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[Latest in 2022] Top 3 PM qualification rankings that will be weapons!

A project manager (PM) is a very important position in managing IT projects. In charge of overall coordination and risk management, you cannot play an active role unless you have sufficient skills.

For such an important position, there are qualifications to demonstrate project management skills. This time, we will introduce three types of qualifications that will become a project manager weapon.

Qualifications to become a PM weapon TOP1: PMP

It is one of the most popular certifications in project management. This certification is used worldwide, so you can prove your skills as a project manager not only in Japan but also in the world.

Exam outline

There is a text called “PMBOK” which is a global standard for project management. It is a text that shows the basics of project management, and it is considered desirable for project managers to understand this content.

Since PMP questions are based on the content of PMBOK, it is a mechanism to evaluate whether the global standard of project management is understood. There are customs of project management not only in Japan but also in other countries, but it is necessary to eliminate them and understand global standards.

In addition, PMP requires not only knowledge acquisition but also practical experience. Specifically, you will not be allowed to take the PMP exam without the following practical experience.

University graduates or those with equivalent qualifications At least 3 years and 4,500 hours of project management experience in the last 8 years
High school graduate or equivalent At least 5 years and 7,500 hours of project management experience in the last 8 years

Practical experience is not required for qualifications provided by Information-technology Promotion Agency. Compared to such qualifications, it can be said that the hurdles to taking the qualification are high.

In addition to work experience, you will also be required to attend “more than 35 hours of formal project management training”. This is a training course accredited by PMI, which offers the PMP exam. In addition to on-the-job experience and classroom lectures, you must attend training provided by PMI’s “Authorized Training Partners.”

Appropriate human resources

PMP is a qualification for those who have experience in project management, as there are qualifications for taking the exam. It is necessary to experience project management in the field for a certain period instead of aiming to acquire it only through classroom lectures. Therefore, unless you have experience as a project leader at least, you will not be able to take the exam, and it will be difficult to obtain.

This qualification is recognized worldwide, so if you pass it, you will have a strong appeal as a project manager. Rather, many project managers are using PMP as a weapon, so if you delay in acquiring it, you may be seen as inferior to those around you. You can take the exam as soon as you can prove your skills as a project manager.

Pass difficulty

Although the pass rate of PMP is not officially disclosed, it is thought that about 60% of people have passed. The pass rate of 60% cannot be said to be extremely high, but it cannot be said to be low, and judging only by the pass rate, it is considered to be the same level of difficulty as general IT qualifications.

However, I would like you to be aware that PMP candidates have extensive experience in project management. It can be said that even people with a lot of PM experience can pass only about 60% of the exams. There is a good chance that you can pass if you know project management, but if you want to pass without exam preparation, it will be difficult to pass.

Learning method

Among project management questions, only content that follows the concept of “PMBOK” is presented. Therefore, it is possible to take measures against PMP by reading official books and learning project management explained based on PMBOK.

PMPs must also undergo training to take or renew the exam. Since it is difficult to acquire knowledge through training alone, it is also a good idea to study the training materials repeatedly. In training that supports PMP, you can learn project management theory in line with PMBOK, so it is best to use and learn.

PMP past questions and similar questions are also available in books and on the Internet. It will be difficult to pass if you just study the theory and do not understand the contents of the exam. As much as possible, read through the assumed questions and study assuming the exam.

Top 2 qualifications to become a PM weapon: Project manager exam

The project manager exam is famous as a qualification that project managers use as a weapon. Unlike PMP, it is a qualification in Japan, but it is highly reliable because it is implemented by the Information-technology Promotion Agency.

Exam outline

This is a national qualification administered by the Information-technology Promotion Agency, an independent administrative agency. Because it is a national qualification related to project management, it is well known in Japan and many people recognize it as a qualification for project managers. Many project managers in Japan can be seen taking the exam from the project manager exam.

Although it is a project management exam, I would like you to pay attention to the scope of the questions. Unlike the PMP, the project manager exam includes a uniquely Japanese way of thinking in the syllabus. In other words, studying PMP does not guarantee that you will pass the Project Manager exam. Be conscious of studying with different qualifications.

Appropriate human resources

Among the qualifications for project managers, it is a national qualification, so it is recommended for those who seek reliability in their qualifications. PMP is a qualification that can be used as a weapon, but some clients do not recognize it because it is an overseas qualification. From that point of view, it is easier to convey your skills to clients if you appeal to them as “Japanese national qualifications.”

In addition, practical experience is not required when taking the project manager exam. This is a very important point when aiming for qualification. If you have at least practical experience and study, you can aim to pass, so it is recommended for those who want a weapon called a qualification before practical experience.

