PMP vs Scrum – Which is Better for You?

PMP vs Scrum – Which is Better for You?

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Updated on Apr 12, 2023 19:28 IST

Is PMP better than Scrum? Learn more about the PMP vs Scrum debate today.


There always has been a debate between the two certifications –  PMP and Scrum; which one is better and is more in demand in the industry? The debates will continue as each certification advocates a different vision of running a project. If you decide which is better – Project Management Professional (PMP) vs. Scrum will most likely boost your career. This article will help you determine the differences between the two and decide which is worth spending on.

This post will compare the PMP and Scrum certifications, their cost, study time, and popularity in different industries and regions. Before starting the head-to-head battle of the two certifications PMP vs Scrum, let us first understand both certifications.

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What is PMP?

Project Management Professional (PMP) is an internationally recognized professional designation the Project Management Institute (PMI) offers. 

The PMP designation is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). It is the entire collection of processes, best practices, terminologies, and guidelines accepted as standards within the project management industry.

PMP is the gold standard of project management, which will help you manage all kinds of projects irrespective of your industry. It validates that you can manage projects and project teams. PMP demonstrates that you have the specific skills and experience employers look for.

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To gain the PMP certification, you must take the PMP examination that will evaluate you in the five areas, initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. 

To qualify for PMP certification, you will have to fulfil the following requirements: 


Each PMP certification cycle lasts for three years and by the end of that period, you have to earn 60 Professionals Development Units (PDUs) to renew the certification for another cycle.

What is Scrum? A simple framework for Complex Projects

Scrum has garnered much interest among project management professionals in recent years. It is an agile framework for completing complex projects. Originally developed for software development projects, it is now used for complex, innovative projects in other industry sectors outside software development. 

Agile development processes promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation. Scrum is a subset of Agile; hence, the methodologies are derived from agile processes. It helps teams to deliver valued products iteratively and incrementally while continually inspecting and adapting the process. 

The two main certifications for Scrum are the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) by Scrum Alliance and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) by 

A CSM certification will help you learn about the Scrum framework and gain an understanding of team roles, events, and artefacts. It will prepare you to face the emerging new normal.

PMP vs Scrum – Which is Better for You?

Here are the points that will help you decide which certification you should pick:

1. Prerequisites

Whether you have a four-year degree or a high school diploma, you must have experience leading and directing projects.  

With a four-year degree, you will require 36 months of experience in leading projects and with a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, 60 months of experience will be required

PMP: You need to have project management experience.

CSM: no prerequisite

Also Read>> PMP PMI Certification – Exam, Cost, Eligibility

2. Study time & Money 

Time and money are the resources that people don’t want to spend lavishly if it provides no positive returns. So, you need to do the certification, which will provide you with the best return provided the amount of money and time you put into it.

PMP: Depending on your daily commitment, it will take you around 1 to 3 months to complete your PMP certification successfully. If PMP is your target and you can commit around 180 hours (average of three hours a day for three months) to prepare for the PMP exam, then you can begin your PMP journey. 

Here are some PMP mock tests and a guide on how to prepare for the PMP exam. The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. 

Scrum: You will require only 3 days to complete the CSM certification. When you apply for CSM, you must attend 14 hours of live online or 16 hours of in-person training with your Certified Scrum Trainer or 25 hours of face-to-face interaction with your Certified Agile Coach, who will teach you the agile values and Scrum framework. 

After completing the course, you will be eligible to take the CSM exam. The CSM exam will take 60 minutes to complete. You will have to correctly answer 37 out of the 50 questions to pass the exam. 

PMP – Study Time: 1 to 3 months | Exam Fees: Member: ₹23,459, Non-member: ₹42,863

CSM – Study Time: around 3 Days | Exam Fees: around ₹25,000

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3. Which industry are you in?

The type of industry that you are working in has to do a lot with the type of certification you should pursue. 

Scrum: If you are in the IT industry and are familiar with agile technology, it would be better to go for Scrum certification. In industries like IT, engineering, etc., there is a need for a team-centric approach, which Scrum offers better in that direction. Some other industries using a scrum approach include education, marketing, and the military.

PMP: The PMBOK Guide provides the same processes and techniques for every industry but there are still differences in how the same techniques are applied in various sectors.

According to many project managers, industries like oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, etc. have more successful experiences through the PMP framework. Some other industries include aerospace and defence, consulting, healthcare, human resource project management, information systems, IT and telecom, and marketing and sales.

