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Which Certification is More Employable in 2022, PfMP or PgMP?

Professionals look forward to advancing their careers and improving their prospects for jobs and promotions. So one surefire way to go is to acquire globally recognized certifications. In the case of project management, the Project Management Institute certification. For example, PMP is a “gold standard” for establishing the credibility of certificate holders. The most prominent of the PMI certifications is the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate. But in recent years, the number of Program Management Professionals (PgMP) and Portfolio Management Professionals (PfMP) has increased significantly. Through it, they can differentiate themselves from a crowd of over 1 million PMPs.

Despite this, the application process has become an obstacle for many. The application process is not as simple as it may seem. The content of the application is written in terms that are relevant and the PMI prefers. This can be challenging because the experience of professionals managing projects, programs, or portfolios can be different from PMI. This webinar helps thousands of professionals achieve their certification goals year after year based on our experience. In this article, we will discuss the importance of PgMP and PfMP certification and career opportunities.

Which Certification is More Employable in 2022, PfMP or PgMP?

Both have slightly different knowledge bases. Several positions in program management list PgMP as a preferred qualification over PMP. I couldn’t find any posts specifically asking about PfMP. However, from a practical point of view, PfMP is better suited for leadership roles.

What is PfMP Certification?

PfMP stands for Portfolio Management Professional. This is a professional certification in portfolio management. Similar to PMP (Project Management Professional), PfMP is provided by PMI (Institute of Project Management, USA).

PfMP is a standard for enterprise senior managers and project portfolio management professionals. It has been applied to the top 500 companies in the world. In China, project portfolio management is only a basic cognitive level. But its main goal is to manage a portfolio in a complex business environment. And with it the strategic direction of the enterprise and maximizing the business value.

Your organization does the right thing. But does it work right?

As a portfolio manager, your role is essential to ensure that the answer is “yes”.

Formal portfolio management is the most effective way to implement strategic initiatives. Because it bridges the gap between strategy and implementation. The companies that manage the portfolio have 62% of the products. With the help of which PMI meets or exceeds the expected ROI as per the 2012 Pulse of Profession Study. Portfolio managers align projects, programs, and activities with strategic objectives. And invests resources in the right way to deliver the expected value.

The Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) signifies your advanced competency in the coordinated management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic objectives. Organizations with mature project portfolio management practices complete 35 percent more of their programs successfully. They fail less often and waste less money according to PMI’s 2015 thought leadership report, Delivering on Strategy: The Power of Project Portfolio Management.

What is PgMP Certification?

PgMP stands for Program Management Professional. It is a professional certificate of program management. Same as PMP and PfMP mentioned above, PgMP is also provided by PMI (Project Management Institute, America).

PgMP provides a unified and standardized certification standard for high-end project management personnel within the framework of program management standards. The Knowledge System Standard describes the large program management process. Indicates how to manage multiple projects and non-project activities in a large project environment. And it also describes the practices and steps required for the successful management of large projects and programs.

The following is the official advertisement of the PgMP certificate for the program manager quoting from PMI’s website.

As a program manager, you’re a senior-level practitioner at the forefront of advancing your organization’s strategic goals.

You manage multiple, related projects in an integrated way, if the benefits are not achieved, the projects were managed individually.

Your leadership is instrumental. With program management maturity, an organization’s projects are far more successful than without it — 76 percent compared to 54 percent according to PMI’s 2015 Pulse of the Profession® report. The Program Management Professional (PgMP)® is a visible sign of your advanced experience and skill and gives you a distinct advantage in employment and promotion.

What is the difference between PgMP and PfMP Certification?

Comparison between PgMP and PfMP _ poster
PgMP vs PfMP

In Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), there is a detailed table that lists a comparative overview of portfolios, programs, and projects, shown as follows.

PgMP and PfMP Blog |eBook

In PMBOK, a portfolio is defined as projects, programs, subsidiary portfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives. Therefore, the goal of portfolio management is to select and prioritize programs and projects according to the criteria for the optimal achievement of organizational strategic objectives. On the other hand, those that have interdependence are a set of program projects. Therefore, the goal of program management is to focus on interdependence between projects at the program level to determine the best way to manage them.

In a sentence, program and project management focus on doing programs and projects the “right way”; and portfolio management focuses on doing the “right” programs and projects.

Which one is better, PgMP or PfMP?

Relationship between PgMP and PfMP
Relationship between PgMP and PfMP

As of July 2020, the number of PMP certificate holders is 1,036,267, the number of PgMP certificate holders is 2,943, and the number of PfMP certificate holders is 856, according to the official data of PMI.

On the one hand, there are already more than one million PMP certificate holders worldwide, but not more than three thousand PGMP certificate holders. Therefore, the gold content of the PGMP certificate is much higher than that of the PMP certificate. And if you have already earned a PMP certificate, there will be a good chance for you to get a PgMP certificate. That way, you can enhance your project management career.

Besides, the number of PfMP certificate holders worldwide is only 856, which means that the PfMP certificate has not yet been recognized as a solid certificate for most companies/enterprises in the world. Therefore, obtaining a PfMP certificate is not a better choice than obtaining a PgMP certificate at this time.

Although PgMP certification is still in the promotional period around the world, with the increasing value recognition of project management and the continued growth and popularization of PMP and PgMP certifications, PgMP will surely become the trend of future project management certification testing.


In conclusion, from the perspective of career development, PgMP will also play a great role in the career development of project management. Project managers who prioritize PgMP certification in the enterprise have many opportunities to be promoted to program management positions or executive management positions.

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