CSM Certification vs PSM Certification

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Roopesh Janmanchi

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Apr 10, 2024

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Although both are Scrum Master certifications and may sound almost similar that's not the case. Both are quite different from each other from their origin to their application, difficulty, hierarchy to the demand for individual certificates in the market.

The CSM stands for Certified Scrum Master whereas PSM stands for Professional Scrum Master, we have discussed both these terminologies in detail below, what is CSM/PSM, how one could get certified, their eligibility criteria, governing bodies, exam patterns and which certification will be the best for you? Just hold on, take your seat and get ready to dig deep down to know more.

What is Scrum Framework?

Before going further, one should be aware of the basic terminology of what is scrum framework, it is a process that allows you to go through a complete development cycle with ease. You can work at your own pace but work towards the organisation's goal. Deliver the project on time but with job satisfaction. Yes, it is a practical way to work on software development by participating in daily stand-up meetings, accepting timelines for the sprint, discussing how to improve during the sprint retrospectives and closing backlogs one by one to finally deliver the product as per the customer expectation.

Certified Scrum

Master Course

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What is CSM Certification?

The primary goal of this CSM certification course is to improve student understanding of Scrum methodologies and how they are used. It assists you in earning the title of Certified ScrumMaster®, a title granted by Scrum Alliance to practitioners who have finished a Certified Scrum Master certification course and proven their knowledge by passing the CSM exam.

What is PSM Certification?

The professional Scrum Master certification helps a candidate understand the complexities of working with people and teams, preparing for product delivery, and mastering the role of a Scrum Master as a servant leader are all covered in the Professional Scrum Master certification course. The PSM course covers the core concepts of the Scrum and Agile movements through a combination of classroom lectures and team-based exercises using training materials provided by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber.

The PSM Certification has 3 Stages namely, 

PSM I

PSM II

PSM III

Each stage has an individual PSM exam, syllabi, fees and certifications accordingly.

How to get CSM or PSM certification?

For CSM

Becoming a Certified Scrum Master is not rocket science, but it does require training and effort.

Follow these three steps, and you can become a Scrum Certified Master:

  • Understand the Scrum Framework.
  • Attend a Scrum Master Training Class or Workshop.
  • Pass the Scrum Master Certification Exam.

Exam Difficulty Level:  The exam difficulty level falls under the easy category. It is an open-book exam, in which a candidate needs to score 74% to clear the exam. 

For PSM

To be a Professional Scrum Master™, you must undertake the Professional Scrum Master™ course, and after that, pass the Professional Scrum Master™ Certification examination. You need to follow the given steps to get certified.

  • Understand about Scrum Framework and all the roles and responsibilities included in the Scrum guide.
  • Enroll in one of the accredited PSM certification courses and be given open assessments multiple times and evaluate them each time.
  • Join various Scrum forums, know the exam patterns and topics and increase your real-world knowledge.
  • Register on time and give your exam with full confidence.

Exam Difficulty Level: The exam difficulty level falls under the moderate category, as compared to the CSM exam, there are 3 different levels, the time constraint is strict, and you have to attempt 80 questions in 60 minutes which counts to 45 seconds per question. The passing criteria is 84%. 

Also Read: PSM 1 Exam Sample Questions 

 

 

Difference Between CSM and PSM Certification


 

Certified Scrum Master

Professional Scrum Master

  Governing Body

Scrum Alliance

Scrum.Org

  Training                Requirement

Mandatory 2-day training from Registered Education provider

One can take a 2-day Professional Scrum Foundations or Professional Scrum

 Master course, but not mandatory.

Training Material Availability

Scrum Master Certification Training Material is provided by the Institute where a candidate is undergoing 2-day training

Training Materials are created and

 maintained by Scrum Co-creator

 Ken Schwaber, Scrum.Org and

 the Community of PSTs who

 teaches the course

Cost of Certification

CSM Certification and exam fee are all included in the training cost.

The total cost of all

PSM levels is US $900.

