ITIL Exam vs PMP Exam?


ITIL® v3 Foundation and PMP® are two of the most popular project management certifications in the world. Every year, thousands of exam aspirants would prepare and sit for the ITIL® and PMP® exams. Some holders of PMP® would study for the ITIL® 4 Foundation Exam while some ITIL® holders would aspire for the PMP® credential. Below we will outline the similarities and differences between ITIL® and PMP®.

Similarities of ITIL® v3 Foundation  and PMP®

  • You will need to pass an exam consisting of multiple choice questions in order to be certified.
  • ITIL® and PMP® provide best practices to implement projects (though ITIL® focuses on projects in the Information Technology field).

Differences between ITIL® v3 Foundation and PMP®

  • PMP® exam is about general project management knowledge while ITIL® is about information technology service management (i.e. for people working in the field of information technology).
  • There are no pre-requisites for sitting the ITIL® 4 Foundation Exam while PMP® exam will require the aspirants to have 35 Contact Hours and at least 4500 hours of working experience in project management over a period of at least 3 years.
  • The PMP® Exam is much longer and consists of more questions, it is generally considered that the PMP® Exam is much more difficult than the ITIL® 4 Foundation Exam.
  • ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification will never expire while PMP® certification holders will need to re-certify every three years by accumulating enough PDUs.
  • PMP® Certification holders will need to earn at least 60 PDU during every 3-year re-certification cycle in order to be able to renew their PMP® Certification status. Holders of ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification will not need any mandatory continuous education.

ITIL® v3 Foundation and PMP®: Recommendation

If you have not begun your journey on getting ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification and PMP® Certification, it is highly recommended you study for and pass the PMP® Exam first. Afterwards, you will be able to claim the time spent on studying and preparing for the ITIL® 4 Foundation Exam as PDU for your PMP® re-certification in either Category A or Category B PDU (by taking courses provided by accredited training institutes) or Category C PDU (by self-study). In this way, one can kill two birds with a stone!

FAQ Category: ITIL Foundation Exam, PMP Certification Exam, PMP PDU

← Certification FAQ – PMP, PMI-ACP, ITIL v3 Foundation

Further Reading: The PMP Certification Guide provides you with step-by-step instructions on how to get started with your PMP Certification journey. Read it now!

Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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