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Comparison of Project Management Certificaions – PMP vs Other Certifications

May 13, 2014
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Lately some of the other certifications similar to PMP that have been growing in popularity are Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM). The CAPM does not require Project management Experience as PMP does and is relatively easier than PMP. It is an entry level certification for people who are interested in Project Management. With a plethora of Certifications available in the area of project management, it depends on the candidate’s career perspective and what he is looking for. Both the exams differ from each other in focus and in terms of preparation.

PMP (Project Management Professional)

So what is PMP? Simple, It’s an industry recognized certification for Project Managers that shows that you have the right knowledge and experience to lead projects. The recognition comes through increased salary and more employment opportunities. According to a latest survey by the Project Management Institute on Project Management Salary, 71% of the respondents said that they got a salary increase in 12 months. The syllabus of the exam is focussed on nine areas of project management

PMP certified LinkedIn group connects you with other PMP certified professionals. The group currently has more than 70,000 members. You also get to network with a lot of people which will open several opportunities for you. There is also a preparation group which has discussions on the questions and answers on the preparation group

PMI Credentialed PMPs

PMP Preparation group

Important URLs to bookmark

CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management)

It’s an entry level certification for people with little or no experience of Project Management. The certification focuses on the terminologies and processes of project management. So if you are less experienced project practitioner and you want to manage larger projects and shoulder additional responsibilities, then CAPM is the right certification for you

CAPM certified members also have a LinkedIn group. You can join the professional network and market yourself through networking with other certified members. The group currently has 6000+ members.

Certified Associate Project Manager

Important URLs to bookmark

CSM (Certified Scrum Master)

A person with CSM certification understands Scrum values, practices and framework and helps the rest of the team understand it. With a CSM certification you will have access to other Scrum Alliance members. Alternatively, you can learn from other scrum members on CSM LinkedIn group. Also there is a scrum Alliance, which is a membership organization that promotes the adoption and practice of scrum

Scrum Alliance

Certified Scrum Masters

Important URLs to bookmark

PMP or CAPM- Which one for me?

We have a few stand outs between the two certifications which will help you figure out whats best for yourself.

● PMP requires 4500 hours of experience on a project team as Project Manager while CAPM requires only 1500 hours of experience on a project team

● If you are focussed on a domain like IT you can go for CAPM. PMP is useful for Project Management in domains like Construction, Steel etc as well

● PMP requires 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units). PDUs are project management related classes and are required for PMP examination. There is no such requirement in CAPM

● PMP certification is valid for 3 years while CAPM is valid for 5 years. Both the exams are focussed differently. CAPM is more for project team members while PMP is for Project Team leaders and Project Managers

● PMP has 9 areas of Project Management requiring in-depth knowledge while CAPM focuses on basic project management practices, tools and concepts. Thus both the exams are designed for different set of people

● CAPM has a longer life cycle of 5 years. CAPM is suitable for candidates who have some knowledge of project management but who do not have any professional experience. PMP is an advanced management certification that helps to push the candidate forward but CAPM is an entry level certification

PMP or CSM – What for Whom?

● Both PMP(Project Management Professional) and CSM( Certified Scrum Management) are among the top certifications in project management.PMP has a broader scope in comparison to SCRUM and has application in a wide variety of domains like Construction, Steel and IT. CSM is a certification applicable to Information Technology. So if you are inclined for a career in IT,CSM is a more focussed certification while if you are still undecided about the domain a certification like PMP gives you an edge

● CSM does not require any professional experience.CSM is focussed on promoting and clarifying scrum. CSM requires a deep understanding of scrum while PMP is more focussed on various facets of Project Management.

● The PMP certification focuses on all the agile methods and not only on SCRUM.CSM is a very limited certification and is mainly focussed on Software industry


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