CAPM VS PMP: Difference between PMP and CAPM

By Tech-Act    
12/17/2020  1238 Views

CAPM vs PMP

Exciting career opportunities across various industries and good compensation, makes project management a very lucrative career option. Therefore, many ambitious project managers want to accelerate their growth career by acquiring project management certification. But then often the candidates get confused upon which certification to choose as there are ample of options.

So today in this blog we will talk about two certifications under the umbrella of PMI i.e. Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). We will look at each of them in detail and will also point out the differences between the two certifications that will definitely help you in deciding which one is better for you.


About PMP Certification:


The PMP certification is a gold standard when we talk about Project management certifications. It is also quite difficult to crack. The total duration of the exam is 4 hours and it consists of 200 multiple choice questions. The exam questions are based on the concepts and principles that are mentioned in PMBOK Guide. You can crack this exam only when you have clearly understood the topics and concepts as it evaluates your ability to apply knowledge.


PMP Exam Prerequisites:

  • High-school diploma or associate’s degree (or equivalent),7,500 hours of project experience, and 35 hours of education in project management

or

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent 4-year degree), 4,500 hours of project experience, & 35 hours of education in project management.

About CAPM Certification:


CAPM exam is also based on the PMBOK. It places more emphasis on understanding of the concepts and principles rather than focusing on applied knowledge. The total duration of the CAPM exam is 3 hours and it consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.


CAPM Exam Prerequisites:

  • High-school diploma or associate’s degree (or equivalent) and 1,500 hours of project experience

or

  • 23 hours of education in project management.

Can You Upgrade CAPM to a PMP?


It is a well thought question because there are certifications that can be upgraded like if you are aware about Cisco certifications where CCENT can be upgraded to CCNA. But in this case CAPM cannot be upgraded to PMP. However, gaining CAPM is useful as it will strengthen your foundational knowledge that will aid you in PMP exam. Plus the project management education hours you acquired during CAPM can be applied for PMP prerequisites.


Differences Between PMP & CAPM:


The foremost difference is that PMP is a professional level certification and CAPM is an associate level certification. Therefore, the one who brings in some amount of experience or who have expertise in the field of PM pursue Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. CAPM is an entry level certification that is pursued by someone who is willing to acquire or strengthen project management skills. Also CAPM is quite easier and it has few restrictive prerequisites plus it is relatively cheaper than PMP. But when we talk about the popularity, PMP is more preferred in comparison to CAPM. One of the obvious reasons is that it has been around longer, PMP was launched in 1984 and CAPM was in 2003.

The main reason which makes PMP very exceptional and industry-recognized certification is that PMPs are required in almost every industry. Organizations globally want to hire PMPs as they possess the required knowledge and skills which are mandate for leading projects that are complex in nature and also for directing project teams. It has been observed that organizations whose one-third project managers are PMP certified have higher rate of project completions that were on time and on budget. The positions that PMPs can apply for are program manager, project manager & project controller. PMPs are highly paid professionals because of the value they bring to the organizations.

CAPM is not as recognized as PMP. It demonstrates the knowledge of PMI’s i.e. project management framework and project management process which would definitely add value to the candidate while applying for a job against those who are not CAPM certified. They are qualified for the positions like assistant project manager, project coordinator & junior business analyst. Getting certified in CAPM means you have working knowledge of the PMBOK guide which will act as a stepping stone for pursing PMP certification in future.


Should you choose CAPM or PMP?


We have now already got clarity on how both are different from each other. So, we can ask this question which one is worth CAPM or PMP.

So without stretching much the answer is IT DEPENDS. And why do I say so? Because if you are someone who brings in 2-3 yrs. of experience in handling projects, plus if you are comfortable with exam that focuses on applied knowledge and you are fulfilling the requirements that are mentioned in the PMP Role Delineation section of the PMP handbook. Then you must not waste your time and should opt for PMP.

But if you do not meet the above mentioned requirements, then it is recommended to begin your journey with CAPM.


Summary

In this article we have seen that how both PMP and CAPM add weightage to one’s resume. The PMP is the gold standard of project management certifications, while the CAPM is a reputable entry-level certification. CAPM is knowledge based exam whereas PMP is experience based exam. But then which one to choose depends whether you are an experienced professional or you are naïve in the world of PM. Hence, before deciding on which certification to go for you can take into account your experience and knowledge.

