Chuck Carroll

Certified Associate in Project Management

Published: 2022-12-27

A few weeks ago I took and passed the CAPM exam, above target in almost all areas. I had taken a course and had been studying for about a month and a half via a combination of the PMBOK, flashcards, and practice exams. I haven't had traditional full-time employment for the past 7 months, and the projects I have been working on have not taken up the majority of my time. I've been spending a lot of time teaching myself various terminal based linux programs and basic web development (mostly out of curiosity, but it also directly applied to one of my projects). That said, having free time is a rare opportunity to obtain a new professional credential and seemed like a worthwhile goal during my break from full time employment.

Initially I started looking into technical certifications that I found interesting, but to be honest, I have no business pursuing a Linux System Administrator certification with my background (which is primarily digital marketing and wireless site acquisition). I wanted a credential that could be applicable to a wide range of areas rather than a technical certification that's super specific. That's when I came across the Project Management Institute and the PMP cert.

The PMP (Project Management Professional) cert requires a bachelor's degree and at least three years of project management experience (or no degree and five years of project management experience). I had the bachelor's degree requirement, but the closest I came to project management experience was three years as a project coordinator. The PMI does offer another credential called the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) with less stringent requirements such as 0 to 3 years of project management experience. It's ideal for those with little or no project management experience. I spent three years as a project coordinator and wanted to get back in that line of work, so the CAPM made sense.

To me, it provides a framework for project management. Some of these knowledge areas I already had a pretty good understanding, while others I had more or less participated in but never thought much about it. It differs from the PMP certification in that the exam is a bit shorter and more high level. I wasn't aware of this at the time, but the prep course I took was actually designed for the PMP and not really the CAPM, but it was helpful nonetheless.

As 2023 approaches, my goal is to go back to traditional employment and I'll see if the CAPM credential helps.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send comments, questions, or recommendations to