PMP® Certification Vs. ITIL Certification

PMP® Certification Vs. ITIL Certification

Empower yourself professionally with a personalized consultation,

no strings attached!

In this article

In this article

Article Thumbnail

When it comes to Project Management, professional certifications play an important role compared to traditional degrees in the job market. ITIL and PMP are the two most popular credentials in project management. Even though both certifications are unique in their own way, sometimes people get confused about which one to choose and which is right for them. The answer to their queries just depends on the character of their work. There are several similarities and differences between the two certifications but it is quite difficult to figure out which one is suitable at the career level. This article will help you know all the facts about PMP® Certification and ITIL certifications.  

PMP® Certification

The Project Management Institute (PMI) provides PMP® Certification designed to teach Project Managers the best practices and the core principles of Project Management as mentioned in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The PMBOK is the accredited and universally recognized guide for Project Management. The thoroughly detailed framework concentrates on methodologies, processes, and tools that best suit the different projects of the industry.

ITIL Certification

 The ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library certification course, presenting the standard ITIL principles of organisation IT Management to professionals. The individuals are provided with hands-on training and the standard frameworks of IT Service Management. It helps them to learn the industry practices and top norms associated with IT service management. Once the professionals complete this course, they are fully equipped with the skills required to execute IT projects and deliver enhanced IT and IT-related services to their clients through companies.

Comparison between PMP and ITIL Certification

When it comes to ITIL certification vs PMP® Certification, there is a lot of differentiation that you need to consider while choosing a good professional course for your career, which are as follows:

Eligibility Criteria

ITIL 4 certification includes four levels: Master, Strategic Leader, Managing Professional, and Foundation. For the ITIL® 4 Foundation course, there is no prerequisite to meet but for higher levels of ITIL, one must pass the ITIL® 4 Foundation examination first. Regarding ITIL Master certification, one should have five years of proven experience in higher management advisory positions or leadership. Similarly, the candidates should have a valid four-year degree along with 35 hours of Project Management training and 36 months of Project Management experience or CAPM certification in the case of PMP. In the case of PMP, the individuals have only an associate’s degree or high school diploma; they should possess 60 months of experience in project leadership along with CAPM Certification or 35 hours of Project Management training/education. 

Career Aspects and Focus

As ITIL is more concentrated on enterprise IT service management, it is less versatile. In ITIL, more focus is given to the back-end processing of cost-reduction and IT operations. On the other hand, a PMP® Certification concentrates on managing a set of projects or the entire project scope within an organization. The PMP's job is to ensure the team follows the ITIL standards. Therefore, PMP renders more versatility as it covers the best practices and the key principles for Project Managers. The other difference between these two certifications is job security. PMP® Certifications offer higher opportunities for having a long-term career as a Project Manager, whereas ITIL Expert jobs are on a short-term contract basis. Various industries look for different certifications, so research job adverts for your selected career path to check for skills, knowledge, and accreditation.

Renewal of Credential

Remember that your ITIL® 4 Foundation certificate will never expire, as you can attach it to your CV for your whole life. However, the versions of ITIL might change but then, too the old versions of the certification would stay valid even after introducing a new version. Initially, a program called ‘bridge courses’ helped the ITIL® 4 Foundation course certificate holders upgrade their certification from an older version to a new version. When the newest version is released, there is no such requirement of an official bridging program for the ITIL 4 Foundation course. This simply means that the certificate holders must re-appear for the new ITIL 4 Foundation examination to get their most recent credentials. In addition, a scheme, namely the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme of ITIL, provides you with digital badges if you pursue a certificate and join their membership program.

Then, members must have 20 CPD points to extend the badge for the next 12 months. However, PMP is the opposite of ITIL as PMP® Certification can be renewed every three years. The PMP certificate holders should prove that their professional skills are still relevant and sharp to meet the current demands of the business in order not to get their PMP® Certification revoked by PMI. This is possible for the PMP certificate holders by earning 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) in each 3-year certification cycle. PDUs are classified into two categories: Giving Back to the Profession and Education. Most significantly, certificate holders should gain a maximum of 25 Giving PMP PDUs and at least 35 Education PDUs by the end of the cycle. If the prescribed amount of PDUs is not earned by them, they would need to face a one-year suspension of their certification, after which it will no longer be valid.

Structure of Examination

If it is about the examination structure of an entry-level ITIL® 4 Foundation course it consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, and you have to score a minimum of 65% (26 correct questions or more) to pass the exam. The entire examination lasts 1 hour, but the individuals who appear for the examination in a language distinct from their working or native language get 25% extra time. The ITIL® 4 Foundation examination has been conducted to test the individual’s terminology, general knowledge of ITIL concepts, and core elements of the service value chain and service value system. Unlike the ITIL, the duration of the PMP exam is usually longer as it is for 4 hours with no scheduled break. It involves 200 multiple-choice questions; you have to answer 175 questions to get the final score, and the rest of the 25 are pretests that are given to test the questions' validity for future exams. The five project phases are tested by the PMP examination questions, which include planning, initiating, monitoring/controlling, executing, and closing, as well as the code of ethics and extra domain of professional conduct.

