetings. I have met wonderful people and enhanced my professional network through these events.

How I Earn PMP PDU Hours

Question: Since you earned your PMP, you have gone through the “renew PMP process” several times. How do you earn PMP PDU hours, what are your best resources?

PMI is very generous and flexible in accepting PMP PDU hours. There are 11 different ways to earn PMP PDU credits. In my first cycles, during the 2000s, primarily, I was attending events, seminars, and conferences. In some cases, my employer sponsored the event fees and in some I paid myself. I have met several people and extended my professional network with the help of these events.

However, especially after the 2010s, I’ve discovered ways to earn PMP PDU hours online. Because, events, meetings, or seminars require daytime attendance and as I progressed in my career, I could hardly find time to attend these events. Now, I am looking for online PMP PDU Course options to earn PMP PDU hours.

Free PMP PDU Online Course Program – Renew Your PMP Certification

San Francisco Business School offers an online, self-paced mini PMP renewal course program. Enroll in the Free PMP PDU Training Program. Complete three self-paced online courses. Earn 3 PDUs. PMI approved renewal process.

Free PMP PDU Course - Renew PMP

Why I Choose Online PMP PDU Courses to Renew PMP

Question: What are the pros and cons of earning PMP PDU hours through online courses?

Well, the biggest benefit of online PMP PDU courses is, that there is no maximum limit of earning PDU hours. Attending courses are under the education category, and PMI accepts all 60 PDUs from this category. However, for other categories, there are maximum limits. For instance, PMI accepts your day-to-day activities as PDUs. However, there is a maximum limit for this category. You can submit a maximum of 8 PDU hours for working as a practitioner category.

Another benefit is, that if you attend a self-paced PMP PDU course, you do not need to attend in person. You can follow the courses around your schedule. In my last cycles, I chose to attend PMP PDU Courses, because I am busy and I cannot set a time to attend chapter meetings, events, or seminars.

PMP PDU Courses are Affordable

PMP PDU courses are more affordable compared to other alternatives. I was paying around $800 per day to attend a conference. Besides, if I had to travel, there were additional costs. So, for a one-day event, I was paying at least around $800 and I was earning six to eight PDUs at most. However, when I attend PMP PDU courses, I can earn all required PDUs for around $300.

Attending online PMP PDU courses are more convenient. When I enroll in PMI PDU Courses, all I have to do is follow the curriculum, earn PDUs, and renew my PMP. However, other PDU earning ways require significant effort from the PMP-certification holder such as creating content, sharing a presentation, volunteering, etc.

Moreover, PMP PDU courses are less prone to PMI audits. Since the PDU training programs are used by many PMP-certified professionals, PMI already has a track and record of the activities. However, for other categories, PDU submissions are more unique and may be more likely to hit a PMI audit. For my course PDU submissions, typically, PMI did not ask for further documentation to approve my PMP PDU claims.

Cons of Earning PMP PDU Online

After listing all these benefits, I think I should tell a few cons of renewing PMP through courses. Compared to events, self-paced PDU courses are less interactive. At events, I had the chance to meet new people, extend my network, and socialize. In self-paced PDU courses, this is not an option. However, you can use the discussion forums or social channels of the course provider to meet other people.

Watch Julia’s Renew PMP Journey

In her last PMI CCRS cycle, Julia enrolled in the 60 PMP PDU Program from SFBS and renewed her PMP. Watch now her PMP renewal journey.

YouTube player

How I Find Free PMP PDU Resources

Question: Are you looking for Free PMP PDU earning activities? Is it possible to earn 60 PDUs for free?

There are several offline and online events. To be honest, I checked if I can earn 60 PDUs for free. I attended some free webinars and earned PDUs for free. However, I found it difficult and not another benefit other than earning PDUs. For instance, if there is a free webinar about social media project management, this is not on my career radar. Just to earn PDUs, I do not want to spend my hours on an event that will not benefit my development.

I can watch free courses, attend free webinars, and earn PDUs towards renewing my PMP only if these are in my interests. These events typically earn 1-2 PDUs. Besides, you have to set your schedule to attend the event. In each three-year renew PMP cycle, I attend one or two free events and earn PDUs. However, I do not think it is feasible to earn all PDUs through free events.

How I Found San Francisco Business School PMP PDU Courses

Question: In your last renew PMP cycle, you attended the SFBS 60 PMP PDU course program. How was it? Do you recommend it to other PMP-certified professionals?

Finding 60 PDU hours was a hassle in my previous PMP renewal processes. Because I am a full-time working professional it was not easy to attend seminars, conferences, or other PM activities to earn PDUs. Besides, these activities cost a lot if you are just looking for PDU hours to renew your PMP certification.

This year, I came through with the 60 PMP PDU bundle of San Francisco Business School. I enrolled in the courses immediately and could earn all 60 PDU hours I needed to renew my PMP 100% online. I followed the courses at my own pace and whenever I had time. After submitting the PDU hours I earned for each course, PMI approved them and I could renew my PMP easily.

Not only did I earn PDUs, but also I gained business skills and certifications. The program offers Executive Leadership Training, Strategy Development & Execution Training, and Marketing Strategy Training. All these courses helped me to sharpen my business skills and I started to apply them already in my work!

Very straightforward, hassle-free, and affordable PMP renewal process. Thanks to San Francisco Business School!

What I Do After Earning PMP PDU Hours

Question: How do you report your PMP PDU hours? Do you wait for the end of the cycle, or submit it right away?

I submit PMP PDU hours right after I earn them. This is what PMI recommends as well. Because there might be issues in PMI submissions or PMI might ask for additional documentation for approval. Therefore, instead of waiting for the end of the cycle, I claim my PDUs right after I complete an activity.

PMP PDU Claim - Renew PMP
Julia’s PMP PDU claim for SFBS Executive Leadership Training

If the activity is already recognized by PMI, typically I receive an approval email immediately. For instance, for the San Francisco Business School’s PMP PDU courses, PMI approved my submissions right away.

PMI PDU Submission Approval - Renew PMP
Julia’s PDU Submission Approval for the SFBS PDU Course

Once I complete 60 PDUs, the next step is paying the PMP renewal fee and extending the PMP validity for another three years. Sometimes, the “renew PMP” fee is cheaper if you opt to be a PMI member for one year. I check if the PMI membership will reduce the total PMP renewal fee and opt for membership accordingly.

Renew PMP screen
Renew PMP screen

What’s Next After PMP Renewal

Question: What do you do after you renew PMP certification?

First, I feel relief as it takes time, effort, and cost to earn PMP PDU hours, report them, and renew PMP certification. However, the next cycle starts immediately. So, I keep on looking for activities, courses, and events that I can enhance my skills, for instance, I am looking to improve my leadership skills. While I am looking for activities that will enhance my competence, I am checking if they earn PDUs as well. If they both match, I jump on the activity.

I wish all PMP-certified professionals happy learning and smooth renewal cycles!

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