PRINCE2® Vs PMP® – The Battle of Certifications

PRINCE2® Vs PMP® – The Battle of Certifications
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Avantika Monnappa

Last updated September 15, 2017


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If you’re in the project management field, or if you’ve always wanted to immerse yourself in this thriving discipline, you’ve probably wondered about what steps you need to take to get certified to advance your career. Both the Product Management Professional (PMP®) and PRINCE2 certifications are highly reputed in the field and can validate for employers your understanding of key project management concepts and how to apply them throughout the project management lifecycle.

So that begs the question: which certification is right for you? It’s not an easy decision, to be sure, but worry not – we’ve done much of the hard work for you! This article offers an overview of the two certifications, important benefits and job prospects for each one. Read on to make the right choice!

What Are the Key Difference Between PMP & PRINCE2?

 

Fundamentally, the PRINCE2 and PMP® certifications involve two different project management frameworks. Both offer a body of knowledge and a proven approach to managing projects effectively. Picking one over the other is a decision that involves a number of factors. The ideal choice should be based on the industry or company you are aiming to build a career in, and the type of project you’re planning to lead or direct. Both certification programs are of equal value, albeit in different aspects of project management.

Time-Out

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification

 

One of the most highly regarded certifications in the world for project managers, the PMP or Project Management Professional Certification is a qualification program that is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. Various industries use PMP as a standard requirement for project managers. Becoming a PMP empowers you to work with any methodology and in any industry. The certification course covers a wide spectrum of project management techniques and competencies that are necessary for any project manager and can help increase your earning potential. This course, administered by PMI in the USA, has also gained popularity in Europe and Asia.

The PMP qualification: 

  • Is indicative of your proficiency in using the PMBOK® Guide, the Project Management Book of Knowledge.
  • Verifies your knowledge of "generally-accepted" best practices and principles of project management.

The Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) Certification

The PRINCE2, or ‘Projects IN Controlled Environments' certification, is a process-based project management method that offers a systematic approach to delivering a successful project with clear templates, processes and steps. The certification is both process and project focused. PRINCE2 is administered in the UK by the APMG.

The PRINCE2 qualification:

  • Is a broad, high-level, general framework of project management principles, which means it is recommended for and can be implemented on just about any type of project.
  • Has a well-laid out and standardized approach to project management.
  • Spells out the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team tasked with managing the project.
  • Divides the master project plan into project plans, stage plans, and team plans, which eliminates ambiguity and makes it easier to execute the project.
  • It is both project and process focused.

Industry Demand

If you wish to get one of these certifications, it is important that you do your research before you begin to walk down one path vs. the other. Each certification is in higher demand in certain geographies, so you need to determine which of the two certifications will boost your employability. In addition, a few industry sectors prefer the PRINCE2 certification, while others prefer the PMP certification.

The PMP® certification is preferred in the USA, Canada, Middle East and Australia. PRINCE2, however, is recognized in UK, Europe, and Australia.

Salary Prospects

A number of studies and surveys show that certified professionals in project management earn much more than their non-certified peers.  Having a project management certification, especially ones like PMP and PRINCE2, signifies that an individual knows and understands the universal language of project management.

The PMI Project Management Salary Survey – Ninth Edition, states that the salaries of project managers around the world continue to climb.
In the US alone, the average annual salary of a certified PMP is $108,200 per year. They earn an average of 20% more than their non-certified peers. The highest average salary for PMPs is in Switzerland at $130,000.

Salary by Gender:

According to a survey conducted by the PMI, male PMP®professionals in the U.S. earn $115,973 while female PMP professionals earn $105,545, about $10,000 less than their male counterparts.

The average salary for professionals with a PRINCE2 certification is $85,800.


According to a Payscale.com survey, male PRINCE2 professionals earn $90,000 while women earn $77,000.

Salary by Industry:

According to a PMI® survey, the highest salary a PMP® can earn is in the resources industry or in the primary sector (agriculture, mining, etc), at $127,000.

