PMP vs. the CISSP

PMP vs CISSP- The PMP exam covers project management while the CISSP exam covers cybersecurity.

What is the difference between the PMP and the CISSP exams?

I thought it was strange when someone asked me the question. How does the PMP compare to the CISSP? These are two quite different tests with two very different subjects. Project management is covered by the PMP exam, while cybersecurity is covered by the CISSP exam.

But then I considered it.

The question is legitimate. Many people, I believe, are considering both the PMP and the CISSP. Both of these credentials are regarded as the most prestigious in their areas. So, give this question some thought.

The PMP’s worth in comparison to the CISSP’s

The PMI PMP certification is now held by 791,448 persons around the world. The IS2 CISSP certification, on the other hand, is held by 122,289 persons globally.

As a result, there are much more PMPs than CISSPs in the world. In other words, CISSP certification is far more uncommon than PMP certification.

In 1984, the first PMP test was given. In 1994, the first CISSP exam was given. As a result, the PMP has a ten-year head start on the competition. If you’re comparing raw numbers, though, this doesn’t relevant. According to the statistics, CISSPs are difficult to come by.

I want to know how valuable a certification is in the job market before I decide which one to pursue. Searching for the certification on is the quickest way for me to test this. The amount of opportunities that require or prefer the applicant to have that certification will be displayed in the search results.

As a result, there are a few less positions that require the CISSP certification. The CISSP roles, on the other hand, offer a little higher beginning compensation than the PMP positions.

As a result, I believe the CISSP exam is more valuable than the PMP. However, the distinction is not significant, and both qualifications are sought after by businesses.

The Examinations

Both the PMP exam and the PMI test are four hours long. There is no stated time limit for the CISSP exam. The CISSP exam, unlike the PMP exam, is adaptive. This means that if you answer a question correctly, the next question will be a little more difficult, and so on. When you pass the CISSP exam or the computer algorithm indicates that you will not pass, the exam is over.

As a result, the CISSP exam does not have a specific time limit. Some people are able to do it in a short amount of time (I did). I was only given roughly 110 questions to answer. Others are bombarded with questions and are required to answer up to 150 of them. The questions are mind-boggling, and answering each one can take several minutes. As a result, an extra 40 questions can add up to a couple of hours of exam time.

There are 200 multiple-choice questions on the PMP. There is usually more than one “correct” response to these questions. This makes it difficult because you must choose the “more correct” solution.

As a result, I was relieved when I came across a question that required a formula. I could be sure that my solution was correct as long as I remembered how to complete the math. The non-formula questions were significantly more difficult. I had to argue about which solution was superior and why. I had to make a “best guess” on many of the questions. When you’re forced to make decisions you’re not sure about, it’s difficult to stay confident.

Multiple-choice questions are also included in the CISSP. Many questions, like those on the PMP test, do not have an obvious, correct answer. And, just like the PPM exam, I found myself having to choose between two valid answers.

The golden rule for the CISSP is that the least expensive answer is the best. If you’re asked how to reduce risk, for example, you should choose the one that does the task for the least amount of money.

Which test is harder?

Both the PMP and the CISSP exams are difficult. Although no pass rates for either exam are available, it is estimated that less than half of persons pass the CISSP exam on their first attempt. The PMP test is thought to have similar statistics.

The CISSP exam, on the other hand, was substantially more difficult for me than the PMP exam.

On the PMP exam, I spent virtually the entire four hours. I spent a lot of time going over my answers and only had around six problems where I was utterly stumped. You can go back and examine your answers on the PMP exam. When you’ve finished reviewing, click a button to finish the test and see if you passed. I was pretty sure I’d passed by the time I pressed the finish button.

I prayed, and then I clicked.

I believe the testing programme intentionally delays the results to keep you guessing. The test results are displayed after what seems like an eternity.

Boom – I passed.

The CISSP exam, on the other hand, is given in a completely different way. As I previously stated, the test is adaptive. If you answer correctly, the next question will be more difficult. You reach a stage in the testing where the questions are so cryptic that no one can remember all of the answers.

On the CISSP exam, you can’t go back and review or edit your answers. It continues on to the next question after you answer it, and there is no going back. Furthermore, the test may be terminated at any time. You’re not sure when it’ll end or if the questioning will continue.

I was on question 107, and I had a hunch I’d pass if I could only get the next one right. I also had the impression that if I missed the question, I would burst into flames.

I answered question 107, and the test did not end.

Question 108 was about something I had never heard of before. I thought over the question and the replies and got convinced that I was accurate. The test went on until a score of 110 was reached.

The test then came to an end. I didn’t get a notification if I passed or failed.

I moved away from the computer. Biometrics were examined once more to ensure that I hadn’t been replaced by a smarter version of myself.

I strolled out to the front desk, where the woman behind the counter was staring at a computer. She folded a sheet of paper in half after printing it. She handed me the paper, which I gingerly opened.

Because my mind had not yet recovered from the exam, I was unable to interpret what was written on the paper. With a smile, the woman said, “Congratulations.”

Again, boom. I got a good grade.

When people ask which test was more difficult, I tell them that the CISSP was far more difficult than the PMP.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.