PMP vs CAPM: Which Certification is Right for Me? (Updated Aug 2021)

7 minute read    Updated:    Harwinder Singh

PMP vs CAPM - Which certification is right for me?

Difference between PMP and CAPM certifications: Project Management Institute (PMI) offers two levels of certification - Project Management Professional (PMP®) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) - for project managers, depending upon their experience, education and training. So which certification is right for me, you may ask. In this article, I’ll review the differences between PMP and CAPM certifications in order to help aspiring candidates make the right decision.

PMP is a professional-level certification, while CAPM is an associate-level certification. PMP requires a few years of professional project management experience, while CAPM does not require any project management experience. PMP is meant for experienced project managers, while CAPM can help you get a foot-in-the-door into the world of professional project management. Refer to the chart below for a head-to-head comparison of the two project management certifications. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll be able to decide which certification is right for you.

PMP vs CAPM: Comparison Chart

Let’s start with a head-to-head comparison of PMP and CAPM. After that, we’ll address other questions such as - which certification is better and which is more popular.

OverviewPMP certification is meant for experienced Project Managers who want to gain credibility and recognition for their knowledge and skills in Project Management, and want to advance their project management career.CAPM certification is designed for project team members, entry-level project managers and qualified undergraduate or graduate students. CAPM is also suitable for anyone switching into Project Management Profession but is not qualified for PMP Certification. CAPM demonstrates a good knowledge of Project Management terminology, concepts and methodology.
Who should apply? Those who lead and direct cross-functional teams to deliver projects within the constraints of schedule, budget, and scope. Candidates for the CAPM credential contribute to projects as subject matter experts and team members. They may also serve as project sponsors, facilitators, liaisons or coordinators.
Eligibility Criteria To qualify for the PMP Exam, you need:

a. High School Diploma or a global equivalent + 5 years of PM experience + 35 hrs of formal PM education*


b. Bachelor's degree or a global equivalent + 3 years of PM experience + 35 hrs of formal PM education*


c. Bachelor's or post-graduate degree from a GAC accredited program (bachelor's degree or master's or global equivalent) + 2 years of PM experience

*CAPM certification also counts toward 35 hrs of PM education
To qualify for the CAPM Exam, you need:

Secondary Education + 23 hrs of formal Project Management education

Exam Fee (USD) a. $555 for non-PMI members
b. $405 for PMI members
a. $300 for non-PMI members
b. $225 for PMI members
Allotted Examination Time230 minutes180 minutes
No. of Exam Questions 175 Scored + 5 Pretest
= 180 Total
135 Scored + 15 Pretest
= 150 Total
Difficulty Level Generally considered to be difficult (a subjective matter)Considerably less difficult than the PMP Exam
Type of QuestionsMultiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot and fill-in-the-blank; Mostly situational questions.Multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching; Mostly direct questions based on PMBOK® Guide content.
Application ModeOnlineOnline
Exam AdministrationComputer-Based Test (CBT) at the exam center or Online Proctored Test (OPT)Computer-Based Test (CBT) at the exam center or Online Proctored Test (OPT)
Subject to Audit?YesYes
Validity3 years3 years
RenewalEarn 60 PDUs during the 3 year certification cycle. For earning PDUs, refer to How to get my 60 PDUs for PMP Certification Renewal?Earn 15 PDUs during the 3 year certification cycle. For earning PDUs, refer to How to get my 60 PDUs for PMP Certification Renewal?
Number of credential holders (as of Jun 30, 2021)1,141,14754,163
Recognition / Market ValuePMP was introduced in 1984 and has been the premier certification in the field of Project Management for many years. It's well recognized across the world and many companies use it as a pre-requisite for Project Manager positions. For more information, refer to Value of PMP Certification.CAPM was introduced in 2003 and is a relatively new certification. It is steadily gaining popularity. It might not get you a Project Manager job, a promotion or a steep pay-hike immediately, but it certainly demonstrates your seriousness about pursuing Project Management as a career. It provides you a step in the door into Project Management.
More InformationRefer to About PMP Certification and PMP Handbook (PDF).Refer to About CAPM Certification and CAPM Handbook (PDF).

