Let’s face it: PMP® vs PRINCE2® is a never-ending debate among project managers.

Both the Project Management Professional (PMP®) and PRINCE2® Certifications are highly reputed programs that can validate your project management skills. Enables you to understand the key project management concepts and how to implement the principles throughout the project management lifecycle.

However, becoming a certified project manager would add great value to your career. Project management certifications not only upgrade your skills but also enhance project performance and employment prospects. 

But which one to choose, let us explore it further. 

What Is PMP® Certification?

PMP® certification is offered by Project Management Institute (PMI), USA. It is considered crucial in every type of industry. 

The PMI credentials can certify your knowledge and experience in project management in a more competitive job market. This course details how to start as a project manager and move up the ladder of versatility. 

You need to go through five distinct processes with an inclusive approach: planning, initiating, implementing, monitoring, controlling, and closing. 

PMP® is a standard requirement for many top-tier project management roles. You will also gain access to worldwide networks worth of knowledge, experience, and exciting employment opportunities. 

Why Choose PMP® Certification?

PMP® is a better option for a project manager with decent work experience who is aiming for a higher-level position. You can increase your earning potential. 

As it is considered as the major accomplishment, you will have better job prospects coming your way and develop the art of project management from scratch. 

The Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification has gain popularity in the USA, Europe, and Asia. PMP® Certification aims to verify your knowledge of the best practices and principles of project management.

What Is PRINCE2®?

PRINCE2® stands for “PRojects IN Controlled Environments.” It was developed in the year 1989 and is currently owned by Aexlos, a joint venture of the UK government. 

Like PMP®, PRINCE2® also has a major framework adopted by every small, medium, and large company for handling projects. Applied to any type of project and in any industry, the courses aim to make the management process easy, simple, and eventually achieve the desired project goals. 

Primarily, PRINCE2® has two qualification levels, you can start from the basics and learn how to tailor your approach for different and complex projects in advanced levels, ensuring performance in a fast-paced work environment like Agile and Lean. 

The course will help you understand the purpose, objectives, and context of the PRINCE2® Processes.

Why Choose PRINCE2® Certification?

You can easily obtain the PRINCE2® Foundation certification by passing the exam. You need no experience either a degree to get PRINCE2® certified. Completing the foundation level, you can qualify for the practitioner exam.

It’s more than a methodology and you can use it as a manual. It’s super easy to apply for certification. You can obtain knowledge, recognition, and improve your prospects for growth. 

The certification is globally recognized, and you can find better jobs in any industry.

PMP® vs PRINCE2®: The Key Differences

Key Factors

PMP® 

PRINCE2® 

Qualification

4-year degree or equivalent education. 4500 hours project experience [OR] Secondary Degree with 7500 hours project experience

Basic knowledge in project management 

Entry-level

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Project management experience of 1500 hours and 23 contact hours of training.

PRINCE2® Foundation
Eligibility: All are eligible.

Expert-level

Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project management experience of 4500 to 7500 hours and 35 hours of contact training is required.

PRINCE2 Practitioner
Eligibility: Experience with project management is required.

Methodology

Based on all the aspects of project management   

7 principles of Project Management based on their practical nature

Framework Type

Descriptive – The framework explains the knowledge areas of risk management, time management, etc., with good practices.

Prescriptive – The framework outlines the best practices in project management, focusing on initiation, controlled execution, and closing of projects. 

Cost of the exam

It costs $405 for PMI® members whereas $555 for non-members.

PRINCE2® exam cost varies depending on the region you are taking the exam in.

Certified Trainers 

Not Required 

Required

Demand & Popularity 

PMP® certifications are popular in the USA, Canada, South America, Africa, and Asia, while PRINCE2® certifications are recognized in the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Both certifications are equally popular in Asia and Africa. If you are in any of these countries, you need to determine which of these two certifications will boost your career. Also, consider the industry sectors that prefer PRINCE2® Certification, while others prefer the PMP® certification.

Salary Prospects

A recent PMI survey shows certified professionals in project management roles earn much more than the non-certified peers. 

As both PMP® and PRINCE2® signify the universal understanding of project management, PMP® professionals earn up to $112,000, while the average salary of professionals with PRINCE2® certificate earns about $85,000 in the US alone. 

