There always has been a debate between the two certifications – Project Management Professional (PMP) and Scrum; which one is better and is more in demand in the industry. The debates will go on as each certification advocates a different vision of how to run a project. This article will try to see out the differences between the two and which one is worth spending on.

Before starting the head-to-head battle of the two certifications, let us first have a clear understanding of the both certifications.

What is PMP?

It is an internationally recognised professional designation that is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMP is the gold standard of project management, which will help you in managing all kinds of projects irrespective of the industry you are in. Each PMP certification cycle lasts for three years and by then end of that period you have to earn 60 Professionals Development Units (PDUs) to renew the certification for another cycle.

Also Read>> Project Management tips & techniques

Scrum – a simple framework for Complex Projects

Scrum has garnered a lot of interests among project management professionals in the recent years. It is an agile framework for completing complex projects. Originally developed for software development projects, it can be also used for any complex, innovative projects. Agile development processes promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation. Scrum is a subset of Agile and hence the methodologies are derived from agile processes.

Also Read>> Agile Vs Scrum

PMP vs. Scrum – The Battle for Attention

Which certification takes your attention? Here are the points that will help you in making your decision:

Which Industry are you in?

The type of industry that you are working in has to do a lot with the type of certification that you should pursue. If you are in the IT industry and are familiar with the agile technology, then it would be beneficial to you if you go for Scrum certification. In industries like IT, engineering, etc. there is a need for a team-centric approach; which is what Scrum has to offer better in that direction. According to many project managers, industries like oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, etc. have more successful experiences through PMP framework.

Interest – 5-year data

Following graph shows the interest in PMP vs. Scrum over a period of 5 years. You can see that the interest in Scrum is growing fast. It is due to the high growth of IT and the need for certified project managers in the in industry.

PMP vs Scrum

The methodology predominantly used in your company or industry

If your company or the industry that you are in uses agile methodology, it would make more sense if you do a Scrum certification. For example, construction projects are large but not as complicated as software development projects. Software projects require frequent inspections during the development process to make sure that it is going in the right direction. Thus, most companies in the IT industry uses agile methodologies to get better results. If you are investing in a certification that you expect is going to help you in your industry, then do the one which is predominant. As the cost of PMP is usually higher, you can go for Scrum when you are in software or technology industry. However, you can always do PMP certification after having a Scrum certification.

How much money and time do you want to spend


Money and time are resources which you do not 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.

Depending on the region that you want to work in


The region that 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 for PMP certification is higher in areas like North America and Asia, while more interest is being shown for Scrum in areas like Europe, Australia and Latin America. Higher interest means that there is greater demand from companies for professionals having the respective certifications in those areas.

PMP vs Scrum

In short, the two certifications have their own way of contributing to the goal that you have. It all depends on the above-mentioned points. See which certification will be most helpful to you and go for it accordingly.

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