The CAPM vs. PMP Argument:
The Project Management Institute (PMI), a non-profit global governing body, serves as the official standard for project, portfolio, and program management worldwide. There are seven certifications offered by PMI:
CAPM: Certified Associate for Project Management
Project Management Professional – PMP
Professional in Program Management – PgMP
PfMP: Portfolio Management Professional
PMI-ACP: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner
PMI-RMP: PMI Risk Management Professional
PMI-SP: PMI Scheduling Professional
Each certification is unique, but there is one common question among those who plan to take these exams: What are the main differences between the PMP and CAPM certifications? I’d be happy to answer your question and highlight the main differences in the exam formats between the two.
The CAPM is an excellent entry-level qualification that does not require years of experience. This certification is for individuals who are involved in projects at a lower level, i.e. They don’t need years of experience in project management or none at all and are not sure what their career path is. If you want to become a project manager, the PMP is the most important and relevant credential. This certification is the most well-respected and widely accepted of all PMI’s. Typical applicants must have at least 3-4 years of experience in managing project teams. This crucial difference is also highlighted in the exam format.
CAPM applicants need to have a high school, associate or global degree. PMP applicants would be well served by a bachelor’s degree. In order to be eligible for CAPM, applicants must have 1500 hours of experience as part of a project management team. PMP candidates will need to have between 4500 and 7500 hours of experience (for candidates with a bachelor’s degree) in order to lead a project management team. To sit for the CAPM exam, applicants will need 23 hours of mandatory online coursework. This is in addition to the 35 hours required for the PMP exam.
The main difference between these exams is how they assess your knowledge. The CAPM exams will examine the PMBOK 5 guide’s basic processes and knowledge areas. The questions are very direct. Over three hours, there are 150 multiple-choice questions. The PMP exam will have more difficult questions that reflect real-world scenarios. This is because the examiners will expect the applicant has been in these situations in their years of experience as project managers. It is a more difficult exam with 200 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 4 hours.
The CAPM is almost entirely based on the PMBOK 5 guide. It should be relatively easy to prepare for, whereas the PMP will require more resources to fill in the information gaps. PMBOK does not adequately equip you for all questions. To complement the PMBOK base knowledge, I strongly recommend Rita Mulcahy’s prep book and Head First PMP by Stellman & Greene.
Author : Lisa Findlay