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What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?

Agile and scrum are the two dynamic tools ruling the software industry nowadays, most of the IT-based organizations and companies are looking to hire candidates who are familiar with all agile and scrum stuffs, framework, and applications. A latest article published by Forbes Magazine says that IT professionals with certifications are earning an average of $17,000 more per year than the median IT certification salary. From an employee perspective, certifications let you demonstrate additional qualifications on your resume in addition to getting hired faster. The demand for certified agile scrum professionals is more, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) are the two most important certifications for the scrum master to enhance his career further better. Before getting into all about these certifications, let me take you to the world of Scrum,  What is Scrum and it’s framework Scrum can be defined as the iterative framework or work management system which helps to meet the most objectives in an appropriate manner. Scrum has a wider scope and not only limited to the workshops or seminars, it is a full-time profession. Scrum masters are those who create scrum frameworks for the organizations, CSM and PSM are the two certifications for scrum master. Many people ask about the these. Let’s get into the origin of these two. It was the time during the 90s when the engineers in the companies were failing to deliver the right results, the companies then felt of finding a new way through which they can decrease the production as well as increase the productivity, Ken and Jeff are the two software engineers came up with this iterative framework and later in 2002 they found scrum alliance and set up Certified scrum master (CSM) and Professional scrum master (PSM). Now let’s get into briefly about the certifications and how they will help to boost up your career. Let’s us not forget the below quote. CSM Vs PSM Certification Both the CSM Certification and PSM certifications focus on software development which has got their own importance and wider scope and each is different from the other. Got confused don’t worry let me explain in detail about these, which one is the better? Which will add more value to your career, which one should you go for? Let us see in detail. How to get certified? As far as CSM is concerned, CSM is just like any other diploma or degree program where you have to be enrolled in the institution and have to attend the classes and all the assignments. In the end, you have to pass the CSM test, and you have only two attempts at taking the test. On the other hand, PSM is entirely different from CSM. There is no need to attend any classes for this program neither any test for the PSM 1 and PSM 2 both. What is the passing grade? For CSM, you have to secure at least 69% marks or 24 out of 35 to get through the Certified Scrum Master program which is very low as compared to PSM. In PSM, the passing criteria are quite tough. You would get 80 questions and have to complete it in only 60 minutes. You have to be accurate in the answers because only those attendees with the final marks of 85%+ will pass the test and will get the Professional Scrum Master certificate. What is the exam format?   The exam format of CSM is quite simple. The test paper of CSM is only based on multiple choice of question and they also allow you enough time to fill it twice. On the other hand, there are two levels in the Professional Scrum Master Certification program. One is PSM 1 which is also based on the multiple choice questions and the other one is PSM 2 which is also not only based on MCQ’s but you also have to write an essay in it.  How difficult is the exam: This is the question that almost every student asks. The Certified Scrum Master program test is relatively easier than the PSM 1 and PSM 2. The reason behind is the weekly classes and the tests that you have attended on these classes prepares you for the final exam. However, PSM doesn’t have any scheduled classes systems, that is why students find hard to pass the exams. Moreover, the PSM 2 is much harder to pass as compared to the PSM 1, that is why people always leave the PSM program after taking PSM 1 certificate. How much does it cost?   There is no standard fee of CSM. The CSM is attached to the course, and many different institutions offer this certificate program. However, the general fee of CSM starts from the US$400 to US$2,500 based on the tuition fee. Since there is only one body that offers Professional Scrum Master Program that is why they have a standard fee of PSM. The PSM 1 only US$100 and the PSM 2 cost only US$500. Moreover, the students of PSM also given one free attempt for the PSM 1 exam for the assessment.  What is the Renewal Duration? You have to renew your CSM credential after every two years. The first two years from you get the degree, the fee of the credential would be added in the tuition fee.  Later on, you have to renew it by paying only $100 every two years. This fee is subjected to change on the authority of the institute from where you get your CSM degree. On the other hand, there is no need to renew your PSM credentials. Once you got this, this is yours for all of your life, and no one can take it from you. How consistent is the both program’s content? Because many institutes are providing CSM program that is why the program content varies from institutes to institutes and trainer to trainer.  Whereas PSM has only one body, and all the teachers of that body follow only one content. However, the interpretation of the trainers may vary.   What is the reliability of the Program content? Because the program content in the CSM varies from trainer to trainer, that is why it is hard to keep the reliability of the program content at its top. Every Scrum trainer creates its own program content and also its interpretation. That is why it is impossible to maintain the monotonous or the quality of the program content.  Whereas only one body provide Professional Scrum Master program and their trainers follow only one content, that is why the reliability of the PSM program is at its highest, and there is no comparison between CSM and PSM contents. Last Words: Both of the programs are highly compatible, and both have their own importance. CSM may look back in the race but its originality and the history of this program makes it equal to PSM. However, aspects like no renew, content reliability and the tuition fee of PSM makes it a better choice to take if you want to be a Professional Scrum Master with the certificate. Go ahead, reach your destination. All the best.  
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What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?

