Which certification should you opt for PMP or CSM?

There are two very popular certifications which professionals pursue in the field of project management. One is the Certified Scrum Master certification (CSM certification). The other is the Project Management Professional certification (PMP certification). Since they both involve topics which belong to the field of project management, there is often some confusion around whether one should opt for the CSM certification or whether one should opt for the PMP certification. This blog post attempts to explain what the two certifications are, what the major differences between them are, and give some additional details about them both.

What is the PMP certification?

It is a certification which aims to impart the core concepts and topics belonging to the project management field to aspiring project managers. Project managers are required in every business or organization to lead and direct projects. They are the ones responsible for driving a particular project or a portfolio of projects to successful completion. In order to do this, they must possess the required knowledge, skills, and a decent amount of experience. This is why the PMP certification lists several educational and experience requirements.

So the PMP certification is a credential which serves as a good stamp of approval regarding a project manager’s core competency, skill set, and experience. It is very advisable to get a Project Management Professional (PMP)certification for anyone interested in entering the field of project management.

What is the CSM certification?

There is a philosophy and a set of methodologies called the Scrum methodologies. They follow the Agile principles of project management, especially in the case of software development. A certified scrum master plays a very important role in the Scrum team. His first responsibility is to make sure that his team sticks to the Agile principles and practices very closely and adheres to them fully. He also has to maintain good and healthy communication lines between his team members, the product owner, and the other members of the management personnel.

He is the person who has to hold daily Scrum meetings to review the progress the team made yesterday, what were the main obstacles that they faced, and what the day’s targets and goals should be. He also has to make sure that the team is well protected from any internal or external distractions and that there are no stumbling blocks or obstacles in their way.


Why should one opt for the PMP certification?

  • It is a good way of demonstrating that one is interested in project management and is a self-driven learner

The PMP certification training is not easy to obtain. It has a PMP certification exam which is very difficult and has a failure rate of 50%. In order to clear it one has to create a customized preparation strategy and adhere to it for a long time. That takes a commitment of a large amount of time, energy, and even money. So potential employers know that a PMP-certified individual has a big interest in project management and is a self-driven learner.

  • It gives the candidate a good amount of helpful credibility

The job market is full of unscrupulous elements who present false information about their skills and qualifications in their resumes and job interviews. Hiring managers are often plagued by dishonest candidates and are in a fix about how to select worthy candidates. So they feel a great amount of relief when they see a PMP-certified candidate because it is a very meritorious credential which gives the candidate credibility and is a good sign of their soundness.

Why should one opt for the CSM certification?

  • You will be able to strengthen the teamwork of your team and thus make a significant impact

A certified scrum master plays a very central role in the Scrum team. He can make the team successful or cause it to perform poorly. If the certified scrum master is skilled and experienced, he can enable the team to apply the Scrum principles and practices without any difficulties, which will consequently lead the team to be successful in delivering a project.

  • You will imbibe the behavior and capabilities of a true servant leader

A certified scrum master has many responsibilities. He has to ensure that the team dynamics stay positive and productive. He also has to ensure that the communications between the team, the product owner, and the stakeholders are healthy and based on the Scrum principles. He has to do all these things while remaining in the position of a servant leader and without taking command of the team. So with a CSM Certification one will learn how to do all these things.

Details of the PMP Certification Exam

The PMP certification exam is a very difficult exam with a failure rate of 50%. It contains 200 multiple choice questions. 4 hours is the total duration of the exam. The exam is computer based with paper based testing limited only when a stringent set of conditions are met. The exam is only administered in the English language.

Details of the CSM Certification Exam

The CSM certification exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of the Scrum and Agile principles extensively. The exam is very difficult and has a failure rate of 72%. 1 hour is the total duration of the exam. The exam contains 50 MCQs or multiple choice questions. The passing score for the exam is set at 74%. A candidate has 2 attempts to pass the exam available to them. The exam is available in several languages other than English such as French, Italian, Danish, Russian, Spanish etc.

PMP Certification Exam Cost

$555 for PMI nonmembers.

$405 for PMI members.

CSM Certification Exam Cost

The CSM certification exam can only be taken after one has undergone certified scrum master certification training from a certified scrum trainer. The cost of this training varies from organization to organization but Careerera offers online at very affordable and competitive prices. The cost of the CSM certification exam is$29.