Interest – 5-year data

The following graph shows the interest in PMP vs. Scrum over a period of 5 years. You can see that there’s not much difference between the two in terms of overall popularity. Scrum’s popularity, however, is linked to the growth of IT services and the need for certified professionals in the IT industry.


4. The methodology predominantly used in your company or industry

Both certifications can expand your knowledge in project management practice and give you different tools. So you can choose the one that best fits your organization and projects.

Scrum: If your company or industry uses an agile methodology, it will make more sense if you do a Scrum certification. For example, construction projects are large but less complicated than software development projects. Software projects require frequent inspections during development to ensure it is going in the right direction. Thus, most companies in the IT industry use agile methodologies to get better results. 

If you want to work as a part of small Agile Scrum Teams in startups, you should consider a Scrum certification.

Must Read>> 6 In-Demand Project Management Skills

PMP: PMP is mostly used by companies that follow a traditional approach to project management. Various government, commercial and other organizations hire PMP-certified project managers to improve the success rate of projects in all areas of knowledge by applying the principles contained in PMBOK Guide. 

If you are investing in a certification that you expect will help you in your industry, then opt for the predominant one. As the cost of PMP is usually higher, you can go for Scrum when you are in the software or technology industry. However, you can always do PMP certification after having a Scrum certification.

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5. The region that you want to work in

The region you want to work in can also dictate the type of certification you should opt for. The following graph in Google Trends shows that the interest in PMP certification is higher in areas like the United States, Canada, Russia, and India. In comparison, more interest is shown for Scrum in areas like Brazil, Australia, and Argentina. Higher interest means greater demand from companies for professional certifications in those areas.


PMP vs Scrum: Which one to choose?

Both PMP vs. Scrum certifications have their own way of contributing to your goal. So, it all boils down to the above-mentioned points. You can decide which certification will be most helpful and go for it accordingly. Below is a quick summary of what we discussed.




Is Scrum Master a good career?

Yes, there is a huge demand for scrum masters. Scrum Masters play a significant role in the overall success of an organization. They are required by organizations to help establish a high-performing team dynamic, a continuous flow, and exponential improvement in processes.

What is the salary range of a Scrum Master in India?

The average salary of a Scrum Master in India is Rs. 1,400,000 per annum.

What does a Scrum Master do?

A scrum master performs various tasks, such as formulating techniques for effective product backlog management, ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by every member in the Scrum Team, monitoring project progress, providing timely feedback, understanding and practising agility. They also facilitate communication and information exchange between external groups and the project team.

Should I become a Scrum Master?

Yes. Especially if a Scrum Master has retained technical proficiency, moving into a role like QA director or development manager can be a fulfilling, logical step. Scrum Masters often become coaches, mentors, product owners, managers or continue as Scrum Masters in more challenging situations.

What are the benefits of Scrum Master Certification?

The Scrum Master Certification is one of the most in-demand certifications among recruiters nowadays. It will open up doors for better job opportunities for you. It shows your commitment to learn new things and stay updated with advancements in the Scrum domain. Scrum Masters are known for delivering value to the customers and are considered as an asset to the organization.

What are the best online resources to learn Scrum?

There are many ways to learn Scrum online. Some of the resources that can help you learn Scrum are online courses, tutorials, and eBooks. You can also visit the Scrum official website - to read various articles related to Scrum, to join the Scrum Forum discussions, and view the Scrum Resources page.

What does a Project Manager do?

The role of a project manager is to work towards the success of given projects proactively. These projects come with a specific schedule, timelines, and budgets, which a PM is expected to deliver. The role and responsibilities of a Project Manager include planning, outlining executing, managing, monitoring, and closing a project.

Which industries hire project managers?

The top industries that hire project managers are Public sector organizations, Management and Professional Services, Finance and insurance agencies, Manufacturing, construction companies, and engineering firms, Software companies, Oil and Gas, and Utility industries.

What are the benefits of a PMP Certification?

A PMP certification offers many benefits such as enhancing professional skills - both in the real world and on the resume, building the knowledge of fundamental project management tools, processes, and techniques, and methodologies, ensuring better networking opportunities across industries, and better remunerations.

What are the skills required by a project manager?

The technical skills required by a project manager include Process design, Process management, and control, Planning and scheduling, Task management, Risk management, Data analysis, Interactive prototyping, Risk analysis, and management. Soft skills include excellent communication, Leadership, Critical thinking, Research, Team handling, and management.

What are the top companies hiring PMP Certified Professionals?

The top companies hiring PMP Certified Professionals include HCL Technologies, IBM, HCL, Sapiens, TCS, Cognizant, Cisco, Microsoft, and Accenture.

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