If you want to further your career in project management, you need to acquire certifications that will boost your credentials. Two certifications that are mostly sought after by project management professionals are Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP). What are these certifications about? Who can apply for these certifications? What are the benefits and drawbacks for both CAPM and PMP? Here’s a comparative look at these two project management certifications so you can make an informed decision.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

This certification is designed for individuals who wish to have a career in project management. It is an entry level certification but provides great value for aspiring project managers. To be able to qualify for Certified Associate in Project Management certification, you need to have experience in project works, possess basic knowledge about project management, and hold a secondary diploma.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

This certification is designed for professionals who have already been working as a project manager. It is an advanced certification that can be acquired by professionals who have finished bachelor’s degree and have been working as project managers for at least 3 years. Those who have completed secondary education, have worked in the project management industry for at least 5 years, and have completed at least 35 hours of education related to project management are also qualified for PMP certification.

Benefits And Drawbacks

Here are some comparisons between CAPM and PMP in terms of their benefits and drawbacks:

* CAPM is an entry level certification only. It means that you can not use it to obtain a higher management position for larger projects. Whereas, the PMP is an advanced certification that pushes forward professionals to the top of the management ladder.

* CAPM highlights your resume. It shows the employer that you are committed and dedicated in project management. It reveals your eagerness to learn and become more effective in your field. It speaks a lot about your credibility as an aspiring project manager. PMP does the same thing in your resume. It reveals that although you have a solid experience in project management, you are in pursuit of continuous improvement for your skills.

* You can get a CAPM certification even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree. This is one of the major benefits of this certification. On the other hand, you will not be able to apply for a PMP certification if you have no bachelor’s degree or secondary diploma plus 5 years project management experience. In terms of requirements, CAPM has fewer requirements compared to PMP.

* Before you can get any of these project management certifications, you will have to take exams. For both CAPM and PMP, you need to pass the exams to be able to get the certificates.

* If you have a PMP certification, you will have to earn at least 60 professional development units (PDUs) to be able to maintain the certification every 3 years. With CAPM certification, you don’t need to earn any project management PDUs but you have to take another exam before the five year cycle ends to be able to maintain your certification.

* Certification maintenance for PMP certification has a 3 year cycle while CAPM has a 5 year cycle.

Between the two certifications, employers are more inclined to give more value to PMP. However, for entry levels, CAPM gives you a huge step lead ahead of your competitors. Whichever option you choose, PMCAMPUS can help you to prepare for and pass the CAPM and PMP exams with a variety of PMP study courses and bundles as well as CAPM study courses and bundles. Learn more about the requirements for sitting for the CAPM and PMP on PMCAMPUS and visit the PMP exam prep forum to get answers to questions you have about the CAPM and PMP exams.

Author's Bio: 

PMCAMPUS is an online leader in PMP Exam preparation. Since 2005, we have trained thousands of PMP exam candidates to pass their PMP exam on the first try. We are leaders in online training for PMI's -PMP certification, CAPM certification and PDU PMP recertification.