CAPM vs PMP: Which One Is Right For Me?

 

Project managers have a tendency to be perfectionist and strive for excellence. Here at Velociteach, we pride ourselves on practicing the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen meaning “continuous improvement”. One way to improve yourself as a project manager is by obtaining a certification. Most of us are already familiar with the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential, but did you know the Project Management Institute also offers a second credential? The Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) is a credential meant more for entry level Project Managers and project team members rather than team leaders. The CAPM Exam tends to focus more on the principles and terminology of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide). The CAPM is an excellent way to improve your project management skills and set yourself apart from your competitors. In this blog post we’ll go into the details of both the CAPM and PMP credential to determine which one is the best fit for you!

The prerequisites for the CAPM Exam differ from the PMP and allow those of us with less formal project management experience to sit for the exam. You have 2 options to meet the requirements for the CAPM Exam:

  1. A secondary diploma plus 1500 hours of professional project management experience

OR

  1. A secondary diploma plus 23 hours of formal education (which you may acquire from Velociteach’s CAPM Exam Prep course)

The prerequisites for the PMP Exam are a little bit more extensive, but there are also 2 ways of meeting them:

  1. A secondary degree plus a minimum of 5 years/60 months unique, non-overlapping professional project management experience which accounts for 7,500 hours leading and directing the project PLUS 35 contact hours of formal project management education

OR

  1. A 4-year degree plus 3 years/36 months unique, non-overlapping professional project management experience which accounts for 4,500 hours of leading and directing the project PLUS 35 contact hours of formal project management education (which you may acquire from Velociteach’s PMP Exam Prep course)

For both the CAPM and the PMP Exam, you must apply and be accepted to sit. However, the applications for each do differ. The CAPM Exam application is simpler in the fact that all you must provide is 1,500 hours of professional project experience or 23 hours of formal education (as I mentioned above). Once your CAPM Exam application is submitted, it usually takes 24 hours to receive approval. From there you may schedule your CAPM Exam for whenever you’d like. The PMP Exam application requires you to document 4,500-7,500 hours (depending on your education level) of project experience, acquire 35 education hours and report them on the exam application. Once you’ve submitted your PMP Exam application you should receive approval within 5 calendar days then you may schedule your PMP Exam for whenever you’d like.

Ok, let’s wrap up by weighing the benefits of each credential. The table below spells out the benefits of both the CAPM certification and the PMP certification so you may be able to compare and contrast which one is the best fit for you!

CAPM PMP
Fewer prerequisites or previous experience   Targeted towards seasoned,      experienced project leaders
Sets you apart from your competitors, especially if you’re new to the job force  Globally recognized and demanded;  Sets you apart from your competitors
Demonstrates knowledge of all the PMBOK Guide processes and knowledge areas  Helps you speak a global,  standardized project management  language
If you contribute a specialized skill to your project team, the CAPM helps to align your work with your project manager(s)  PMP Credential holders earn, on  average, $18.5K more than non-PMPs

 

Your main goal for 2017 should be practicing Kaizen, continuous improvement. Whether you choose to pursue your CAPM or PMP certification, you can’t go wrong. Both certifications show that you are an educated and knowledgeable PM who takes your role as Project Manager seriously. I hope this post has helped you choose the best path for you. We look forward to seeing you in class!

PMP and PgMP are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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