When it comes time to decide which certification is best for you at this time in your career, many people are unsure whether to choose the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam.


In order to make that decision, you need to know what each certification entails, what the exams are like, who qualifies for them, and what the benefits of each certification are. We’ll go over all of those points here to help you make the right decision for your future and success as a project manager.


Why PMP? Few fact about PMP:

According to PMI, “If you’re an experienced project manager responsible for all aspects of project delivery, leading and directing cross-functional teams, then the PMP is the right choice for you.”

Project Management International earned ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation for the PMP certification program. This standardization gives PMP certification credibility in more than 85 countries that have adopted and endorsed ISO standardization practices. 

“PMP certification” as either required or strongly preferred. In many companies, PMP certification is required for promotions or is connected to performance evaluations. Whether you are a project manager seeking a new job, or a hiring manager with available project management positions.

The marketplace in the U.S. is demanding the PMP or other project management certification. Going back five or six years, IBM has seen requests for proposals where the clients are demanding certified project managers be part of the proposal. If you can’t present a certified project manager on their deal, they won’t consider you.

Customers are demanding PMP certification from their vendors.

Whether one believes in the intrinsic value of PMP certification or not, the economic reality is many major companies and entities are simply demanding it. If your company has bid on a government project over the past several years – be it federal, state or local, you likely encountered the PMP certification requirement. But this requirement is by no means limited to government entities. In a 2010 article for CIO.com, Steve Delarosa, director of IBM’s Project Management Center of Excellence, summed up the customer demand for PMP.


In 2003, PMI developed their Certified Associate in Project Management qualification. It’s entry-level certification for project managers. It allows those with less experience to demonstrate their familiarity with the body of knowledge, processes, and terminology of the project management profession.

According to PMI, “Regardless of your career stage, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is an asset that will distinguish you in the job market and enhance your credibility and effectiveness working on — or with — project teams.” This certification requires less prerequisites and experience than the PMP certification, and so is ideal for those who aren’t quite as advanced in the field.

While CAPM certification does not show managers or recruiters that you have experience leading and directing projects as does the more powerful PMP certification, it does show that you have at least some degree of dedication to a career in project management. If you weren’t dedicated to the career, you wouldn’t go through the time and effort to apply and study for the CAPM exam, nor would you pay the costs associated with it.

May 17, 2019

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