Just remember don’t be in hurry…first evaluate yourself and then choose the suitable certification.

All the best!


Exciting career opportunities across various industries and good compensation, makes project management a very lucrative career option. Therefore, many ambitious project managers want to accelerate their growth career by acquiring project management certification. But then often the candidates get confused upon which certification to choose as there are ample of options.

So today in this blog we will talk about two certifications under the umbrella of PMI i.e. Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). We will look at each of them in detail and will also point out the differences between the two certifications that will definitely help you in deciding which one is better for you.


About PMP Certification:


The PMP certification is a gold standard when we talk about Project management certifications. It is also quite difficult to crack. The total duration of the exam is 4 hours and it consists of 200 multiple choice questions. The exam questions are based on the concepts and principles that are mentioned in PMBOK Guide. You can crack this exam only when you have clearly understood the topics and concepts as it evaluates your ability to apply knowledge.


PMP Exam Prerequisites:

  • High-school diploma or associate’s degree (or equivalent),7,500 hours of project experience, and 35 hours of education in project management

or

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent 4-year degree), 4,500 hours of project experience, & 35 hours of education in project management.

About CAPM Certification:


CAPM exam is also based on the PMBOK. It places more emphasis on understanding of the concepts and principles rather than focusing on applied knowledge. The total duration of the CAPM exam is 3 hours and it consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.


CAPM Exam Prerequisites:

  • High-school diploma or associate’s degree (or equivalent) and 1,500 hours of project experience

or

  • 23 hours of education in project management.

Can You Upgrade CAPM to a PMP?


It is a well thought question because there are certifications that can be upgraded like if you are aware about Cisco certifications where CCENT can be upgraded to CCNA. But in this case CAPM cannot be upgraded to PMP. However, gaining CAPM is useful as it will strengthen your foundational knowledge that will aid you in PMP exam. Plus the project management education hours you acquired during CAPM can be applied for PMP prerequisites.


Differences Between PMP & CAPM:


The foremost difference is that PMP is a professional level certification and CAPM is an associate level certification. Therefore, the one who brings in some amount of experience or who have expertise in the field of PM pursue Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. CAPM is an entry level certification that is pursued by someone who is willing to acquire or strengthen project management skills. Also CAPM is quite easier and it has few restrictive prerequisites plus it is relatively cheaper than PMP. But when we talk about the popularity, PMP is more preferred in comparison to CAPM. One of the obvious reasons is that it has been around longer, PMP was launched in 1984 and CAPM was in 2003.

The main reason which makes PMP very exceptional and industry-recognized certification is that PMPs are required in almost every industry. Organizations globally want to hire PMPs as they possess the required knowledge and skills which are mandate for leading projects that are complex in nature and also for directing project teams. It has been observed that organizations whose one-third project managers are PMP certified have higher rate of project completions that were on time and on budget. The positions that PMPs can apply for are program manager, project manager & project controller. PMPs are highly paid professionals because of the value they bring to the organizations.

CAPM is not as recognized as PMP. It demonstrates the knowledge of PMI’s i.e. project management framework and project management process which would definitely add value to the candidate while applying for a job against those who are not CAPM certified. They are qualified for the positions like assistant project manager, project coordinator & junior business analyst. Getting certified in CAPM means you have working knowledge of the PMBOK guide which will act as a stepping stone for pursing PMP certification in future.


Should you choose CAPM or PMP?


We have now already got clarity on how both are different from each other. So, we can ask this question which one is worth CAPM or PMP.

So without stretching much the answer is IT DEPENDS. And why do I say so? Because if you are someone who brings in 2-3 yrs. of experience in handling projects, plus if you are comfortable with exam that focuses on applied knowledge and you are fulfilling the requirements that are mentioned in the PMP Role Delineation section of the PMP handbook. Then you must not waste your time and should opt for PMP.

But if you do not meet the above mentioned requirements, then it is recommended to begin your journey with CAPM.


Summary

In this article we have seen that how both PMP and CAPM add weightage to one’s resume. The PMP is the gold standard of project management certifications, while the CAPM is a reputable entry-level certification. CAPM is knowledge based exam whereas PMP is experience based exam. But then which one to choose depends whether you are an experienced professional or you are naïve in the world of PM. Hence, before deciding on which certification to go for you can take into account your experience and knowledge.

Just remember don’t be in hurry…first evaluate yourself and then choose the suitable certification.

All the best!