15K
  • by Richard Paul
  • 18th Apr, 2017
  • Last updated on 06th May, 2019
  • 7 mins read
What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?

Agile and scrum are the two dynamic tools ruling the software industry nowadays, most of the IT-based organizations and companies are looking to hire candidates who are familiar with all agile and scrum stuffs, framework, and applications.

A latest article published by Forbes Magazine says that IT professionals with certifications are earning an average of $17,000 more per year than the median IT certification salary. From an employee perspective, certifications let you demonstrate additional qualifications on your resume in addition to getting hired faster.

The demand for certified agile scrum professionals is more, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) are the two most important certifications for the scrum master to enhance his career further better.

Before getting into all about these certifications, let me take you to the world of Scrum, 

What is Scrum and it’s framework

Scrum Framework

  • Scrum can be defined as the iterative framework or work management system which helps to meet the most objectives in an appropriate manner. Scrum has a wider scope and not only limited to the workshops or seminars, it is a full-time profession.
  • Scrum masters are those who create scrum frameworks for the organizations, CSM and PSM are the two certifications for scrum master. Many people ask about the these. Let’s get into the origin of these two.
  • It was the time during the 90s when the engineers in the companies were failing to deliver the right results, the companies then felt of finding a new way through which they can decrease the production as well as increase the productivity, Ken and Jeff are the two software engineers came up with this iterative framework and later in 2002 they found scrum alliance and set up Certified scrum master (CSM) and Professional scrum master (PSM).

Now let’s get into briefly about the certifications and how they will help to boost up your career. Let’s us not forget the below quote.


CSM Best quotes

CSM Vs PSM Certification

CSM VS PSM

Both the CSM Certification and PSM certifications focus on software development which has got their own importance and wider scope and each is different from the other. Got confused don’t worry let me explain in detail about these, which one is the better? Which will add more value to your career, which one should you go for? Let us see in detail.

How to get certified?


How to get certified


As far as CSM is concerned, CSM is just like any other diploma or degree program where you have to be enrolled in the institution and have to attend the classes and all the assignments. In the end, you have to pass the CSM test, and you have only two attempts at taking the test.

On the other hand, PSM is entirely different from CSM. There is no need to attend any classes for this program neither any test for the PSM 1 and PSM 2 both.


What is the passing grade?

What is CSM & PSM Passing grade

For CSM, you have to secure at least 69% marks or 24 out of 35 to get through the Certified Scrum Master program which is very low as compared to PSM.
In PSM, the passing criteria are quite tough. You would get 80 questions and have to complete it in only 60 minutes. You have to be accurate in the answers because only those attendees with the final marks of 85%+ will pass the test and will get the Professional Scrum Master certificate.

What is the exam format?

CSM & PSM exam format 

The exam format of CSM is quite simple. The test paper of CSM is only based on multiple choice of question and they also allow you enough time to fill it twice. On the other hand, there are two levels in the Professional Scrum Master Certification program. One is PSM 1 which is also based on the multiple choice questions and the other one is PSM 2 which is also not only based on MCQ’s but you also have to write an essay in it.

 How difficult is the exam:

How Difficlut is the exam


This is the question that almost every student asks. The Certified Scrum Master program test is relatively easier than the PSM 1 and PSM 2. The reason behind is the weekly classes and the tests that you have attended on these classes prepares you for the final exam. However, PSM doesn’t have any scheduled classes systems, that is why students find hard to pass the exams. Moreover, the PSM 2 is much harder to pass as compared to the PSM 1, that is why people always leave the PSM program after taking PSM 1 certificate.

How much does it cost?
 

CSM & PSM Exam Certification Cost

There is no standard fee of CSM. The CSM is attached to the course, and many different institutions offer this certificate program. However, the general fee of CSM starts from the US$400 to US$2,500 based on the tuition fee.

Since there is only one body that offers Professional Scrum Master Program that is why they have a standard fee of PSM. The PSM 1 only US$100 and the PSM 2 cost only US$500. Moreover, the students of PSM also given one free attempt for the PSM 1 exam for the assessment.

 What is the Renewal Duration?

  • You have to renew your CSM credential after every two years. The first two years from you get the degree, the fee of the credential would be added in the tuition fee. 
  • Later on, you have to renew it by paying only $100 every two years. This fee is subjected to change on the authority of the institute from where you get your CSM degree.
  • On the other hand, there is no need to renew your PSM credentials. Once you got this, this is yours for all of your life, and no one can take it from you.

How consistent is the both program’s content?

Because many institutes are providing CSM program that is why the program content varies from institutes to institutes and trainer to trainer. 

