Is the PMP exam worth it?

I’ve worked in marketing and product development for a biotech startup for about three years. I have no formal training in project management and it hasn’t been mentioned in my job description, but I’ve been working in a project management capacity for most of my time here. Shortly after I came on board, we were forced to do a major overhaul of our flagship product. Suddenly I went from writing copy and placing ads to sourcing vendors, developing prototypes and creating entire new product development plans. Talk about on-the-job training. I was a project manager and I didn’t even realize it. I came to this realization as I started reviewing the requirements for the Project Management certification exam. I have some friends with IT certifications, and they recommended this to me. Listening to their experiences, I thought I could go through some sort of training, take the project management exam and have the certification quickly. It’s not that easy. In addition to formalized training, you also need experience. Getting this certification has the same kind of catch-22 as getting a job. Fortunately for me, I think I have the difficult part under my belt already. It seems easier to accumulate the 30 hours of training for the exam than it is to get the hours of experience. I have a bachelor’s degree, so the requirements aren’t as stiff, so I’ve got that going for me (which is nice).

My decision is mostly made up, but I’m trying to find out what the consensus is. Is the PMP exam worth it? Should I consider training for other project management certifications, like Project+ or this Project Management with Microsoft Project certification exam I’ve read about (Microsoft Project seems cool, but is it really useful on the job.) I want to add some formal credentials and training to the sweat equity I’ve already earned. What does everyone think? I’ve never been much of a blogger, but I’ll be sure to check back for responses and post more stuff.