As you can see from the number of PMPs and CAPMs (1.14M vs 54K), PMP is far more popular than CAPM. I have been running a survey of visitors of this blog, and based on the responses, PMP is at least 6 times more popular than CAPM.

Do note that the number of certification holders reflects the “active” certification holders. Majority of CAPM certified individuals use it as a stepping stone to get their PMP certification. So, while CAPM numbers continue to remain small, PMP numbers continue to swell.

Which certification is more valuable - PMP or CAPM?

PMP has undoubtedly more value than CAPM in the market as PMP affirms your knowledge and experience in the field of project management, whereas CAPM only proves your knowledge and not experience. This isn’t to say that CAPM has no value. CAPM is great for those who have no or little experience in project management, and are looking for a foot in the door to the world of project management.

Which certification is right for me - PMP or CAPM?

The answer to this question depends upon your project management experience.

If you have 3 years or more of project management experience, you should definitely go for PMP. This one is a no-brainer.

If you have 1-2 years of project management experience, you should wait it out until you have attained 3 years of project management experience, and go straight for PMP instead of spending your money and energy on CAPM.

But if you have less than 1 year of project management experience, or no project management experience at all, or as I said above, you are looking for a foot in the door to project management, then CAPM is the right certification for you. However, don’t stop at CAPM and graduate to PMP once you’ve attained the required 3 years of project management experience.

Need Help?

If you need additional information or have more information to share on this subject, feel free to post your comments. I’m happy to help and provide guidance to anyone who requests for it.

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Dear Harwinder,
My question to you is why are you only considering PMI's credentials?

If you want to do a service to yourself and your colleagues, you will recognize that there are many other credible credentials out there, which, while not as well marketed as PMI's certainly are much more highly regarded.

Some you may want to consider are:

1) Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI)

2) International Council of Systems Engineers (INCOSE)

3) American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm) (The USA affiliate of IPMA)


6) International Project Management Association (IPMA)

Bottom line- PMI is not the ONLY professional organization representing the practice of project management and IMPO, it is far from the BEST.

We are doing a disservice to ourselves and our colleagues by not presenting the full list of options and comparing them on a toes to toes and nose to nose basis.

Dr. PDG, World Engineering Forum,, Bangkok, Thailand

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Dr. PDG,

Welcome back and thanks for your comments.

I'm talking about PMI's certifications simply because this site is dedicated to PMP Certification. I think I've declared that unequivocally at the top.

Moreover, I don't claim to know everything. I'm also learning from people like you. As I gain knowledge, I hope to start a new site that covers wider aspects of Project Management.

Lastly, earning a CAPM or PMP certification doesn't exclude one from other certification programs.

Many people are genuinely confused between CAPM and PMP certifications and spend a lot of time figuring out the difference. I simply tried to make their job easier.

If you think it's a disservice, I respect your opinion.

Thanks again.

Missing Avatar

I have an MBA and took a few courses in project management during my studies. Does this count toward the "formal project management education" requirement? If so, my studies took place in a span of 2 years from 2007-2008, do these hours expire where I would need to retake similar courses?

Thank you

In my experience, yes, PMI will accept university courses in or closely related to project management to fulfill the 35 hours required.....

Put it this way- PMI is first and foremost a business...... And despite the claims to be a not for profit, based on my 20+ years experience with the organization, they have no interest in refusing or making it difficult for anyone in getting their PMP.

Bottom line- IMPO, if you are even remotely qualified, PMI will be happy to take your money.....

Dr. PDG, Jakarta

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello dd,

Thanks for your question. Dr. PDG has already given you a pretty straight answer. Now here's a bit more formal answer.

Yes, you can use the hours from your project management course, as long as the content can be "mapped" to the 9 project management knowledge areas. You also must have some kind of "proof" that you attended this course. The hours do NOT "expire".

All the best.

Missing Avatar

Hey hi,
First of all thanx to everyone for giving useful information....

i have a query regarding it... i have completed BE in CSE in JUNE 2009 and doing PG diploma in PM... I am plannig to give CAPM.. Is it d rite step for me as i dunno have any experience??

please guide me if i can give anyother cerfitcation which will help me to give boost to ma career..

