As a project manager, it may be difficult to decide whether you should get a PMI-ACP or a PMP certification to boost your professional growth. A Project Management Professional accreditation is broader and can be applied to many industries, while the Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner certificate is focused on specific Agile methodologies.
In this guide, we will look at the details of both to help you decide which is best for your career.
What Is a PMI-ACP Certification?
A PMI-ACP, offered by the Project Management Institute, is for project managers who have studied Agile project management.
To get this certification, you must study the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide and sit for an exam.
PMI-ACP Salaries and Job Outlook
According to PayScale, the salary for a PMI-ACP certified project manager is around $109,538 per year.
What Is a PMI-ACP Professional?
An Agile Project Management Professional manages projects and works with software development frameworks, such as the popular ‘Scrum’ which uses agile practices including planning sprints or timeframes, putting project teams together, product backlogs, etc.
Agile projects are based on 12 key principles, to see them you can visit the agilemanifesto.org website. The main idea is to deliver working software in the shortest time frames.
What Is a PMP Certification?
A PMP certificate is given to those who would have studied project management, possibly by taking a project management course, and then passed the PMP exam offered by the Project Management Institute.
PMP Salaries and Job Outlook
According to PayScale, the salary for a PMP certified manager is around $107,083 annually.
What Does a PMP Do?
The tasks of a PMP certified manager are varied. You can work as a project manager in almost any industry, developing projects from start to finish.
To get a PMP certificate, you must have experience in leading projects at a company or organization. You will study 10 project management knowledge areas, such as risk management and project scheduling.
PMI-ACP vs PMP: Basic Differences
Below, we’ll look at how the PMI-ACP and PMP certifications are related, and what sets them apart.
- The roles of a PMP manager and an Agile practitioner differ. A PMP is in charge of successfully leading a project. An ACP certified manager will make changes throughout the project development process in line with Agile methodologies.
- Agile managers share the progress of a project with all team members, while the PMP assigns tasks to specific team members in a one-on-one setting.
- If you want to manage projects on a broader scale, then you should get a PMP certification. However, if you are interested in seeing how projects progress throughout the development cycle, then studying Agile methodologies may be your calling.
PMI-ACP vs PMP: Certification Requirements
The requirements to get a PMI-ACP or a PMP certificate vary. Let’s examine what you need to do to earn each one below.
PMP Certificate Requirements
- 3 to 5 years of management experience. You must prove that you have worked on at least one successful project in a professional environment within this time frame.
- 4,500 – 7,500 hours. These hours should be time you have spent on projects where you were entirely responsible for all aspects, including time, scope, and cost.
- 35 contact hours of project management education. This only covers formal project management education, such as college degrees, workshops, and training.
PMI-ACP Certificate Requirements
- 8 months of Agile project experience. These eight months of experience must be time you have spent professionally on Agile project teams using Agile methodologies.
- 12 months in general project management. This experience must be in addition to the eight months of experience with Agile.
- 1,500 hours of Agile project experience. You should have completed these hours within three years of submitting your application for accreditation.
- Training in Agile practices. To qualify for the certification, you must have 21 hours of formal education in Agile methodologies.
PMI-ACP vs PMP: Exam and Cost
The three-hour PMI-ACP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. Twenty of those are practice questions to help you warm up and do not count toward your final score. Half of the questions are on Agile technologies, and half are on other project management knowledge and skills.
The tests are computer-based and registration must be completed on PMI’s website.
The PMP exam can be completed after you take three initial steps. First, you must meet the requirements, then, read the handbook, then apply. The application steps laid out on the website will help you get started.
How Much Do the PMI-ACP and PMP Certifications Cost?
The PMI-ACP and PMP both cost $405 for members and $555 for nonmembers.
PMI-ACP vs PMP: Which Exam Is Easier?
If you are adequately prepared, neither of the exams should be difficult. According to people who have taken both exams, the consensus is that the PMI-ACP is slightly easier.
On both tests, you have an average of 1.5 minutes to answer each question. To pass either test, you must study all the necessary books, do practice questions, and take notes.
PMI-ACP vs PMP: Pros and Cons
The benefits and disadvantages of both the PMI-ACP and PMP are listed below.
- Preparing for your career. Gaining a PMI-ACP certification is extremely beneficial to your career in Agile project management. In studying for the certificate, you will learn all the tools and practices that your future employer will require of you.
- Proof of knowledge. Getting certified proves to your future employer that you are up to the job.
- Increases adaptability. A PMI-ACP will improve your adaptability at work to help you become more productive, boost customer satisfaction.
- Salary. A PMI-ACP certified professional will receive an average annual salary of $123,000 per year, compared to $96,000 per year for non-certified project managers.
- Measurement. Measuring the success of Agile projects can sometimes be difficult because the projects have many moving parts.
- No defined completion. Some projects have no set time frame or budget, which can make success difficult.
- Skills vs certification. The requirements to get this certificate are centered around skills and experience, as opposed to certification and credentials.
- Career opportunities. The demand for certified PMPs is higher than the demand for employees who are PMI-ACP certified. By 2027, there is expected to be 33 percent growth in the number of jobs available, amounting to 22 million opportunities.
- Recognition. As this is a globally recognized certificate, obtaining it is a notable achievement.
- New skills can mean a higher salary. Getting this certificate will guarantee you a higher salary. Certified PMPs make an average of $129,457 per year, 18 percent more than non-certified professionals in the field.
- Costs. The PMP can take two years to complete, including studies, so if you are self-financing, it can become expensive.
- Time and effort. It takes major dedication to secure this sought-after accreditation, so be prepared to study.
- Traditional methods. PMP is oriented around traditional approaches to planning, while Agile uses more recent techniques and technology.
Should You Get a PMI-ACP or PMP Certificate?
Considering which of these accreditations is best might be difficult. However, if you are clear about your career goals, it will be easier for you to decide. PMI-ACP focuses on using Agile programs, while the PMP has wider applications in project management.
Make a professional choice depending on your career plans. One thing is for sure, having either of these credentials on your resume will encourage employers to take your application seriously.
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