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PMP vs CSM, which should you get first?

People are always confused about PMP vs CSM which is best for a professional. Here are the details for this article. Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important certification for project managers and is recognized as the gold standard in project management.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most popular certification for Scrum and gives you a better understanding of Agile standards and the Scrum framework, including team roles, activities, and artifacts.

These two certifications are very different in nature and form and the commitment you need to apply to successfully complete the certification is also different. Let’s check some things and compare both certificates.

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important certification for project managers and is recognized as the gold standard in project management.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most popular certification for Scrum and gives you a better understanding of Agile standards and the Scrum framework, including team roles, activities, and artifacts.
These two certifications are very different in nature and form and the commitment you need to apply to successfully complete the certification is also different. Let’s check some things and compare both certificates.

PMP vs CSM: Prerequisites

For the PMP, you must have 7,500 hours of leading and managing projects and 35 hours of project management education if you have a secondary degree. However, if you have a degree, you only need 4,500 hours of leading and instructing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
You have no prerequisites for CSM. After your desired certification you can apply for this exam

PMP vs CSM: Study time required

PMP Exam Preparation needs +- 3 Months

To successfully complete the PMP certification you will need 1 to 3 months (or even more depending on your daily commitment) to be able to assimilate all information that is on PMBOK and related materials. Passing the PMP exam is really challenging and you need to be very well prepared. Also can try 591lab study material to gain the Certification

CSM Exam Preparation +- 3 Days

It will take you only 3 days to complete the CSM certification. When you apply to CSM you will be required to attend a two-day class with a certified Scrum Alliance coach who will teach you agile values and the Scrum framework. After these two days, you will be eligible to take the CSM exam. One more day will be needed to consolidate the information that was given during the class to prepare yourself for the exam.

PMP vs CSM: Exam time and Ques Type

PMP 200 questions in 4 hours

Both certifications have an electronic exam with multiple-choice questions (one question, four possible answers). However, the similarity between both tests ends here.
The PMP requires you to take the test in a PMI-approved facility that is monitored by security cameras and you have no access to the Internet. The exam lasts for 4 hours and consists of 200 questions. There is no fixed pass rate because passing scores on all PMI certification exams are determined through proper psychometric analysis, meaning each candidate’s passing score is different and based on the overall difficulty of that exam.

CSM 35 questions in 1 hour

The CSM exam is available on the internet and you can execute it from anywhere (e.g. home, office). You need to answer 35 questions in 1 hour and the pass rate is 69% (from 35 questions you need to answer 24 questions correctly). The exam has a functionality that lets you pause the test and resume it later. The CSM exam is very easy and you will probably pass on your first attempt.

Which one should take first?

As you can see the difficulty level in this certification is completely different. In PMP you really need to commit yourself and devote time to study every day so that you can absorb all the information and crack the exam. You only need two days in CSM and you will be a certified ScrumMaster without any doubt.
However, both certifications have the ability to increase your knowledge of project management practices and give you a variety of tools so that you can apply what is most appropriate for your organization and projects.

My personal advice is that you start by getting the PMP certification. In this journey, you will learn all the standards of project management practices around the world and you will cover every aspect of any project (project initiation, planning project, implementation project, monitor project, and completion project).

After that, if you are interested in agile standards and scrum framework then take CSM certification! In this certification, you will get some guidelines that are very important for your daily activities, even if you don’t follow Scrum by the book. Remember that the Scrum framework cannot be applied to every project or organization (eg decentralized teams around the world) so don’t be discouraged if you can’t implement Scrum in your projects right away. You will find useful information throughout the framework (eg daily meetings, retrospectives, forecasting strategies).

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