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How to Choose between PMP and PMI-ACP Certification from PMI?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers multiple certifications to validate your skills and expertise in project management. The Project Management Professional (PMP) and the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) are two popular certifications. Here’s a comparison to help you decide which certificate is right for you: 

Focus and Scope The PMP certification is a globally recognized credential demonstrating your competence in managing projects across various industries and approaches. It covers Predictive, Adaptive and Hybrid Approaches.The PMI-ACP certification specifically targets your knowledge and expertise in Agile project management methodologies. It validates your proficiency in Agile principles, practices, and tools, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP).
PrerequisiteA secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent), 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education, ORA four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent), 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams (in addition to the Agile-specific requirements below)1,500 hours of Agile project experience working on Agile project teams or with Agile methodologies21 contact hours of Agile-specific training
Exam FormatThe PMP exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions, with a 230-minute time limit.Questions cover three domains: People (42%), Process (50%), and Business Environment (8%). The PMI-ACP exam comprises 120 multiple-choice questions, with a 180-minute time limit.Questions cover seven domains: Agile Principles and Mindset, Value-Driven Delivery, Stakeholder Engagement, Team Performance, Adaptive Planning, Problem Detection and Resolution, and Continuous Improvement.
Career OpportunitiesPMP-certified professionals are sought after across industries and are often hired for roles such as Project Manager, Program Manager, and Project Director.PMI-ACP certification holders typically find opportunities in Agile-focused environments, with roles such as Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master

 The PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is PMI’s flagship program, and they consistently invest in it by regularly updating its content and exam structure. The latest PMP exam now includes 50% agile-based questions. In contrast, PMI launched the PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) in 2012, with the last update occurring in 2015. The PMI-ACP exam content outline has remained unchanged since then. Given the significant evolution in the agile environment recently, we recommend pursuing the PMP certification from PMI as it better reflects current industry practices and trends.

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