Examination Format

PMP Exam Format

PMP® is the longest and most difficult examination. There is no publication of the pass marks.

  • 200 Multiple Choice
  • Duration: 240-minutes
  • Required pass mark is unknown. The certification is likely to be assured by scoring 62% or more.
  • Closed book
  • Exam Center

PRINCE2 Foundation Exam Format

The official PRINCE2® exam guide is updated per the latest 6th Edition exam format.

  • 60 questions per paper
  • Duration: 60-minutes
  • Required pass mark is 33/60 (55%)
  • Closed book
  • Exam Center / Online

PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam Format

You need to pass the PRINCE2® foundation to sit for the Practitioner level. Or you can sit for both levels at the same time. 

  • 68 questions per paper
  • Duration: 150 Minutes
  • Required pass mark is 38/68 (55%)
  • Open book
  • Exam Center / Online

Syllabus

The PMP® exam is based mainly on the sixth edition of the PMBOK® Guide, however not exclusively. Managing Successful Projects Using PRINCE2® is the official manual for both PRINCE2® exams.

In PMP® Certification course includes vital concepts such as, 

  • Understand the processes and terminology
  • The latest global practices for PM
  • Plan and manage the time resources for the projects
  • Project Management in terms of delivery
  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Resource Management
  • Project Communication Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management

 

In PRINCE2® Certification course includes vital concepts such as,

  • Introduction to PRINCE2® 
  • Purpose of PRINCE2®, roles and management products
  • 7 Principles, Processes, and Themes
  • How to customize your approach for different and complex projects
  • Product-based approach for projects in a highly controlled environment
  • How to reduce project risks
  • Characteristics and context of a project
  • Understand the benefits of the adoption of PRINCE2® methodology

Training Accreditation

There is no accreditation for either PMP® courses or trainers. Therefore, the quality of PMP® training and trainers varies widely.

However, all PRINCE2® trainers must be accredited by PeopleCert. A PRINCE2® course that has a certain quality level to be accredited. So, you can consider such to be trustworthy. 

But there is a lot of training courses on the grey market available from people or companies without accreditation in PRINCE2®. The quality of this training is likely to be poor. 

We recommend you find accredited PRINCE2® trainers here

Maintaining your Credentials

A PMI-certified candidate must maintain professional development units (PDUs). You may attain these via classroom, virtual, etc., online training, reading related materials, or attending events.

Likewise, AXELOS has Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points. PRINCE2® Foundation certificates never expire, so there is no need for renewal. While PRINCE2® Practitioner required 20 CPDs per year for 3 years or pass practitioner exam before the validity expires.

Comparing the Benefits

Several similarities exist between these two frameworks when it comes to organizational and personal benefits. Each can provide candidates with valuable insight into essential tools and practices that are necessary to succeed in project management. 

But you must consider several concerns when choosing one of them, including the industry you have experience in and the future company you are planning to enter, as well as the types of projects you will handle directly. 

The PMP® framework has been proven to work well in an Agile environment besides PRINCE2® has released its PRINCE2® Agile Foundation & Practitioner stream.

Moreover, each certification is based on a body of knowledge that is constantly evolving, so candidates have a chance to keep up their skills.

If one compares the two, PMP® certifications lead to higher salaries and more frequent promotions. Being a PMI member also allows you to network. Getting certified in PMP also takes a lot longer and requires a great deal of practical experience. 

However, though PRINCE2® certification is easier to obtain, candidates still require sufficient experience to succeed at higher-paying roles.

PMP® refers to the expertise and skills required to complete a project. PRINCE2® is an approach to managing any size project that relies on a systematic approach to achieving success through a specific framework.

Is it advisable to do both? Therefore, both certifications help the professional develop their excellent project management skills.  Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer. 

For you to decide what is best for you, consider your current project experience, your location, salary expectations, career goals, and what you need to accomplish by investing your time and cost in the training or preparation process. 

Conclusion

The certification of choice depends on your job prospects, organizational requirements, and your location. PMP® and PRINCE2® both can offer you better skills and boost your earning potential. 

Are you are planning to prepare for PRINCE2® certification? Check out the CME’s mock exam series to kickstart your preparation. Track your prep progress, get access to study resources and practice tests, discover accredited trainers, and more. Register and take up a mock exam for free!