Also, Check:

The table below outlines the key differences between PMP and ITIL certifications, helping you make an informed decision about which professional course to pursue for your career.


PMP Certification

ITIL Certification

Eligibility Criteria

Bachelor's degree + 35 hours of PM training + 36 months PM experience or CAPM certification Associate’s degree/high school diploma + 60 months PM experience + 35 hours PM training or CAPM certification

No prerequisites for ITIL® 4 Foundation Higher levels require passing ITIL® 4 Foundation  ITIL Master: 5 years in management advisory positions or leadership

Career Aspects & Focus

Versatile across industries Focuses on managing a set of projects or entire project scope  Long-term career opportunities as Project Manager

Focused on IT service management Concentrates on back-end processing, cost reduction, and IT operations Short-term contract opportunities as ITIL Expert

Renewal of Credential

Renew every 3 years by earning 60 PDUs (25 Giving Back to Profession, 35 Education) Failing to earn PDUs leads to a one-year suspension, then revocation

ITIL® 4 Foundation certificate never expires  New versions require re-examination CPD scheme offers digital badges; requires 20 CPD points annually to extend

Structure of Examination

4 hours, 200 multiple-choice questions 175 scored questions, 25 pretest questions Tests 5 project phases: planning, initiating, monitoring/controlling, executing, closing, and code of ethics

1 hour, 40 multiple-choice questions Minimum 65% to pass (26 correct answers)  Tests terminology, general knowledge of ITIL concepts, service value chain, and service value system

Also, Check:

IT service management Trends

Need For the Project Managers?

It is the changing business priorities and a wave of automation that dominates the world, and thereby it has become very essential for professionals to upskill. Regarding PMP vs ITIL certifications, both are the best choices from a career point of view. Upskilling is equally important for Project Managers as for entry-level employees. The main objective behind this is to make Project Managers more responsible and help their teams to deliver better results. Besides this, there are two more reasons why Project Managers need to upskill, which are as follows:

  • One of the main reasons is to gain new skills both for the organisation's growth and for personal matters so that one can stay ahead in the competition. It helps the Project Managers develop on a personal level and also helps them become more talented and experienced professionals. Hence, they can be a great asset to their enterprises as they would be in a high position with their heightened institutional knowledge to take much more positive steps to get value-added features for the organisation.
  • The second reason is to stay updated with the latest technological trends by learning about digital innovations and emerging tech. This would further allow project managers to encourage implementing disruptive technological solutions and direct their teams to create and deliver results. 

Know About PMP and ITIL Certifications to Consider for Upskilling

Today, there are many Project Management courses in the market, but let us focus on the two most well-known certification courses named PMP (Project Management Professional) Course and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) Foundation Course.

PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification

The PMP certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is recognized globally as a leading project management certification. It validates a professional’s skills in managing people, processes, and business priorities in a professional project environment. The certification covers various domains such as initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects.

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) Foundation Certification

The ITIL Foundation certification focuses on IT service management and is widely recognized in the IT industry. It provides a basic understanding of the ITIL framework and how it can be used to enhance IT service management within an organization. ITIL covers five core areas: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement

Which Certification to Choose?

PMP Certification: Ideal for professionals seeking to enhance their project management skills and manage projects across various industries.

ITIL Certification: Best suited for IT professionals focused on improving IT service management and aligning IT services with business goals.


Besides the differences between the PMP and the ITIL certifications, both are important in different aspects for various career options depending on one’s aspirations. You do not need to be confused between these two courses as this article is presented to inform you of the certifications' facts and benefits so that you can know which one to choose and which one is better from your career point of view. If you want to specialize in IT service, it would be better to go with ITIL. The PMP would be ideal for those who want to focus more on project management and have more freedom regardless of the industry or project type.PMP is ideal. Simpliaxis offers comprehensive training programs in both PMP® Certification and ITIL® Certification, ensuring professionals are well-prepared to thrive in their chosen fields. With Simpliaxis, career advancement becomes not just a possibility but a reality.

Join the Discussion

By providing your contact details, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Related Articles

PMP Pass Rate

Jan 22 2024

PMP Exam Schedule

Jan 02 2024

Product Backlog Refinement Vs Sprint Planning

Sep 10 2021

Reserve Analysis in Project Management

Apr 15 2024

Projеct Managеmеnt And Thе Rеquirеmеnts Tracеability Matrix

Jan 25 2024

Empower yourself professionally with a personalized consultation, no strings attached!

Get coupon upto 60% off

Unlock your potential with a free study guide