Pass difficulty

The pass rate for the project manager exam is very low at around 15%. There are many national qualifications with low pass rates, but among them, let’s be aware that the project manager exam has a particularly low pass rate. The number of test takers used to calculate the pass rate does not include those who did not take the test on the day.

There are various possible reasons for the low pass rate, but one of the reasons is that there are no exam requirements. Since anyone can take the exam as long as they apply, many people apply and take the exam but fail. You can think that the level of the test taker parameter is different from PMP.

In addition, the project manager exam includes long essay questions. The content of this essay question is difficult, and many people may answer with insufficient knowledge or run out of time. The pass rate is low due to the high level of difficulty of the simple exam and the level of the examinees.

Learning method

As it is a Japanese national qualification, many books on the project manager exam have been released. If you are studying for exam preparation, try to use those books. There are many books on the market that allow you to study systematically, so you should be able to find one that suits you.

In addition, questions that were asked in the past are published on the website of the Information-technology Promotion Agency. It is important to know what kind of questions are asked, so it is recommended to read them as part of your study. Along with the questions, the grading criteria and viewpoints are also published, so if you check this as well, you will be able to understand the qualifications better.

In addition, as mentioned above, the scope of questions and the concepts that are the prerequisites for the project manager exam do not completely follow PMBOK. Please keep this in mind as it is very important for the exam.

Qualifications that will become PM’s weapons TOP 3: P2M qualification exam

The P2M qualification exam is a qualification provided by the Japan Project Management Association, a specified non-profit corporation. Although it is a Japanese qualification, it is slightly less well-known than the above qualifications.

Exam outline

The P2M qualification exam is a qualification that can prove the skills required for project managers. There are four types of qualifications available according to skills, and they are as follows.

Exam name Acquisition qualification eligibility
Project Management Coordinator (PMC) Qualification Examination PMC qualification PMC course graduates
PMS program exam PMS qualification PMC qualification registrant

PM-related qualifications stipulated in the examination guidelines

Project Management Specialist (PMS) Qualification Examination PMS qualification none
Program Manager Registered (PMR) Certification Examination PMR qualification PMS qualification registrant

3+ years of program/project work experience

After taking the Project Management Coordinator (PMC) qualification test, etc., you can take the higher qualifications according to your skills. Note that the PMP and Project Manager exams only have one type of certification, but there are multiple P2M certifications. Depending on which qualification you acquire, it will change whether you can use it as a weapon as a project manager.

In addition, as shown in the table above, to take the exam, it is necessary to attend a 24-hour or longer seminar on basic knowledge acquisition and acquire prerequisite qualifications. Please understand that you cannot acquire higher qualifications unless you have taken the Japan Project Management Association or e-learning courses.

Appropriate human resources

Although it is a qualification that requires practical skills, you can choose which qualification to take according to your skills. Therefore, whether you have little or no experience as a project manager, you can take the P2M exam in the same way if you change the subject of the exam.

In particular, it is considered that you can pass the qualifications with at least practical experience and only classroom lectures. It can be said that it is a qualification for a wide range of human resources because it focuses on basic matters related to project management.

Pass difficulty

The degree of passing difficulty varies depending on the qualification, but it is about 60% to 75%. It is not an extremely difficult qualification, but it can be said that it is a qualification that can be sufficiently passed if you take measures for qualification. Considering that there are people who applied but did not take the exam, it is considered to be a difficulty level that can be passed if you study and take the exam.

Also, since the questions are multiple-choice questions, it is possible to answer with a certain amount of knowledge. Written exams inevitably become more difficult and the pass rate drops, but that is not the case with P2M. Although it requires solid study, it is a relatively easy test to deal with.

Learning method

P2M exam questions are centered on the content described in the “Revised 3rd Edition P2M Program & Project Management Standard Guidebook”. This is a commercial book, so the best way to learn is to buy it. It is not recommended to study with other books because it contains a different way of thinking from the PMP and project manager exams.

In addition, the Japan Project Management Association, which operates P2M, has released several books on project management theory. These are not books for qualifications, but we recommend using them because you can learn the theory of project management.


We have introduced three types of qualifications that can be used as a weapon when working as a project manager. Experience-based skills are important for project managers, and it is a good idea to have a certification as proof of your skills. It’s never too late to prove your skills objectively.

There are three types of qualifications to become a weapon, but PMP is the most important among them. It is a globally recognized project management qualification, so let’s aim for this pass first.

However, it is necessary to have sufficient work experience to take the PMP exam. If you aim to acquire qualifications through classroom lectures with moderate practical experience, consider taking a project manager exam.


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