Each Level carries a different Cost

PSM I - US $ 150

PSM II - US $ 250

PSM III - US $ 500

Exam Difficulty Level

Scrum Master certification exam is much easier to clear exam

PSM is also an easy exam but, the difficulty level is higher compared to 

CSM Certification Exam.

Exam Pass Percentage

Minimum Passing marks are 74%

Minimum Passing marks are 85%

Exam Pattern

Multiple Choice Question

Level I & Level II are Multiple Choice

Questions, Multiple Answer Questions and True/False Questions. For Level III combinations of MCQ and Open

 End Essay or Case Study.

Certification Renewal Fee

CSM Certificate is valid for 

2 Years and option to renew by paying USD $100

No Expiry. Life Time Validity

 

Professional Scrum

Master Course

2 Days of live virtual training

View course
 

Benefits of CSM and PSM 

The Certified Scrum Master and the Professional Scrum Master are both luminary certifications, and both certifications have their own perks and benefits. Some of the well-known benefits of these certifications are:

Benefits of CSM Certification:

Some major benefits of the CSM Certification are:

    •  Better Career Opportunities: You can unlock Better career opportunities after becoming a certified scrum master, the growing demand and increase in a number of businesses adopting to scrum is playing a key role in this.
    • Increased Salary Potential: Certified scrum masters earn an average of $112,921 per annum. The job growth is predicted to be 26 per cent by 2026.
    • Globally Recognized: The CSM certificate is accepted worldwide by all the major companies not only from IT or software but from construction, manufacturing, biotech, robotics and a lot more hire Certified Scrum Masters.

If you still believe that you be a scrum master and you do not require any certification, then you must think again and go through the below-mentioned points:

      • Grow an agile mindset: The key to a successful Agile transition is having an Agile mentality. To become an experienced Scrum Master, one must possess the capacity to think, adapt, and act in accordance with the fast-changing environment.
      • Better pay scale as compared to non-certified professionals: A PSM certification sets you apart from your peers who aren't accredited and gives you practical knowledge of Scrum. Without a Scrum certification, it is very hard to land an entry-level job. According to 2019 Scrum Master Trends, 44% of respondents indicated they made $100,000 or more, compared to a pitiful 18% of non-certified respondents.
      • Better ROI: Scrum lowers the chance of project failure, increasing the stakeholders' return on investment. Regular input at regular product development phases ensures that problems are quickly fixed, saving time and preventing last-minute challenges. Additionally, this will guarantee that the deliverables for your product are accurate.        

Which one is best for you?

It is always debatable which course is better PSM or CSM. As mentioned above both CSM Certification  and PSM Certification are two different Scrum certifications of the same .

To put it simply, CSM Certification from ScrumAlliance has more demand because of the mandatory 2 days of training. Scrum Alliance believes that professionals will understand concepts like the Scrum framework, roles, artefacts and events not by reading books or watching videos but rather by performing them in real life.

Attending a classroom is not mandatory for PSM, people who have complete knowledge and implementing Scrum in their projects for quite some time can go for PSM.

Reference

For CSM Certification: https://staragile.com/in/agile-and-scrum/csm-certification-training

For PSM Certification: https://staragile.com/in/agile-and-scrum/psm-certification-training 

Conclusion

There is no doubt both certifications have a respectable place in the industry and are considered one of the most sought-after certifications for the Scrum Master. Considering the above points and the difference between CSM and PSM, CSM Certification can be viewed as a notch higher than PSM certification

According to the stats nearly 2500+ professionals getting trained in India on Scrum Master (CSM) Certification every month whereas PSM numbers are little less.

All the companies believe these practices will be adopted and applied only when they attend 2 days of CSM training from ScrumAlliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is PSM Better than CSM?

If we consider the certifications, then CSM is just an elementary form of PSM1. The PSM offers more diversified, deep and organised learning as compared to CSM. As the PSM course is more advanced hence its exam is also more difficult to crack as compared to CSM. 

Is CSM harder than PSM?

Well no, if we compare both then, PSM is more tricky and difficult than CSM. The CSM exam consists of 50 questions and the time allotted is 1 hour, whereas PSM1 consists of 80 questions in which a candidate needs to have 68 correct to pass the exam.

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