Which is Better PRINCE2 or PMP?


The decision to take PRINCE2 or PMP training is one of the big choices that any project manager has to make. Which one is perfect for you at this stage in your career?

The truth is that both are highly regarded project qualifications so does it even matter which one you plump for? Well, by fully understanding both of these types of training you can go ahead and make an informed decision that truly benefits you in the long run.

What Is the Difference Between Them?

When deciding whether to get trained on PRINCE2 or PMP you first of all need to know what the difference between really is. Both of these certifications are designed to increase your effectiveness as a project manager but they do it in different ways.

One way that we could look at this issue is to say that PMP looks at giving you the knowledge needed to run projects, while the PRINCE2 approach is to teach you the methodology you need to use. This is a simplistic way of looking at matters but it is a decent start to makre.

There are also different entry requirements that you need to take into account too. For example, if you are new to the project world then it is likely that you can take the PRINCE2 Foundation exam but not the PMP. At least not until you have gained plenty of experience and meet the pre-requisites for taking the exam.

The PRINCE2 training is split into Foundation and Practitioner levels. On the other hand, the PMP equivalent is commonly regarded as being just the one exam. However, there are there are different elements to the PMP that are also worth considering.

The PMP in Detail

To start with, it is worth pointing out that PMP in this case stands for Project Management Professional certification. This is a widely recognised qualification that you can use almost anywhere in the world to prove your credentials, although it is far less common than PRINCE2 in the UK.

The basic idea is that you use the Project Management Book of Knowledge to understand the industry’s best practices and concepts. It is organised by the Project Management Institute in the USA and has developed a number of standards in different areas of project management.

To get started on this training you need to have a minimum of 3 years project management experience (also sometimes counted as 4,500 hours). This will increase to 5 years if you haven’t completed a 4 year degree first of all.

PRINCE2 in Detail

On the other hand, the PRINCE2 qualification is all about project management methodology and is overseen by AXELOS, in the UK. The Foundation level is ideal for someone who is new to projects, while the Practitioner exam is perfectly suited to an experienced project manager.

This type of training is all about learning a methodology that lets the project manager organise their projects more effectively. It is a very hands-on type of training that gets delegates prepared for the real world of running projects.

Opinion differs on whether PRINCE2 or PMP is more difficult to get qualified on. Certainly, the Foundation level is the easiest part but the PRINCE2 Practitioner and PMP training are probably best seen as being at about the same level.

PRINCE2 or PMP: Regional Differences

It is worth pointing out that the qualification you opt for will, to some degree, come down to where you live. For instance, the PRINCE2 certification is much more widely used in the UK and in the rest of Europe than PMP. It is also more common in Australia and New Zealand, although PMP is generally accepted there.

On the other hand, if you are going to be working on projects in North America then it is likely that PMP is more valuable to you. In places such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East both of these qualifications are valued.

If you are planning to be working in one of the regions where PRINCE2 or PMP are pretty much equally accepted then what should you do? One point worth understanding in this respect is that different companies and industries place different levels of importance on each of these qualifications.

After a little bit of investigation it should be clearer whether PRINCE2 or PMP training is going to be more useful for the place where you are going to be working on projects.

The Training and Studying Differences

In terms of studying and getting fully prepared for the exam, there are some differences to take into account. In the case of the PMP certificate, the studying time varies widely according the individual concerned.

While some people study for the exam in just a couple of weeks, others can take the best part of a year to get ready for their exam.

When it comes to PRINCE2 training things are a lot clearer. When you want to take on the Foundation exam then you can expect to go on a training course that lasts for 2 or 3 days. The Practitioner training will last for a similar period of time.

This training gives you everything that you need to know in order to sit the exam at the end of the course and get your accreditation right away if successful.

The Exam Differences

When it comes to exam time there are also some big differences to take into account. With the PMP exam there are 200 multiple choice questions that need to be answered in 4 hours or less.

The pass rate for this exam isn’t published but it is believed to be 62%. The exam is carried out in a local PMP exam centre and it isn’t possible to refer to the study material while answering the questions.

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam is a 60 minute multiple choice affair that has a 50% pass rate. As for the PRINCE2 Practitioner equivalent, this is a 150 minute object testing exam with a 55% pass rate. While books can’t be consulted in the Foundation exam, there is scope for doing this in the Practitioner version.

The Benefits of PRINCE2 and PMP

Whichever of these popular project management certifications you choose to take, there are some big benefits that you can look for. Perhaps the one that you will feel most immediately is due to a surge in your confidence when it comes to running projects.

If you are heading straight back to the project office after your training then you will do so with a spring in your step and some big plans bouncing around in your head.

In the longer term, being professionally qualified should make it easier for you to find suitable project management jobs in the future, as your CV will stand out clearly from the crowd thanks to this powerful certification.

It has also been shown that having PRINCE2 or PMP qualifications can boost your salary. The fact that you are a proven, certified project manager who can work to established best practices means that companies will value you more highly and reward you accordingly.

It is clear that getting the right kind of project manager training provide exactly the boost that your career needs. Take a look at which one is right for you and then find out how big a help it is in making your career blossom and your dreams come true