With so many certifications existing in the spectrum of Project Management Institute (PMI), it’s no wonder that candidates are overwhelmed by the selection of credentials they need for their career. It’s not all about which certification has more value, but rather which certification caters to the preference of an individual. Granted, these certifications have received the exposure that they deserved, but this article will focus solely on the most common and probably most coveted certification in different types of industry: Project Management Professional ( PMP )® and Program Management Professional ( PgMP )® certifications. The difference between PgMP® vs PMP® is wholly different, yet similar. Different in terms of features and target aspirants and similar in terms of which type of avenue they are applied, as well as some of the processes that come with it.
Before asking yourself which certification works for you and gives you value, you have to understand their overall features first. This means understanding what project and program are and the certifications that they are connected with.
The Difference Between PgMP® vs PMP® are the roles and responsibilities of the individual taking it
Let us understand the two components that make up both the PgMP® and PMP® certifications—project management and program management.
In the world of ideas, tasks, and business, a project is a temporary activity which its sole purpose is to make a product or service and delivering these results to the clients or stakeholders. A project begins and ends in a particular period and specific tasks or operations are designed to achieve a goal or an objective. Buildings, bridges, and dams—these are the few structures born out from projects. They all undergo different project processes in order to be built successfully for public or private usage.
Now the process for this is called project management. It is the implementation of skills, knowledge, and strategies of projects in order to meet the expected requirements. There are five stages of project management and these are: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
The project manager is the person in charge of such operations and he or she ensures that the projects implemented are successful and in good quality. Projects composed of teams working hard in order to meet the needs of the clients or stakeholders. The project manager distributes tasks for each team members and manages not only the team, but the constraints of budget, schedule, tools, and resources.
A program, on the other hand, is a set of multiple projects operating together to achieve a clear business case. Unlike a project, a program is a group of interconnected projects and one project cease to function or operate if another project is missing. In other words, a project under a program cannot be separated since it won’t operate if it’s a single entity.
Program management is the process of managing multiple projects such as enhancing the organization’s performance. It is typically related to change management, business transitions, industrial engineering, and other related processes. A program manager oversees these program operations and he or she is main decision makers of all project structures. He or she governs the interdependencies involved in the projects. These projects have their own leaders, but the ultimate upper hand falls to the program manager who ensures resources are accessible for the teams in order to operate the projects.
Now that we are able to distinguish these two approaches, let us now determine the difference between PgMP® vs PMP® and their respective values for the certified candidates.
The Difference Between PgMP® vs PMP® falls on more than one spectrum
So what is the difference between PgMP® vs PMP® certification? Is it the exam? The process? The significance of one’s career? Yes, these are some of the elements that make PgMP® and PMP® distinct to each other. From requirements to processes, PgMP® and PMP® have both something to offer when it comes to their differences.
Requirements and Candidates
Both PgMP® and PMP® certifications require an exam, as well as the following qualifications in order for the candidate to proceed with the test. PMP® caters to experienced project managers while PgMP® inclines on professional program managers. Both certifications also help an aspirant to boost his or her career, as well as knowledge in each field.
PgMP® certification requires a highschool diploma or an associate’s degree, with 4 years of experience in project management and 7 years of experience in program management; a bachelor’s degree is also qualified for PgMP®, provided it is accompanied by 4 years each of experience in program and project management.
The PMP® certification is similar with PgMP® in terms of educational requirement, except for this certification an applicant needs 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, as well as 35 hours of project management education. For applicants with a bachelor’s degree, they need to have at least 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and also 35 hours of project management education.
PgMP® certification has a longer process compared to PMP®. Even before PgMP® applicants take the test, they need to undergo a panel review and sometimes an audit where they document their project and program endeavors and have their supervisors or managers vouch for their claim. PgMP®’s requirements are more inclined to PMP®. On the other hand, PMP® is all about fulfilling the requirements for legibility. PMP® certification is four times less costly compared to PgMP®—due to the process, random audits, and maintenance, the latter requires more than just an exam fee. And even are both considered the most sought-after certifications in the industry, PgMP® is a more complex process to achieve, thanks to their several processes involved.
Choosing the Right One
Actually, there is no right one or the adage, “there can only be one”. You can actually have both! If you want to settle to PMP®, that’s fine. And if you want to go up and pursue PgMP® after, there is nothing wrong with that, too. At the end of the day, it’s all about your preference and your determination to steer your ship around to a new adventure of your career endeavor. These certifications provide you a set of advanced skill, knowledge, and capability — so why not grab all of them by the horns?