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November 28, 2014

Project Managers who want to advance their careers often face a dilemma when they wish to go for certification programmes. They don’t know if they should go for PMP or PRINCE2. Both are good, but which is better? For all those, who are fighting this battle PRINCE2 vs PMP. This article is designed to provide you information that would help you make this decision. IT professionals also have a 3rd option, ITIL but we will come back to it later.


Brief Overview of PRINCE2

Origin of PRINCE2 is in UK and its administration is done by APMG in UK and Internationally. PRINCE2 has a well defined and sophisticated methodology that outlines in detail the steps, templates and processes that a project should follow in order to be delivered successfully in a controlled environment.

It also spells out the roles and responsibilities of those involved in a project, like project executive, project manager, senior supplier, financier etc., it also provides templates that facilitate smooth execution of project such as change request form and progress report.

A few features of the PRINCE2 include:

  • PRINCE2 is generic, as in, it can be used for just about any kind of project.
  • It has a standard and well laid out approach.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the team undertaking the project is clearly defined which eliminates the ambiguity and makes project execution easy.
  • It focuses on both project and process.

Brief Overview of PMP

PMP originated in USA at the Project Management Institute (PMI) but gained international acceptance quickly. The PMP Certification is structured around the PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) developed by the PMI. The course measures the ability of a candidate as a project manager to complete the project right from planning stage of a project, based on your skills and understanding of project management.

It differs from PRINCE2 as it basically evaluates your skills and mastery of project management. As such, you are required to have some experience in the field, unlike PRINCE2, which can be done by a person who is new to the field.

A few features of the PMP qualification include:

  • PMP covers project management extensively. It can be considered as the encyclopedia of knowledge pertaining to project management.
  • It can be seen as a comprehensive overview and generally accepted knowledge and principles of project management.
  • It is also a dictionary of terms related to project management

Learn more about PMP trianing

Now that we have some basic knowledge of what PMP and PRINCE2 are, let’s start the PRINCE2 vs PMP match.

Pre-requisite PRINCE2 PMP
Education - Graduate degree of 4 years or equivalent+ 35 hours of formal study of any aspect of Project management
Experience - 3+ years of work experience in the field of project management. With atleast 4,500 hours in managing a project
Tests to qualify for certification 2 1

PRINCE2 vs PMP: Pre-requisites

The pre-requisites for PMP are more stringent, which makes it very much attractive to employers. Greater the minimum requirements, smaller are the numbers that can pass through.

PRINCE2 vs PMP: Industry Demands

Unfortunately, neither is better than the other when it comes to industry demands, which is the center of the whole PRINCE2 vs PMP debate. The demand for the certification varies both industry wise and on the location. For example, some European countries like UK, Denmark, Germany prefer PRINCE2 while PMP is preferred in North America but as said before, there is no clear trend as both the certifications are global.

PRINCE2 vs PMP: Benefits


Very Exhaustive

Walking encyclopedia of Project management

Well laid out methodology for Project management

Better Salary from existing employers and future employers

Standardization of project management

Networking opportunities with the best and brightest in the field.

Improved Employability

Value to your employer

Driven By Business Case

Efficiency in project execution

PRINCE2 vs PMP: Conclusion

We have provided you the objective information so far. Most training providers would at this point conclude that doing both is the best and suggest you to do both, and it seems like a good idea at first.

It may not be ideal for everyone though. The terminology used is different for both and some techniques differ vastly (eg: categorization of risk). If you’re not the brightest of the bright, chances are your knowledge of project management becomes confusing.

The value of both the certifications is not the same. The pre-requisites of the PMP certification itself is an indication of the difficulty of getting the certificate. The rarity of PMP professionals is also what attracts the industry towards this certification and also the increased salary and other perks.

The ideal path would be to choose PRINCE2 at the start of the career when the experience is low, this means you can find a job easily than the others and have a slightly high paying job. As you build your experience in the field shift to a PMP.

As PRINCE2 deals with the framework and creates templates for project management, with experience you can inculcate these principles. Once you have enough experience, go for a PMP, this provides you the extensive knowledge and skills required for project management and better career prospects.

The fact that you once did PRINCE2 and now hold a PMP would be a huge boost to your profile without compromising your knowledge and avoiding confusing knowledge.

Still wondering if you should do a PMP or a PRINCE2?


About the Author

Trusted by Fortune 500 Companies and 10,000 Students from 40+ countries across the globe, it is one of the leading International Training providers for Finance Certifications like FRM®, CFA®, PRM®, Business Analytics, HR Analytics, Financial Modeling, and Operational Risk Modeling. EduPristine has conducted more than 500,000 man-hours of quality training in finance.


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