Hi Anmol,
I am writing from the PM South Africa conference here in J'burg, South Africa and based on the general sentiment here, my best recommendation for you would be to seek out one of the COMPETENCY based programs, such as that offered by IPMA, rather looking to PMI.

Very quickly, PMI is being discounted, especially those in the developing nations as being far too commercial and not sensitive to the needs of the global practitioner.

But to be more specific, given that the PMP is nothing more than an entry level credential to begin with, why would anyone want to bother with a credential that has little or no value and is nothing more than a "junior version" of the PMP?

Bottom line- do more research on what other options besides those offered by PMI are available to you.

Dr. PDG, J'burg, South Africa

Missing Avatar

Hey Dr. PDG,

Thanx for ur valuabel advice. i will definately consider oder options too.
It will be more helpful for me if u can guide me so that i can have an iniation and can start working towards it.

Thanks and Regards,

I hate to sound pretentious, but given I have no idea of where you live, what you do or what your career path objectives are, how can I possibly "guide" you more than what I have done?

Speaking very candidly, if you are unable to pick up the ball and run with it after the advice I provided to you, causes me to seriously question whether you have what it takes to be a "successful" project manager.....

Bottom line here, you need to research your own industry, find out what you think the future holds and instead of "following the crowd" and doing what everyone else is doing, you need to get AHEAD of the crowd and get to where you need or want to be BEFORE everyone else....

FWIW, I am currently conducting AACE Certification Prep Course here in Jakarta for a combined class of oil,gas, telecommunications and IT project and program managers- clients who were originally "early adopters" of the PMP....

Dr. PDG, back in Jakarta

Missing Avatar

Dr. PDG I need your advice!! Similar to situation 'Mr. Anmol' is now facing.... I am an Electrical Engineer and have "Post Graduate Diploma" (PGD) in Business Administration (Age: 28 years). I am working as 'Assistant Engineer' for 04 years and participating in installation and commissioning activities of 340MW Power Plant in the southern part of Pakistan. The construction of Plant is under progress and hopefully it will start its production lately in 2011. The project is on its way under the supervision of Chinese Engineers and Managers.
My question is that I want to secure some position as a Manager any where, in other words I want now to do more office work (decision making) rather than field work.... i-e in simple words ---> a shift from 'Blue Collar' to 'White Collar' job description. Since due to rigid job hours I was not succeeded to complete my full M.B.A degree.... therefore I am looking for some recognized certification which can help me to achieve my goal. One thing I must add that I feel (also opinion of my colleagues) that I have good interpersonal skills. Please Dr. PDG I am really in need of good advice, whether I go for CAPM or PMP. You have mentioned some good institutions and web links but I am unable to decide where to go???

Hi Anonymous,
With a strong engineering background and 4 years of experience, you easily qualify to take your PMP, so don't even bother considering the CAPM.

But as I've told others, why waste your time and money obtaining an entry level credential that doesn't differentiate you from all the rest, when you can get one of the AACE or INCOSE credentials which are MUCH more credible than the PMP, just not as well marketed?

If you are looking more to becoming a BUSINESS manager, then you probably would do better with the AACE credentials, where if you would prefer to become a TECHNICAL manager, then INCOSE would probably be your best choice.....

Hope this helps?

Dr. PDG, GAPPS Workshop #20, Darwin, Australia

Missing Avatar

HI, i've been working on software development project in many capacities from programmer, technical analyst, quality assurance tester, QA lead, facilitator etc, but never been offered the opportunity to actually lead the project. I've played key role in deployment of several products but have been been in charge from the initiation to the closure of the project. Could I still qualify to sit in the exam. I'm this close of getting my PMP. Your reply will be greatly appreciated. ALI

Best to simply fill in the PMP Exam application and PMI will let you know if you qualify for the PMP or the CAPM. Surely you will qualify for ONE of them.

While I am not impressed with the PMP as a credential, the process PMI has set up is a robust one, and provided you follow the instructions, should have no problems.

