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Guest Post: Project Management Certifications–PRINCE2, PMP, or both?

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Working in the Project Management sector is tough, but its rewarding salaries and flexible, long term career opportunities make it a popular career choice.   However, with the Global financial crisis and a shrinking job market, competition for project management jobs is higher than it′s ever been.

When you are going for that new promotion or fancy new job, how do you stand out from the project management crowd?

How Do I Stand Out in the Job Market?

Experience, a CV packed with achievements and a winning smile are not always enough to set you apart from the competition. This is where Project Management Certification comes in, a third party endorsement of your skills from a respected and globally recognised body. According to the most recent Project Management Salary Survey of 30,000 professionals, certification is associated with increased marketability to employers and leads to a higher overall salary. In the famous words of Charlie Sheen (not that he should ever be used as a role model), “Winning!”

So Certifications are good, but which one?

There are two globally recognised Project Management certifications, PRINCE2 ® and PMP ®. Viewed as competing certifications, it is no surprise that most Project Managers feel compelled to choose one or the other. Our instructors are asked regularly, ‘which methodology is most useful in a project management environment?” So let us look in a little more detail at the differences and see if we can help you decide.

The Real Difference Between PRINCE2 and PMP


  • PRINCE2 – stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. Created by APMG the PRINCE2 certification is split into two tiers, Foundation and Practitioner.
  • PMP – stands for Project Management Professional, created by PMI the PMP is the most commonly sought certification associated with the Institutes publication, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)


  • PRINCE2 was originally developed in the UK by the Office of the Government as a suite of project management products. This led to the PRINCE2 becoming the standard in the UK with a strong presence in Europe and Australia.
  • PMP originated from US based PMI, PMP certification has the largest presence in North America and remains the most popular of the two.


  • PRINCE2 – whilst it is recommended that you have experience of working within project management and that you attend training, there are in fact no pre-requisites for the foundation or Practitioner exams.
  • PMP – pre-requisites for the qualification are far more stringent, you must have either:
      • A four-year degree (bachelor′s or equivalent) and at least three years′ project management experience. With 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.


      • A secondary diploma (high school or equivalent) with at least five years′ project management experience. With 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.

Project Management Methodologies

Both the PMP and PRINCE2 are proven and popular methodologies and the two disciplines actually overlap a great deal–it′s in their focus that the two certifications are truly differentiated. The PMP qualification centres around the skills and knowledge required of a Project Manager, whereas PRINCE2 is concerned with the framework within which to manage projects.

The decision, a question of salaries and jobs

So contrary to popular opinion to that you should choose one or the other, you would actually benefit from having knowledge of both methodologies as they offer value in different areas. Of course, financial constraints often mean you will choose either PMP or PRINCE2. Since both are good, so if you have the opportunity to do both, take it.

If not, it will often come down to a question job availability and money.

Jobs – take a look at popular jobs boards such as Monster or Jobserve, if you are in the UK and CareerBuilder or Workopolis if you are in North America to find out where the jobs are and their associated salaries.

Money – In North America PMP is regularly touted as the certification with one of the highest associated salaries as highlighted in this article from IT Business Edge often exceeding $100,000. In the UK, check IT Jobs Watch for salary comparisons where PMP comes out on top with and average salary of £60,000 versus £50,000 for PRINCE2.

Project Management Certification Summary

So there you have it, project management helps set you apart, you know a little bit more about PRINCE2 and PMP, the differences between and associated salaries, so what are you waiting for?

Get training....

Edward Jones looks after community engagement and content creation for Firebrand Training, who offer a 4 day PMP course and 3 day PRINCE2 certification course.Ed writes on a variety of certification and training trends associated with the IT Sector.

Image credit,  Tumblr

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