pmi, capm, comptia, project management, it certification exams

PMI CAPM vs CompTIA Project+. Which One Should You Go For?

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  • March 28, 2014
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pmi, capm, comptia, project management, it certification examsRecently, we have discussed PMP, the ultimate project management credential. Yet, building up the experience and knowledge to be eligible to attempt this certification takes years of hard work, and, perhaps some entry level certifications. Among the ultimate stepping stones towards the PMP, we have picked two best options you should consider: PMI’s CAPM (Certified Associate In Project Management) and CompTIA’s Project+.

Obviously, the CAPM looks like a better option compared to the Project+ as it’s developed by PMI, the organization that sets standards in the project management industry. The good news about the Project+, however, is the fact that it was developed on the same PMBOK (project management body of knowledge), hence, it covers the same information as the CAPM. So, what’s the difference between these two credentials?

First, prerequisites. Like with the PMP, PMI does not make it easy with the CAPM. To be eligible for the Certified Associate In Project Management credential, candidates need to have either 1,500 hours of documented on-the-job experience (approximately 9 months of full-time work) or 23 hours of project management classroom training. Project+, however, does not have these requirements.

Both CAPM and Project+ require sitting one exam that covers more or less similar areas. Neither of the two exams is easy, and some people fail, but the CAPM fail rate does not even come close to the PMP, which is notoriously hard.

The CAPM is definitely a great option for IT professionals interested in project management. Yet, it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s still an entry level certification, meaning that it’s is unlikely to provide a ticket to a proper project management job. However, it may be great for those IT professionals who have to deal with a number of project management aspects in their daily work, and need some project management training to work more efficiently. For the very same reason these candidates may want to consider CompTIA Project+ certification.

CompTIA has an excellent reputation as a certifying body for its balanced and quality certifications. The Project+ is another example of CompTIA doing a good job. Compared to the CAPM, Project+ comes from a computing industry-spanning organization that develops its certification programs based on the needs and input from industry stakeholders, from leading IT companies to government organizations, education institutions etc. This way, CompTIA Project+ credential targets the needs of project management with a special focus on the IT industry – which adds a huge value to this certification.

CompTIA Project+ certification does not have any prerequisites, and candidates have to take one exam: PK0-003.

Many certification holders and project management experts agree that the Project+ is easier to obtain, which makes it seem somewhat less valuable compared to the CAPM. In spite of that, Project+ is just as good a stepping stone to the PMP, as CAPM. Yet, if you google for entry level positions in project management, many mention having the CAPM as an advantage while very few list the Project+.

Summing up, both credentials are definitely worth your attention if you are looking for an entry level project management certification. The CAPM definitely has the challenge and edge to it, while CompTIA’s Project+ is more IT industry focused, and this fact may come as a significant advantage to many candidates.

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