Good luck..... But whatever you do, don't think that just because you have those three letters "PMP" (or PhD for that matter) it means you are a competent project manager. There is no positive correlation and at least based on the 2009 Standish Chaos Report, one could infer a NEGATIVE correlation- that having a certification results in WORSE project management. ("A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing")

Dr. PDG, Jakarta

EXCELLENT, Anonymous!!!

Very pleased I was able to help you at least in some little way!!

Best of luck with your INCOSE certifications and look forward to having you share your "lessons learned" with everyone here.

Believe me, there is a lot more out there than PMI.....

Dr. PDG, Jakarta

Hi Anon,
Frankly, I wouldn't waste my money on any training for the CAPM. Better just read over the PMBOK Guide, paying close attention to the definitions.

Dr. PDG, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder,

I'm preparing for CAPM certification and would like to know which free online resources or practice exams should I access? I browsed through your website and found li'l regarding CAPM, though I understand that it is less difficult than PMP and mostly questions are from PMBOK, but would like to know your opinion about its preparation. Please advise,


Missing Avatar

Dear Dr. PDG, thank you for your very informative comments.

I have recently started to read PMI guide and I must say it looks like an old school theory book which IMHO is a waste of time and is not particularly useful. While it includes many examples and best practices most of them seem to be very theoretical and too general (that also looks pretty straightforward to me).
I have been lucky to secure an entry level job as an associate PM in one of the most respected IT companies and I will be getting hand on experience to enhance my PM skills during the next 6-9 months undergoing a rigorous training.
While PMP or CAPM can be considered, I don't want to spend my time on things that bear little value (also considering the amount of PMPs).
With respect to this I have researched AACEi website and have found that for certifications that are in interest (CCC/CCE) 4 years of experience is essential that I, unfortunately, do not have. I am definitely eligible to take Certified Cost Technician (CCT) however I am not sure how useful it is (another CAPM like?)
I have an MSc degree and about a year and a half experience of software/research engineering (including publishing papers) and some project management experience (more as a team leader). Obviously I have very strong engineering background and very good records including top engineering company.
I would be quite interested to hear from you which certification would be suitable for me in the next year excluding PMI (which I might attain just in case).
As a young project manager I understand that nothing is better than a real experience and I am inclined to continue with business oriented management in future (e.g. program manager->portfolio/product manager-> ).
Your answers are rather helpful and informative and I am tempted to learn about your suggestions.
Many thanks,

Hi James,
Given your explanation and background, my recommendation would be to look into the Systems Engineering certifications.

IF you go the route of AACE, then you could very well end up with a very decent job with Building Information Modeling.

But very clearly, the PMI family of credentials have been way over-sold and although it APPEARS as though PMI is moving the PMP towards being competency rather than exam based, I think the damage has been done and there is little respect remaining, at least in professional circles, for the PMP.

IF project management is an objective, then I would recommend you seek out the IPMA competency based credentials (asapm in the USA)

Hope this has helped you at least explore other alternatives?

Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

Missing Avatar

Hello Dr. PDG,

Firstly, thank you very much for taking out time and replying to just everyone!

Reading your comments and suggestions, I get an impression that you are not quite for PMI. However, frankly speaking,is it all that bad??

Let me give you my background:

I am a Translator-Interpreter-Language Expert, based in London UK.

With close to seven years of professional experience in the field of translation, quality checking, proofreading, error-detection, transcriptions, language training and interpretations, I specialize in providing language-related services to various sectors like Commerce, Finance, Health, Medicine, Pharmaceuticals, Business, Construction, E-learning, Judicial, Air-line Logistics, IT (SAP), Print-advertisements, etc.

Though over the last 5 and half - 6 years, I have managed several translation projects, they have mostly been on a freelance basis.

Now the point is, I am very keen on taking up the right Project management Course in order to add to my qualifications and be eligible for suitable in-house positions as well.

By now I had made up my mind to go ahead with PMI, and just then I came across this forum and I am a bit perplexed now.

Could you please share your thoughts with me and help me make the right decision.

Thanks Dr. PDG!

Kind Regards,

Missing Avatar

Dr. PDG,

While it is clear you are knowledgeable in the field of project management, and though many of your comments are worthwhile and appreciated by some, it is very evident you have a distinct bias against the PMP certification and are trying very hard to swing people to these other organizations and credentials. It's almost as if you've been paid by AACE and INCOSE to promote them.

