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PMP vs CAPM : which is better?


1 The differences between PMP and CAPM

After entering the company from graduation, due to our shallow resume and little work experience, we have to improve ourselves in the face of fierce competition and pressure to seek a breakthrough. For those who are engaged in project work or want to enter project management, we must have certain project management thinking and skills to be more competent. For qualification certification related to project management, we will think of PMP and CAPM. So what is PMP vs CAPM? Let’s discuss the difference between the two.

First of all, both PMP and CAPM are certifications of the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI certifications are globally recognized and certified. It is common among methodology, standard and industry. PMI certifications use effective and reliable methods to assess capabilities and are designed by the project manager for project management.

Now, let us compare the PMP and CAPM certifications.

PMP is what we often call project management professional qualification certification. PMP certification was initiated by the American PMI Association in the last century. Although it has been a long time, it is still popular in enterprises and project management circles at home and abroad. It is the highest gold certification in the field of project management, which is more valuable than an MBA. It applies to the ability improvement of project managers and the transformation management of technical work.

CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) is the certification for project management professional assistant. It is the post of assisting project managers, including other members who are not project managers engaged in project work. These kinds of people can not work as project managers and do not have the ability to coordinate project management. CAPM can be held as other project members other than project managers, which is also a direction to improve the overall work level of the project. However, CAPM is of little significance to personal career development and job promotion, but it has certain value significance to the whole project. According to regulations, the project manager is not qualified for this certification. But on the bright side, there would be no need for a project manager to get the CAPM certification anyway, the project manager can apply for the PMP certification directly.

There are some differences in requirements for application as well.

The applicants for the PMP certification exam must have at least one of the following qualifications:

1. Those who have bachelor’s degree or college’s degree of the same level or above;

This type of applicant must have at least 4500 hours’ project management experience of the five groups of a project management process and have at least 36 months of accumulative project management work at the last 6 years.

Note: In the calculation of months of project management’s work, the required total of 36 months must be independent and not overlap.

2. Those who do not have a bachelor’s degree or college’s degree of the same level;

This type of applicant must have at least 7500 hours’ project management experience of the five groups of the project management process and have at least 60 months of accumulative project management work at the last 8 years.

Note: In the calculation of months of project management’s work, the required total of 60 months must be independent and not overlap.

As for CAPM, the qualifications for applying the exam is much simpler:

1. High school degree or above (including current college students);

2. 1500 hours of project management experience or 23 hours of project management learning experience

2 Which one is better?

Many people ask which is better, CAPM or PMP? There is not much comparability from an objective point of view, because PMP certification is much more valuable than CAPM certification.

PMP certification is obtained by project workers (technology and management) who have worked for a long time. The people who pass CAPM do not need to have a certain number of working years. But overall, the gold content of PMP is much higher than that of CAPM. Here I remind you: if your project management work reaches the required years, you should take the PMP certification in time and give yourself extra points for your own career and project work. If your knowledge of technology has reached a certain level or can not produce new breakthroughs, and considering the limitation of age requirements, we should also seek breakthroughs in time, turn to management from technology development, and help ourselves take every step on the career path.

Based on the statistical findings of PMI, conclusions can be drawn that more than half of the respondents think that the PMP certification can benefit the promotion of the position significantly, and the average salary of project managers has raised about 18% after getting the PMP certification.

There are three other statistical results that has been concluded from the investigation:

1. 76% of organizations prefer to hire PMPs over non-PMPs.

2. 66% of PMPs report salary increase after getting certified within just one year.

3. 91% of PMPs report an improved project success rate after getting certified.

These are all data published by PMI in 2019.

As for CAPM, there is certainly some benefit for getting the CAPM certification, but much less than getting the PMP certification. One can say that getting the CAPM certification can really learn the professional knowledge of project management and improve their skill of project work as non-project managers.

There are not any statistical results published by PMI regarding CAPM certification. Therefore, I guess the salary raise for getting CAPM certification is not so significant as PMP.

In summary, this article introduces the commons and differences between PMP and CAPM certifications and further discusses which one is better for career development as project manager.

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