Benefits to Getting a PMP vs. Getting a PRINCE2

Benefits of getting the PMP® certification include:

  • Better Salary Prospects: Certified PMP professionals get larger and more frequent pay raises than their non-certified peers.
  • Networking Opportunities: To obtain a PMP certification, it is recommended that you become a member of PMI. Once you are a member, you have access to a vast network of professionals with similar qualifications. These contacts can prove crucial in helping you land a project management job.
  • Better Employment Prospects: As the world's most popular project management certification, the PMP credential is recognized and trusted by employers worldwide.

The benefits of the PMP or PRINCE2 certifications

Benefits of getting the PRINCE2 certification include:

  • Exhaustive Body of Knowledge: The PRINCE2 body of knowledge equips credential-holders with the tools to analyze a project from all angles, ensuring its viability before it is initiated. Factors like user requirements and potential risks are taken into consideration, ensuring that a project that is bound to encounter hurdles is addressed in the planning stages.
  • Well Laid-out Methodology: A lot of time and resources are saved during the completion of a unique project since the certification has a clearly laid out methodology.
  • Standardization: Confusion in project execution is eliminated since the same, standard approach is used throughout, with common filing systems, procedures and documents.
  • Improved Salary and Better Employability Prospects: There is a higher chance of landing a better job that pays well, in countries like the United Kingdom. Your employer is provided with enough justification of your skills to give you a pay raise.
  • Driven by Business Case: PRINCE2 requires users to self-assess and provide updates on business cases at defined points to ensure that a project will deliver value to the organization and its customers. Failure to do so will eliminate the justification for the continuity of the project.

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The Exams

With a total of 200 questions, the PMP exam lasts four hours and is split into the areas of Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, and Project Closing. Within these five larger domains are a multitude of other skills like risk identification, quality management, change management, materials management, and much more.

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam tests the individual with 75 multiple-choice questions for 60 minutes. Out of the 75 questions, 5 are trial based and not counted during the scoring process.

The Practitioner exam is an objective, scenario based paper. The individual is tested based on 9 questions with a time limit of 2.5 hours.

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Prerequisites

There is a set of prerequisites that one will need to meet to take up the PMP exam.

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree or the global equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

OR

  • A four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

There are no defined pre requisites for the PRINCE2 exams. However, it is recommended that you have some project management experience and formal training before you take the exam. The Practitioner exam will require you to have passed the Foundation exam.

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The Exam Cost

The cost of the PMP® exam - though a little expensive - is well worth the investment. For members of the PMI®, it is $405, while for non-members it is $555.

The cost of the PRINCE2 to exam varies according to the region you are taking the exam in.

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Maintaining your Credential

To maintain the PMP certification, you will need to attain 60 PDUs or Professional Development Units every three years.

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam needs no renewal. The Practitioner exam, however, is valid for 5 years, after which it will become invalid. Professionals will have to complete and pass the PRINCE2 re-registration examination 3-5 years following their previous practitioner exam.

Differences between PMP and PRINCE2 exam

Is it advisable to do both?

Many people view the PRINCE2 and PMP certifications as different, which is why there is a battle between the two certifications.

The PMP is related to the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage a project and its delivery.

PRINCE2 is focused mainly on the processes and the framework to successfully execute specific types of projects in controlled environments.

Therefore, it is advisable that you do both of these certifications as it helps in the development of the professional's well-rounded project management skills.
 
There may be a few drawbacks to this-

  • Conflicting language: The two courses use different terminologies, which can be confusing at first. For example, project charter in PMP is what is known as project brief in PRINCE2.
  • Different Techniques: Some techniques differ vastly, such as the categorization of risk.

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Conclusion

The certification you choose should depend on your job prospects and the region you are working in. PMP and PRINCE2 are not competing credentials in all regions. A professional would benefit from the skills and knowledge that both of these certifications offer.

Get a taste of our PMP certification course with this preview video!

PMP is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. 

Find our PMP and PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Certification Training at your nearby cities:

Mumbai  Delhi  Chennai  Pune  Hyderabad  Nairobi  Copenhagen  Amsterdam  Johannesburg
Kolkata  Birmingham  London  Manchester  Sydney  Kuala Lumpur

 

About the Author

A project management and digital marketing knowledge manager, Avantika’s area of interest is project design and analysis for digital marketing, data science, and analytics companies. With a degree in journalism, she also covers the latest trends in the industry, and is a passionate writer.


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