Whereas PSM has only one body, and all the teachers of that body follow only one content. However, the interpretation of the trainers may vary.
 
What is the reliability of the Program content?

  • Because the program content in the CSM varies from trainer to trainer, that is why it is hard to keep the reliability of the program content at its top.
  • Every Scrum trainer creates its own program content and also its interpretation. That is why it is impossible to maintain the monotonous or the quality of the program content. 
  • Whereas only one body provide Professional Scrum Master program and their trainers follow only one content, that is why the reliability of the PSM program is at its highest, and there is no comparison between CSM and PSM contents.

Last Words:

Both of the programs are highly compatible, and both have their own importance. CSM may look back in the race but its originality and the history of this program makes it equal to PSM. However, aspects like no renew, content reliability and the tuition fee of PSM makes it a better choice to take if you want to be a Professional Scrum Master with the certificate.

Go ahead, reach your destination. All the best.
 

Richard

Richard Paul

Blog Author

Richard Paul is seasoned professional of the project management domain. He during his tenure has to his credit many successful projects. In his leisure time, he writes and educates his audience on the latest in project management. He can be contacted for coursework assistance by following him on social media channels.

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4 comments

Subramanian Kaushik 16 Feb 2018 1 likes

Nice post !! Thanks for sharing the differences....

kritesh anand 05 Mar 2018

Thanks for sharing scrum professional work which will helps you to make csm certification easily.

Nivedita Telang 08 Jun 2018

Hi, It was a very good article for CSM / PSM. I got good information related to PSM certification. Although I have one question here that where can I get PSM material or how can I avail this course.

KnowledgeHut Editor 24 Dec 2018

Hi Nivedita, Thanks for your feedback on the article. You can checkout our course here: https://www.knowledgehut.com/agile-management/psm-certification-training. And for PSM materials and other queries please get in touch with us.

VK 25 Aug 2018

Thanks for the blog, keep this updated.

