This definitely depends on whether or not you satisfy the eligibility to sit for the PMP Exam. If you can do so it’s a much more valued certification, but if not the CAPM is definitely a good stepping stone.
The content you need to study is almost the same, and most study materials don’t differentiate, so just study as if for the PMP Exam.
The format of the exam is the same, but the CAPM is three hours compared to four hours for the PMP Exam, and there are fewer questions. See below for more detail on the exams.
The eligibility requirements for sitting the PMP Exam depend on your education level. You need to satisfy the following:
1. 35 hours of project management education.
2. Professional project management experience. The amount depends on the level of your education.
If you have a four year degree the requirements are a minimum of three years (36 months) unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project.
If you have a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent) the requirements are a minimum of five years (60 months) unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 7,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project.
The project management experience is defined as where you led and directed projects as identified with the tasks, knowledge, and skills specific in the Project Management Professional Examination Content Outline.
There are five process groups identified in the outline, and you need to have experience in all of them across your required number of hours.
Note that there is no minimum requirement for the number of hours for a process group, and on a single project you do not need to have experience in all five process groups.
Note that this does not mean that you must have had the title of “project manager”, more that you can demonstrate that you performed in that capacity.
Also, ensure you don’t falsify anything, even inadvertently. PMI has a random audit process and if this picks up that your application documentation has falsified information this will result in banishment from all future attempts to obtain any PMI certification.
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