I value my PMP credential very highly as it has served me well and provided me with many opportunities. It has more than paid for itself! So, while it may not be for everybody, and though there may be more focused and perhaps even more highly regarded credentials out there, congrats to you and your ability to hijack this thread and it's website!

Hi Anonymous,
To each his own.......

Yes, I am biased against PMI as I believe they have oversold what is nothing more than an entry level credential and are allowing people (and some companies) to believe it actually measures competent practitioners. Which is patently absurd.

So as a life-long professional practitioner, whenever possible, I try to bring some reality into the picture, by offering a DIFFERENT or ALTERNATIVE view.

And as this thread is not mine, but is owned and controlled by someone else, anything/everything I publish here is done with the full knowledge, permission and agreement of "Brain Washer".

So am I biased? Yes. But at the same time, I challenge you to obtain some of the other certifications such as those from AACE, INCOSE, IPMA or CMAA, then YOU can decide for yourself which ones are "more" or "less" valuable. Who knows, you may just find out that you too will come to the same conclusion that I have?

To see a comparison of the various credentials, benchmarked against the highly respected US Professional Engineer (PE) license, check this out.

I think you will agree that while I am biased, it is not based on emotions but on facts.

Dr. PDG, Jakarta Indonesia

Harwinder Singh Avatar

IMPO, it's good to have options, and Dr. PDG has presented us with some. Now it's up to us to evaluate them and decide whether they are good or bad. As long as the debate stays constructive, I would encourage it.

Thanks all for your contribution.

P.S.: Yes, I do moderate each and every comment posted on this site. However, I do "not" necessarily agree with every comment that I approve.

Missing Avatar

Hello Harwinder,
I'm a IT programmer analyst currently in Testing Domain in U.S.I have had 7-8 yrs of experience in Power Sector( 1-2 yrs of that in Production) ,after which I had switched to IT working in various capacities starting with Junior IT Analyst to Project Leader(9 years experience).Having read Dr. PDG 's eye-opening observations,I'm having doubts whether its fully worthwhile to invest in PMP/CAPM. CSEP ,I may not since Iam not in Systems Engg. per se.Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for all your valuable service and contribution to all certfication aspirers !

Hi Anonymous,
If you read over previous postings on this thread, you will see several options I have proposed.

A lot has to do with who you are and were you are working. If you are UK or EU based, PRINCE2 has value, even though I don't find it to be a credible professional level credential.

With 8 years experience, don't even bother with the CAPM. In the world of IT, the PMP is probably "king" although the reputation is dropping as people begin to realize what it is really testing for- which isn't much. (IMPO)

If I were in your shoes, given the number of PMP's in the world and the fact that clearly the "value" of the PMP has peaked, you probably would be best served by getting one of the Systems Engineering credentials OR in going for one of the IPMA competency based credentials.

Not to be redundant, but take the time to look over this research I have done and let that help be your guide.

Best of luck to you.....

Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

Missing Avatar

I have a Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering and a total experience of three years, of which I have worked as a lead for two years including five months as oversight for a team of 30 people. My official designation is not of a PM but I do all the work that my counterpart at offshore does, my counterpart is a Project Manager by designation. I have been promoted out of turn to Lead / oversight role. Could you please let me know if I am eligible for PMP?

Hi Anonymous,
Best to go to the PMI website and see the latest requirements, but the last time I looked, it was 4500 hours of work experience with a 4 year degree, in not less than 3 nor more than 6 years.

Based on what you wrote, it would appear you DO qualify, but again, you would be wise to check the PMI website to learn the latest requirements.

Dr. PDG, Lagos, Nigeria

Missing Avatar

Hello Dr. PDG,

I'm curious to know if you've actually written either a CAPM exam or a PMP exam? I suspect not, but could be wrong. Or did you perhaps write the PMP and fail? I agree that nothing bests real world experience. However, nothing beats real world experience AND education and / or certification. I live in Canada. PMI and Prince2 are the defacto "standards" with respect to project management certification...period.

