When people consider project management certifications, they generally think of the PMP. This is easy to understand, given that it is, by far, the most popular (and oldest) PMI credential, with over 380,000 active PMPs as of May 2010.
However, the PMP isn’t necessarily the only option and sometimes may not be the best option. The CAPM (Certified Associate of Project Management), introduced in 2003, may be more appropriate for some candidates.
The CAPM has been slowly gaining recognition over the past seven years and can now be seen referenced in many job postings, etc, and there are now over 11,000 CAPMs worldwide.
Here is a comparison of the two credentials:
|Credential Name||Project Management Professional||Certified Associate of Project Management|
|Introduced||USA: 1984 International: 1998||2003|
|Knowledge base||PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
…and further literature which contributes to the PMBOK®Guide
|PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition|
|Project Role||Leads and directs project teams||Contributes to project team|
|Exam Questions||200 multiple choice
– 175 scored
– 25 pre-test
|150 multiple choice
– 135 scored
– 15 pre-test
|Exam Time||4 hours||3 hours|
|Eligibility Requirements||High school diploma:
5 years / 7,500 hours of project management experience in the last 8 years
|1,500 hours of project experience
23 hours of project management education
|Exam Outline||Mostly knowledge and situational questions pertaining to the 5 process groups in the PMBOK® Guide:
||Mostly learning the PMBOK® Guide Knowledge Areas
|Fees||PMI Member $405
|PMI Member $225
|Credential Maintainance||3 years; 60 PDUs||5 years; re-exam|
|Additional Info||PMP Credential Overview||CAPM Certification Overview|
The CAPM is recommended for you if:
- you are relatively new or interested in getting into project management
- you do not actually “lead” project management activities
- you have experienced significant test anxiety in the past
- your past project management experience did not occur within the last eight years
- you have difficulty with scenario-based (and often very confusing) questions
- your employer is flexible regarding the type of credential you receive
Generally speaking, we always say “if you have the documented experience for a PMP, go for the PMP”, however, if any of the above scenarios sound more like you, then definitely give the CAPM some consideration.
And just remember, if ultimately you do not have the experience required for a PMP certification, there is another option: CAPM. Falsifying your PMP application is NOT acceptable!
As always, if you have any questions regarding the various PMI certifications, give us a shout! We’d be happy to help you!!