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Have a strong knowledge of Scrum If you are not familiar with Scrum, knowing about the certification will educate you with the required skills to utilize it effectively. If you are in the initial stages of using Agile methodology for your project, the CSM certification will provide you with the basic knowledge. Even if you don’t know much about Scrum, the CSM certification will definitely help you build a solid base of Scrum knowledge and understand the concepts of Scrum framework. 3. Update your mindset To work with the Agile methodology with Scrum effectively, we need to develop an Agile mindset. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve successful Agile and self-sustaining approach. Industry-oriented certification and training will benefit this kind of mindset. As a member of the Scrum team, you will think in an Agile way, that will lead to a decrease in disagreements, more successful projects and better team collaboration. 4. Knowledge of Scrum Artifacts This certification includes concepts like the product backlog, sprint backlog, burndown charts etc. which are the pillars of a Scrum project. These Scrum concepts will be an advantage for the organizations to deliver the project in iterations. 5. Be admissible and catch your market The certifications will provide youwith an in-depth practical knowledge to improve your career. It makes you relevant and marketable in your field. CSM certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile values. This certification proves that you have an Agile mindset and knowledge of Agile concepts. 6. Certified Scrum Masters are added advantage for organizations It is difficult for any organization to adopt a new methodology as it affects the entire structure of the organization including: Processes Management People Clients In this regard, it is quintessential for all the customers to achieve some tangible and real benefits in the early stage with self-managing teams and incremental iterations. If you are not a certified member, you might miss the opportunity to establish yourself as a Scrum master in your organization. 7. Strengthening teamwork We have a few organizations that consider Scrum master certification for different departments over different people. This certification generally has a positive result when it comes to working with your peers. As a certified Scrum Master, you will have the potential to build and strengthen the core understanding of Scrum while working together with your peers. With multiple Scrum experts along with all departments, the organization gets benefited with Scrum experts in all departments with an instance of knowledge that can lead to the successful execution of Agile and Scrum methodologies. 8. Establish your basic Scrum knowledge to peers The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification shows your efforts and knowledge of Scrum that makes you capable of working within the organization. You don’t need to waste your time to show your credibility in your workplace, your certification speaks about that. 9. Qualified employees get success in projects If your Agile project is successfully done then a team member of certified Scrum Master will benefit from a huge reward. And also, the clients would recognize the potential value of a Scrum team that work together to apply Scrum in a productive way. 10. One more feather to your career cap Certification indicates a sign of honor. If you are being a part of the management, allowing employees to get certified proves your acumen and commitment to enhancing their skills. 11. Succeed as a servant leader As a Certified ScrumMaster, you have the ability to motivate and lead your teammates. You will guide them and help the team work together smoothly. 12. A badge of honour Along with the improvement in your marketability towards potential clients, a Scrum Master Certification also comes with the added benefit of being something that can be flaunted with pride- a badge of honour. Your employees never doubt your suitability towards being a mentor, and are becoming more open towards your ideas. Scrum is not a static methodology in any sense- it is a living, changing and continuously evolving framework which has to be understood in depth, before implementation. A Scrum Master Certification helps you do just that, all the while improving your position in the organisation. 13. Be apart from the crowd The CSM credential demonstrates to your employees that you have the experience and skills to lead an agile team to success. It serves as a differentiator showing potential employers that you have an edge over your non-certified counterparts. It shows that you know your goal—The ScrumMaster knows the goals to be achieved and has a clear vision of what it will take to succeed. You know the quality that is needed to be delivered, and ensure that the team works towards it, ensuring project success and client satisfaction. 14. Iron out glitches in your project In case there are any impediments in the way of project progress, the CSM will negotiate, address any such challenges and build a positive work culture. 15. Ability to judge risks Scrum teams are known to release better products at lower risks, and as the CSM you can be the first to spot any red flags that could lead to potential disaster. 16. Ability to prioritize Prioritizing is the first step towards Scrum success; a CSM will be able to prioritize tasks efficiently. 17. Be a team player A CSM is, above all, a good team player. You will listen to your teammates, accept their suggestions and address any challenges they may be facing. 18. You will communicate well By keeping channels of communication and collaboration open, you will share all relevant reports, calendars and deadlines with the team so that you can work together towards project success. 19. Adopt Agile mindset Scrum being an Agile methodology, training and certifications will help people in your team embrace the Agile practices. And having a consistent Agile mindset in a team will lead to lesser disagreements, better team collaboration and ultimately delivering successful projects. 20. Stay marketable All industries adopting Agile practices will have excellent career opportunities for candidates with Scrum certification. This certification will prove that you have an Agile mindset and core knowledge of Agile practices. 21. A plus for your organisation If there are skilled and proven Agile professionals in an organisation, the management might benefit from it by adopting Agile methodology as it will effectively influence all the aspects of business like people and processes. 22. Learn a range of Skills The Scrum Master Certification helps you to focus on your actual experience and skill set because you have shown that you completely comprehend the principles important for managing a scrum team. Many companies are constantly looking for ways to become more Agile and there are not enough people out there with the required experience to compete with the high demand for scrum masters. If you have a Scrum Master certification, than you not only stand a greater chance of getting a job, but you also have an opportunity to earn higher salary and excel in your career. 23. Support system Another big benefit of getting a Scrum Master Certification is the support system — you join a select community of recognised Scrum experts. These experts have been working to improve all the areas of Scrum implementation, including its methodology, and you can avail their advice when you find yourself in a tight spot. Once you are a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) you will earn the stature to mingle with a society of authorized Scrum experts committed to ensuring continuous improvements with an Agile approach. Scrum Alliance is an official site that has Scrum Masters features across the global. This community will actively provide knowledge in a way to discover events and provide instructions. Being a certified Scrum Master, you can join a community of recognised Scrum experts, practitioners and trainers. This global network will give you exposure to deepen your Scrum knowledge, acquire guidance whenever necessary and also enable you to provide solutions to other problems. An example is Scrum.org, which actually features a global network of Scrum trainers as well as practitioners. There are few things in the Agile this community cannot help you with, and a Certification helps you gain the privilege of their guidance. 24. Influence your organization to adopt Agile If your organization has well-trained Agile professionals, the management would be more comfortable to invest in adopting the Scrum methodology. The CSM certification shows the management that you have the knowledge to work with Scrum and implement its approach. A professional study of Scrum means that you have to study its methods from all angles: this can help you gain a fresh perspective, along with a strong working knowledge of the implementation of Agile methods. You will be able to implant the Agile mindset you gain among your teammates; this increases the cohesion and cooperation of the team by leaps and bounds. The team’s unity, as we all know, is in direct proportion to the success of any project. Getting a Scrum Master certification can help you present yourself in a more attractive fashion, to any prospective employers. A Scrum professional knows how an organisation works, and since the framework is used in almost all industries, your career options expand considerably. If you’re already employed, you have a great shot at improving your organisation- with the requisite knowledge you receive, you can turn yourself into a company asset. Summary: If you have any certified Agile workers among your colleagues, a certification helps you improve your working relationship with them. Even if your peers have studied or adopted a different Agile methodology, the underlying ideas do not change. You will be able to converse and exchange ideas with them, and in the process strengthen the organisation within your company. The work environment is improved, since you can understand how your colleagues work, or even think, to some extent. Passing a Scrum Master examination is no mean feat — it requires you to study and have expertise in various aspects involved in implementing a Scrum methodology. All the things we discussed above are very compelling reasons to explore this certification further. Advance your career with the Scrum Master certification from Scrum Alliance, and sign up for a CSM training workshop led by the best minds in the business.
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