Hi Anonymous,
Yes, I have written my PMP (#740) back in 1989 when the exam was 7 hours long, consisted of 320 questions, with 5, not 4 possible "guesses" and you had to pass EACH of the 8 knowledge areas with a score of 70% or you had to resit the exam.

I dropped my PMP as well as our Global Chartered Registered Education Provider (REP) around 2003 because PMI no longer represents the values I subscribe to as a life long project management practitioner.

And perhaps more importantly, I have trained well over 20,000 practitioners (mostly English as Second Language (ESL)) throughout SE Asia, the Middle East and Africa over the past 20+ years and have an OUTSTANDING reputation for delivering very tough but very good training to develop COMPETENCY , not just pass multiple guess exams.
(See testimonials to get some idea-

You may also be interested in research I have done comparing all the major global professional credentials against the US Professional Engineer (PE) license as well as Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 hour rule". You may find that to be enlightening? . In particular, PRINCE2 is, IMPO, a joke. More so than the PMP.

Bottom line- do not confuse POPULARITY with CREDIBILITY.

Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

Missing Avatar

Hi again, it's me...the last "anonymous" again,

Thanks for the response. I certainly will look at some of your suggested reading, and I thank you for providing same. I'll try to report back on my thoughts.

With respect to confusing popularity and credibility, I think this may be a little more "grey", than black and white.

Here's my thinking...If my "credibility" is based on a certification or designation that no one has heard of, what's the point? Me knowing that I'm certified by a more credible association than the others will do me no favours, unless finding solace in walking down the street still unemployed but knowing I'm more credible than the fellow that got the job is?

I digress. But I think you likely know what I mean? Perhaps the scenario in Canada differs significantly than that in the US and certainly the UK and other countries/continents?

On an aside, I'm in IT, and project management has been an inheritance moreso than a goal for me. I have circa 40 different IT vendor certifications/designations. They mean squat to me, but at the end of the day, employers seem to want to see them, and yes, some have more perceived value than others.

Which brings me back to PMI vs. others. At the end of the day, it's ALL about perception/perceived value. As long as there are masses of company's and employers perceiving that a PMP is valuable...then it is. It's really that simple. I don't know what the ratio of "believers" is vs. those that don't perceive it as valuable, but I suspect at least here on this continent, there are many more that perceive the PMP to be valuable. MOST job postings for project managers ask for it, and as long as that's the case, then that should be the course of action for those that want to help their chances of getting projects.

At the end of the day, it IS about employability isn't it? No point sitting at home knowing you've got the highest education, experience, and certification...if it doesn't put food on your table.

Just sayin'... :)

Missing Avatar

Hi...Dr. me again,

One more thought came to mind... While your opinions and thoughts are worthy of note and further examination, I take exception to you hijacking a thread clearly dedicated to the comparison of the PMP and CAPM.

I haven't finished reading your analysis yet, but I DO find it interesting. I just don't think this is the "right" forum (no pun intended) for you to be making your case against PMI. Just my 2 cents of course. ;)

Hi Anonymous,
As a life long practitioner (not an "accidental" project manager) with some reasonably impressive credentials both as a practitioner and as an educator, I believe I have both an ethical and moral obligation to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" about what I see.

Now, if this somehow offends anyone, (and I cannot understand why it could or should) then there are plenty of PMI/PMP member only sites on Facebook or Linked In, where you can all enjoy drinking the PMI Kool Aid with no one to "hijack" the thread. (God forbid that someone mention that the Emperor is naked??)

Anyway, Harwinder (who is the owner of this blog) appreciates the debate hence his willingness to allow me to share my opinions, understanding that in the end, it is up to YOU to make a rational and informed decision about which is best for YOU.

But the important thing is that those who are seeking ANY credential have the right to know the truth about those credentials which means both the pros and cons, and PMI in particular has been less than forthcoming in telling the truth about the origins of the PMP credential or how they have "dumbed it down" over the past years.

Bottom line- you appear to be an intelligent individual and I have provided you with some alternatives to consider, now it is up to you to decide whether I am or am not telling the truth.

Dr. PDG, back in Jakarta

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Dr. PDG and Anon.,

I have been enjoying your conversation but refraining from jumping in because it's a never-ending debate.

I see PMP as an academic qualification, and not as a proof of competency in project management. For example, I don't see lot of relevance of my Engineering degree in my present job, but if I didn't have that degree, I wouldn't have this job today.

So, in that sense PMP helps you to "qualify" for many jobs, which you otherwise may not qualify for. It still carries good value around the world, irrespective of what Dr. PDG says.

However, I do agree with Dr. PDG on many aspects, especially on the "dumbing down" part. I definitely see the value of PMP degrading over the years. Just to give you an example, when I got the PMP certificate in 2007, I was the only PMP in our entire department. But now even programmers, who've never managed any projects (as far as I know), also have PMP certificates hanging on their cubicle walls.

It seems too easy to "game" the system. These days, people attend some sort of boot-camp, take the exam a few days or weeks later and somehow pass. I didn't attend any boot-camp or classroom training, and had to work my back-side off to pass the exam. To me, learning was more important than cramming, and I was sure that learning could come only through hard grind. But now it makes me feel like a stupid for not opting for some boot-camp, when my company was willing to pay for it.

Few months ago, I was shocked to see an ad in the PM Network magazine (a monthly PMI publication) saying "Pass PMP in 5 days"! What message is PMI sending by carrying such ads in their premier publication? Is PMP Certificate only worth 5 days of effort? Can you somehow auto-magically become a good Project Manager in 5 days?

All this indicates that there is some merit in what Dr. PDG has been saying for the past 2 years.

As far as hijacking this thread is concerned, yes, I felt that way when Dr. PDG posted his first comment on Nov 4, 2009. But now it feels like a blessing in disguise.

In conclusion, if my boss comes and tells me that I need PMP certification in order to get promoted to the next level, then yes, I'll go for it (remember, arguing with your boss is like wrestling a pig in the mud; after a while you realize that while you are getting dirty, the other party is actually enjoying it). But if I have a choice, then I'll not simply pick PMP as a de facto standard. I'll critically analyze all the options and then pick what aligns best with my career goals and interests.


Missing Avatar

Hi, me again... (I'm Jake by the way, forgive the anonymous thing!)

I do not for a second think that you are not telling the truth. I also understand your desire to share that truth. I may not understand the appearance of a mission to share it, but nonetheless, I do "get it" to some extent.

It's not my board, and nor was it my place to tell you what should and should not be here. But, in the essence of honesty, felt obligated to mention that the thread is about the differences between CAPM and PMP..not the differences between PMI certification and others., I've read your analysis. Fascinating. Nothwithstanding what the actual value of a degree is or isn't and how that contributes to the overall score, I quite honestly found it very telling.

Having said that however, my "case" doesn't change. At risk of repeating myself, if in the country that I live the PMP cert is the "measure" of getting a foot in the door, then that is the cert that one would be foolish not to pursue, regardless of whether it isn't the best cert "on the market".

I suspect that over time it will change, certainly as more and more potential employers become aware of what else is out there, and more importantly, the perceived value of same. Until that happens though, the status quo will have to suffice.

I wish you the best of luck (I use the term "luck" loosely, of course) with your mission to educate the masses...truly.

Hi Jake,
I really don't want to beat a dead horse, but what you are likely to find out sooner or later is that while the PMP has become a defacto "license to practice" in some industries and even in some countries,(India in particular) the reason we have been able to stay in business for 20+ years now is because we follow behind fixing the problems that people with a "little bit of knowledge" have caused.

We have several major Fortune 500 clients with 2000+ PMP's in the organization and cannot figure out why or how their projects continue to fail with such alarming frequency.

And the answer is you cannot look at project management without looking at the integration with Asset (portfolio) and Program (operations) management. While PMI's PMBOK Guide seems to be evolving in that direction, right now, the ONLY fully integrated Portfolio, Program and Project Management Methodology is AACE's Total Cost Management Framework AACE (unlike PMI) makes available at no cost.

So Jake, the question is do you want to be a follower or do you want to get ahead of the competition? Assuming you want to leap ahead of all the others, then my most candid and sincere advice would be to look at the AACE family of credentials. Or those of INCOSE-

Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia