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Scrum Master Certification - The Definitive Guide

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Scrum Master Certification - The Definitive Guide

What is a Scrum Master?The Scrum Master in a Scrum team is responsible for managing the process, while at the same time ensures that the team is observing the Scrum theory, rules and practices. They are not a part of the decision-making process, but they act as a guide for the team, thanks to their experience and expertise. They also help in simplifying complex projects.Scrum Masters act as a facilitator and advisor for the Scrum team and are always on a continuous lookout for the team’s development. Moreover, they make sure that Scrum adoption is successful in their organisation.Roles played by a certified Scrum MasterBroadly speaking, the role of a Scrum Master is challenging as they are responsible for the functioning of the team as well as monitoring the Scrum processes and events. Professionals with a Scrum Master certification, however, are acknowledged to be the masters of the art of facilitation and drive their teams to success.An efficient (and certified) Scrum Master ensures that the Definition of Done (DoD) is being followed, and this helps him maximize the potential of the team.A Scrum Master has several important responsibilities, to name a few:Act as a supervisor for the Scrum TeamKeeps the Scrum Team protected from any external requests or disruptions as well as over-commitmentsAssists the Scrum EventsTake measures to  maximise the productivity of the teamBuild trust and transparency between the teamMake sure that there is proper communication between the Scrum Product Owner and Scrum TeamPromote daily stand-up, as neededThe popularity of the role of a Scrum Master has increased exponentially in the past few years. Glassdoor has included Scrum Master in their list of highest paying jobs, with a rank of 20 and a median salary of $98,239 USD. On top of this, LinkedIn has included Scrum Master in top 2019 most promising jobs list.What are the benefits of Scrum Master certification?Legit concern. If knowledge is the fundamental aspect here, what is the need for a Scrum Master certification at all?Recently certified Scrum Masters will have so many positive anecdotes to share.1. Validation from the industryAs a professional Scrum Master certified by an accreditation body of global repute has a lot to contribute to the industry. Basic benefits aside, a globally valid Scrum Master Certification lets you:Expand your career opportunities across multiple sectors embracing Agile practicesDemonstrate your scrum knowledge and skillsLearn about the fundamentals and scope of ScrumEngage with active Agile practitioners committed to continuous improvement and deliveryScrum Master certifications do not just merit a raise in salary but offer several additional benefits which include but are not limited to the following.Now that you already know the benefits of Scrum Master certifications in terms of knowledge, salary, designation, mindset, and industry value, let us walk you through the roles and responsibilities of certified scrum masters.2. Scrum knowledge and skillsEarning a Scrum Master certification will help you in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed in any project that entails scrum. Having a scrum certification will also give you the motivation and confidence to implement Scrum across different sectors and projects.3. Grow in your careerBeing certified as a Scrum Master will make you more marketable and relevant in your field. It equips you with the skills that will help you reach the goals of the business and offer the highest value to the customer. It is the basic validation of an agile mindset, knowledge and skills to apply in organisations.4. Boost team’s collaborationA certified Scrum Master encourages the whole team to work together in a better manner as (s)he has a good understanding of Scrum.5. Change of mindsetMore than doing Agile, being Agile fosters teamwork, avoids conflicts and helps create more successful projects.According to a survey conducted as stated in the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, when asked about their current title, the following response was received by the participants:ChoicesResponses (%)Happy as Scrum Master15.85Happy as Agile Coach10.95I am a Scrum Master now, but want to become an Agile Coach20.65I plan to become a certified trainer or coach22.59I am working to become a Scrum Master11.49Other18.47And when asked about their current titles, the following response was received:ChoicesResponses (%)Scrum Master39.45Agile Coach15.56Development Team Member5.84Product Owner3.15Product Manager9.62Agile Project Manager3.26Product Manager1.24Others21.87Also, about Scrum and facilitation training, it was observed that:83% of participants had formal Scrum training17% of participants had formal facilitation training15% of participants had no certifications45% of participants had more than one certificationAnd, the top three certifications among the participants were:Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)Professional Scrum Product OwnerTM  (PSPO I)Scrum has been adopted by many big organisations like Google, Spotify, IBM, 3M, etc. Moreover, Scrum is no more limited to the fields of the IT sector. According to a State of Scrum Report 2017-2018, participants voted Scrum Master (85%) as the top certification of 2017.The following is a list of departments that use Scrum other than the IT department:Operations or Production - 42%Research and Development - 31%Sales and Marketing - 25%Content Development, Management - 24%Consulting - 22%Human Resources - 19%Financial or Accounting - 18%What is the average salary of a certified Scrum Master?As a certified Scrum Master, salary is the last thing you need to worry about. A Scrum certification alone will boost your salary manyfold.According to a research by Glassdoor in 2018, the role of Scrum Master is one of the highest paid jobs in the United States with a median base salary of $98,239 and with job openings of over 1800. Being certified makes the Scrum Master a more accomplished person for the job, providing prospective employers with acknowledgement of their skills.The following is the average salary of a Scrum Master by region, as per the survey: 2019 Scrum Master Trends.CityAverage SalaryNorth America$113,295Europe$76,889South America$43,505Africa$62,571Asia$40,326Oceania$149,507Top Scrum Master CertificationsHere’s is a globally acclaimed Scrum Master certification programs:Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) by Scrum Alliance®Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I) by Scrum.orgSAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) Certification by Scaled AgileEXIN Agile Scrum Master by EXINScrum Master Certified (SMC™) by SCRUMstudyScrum Master Accredited Certification™ by International Scrum Institute™Advanced & related Scrum Master certifications:Advanced-CSM® (A-CSM®) by Scrum Alliance®Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM)  by Scrum Alliance®Professional Scrum MasterTM II (PSM II) by Scrum.orgProfessional Scrum MasterTM III (PSM III) by Scrum.orgPMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI)How do I get a Scrum Master certification?To become a professional Scrum Master, you need to clear an examination or assessment and get certified. This will help you to get a better understanding of the fundamentals of  Scrum framework, values, practices and applications. It also provides a level of expertise and knowledge. Having a certification means an acknowledgement that you hold the core knowledge of Scrum as well as know how to engage with other practitioners for further collaboration and improvement.It is necessary to familiarize with Scrum and understand the prerequisites that are needed to attend any certification course. With various certification courses available in the market, it is equally necessary to research well and choose a certification according to their needs and demand.The procedure for getting certified is roughly the same for all Scrum Master certifications:Step 1: Attend training or take a course, as per the certifying body’s requirement.Step 2: Register for an examination as per the certification.Step 3: Take a test and score at least the minimum required score.Step 4: Get certified.To make things easy for you, we have put together a list of the best Scrum Master certifications which will help you get essential knowledge of the how to get certified and can also help you decide which certification to opt for.1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most widely acknowledged Scrum Master certification. To become a Certified ScrumMaster, it is essential to attend a 2-day classroom training, after which you will be required to take an online test. You will acquire the required essential knowledge in this two-day training, which is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) authorised by the Scrum Alliance®. The topics of discussion during the training include Scrum frameworks, its usage, User Stories, Estimations and Release Planning.According to the State of Scrum Report 2017-2018, Certified ScrumMaster® is the most popular certification, selected by 84% of the respondents.1.1 Who is the authorised body for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?Scrum Alliance® is the authorised body for the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification.1.2. What is the eligibility & prerequisites for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?There are no eligibility criteria for a CSM certification. But, it is advisable to have familiarity with the Scrum framework. You have to take up a two-day (16 hours) course, which is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). This course provides an overview of supporting and organising a Scrum team.Taking a course is mandatory for Certified ScrumMaster® certification.1.3. What is the cost of Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?Cost of 2-day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course is around $1000 (depends on your training provider), which also includes the cost of certification and examination fee.1.4 How to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) with Scrum Alliance®Attend a 2-day Scrum Master course from a Registered Education Provider (REP) like KnowledgeHut.After your course completion, you’ll receive an email with a unique username from Scrum Alliance® to register online. Click on the activation link, log in with the given username and create your own password. Fill in your profile information in all the mandatory fields.Proceed by clicking on “Take CSM® test” form the certification dashboard that can be reached on the settings page. You can take the test within 90 days after completion of the Scrum Master course.Take the test.After passing the test, you can download your internationally valid Certified ScrumMaser® certificate from the certification dashboard (under the “Print Certificate” option). Scrum Alliance® has partnered with BadgeCert Inc. allowing you to display a secure and verifiable digital certification badge on social networks, resumes, email signatures, and websites.1.5. What will the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification exam be like?Take the test, which comprises of 50 multiple-choice questions based on the CSM® learning objectives within a 60 minute time limit. The test can be taken anytime, anywhere and is available to take in English, Spanish (Castilian), Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Czech, and Russian. You’ll be tested on the types of topics and questions as mentioned in CSM Test Specifications Outline. The passing score is 74% - this means you should have answered 37 questions correctly.1.6. Reattempts for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification examIf you don’t pass your exam in the first attempt, you can take up a second attempt without any extra charge.If you fail the second time as well, you can attempt the exam again by paying a fee of $25 to ScrumAlliance.If you are a Certified ScrumMaster and are wishing to level up, then you can opt for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification. The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification has been discussed further in the blog under the advanced certification sectionHow to renew your Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?Every two years, it is necessary to get the certification renewed by paying a fee of $100 as well as earn 20 Scrum Education Units® (SEU®). Learn how to earn SEUs here.2. Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)Professional Scrum Master I is another highly sought after Scrum Master certification offered by Scrum.org, founded by Ken Schwaber — the co-creator of Scrum — after he parted from Scrum Alliance®.Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) is a course with 2-days duration that covers the process theory and the principles of the Scrum framework, also covering the role of the Scrum Master. This course contains instructions as well as team-based exercises, which teaches the core of the Scrum and Agile movement.According to the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, on Scrum and facilitation training, the maximum number of votes were obtained for PSM I certification, which is 53 % of the participants.Scrum.org says Microsoft uses the PSM I assessment “to validate knowledge as part of its Silver and Gold Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) competencies”.2.1. Who is the accreditation body for Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)?Scrum.org2.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I) certification?There are no specific prerequisites for undertaking the examination or attending this course. The Professional Scrum Master training can be attended by professionals who are interested in attending the training and giving the examination. After completion of the course, you will receive a password for PSM I assessment conducted by Scrum.org. Subsequently, you can decide if you should proceed and undertake the PSM II and PSM III assessments.The following individuals can benefit by taking up the Professional Scrum Master training to showcase the fundamental level of Scrum mastery:Professionals who wish to pursue the Professional Scrum Master CertificationScrum Team managersTeams which are transitioning to ScrumScrum Team members such a Product Owners and developersTaking a course is optional for PSM I certification.2.3. What is the cost of the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I)certification? If you are well-versed with Scrum, taking a course is optional. PSM I assessment fee is $150 per attempt.But if you to attend a 2-day training, the exam fee for the certification is included in the course price of around $350 and depends on the training provider. If you have attended the training, you’ve two attempts to clear your exam as opposed to only one chance when attempting the exam without any training.2.4. Here’s how to become a Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) professionalAttend a 2-day PSM training (optional). You’ll need an Assessment Password to take the test - after clearing which you’ll receive the industry recognized PSM I Certification.If you have paid for your PSM course, you’ll receive the Assessment Password to your email address. If you haven’t taken the course, you’ll have to buy PSM I assessment online to receive the Assessment PasswordThe password doesn’t have an expiration date but is valid for one attempt only if you haven’t taken the PSM 1 course, and two attempts you have taken the course.Take the test.After the completion of the assessment, the results will be emailed to you. Here’s an example Scrum.org Assessment Results email.If you have scored at least 85% in your test, your certificate and badge will be added to your member profile on Scrum.org. Your name your name will also be added to the public list of certified professionals on their website.2.5. What will be the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I) examination like?With the knowledge of the Scrum Guide (authored by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland), official Scrum.org resources, and other suggested reading material, you can assess your basic Scrum knowledge before taking the actual assessment that covers topics from multiple Focus Areas defined by the Professional Scrum Competencies.  The PSM examination that can be taken in Enlish language only, consists of a total of 80 questions in the following formats: multiple choice, multiple answers and true/false.PSM exam can be a bit difficult and you’ll have 60 minutes to attempt all the questions, where you’ll have to score a minimum of 85% in order to pass the examination.2.6. How to renew the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) certificationAlong with the PSM certification, any Scrum.org certificate is has a lifelong validity and do not require any additional payments or renewals.3. SAFe® Scrum MasterGain a thorough understanding of the roles of a Scrum Master in a SAFe® enterprise by attending a 2-day course. With the help of this course, explore the roles of a Scrum Master at the enterprise level and prepare yourself to plan and execute the Program Increment successfully, which is the primary enabler of alignment through all levels of SAFe® organisation. Discover different approaches to become a servant leader and coach to build high performing Agile teams.  3.1. Who is the authorised body for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?Scaled Agile is the authorised body for SAFe ® Scrum Master certification.3.2. What are the eligibility & prerequisites for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?The course is open to all, regardless of what experience you hold. But, the following prerequisites are recommended for those who wish to take the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification exam:Insight of Agile concepts and principlesAwareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and KanbanWorking knowledge of hardware and software development processes3.3. What is the certification cost for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?The first attempt of the exam is included as a part of the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days of completion of the course. Each retake attempt costs $50.3.4. Here’s how to become a SAFe® Scrum Master professional:The very first step is to attend a SAFe® Scrum Master course. This is a requirement as this will help you gain access to all the study material as well as the examination.Upon completion of your SAFe® Scrum Master course, you can gain access of the examination within the SAFe® Community Platform.Take the test.After clearing the test, you’ll get a Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master PDF certificate or a Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master digital badge along with a one-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SSM Community of Practice.3.5. What will the SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination be like?The SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination can be taken in English, consists of a total of 45 questions of the type multiple choice and multiple select, and out of which you are required to score a minimum of 73% (33 out of 45) to obtain your certification. The time duration for the exam is 90 minutes. Here are a few sample test questions.3.6.Reattempts for SAFe® Scrum Master certification examThe first retake, that is the second attempt of the examination can be taken immediately after the first attempt. The third attempt requires a 10-day wait, while a fourth attempt requires a 30-day wait. Each retake attempt costs $50.3.7. How to renew your SAFe® Scrum Master certification?SAFe® certifications hold the validity for one year. After the completion of first year, you will be required to renew your certification by paying a renewal fee of $100.4. EXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)The EXIN Agile Scrum Master certification is a unique certification that combines the Scrum practices and Agile methodologies along with practical assignments. The certification tests the proficiency of a Scrum Master which is required to coach, facilitate and enable a cross-functional team. The course covers various topics like the role of the Scrum master, Adopting Agile, Agile planning estimation, control, monitoring, etc. This certification can be attained by professionals belonging to fields like business management, IT project management, Software development, IT service management.4.1. What is the accreditation body for the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) certification?EXIN is the accreditation body for Agile Scrum Master (ASM) Certification.4.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for ASM certification?There are no particular eligibility criteria for the Agile Scrum Master course. But it is mandatory for you to successfully complete an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training.This certification is suitable for professionals in the following fields:Business managementSoftware DevelopmentIT Project ManagementIT Service Management4.3. What is the cost of the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) examination?The cost of the examination comes around $260, without any training course. If you have opted for a training course, it will include the exam fee as well.    4.4. What is the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) examination like?The  EXIN Agile Scrum Master certification examination consists of a total of 40 multiple choice questions (can be taken in English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Latin American Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, Czech, Chinese). The difficulty level for the examination is advanced and the exam duration is 90 minutes. You have to score a minimum of 65% in order to pass the examination and to get the ASM certification.5. Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)The Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) professionals can ensure that the Scrum Team is provided with the proper environment which helps the team in completing the project successfully. It is the duty of the Scrum Master to make sure that the Scrum process is being followed, while at the same time he is responsible to guide, facilitate and teach the Scrum practices to everyone who is involved in the project.5.1. Who is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)?SCRUMstudy is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)5.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for SMC™ certification?This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master. There aren’t any specific prerequisites needed for this course. But, if you  who have completed the Scrum Developer Certified (SDC™) certification before opting for this certification are highly preferred.Moreover, it is recommended that you attend a 2-day SMC classroom training provided by a SCRUMstudy approved Authorized Training Partner (A.T.P.).5.3. What is the cost of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) examination?The cost of the examination is $450.5.4. What is the Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) examination like?The  SMC™ certification examination consists of a total of 100 Multiple Choice questions. The exam duration is 120 minutes. The current pass rate of this examination is 95%.5.5. How do I maintain my Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) certification?You are required to maintain 40 Recertification Units (RCUs) every 3 years in order to maintain your certification.6. Scrum Master Accredited Certification™The Scrum Master Accredited Certification Program is an online test examination that can be taken from anywhere around the world. The examination success rate is 98%.6.1. Who is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?International Scrum Institute™6.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master.6.3. What is the cost of certification for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?The test and certification cost for Scrum Master Accredited Certification is $69, with no other hidden costs or fees involved.The number of re-attempts: you can retake your examination for 10 times, without any additional fee. If you fail at your last attempt, the full amount of registration fee will be refunded to you.6.4. What will the Scrum Master Accredited Certification™ be examination like?The test contains 50 multiple-choice questions that you have attempt within 60 minutes. In order to obtain the certification, you will have to answer at least 60% of your test questions correctly.Summary of comparison between Scrum Master CertificationsCertificationAuthorized BodyDifficulty level Duration No. of Questions CostRenewal Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®)Scrum Alliance®EasyNo Duration35$1400 (including a mandatory course fee)$100, every 2 yearsProfessional Scrum MasterTM (PSM)Scrum.orgMedium1 hour80$150 (course fee not included -depends on provider)Not required, has a lifetime validitySAFe® Scrum MasterScaled AgileDifficult1.5 hours45$995 – $1,295 (including a mandatory course fee)$100, every yearEXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)EXINDifficult1.5 hours40$260Not required, has a lifetime validityScrum Master Certified (SMC™)SCRUMstudyEasy2 hours100$45040 RCUs every 3 yearsScrum Master Accredited Certification™International Scrum InstituteDifficult1 hour50$69Not required, has a lifetime validityAdvanced and Related Scrum Master certifications1. Advanced CSM® (A-CSM®)If you have Certified ScrumMaster certification from Scrum Alliance® and have twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years you can get Advanced CSM® certificate after taking the class and “successfully completing all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering”.This course demands that you need to have a basic understanding of Scrum along with its practical usage and implementation. This workshop will help you get a deeper insight into the  Scrum Framework and how it relates to the Agile Manifesto and learn the ways to coach the Product Owner and development team members. You can renew your A-CSM® by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) every two years.2. Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM) The CSP-SM certification is unique and distinct to developers. Along with the certification, the professional get opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with many other leaders in Scrum and Agile. The certification helps professionals to make an impression on the recruiters as well as attract a higher rate of pay.If you have an active A-CSM® certification with 24 months of experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years, and attend a CSP-SM workshop which is conducted by the Scrum Alliance® approved ‘Path to CSP Educator’, you can get certified after “Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering”You can renew your CSP-SM by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) every two years.3. Professional Scrum MasterTM II (PSM II) & Professional Scrum MasterTM III (PSM III)The Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) and Professional Scrum Master III (PSM III) are advanced-level courses from Scrum.org. You can attend an optional 2-day training for PSM II, while there isn’t any training required for PSM III. If you have cleared the PSM I assessment, can opt for PSM II assessment. If you have cleared the PSM and PSM II assessments and if you wish to gain a distinguished level of Scrum mastery can take up the PSM™ III assessment.PSM II assessment will cost you $250, will have 30 questions to answer in 90 minutes, and needs at least 85% passing to get certified. Whereas, PSM III assessment will cost you $500, will have 34 questions to answer in 120 minutes, and needs at least 85% passing score to get certified.4. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI)PMI-ACP acknowledges your knowledge and skill in Agile principles and techniques. The PMI-ACP covers agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP) and test-driven development (TDD.)If you have 2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams along with1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies and 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, you can get PMI ACP certified after clearing the exam having 120 multiple-choice questions within 3 hours. You can renew your PMI-ACP certification every 3 years by earning professional development units (PDUs) in agile topicsThe Career path for a Scrum MasterBeing a certified Scrum Master opens the door for opportunities growth.1. Scrum MasterAfter completing the Scrum Master certification, the Scrum Master gets to perform all the roles that a Scrum Master is assigned to do. They need to work in this position for a minimum duration of one year to five years.2. Senior Scrum MasterAfter Scrum Master, you progress to becoming a Senior Scrum Master. A Senior Scrum Master needs to gather advanced knowledge of the best practices of Scrum and should know how to implement them in teams as well.3. Agile CoachFor the transition to become an Agile Coach from a Senior Scrum Master. It is essential for you to have a minimum of five years of knowledge in being a Scrum Master along with at least one year of experience of coaching and mentoring.Scrum is an Agile development framework which is used to manage the process of product development. The Scrum Master is a person who is responsible for implementing Scrum amongst the team members, remove the obstacles faced by them and make sure that the team members understand Scrum and its principles. He does the planning, takes care of the team backlog, sprint retrospective and sprint demo.Scrum Master certification opens the door to a leap in career growth. There are many certifications options to choose from. With the provided information, we hope you will choose a best Scrum Master certification as per your expectations and requirement work towards your getting your dream job.
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Scrum Master Certification - The Definitive Guide

What is a Scrum Master?The Scrum Master in a Scrum... Read More

What Is Data Science?

Oh yes, Science is everywhere. A while ago, when children embarked on the journey of learning everyday science in school, the statement that always had a mention was “Science is everywhere”. The situation is more or less the same even in present times. Science has now added a few feathers to its cap. Yes, the general masses sing the mantra “Data Science” is everywhere. What does it mean when I say Data Science is everywhere? Let us take a look at the Science of Data. What are those aspects that make this Science unique from everyday Science?The Big Data Age as you may call it has in it Data as the object of study.Data Science for a person who has set up a firm could be a money spinnerData Science for an architect working at an IT consulting company could be a bread earnerData Science could be the knack behind the answers that come out from the juggler’s hatData Science could be a machine imported from the future, which deals with the Math and Statistics involved in your lifeData science is a platter full of data inference, algorithm development, and technology. This helps the users find recipes to solve analytically complex problems.With data as the core, we have raw information that streams in and is stored in enterprise data warehouses acting as the condiments to your complex problems. To extract the best from the data generated, Data Science calls upon Data Mining. At the end of the tunnel, Data Science is about unleashing different ways to use data and generate value for various organizations.Let us dig deeper into the tunnel and see how various domains make use of Data Science.Example 1Think of a day without Data Science, Google would not have generated results the way it does today.Example 2Suppose you manage an eatery that churns out the best for different taste buds. To model a product in the pipeline, you are keen on knowing what the requirements of your customers are. Now, you know they like more cheese on the pizza than jalapeno toppings. That is the existing data that you have along with their browsing history, purchase history, age and income. Now, add more variety to this existing data. With the vast amount of data that is generated, your strategies to bank upon the customers’ requirements can be more effective. One customer will recommend your product to another outside the circle; this will further bring more business to the organization.Consider this image to understand how an analysis of the customers’ requirements helps:Example 3Data Science plays its role in predictive analytics too.I have an organization that is into building devices that will send a trigger if a natural calamity is soon to occur. Data from ships, aircraft, and satellites can be accumulated and analyzed to build models that will not only help with weather forecasting but also predict the occurrence of natural calamities. The model device that I build will send triggers and save lives too.Consider the image shown below to understand how predictive analytics works:Example 4A lot many of us who are active on social media would have come across this situation while posting images that show you indulging in all fun and frolic with your friends. You might miss tagging your friends in the images you post but the tag suggestion feature available on most platforms will remind you of the tagging that is pending.The automatic tag suggestion feature uses the face recognition algorithm.Lifecycle of Data ScienceCapsulizing the main phases of the Data Science Lifecycle will help us understand how the Data Science process works. The various phases in the Data Science Lifecycle are:DiscoveryData PreparationModel PlanningModel BuildingOperationalizingCommunicating ResultsPhase 1Discovery marks the first phase of the lifecycle. When you set sail with your new endeavor,it is important to catch hold of the various requirements and priorities. The ideation involved in this phase needs to have all the specifications along with an outline of the required budget. You need to have an inquisitive mind to make the assessments – in terms of resources, if you have the required manpower, technology, infrastructure and above all time to support your project. In this phase, you need to have a business problem laid out and build an initial hypotheses (IH) to test your plan. Phase 2Data preparation is done in this phase. An analytical sandbox is used in this to perform analytics for the entire duration of the project. While you explore, preprocess and condition data, modeling follows suit. To get the data into the sandbox, you will perform ETLT (extract, transform, load and transform).We make use of R for data cleaning, transformation, and visualization and further spot the outliers and establish a relationship between the variables. Once the data is prepared after cleaning, you can play your cards with exploratory analytics.Phase 3In this phase of Model planning, you determine the methods and techniques to pick on the relationships between variables. These relationships set the base for the algorithms that will be implemented in the next phase.  Exploratory Data Analytics (EDA) is applied in this phase using various statistical formulas and visualization tools.             Subsequently, we will look into the various models that are required to work out with the Data Science process.RR is the most commonly used tool. The tool comes with a complete set of modeling capabilities. This proves a good environment for building interpretive models.SQL Analysis Services SQL Analysis services has the ability to perform in-database analytics using basic predictive models and common data mining functions.SAS/ACCESS  SAS/ACCESS helps you access data from Hadoop. This can be used for creating repeatable and reusable model flow diagrams.You have now got an overview of the nature of your data and have zeroed in on the algorithms to be used. In the next stage, the algorithm is applied to further build up a model.Phase 4This is the Model building phase as you may call it. Here, you will develop datasets for training and testing purposes. You need to understand whether your existing tools will suffice for running the models that you build or if a more robust environment (like fast and parallel processing) is required. The various tools for model building are SAS Enterprise Miner, WEKA, SPCS Modeler, Matlab, Alpine Miner and Statistica.Phase 5In the Operationalize phase, you deliver final reports, briefings, code and technical documents. Moreover, a pilot project may also be implemented in a real-time production environment on a small scale. This helps users get a clear picture of the performance and other related constraints before full deployment.Phase 6The Communicate results phase is the conclusion. Here, we evaluate if you have been able to meet your goal the way you had planned in the initial phase. It is in this phase that the key findings pop their heads out. You communicate to the stakeholders in this phase. This phase brings you the result of your project whether it is a success or a failure.Why Do We Need Data Science?Data Science to be precise is an amalgamation of Infrastructure, Software, Statistics and the various data sources.To really understand big data, it would help us if we bridge back to the historical background. Gartner’s definition circa 2001, which is still the go-to definition says,Big data is data that contains greater variety arriving in increasing volumes and with ever-higher velocity. This is known as the three Vs.When we break the definition into simple terms, all that it means is, big data is humongous. This involves the multiplication of complex data sets with the addition of new data sources. When the data sets are in such high volumes, our traditional data processing software fails to manage them. It is just like how you cannot expect your humble typewriter to do the job of a computer. You cannot expect a typewriter to even do the ctrl c + ctrl v job for you. The amount of data that comes with the solutions to all your business problems is massive. To help you with the processing of this data, you have Data Science playing the key role.The concept of big data itself may sound relatively new; however, the origins of large data sets can be traced back to the 1960s and the '70s. This is when the world of data was just getting started. The world witnessed the set up of the first data centers and the development of the relational database.Around 2005, Facebook, YouTube, and other online services started gaining immense popularity. The more people indulged in the use of these platforms, the more data they generated. The processing of this data involved a lot of Data Science. The masses had to store the amassed data and analyse it at a later point. As a platform that answers to the storage and analysis of the amassed data, Hadoop was developed. Hadoop is an open-source framework that helps in the storage and analysis of big data sets. And as we say, the rest will follow suit; we had NoSQL gaining popularity during this time.With the advent of big data, the need for its storage also grew. The storage of data became a major issue for enterprise industries until 2010. We have had Hadoop, Spark and other frameworks mitigating the challenge to a very large extent. Though the volume of big data is skyrocketing, the focus remains on the processing of the data, all thanks to these efficient frameworks. And, Data Science once again hogs the limelight.Can we say it is only the users leading to huge amounts of data? No, we cannot. It is not only humans generating the data but also the work they indulge in.Delving into the iota of the Internet of Things (IoT) will get us some clarity on the question that we just raised. As we have more objects and devices connected to the Internet, data gathers not just by use but also by the pattern of your usage and the performance of the various products.The Three Vs of Big DataData Science helps in the extraction of knowledge from the accumulated data. While big data has come far with the accumulation of users’ data, its usefulness is only just beginning.Following are the Three Properties that define Big Data:VolumeVelocityVarietyVolumeThe amount of data is a crucial factor here. Big data stands as a pillar when you have to process a multitude of low-density, unstructured data. The data may contain unknown value – such as clickstreams on a webpage or a mobile app and Twitter data feeds. The values of the data may differ from user to user. For some, the value might be in tens of terabytes of data. For others, the value might be in hundreds of petabytes.Consider the different social media platforms – Facebook records 2 billion users, YouTube has 1 billion users, 350 million users for Twitter and a whopping 700 million users on Instagram. There is exchange of billions of images, posts and tweets on these platforms. Imagine the amuck storage of data the users contribute too. Mind Boggling, is it not? This insanely large amount of data is generated every minute and every hour.VelocityThe fast rate at which the data is received and acted upon is the Velocity. Usually, the data is written to the disk. When there is data with highest velocity, it streams directly into the memory. With the advancement in technology, we now have more numbers of Internet-connected devices across industries. The velocity of the data generated through these devices that act real time or near real time may call for real-time evaluation and action.Sticking to our social media example, Facebook accounts for 900 million photo uploads, Twitter handles 500 million tweets, Google is to go to solution for 3.5 billion searches, YouTube calls for 0.4 millions hours of video uploads; all this on a daily basis. The bundled amount of data is stifling.VarietyThe data generated by the users comes in different types. The different types form different varieties of data. Dating back, we had traditional data types that were structured and organized in a relational database.Texts, tweets, videos, photos uploaded form the different varieties of structured data uploaded on the Internet.Voicemails, emails, ECG reading, audio recordings and a lot more form the different varieties of unstructured data that we find on the Internet.Who is a Data Scientist? A curious brain and an impressive training is all that you need to become a Data Scientist. Not as easy as it may sound.Deep thinking, deep learning with intense intellectual curiosity is a common trait found in data scientists. The more you ask questions, the more discoveries you come up with, the more augmented your learning experience is, the more it gets easier for you to tread on the path of Data Science.A factor that differentiates a data scientist from a normal bread earner is that they are more obsessed with creativity and ingenuity. A normal bread earner will go seeking money whereas, the motivator for a data scientist is the ability to solve analytical problems with a pinch of curiosity and creativity. Data scientists are always on a treasure hunt – hunting for the best from the trove.If you think, you need a degree in Sciences or you need to be a PhD in Math to become a legitimate data scientist, mind you, you are carrying a misconception. A natural propensity in these areas will definitely add to your profile but you can be an expert data scientist without a degree in these areas too. Data Science becomes a cinch with heaps of knowledge in programming and business acumen.Data Science is a discipline gaining colossal prominence of late. Educational institutions are yet to come up with comprehensive Data Science degree programs. A data scientist can never claim to have undergone all the required schooling. Learning the rights skills, guided by self-determination is a never-ending process for a data scientist.As Data Science is multidisciplinary, many people find it confusing to differentiate between Data Scientist and Data Analyst.Data Analytics is one of the components of Data Science. Analytics help in understanding the data structure of an organization. The achieved output is further used to solve problems and ring in business insights.The Basic Differences between a Data Scientist and a Data AnalystScientists and Analysts are not exactly synonymous. The roles are not mutually exclusive either. The roles of Data Scientists and Data Analysts differ a lot. Let us take a look at some of the basic differences:CriteriaData ScientistData AnalystGoalInquisitive nature and a strong business acumen helps Data Scientists to arrive at solutionsThey perform data analysis and sourcingTasksData Scientists need to be adept at data insight mining, preparation, and analysis to extract informationData Analysts gather, arrange, process and model both structured and unstructured dataSubstantive expertiseRequiredNot RequiredNon-technical skillsRequiredNot RequiredWhat Skills Are Required To Become a Data Scientist?Data scientists blend with the best skills. The fundamental skills required to become a Data Scientist are as follows:Proficiency in MathematicsTechnology knowhow and the knack to hackBusiness AcumenProficiency in MathematicsA Data Scientist needs to be equipped with a quantitative lens. You can be a Data Scientist if you have the ability to view the data quantitatively.Before a data product is finally built, it calls for a tremendous amount of data insight mining. There are portions of data that include textures, dimensions and correlations. To be able to find solutions to come with an end product, a mathematical perspective always helps.If you have that knack for Math, finding solutions utilizing data becomes a cakewalk laden with heuristics and quantitative techniques. The path to finding solutions to major business problems is a tedious one. It involves the building of analytical models. Data Scientists need to identify the underlying nuts and bolts to successfully build models.Data Science carries with it a misconception that it is all about statistics. Statistics is crucial; however, only the Math type is more accountable. Statistics has two offshoots – the classical and the Bayesian. When people talk about stats, they are usually referring to classical stats. Data Scientists need to refer both types to arrive at solutions. Moreover, there is a mix of inferential techniques and machine learning algorithms; this mix leans on the knowledge of linear algebra. There are popular methods in Data Science; finding a solution using these methods calls upon matrix math which has got very less to do with classical stats.Technology knowhow and the knack to hackOn a lighter note, let us put a disclaimer… you are not being asked to learn hacking to come crashing on computers. As a hacker, you need to be gelled with the amalgam of creativity and ingenuity. You are expected to use the right technical skills to build models and thereby find solutions to complex analytical problems.Why does the world of Data Science vouch on your hacking ability? The answer finds its element in the use of technology by Data Scientists. Mindset, training and the right technology when put together can squeeze out the best from mammoth data sets. Solving complex algorithms requires more sophisticated tools than just Excel. Data scientists need to have the nitty-gritty ability to code. They should be able to prototype quick solutions, as well as integrate with complex data systems. SQL, Python, R, and SAS are the core languages associated with Data Science. A knowhow of Java, Scala, Julia, and other languages also helps. However, the knowledge of language fundamentals does not suffice the quest to extract the best from enormous data sets. A hacker needs to be creative to sail through technical waters and make the codes reach the shore.Business AcumenA strong business acumen is a must-have in the portfolio of any Data Scientist. You need to make tactical moves and fetch that from the data, which no one else can. To be able to translate your observation and make it a shared knowledge calls for a lot of responsibility that can face no fallacy.With the right business acumen, a Data Scientist finds it easy to present a story or the narration of a problem or a solution.To be able to put your ideas and the solutions you arrive at across the table, you need to have business acumen along with the prowess for tech and algorithms.Data, Math, and tech will not help always. You need to have a strong business influence that can further be influenced by a strong business acumen.Companies Using Data ScienceTo address the issues associated with the management of complex and expanding work environments, IT organizations make use of data to identify new value sources. The identification helps them exploit future opportunities and to further expand their operations. What makes the difference here is the knowledge you extract from the repository of data. The biggest and the best companies use analytics to efficiently come up with the best business models.Following are a few top companies that use Data Science to expand their services and increase their productivity.GoogleAmazonProcter & GambleNetflixGoogle Google has always topped the list on a hiring spree for top-notch data scientists. A force of data scientists, artificial intelligence and machine learning by far drives Google. Moreover, when you are here, you get the best when you give the best of your data expertise.AmazonAmazon, the global e-commerce and cloud computing giant hires data scientists on a big scale. To bank upon the customers’ mindsets, enhance the geographical outreach of both the cloud domain and e-commerce domain among other business-driven goals, they make use of Data Science. Data Scientists play a crucial role in steering Data Science.Procter & Gamble and NetflixBig Data is a major component of Data Science.It has answers to a range of business problems – from customer experience to analytics.Netflix and Procter & Gamble join the race of product development by using big data to anticipate customer demand. They make use of predictive analytics, an offshoot of Data Science to build models for services in their pipeline. This modelling is an attribute that contributes to their commercial success. The significant addition to the commercial success of P&G is that it uses data and analytics from test markets, social media, and early store rollouts. Following this strategy, it further plans, produces, and launches the final products. And, the finale often garners an overwhelming response for them.The Final Component of the Big Data StoryWhen speed multiplied with storage capabilities, thus evolved the final component of the Big Data story – the generation and collection of the data. If we still had massive room-sized calculators working as computers, we may not have come across the humongous amount of data that we see today. With the advancement in technology, we called upon ubiquitous devices. With the increase in the number of devices, we have more data being generated. We are generating data at our own pace from our own space owing to the devices that we make use of from our comfort zones. Here I tweet, there you post, while a video is being uploaded on some platform by someone from some corner of the room you are seated in.The more you inform people about what you are doing in your life, the more data you end up writing. I am happy and I share a quote on Facebook expressing my feelings; I am contributing to more data. This is how enormous amount of data is generated. The Internet-connected devices that we use support in writing data. Anything that you engage with in this digital world, the websites you browse, the apps you open on your cell phone, all the data pertaining to these can be logged in a database miles away from you.Writing data and storing it is not an arduous task anymore. At times, companies just push the value of the data to the backburner. At some point of time, this data will be fetched and cooked when they see the need for it.There are different ways to cash upon the billions of data points. Data Science puts the data into categories to get a clear picture. On a Final NoteIf you are an organization looking out to expand your horizons, being data-driven will take you miles. The application of an amalgam of Infrastructure, Software and Statistics, and the various data sources is the secret formula to successfully arrive at key business solutions. The future belongs to Data Science. Today, it is data that we see all around us. This new age sounds the bugle for more opportunities in the field of Data Science. Very soon, the world will need around one million Data Scientists.If you are keen on donning the hat of a Data Scientist, be your own architect when it comes to solving analytical problems. You need to be a highly motivated problem solver to overcome the toughest analytical challenges.
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What Is Data Science?

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Get PRINCE2® Certified

Gone are the days when one can stay satisfied with one’s job and stay relaxed about securing one’s future. Nowadays, it is no longer an ‘An easy and relaxed life’ anymore. Things have changed a lot and will keep doing so. It is a ‘Dog-eat-dog world’ where the competition is as fierce as it can possibly be.So what does one need to grow in one’s career? A tool that gives an advantage over others. Project management is the key to ensure that the project triangle is properly maintained which results in keeping the budget, scope, and timely delivery in check. This also unites the team and keeps everybody on the same page. Projects being delivered effectively on time creates a positive impact on the entire organisation as well.To do that, we need a methodology. PRINCE2® is one of those methods, excelling in which will take you to that next level in handling a particular project for any organisation in the most effective manner. It is the most frequently-used project management method and will offer you the confidence to manage your project effectively with success.In this article, we will discuss what PRINCE2® certification holds, the requirements needed to apply for the same, the benefits involved, and the proper procedure to apply for the examination.If you are interested to know about the above, then you have reached the right place.So, let us begin.What does the PRINCE2® Certification hold for you?PRINCE2® is made up of 7 principles, themes, processes, and project environment. The method used aids in managing projects with success no matter what the size and scale of a project are.PRINCE2® includes the following:The PRINCE2® manual – Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 2017 EditionA Certification Scheme to help you reach either the ‘Foundation’ level or the ’Practitioner’A Membership subscription facility.To get PRINCE2® certified, you need to know that there are four levels in PRINCE2® Certification:PRINCE2® Foundation is the entry levelPRINCE2® Practitioner is the advanced levelPRINCE2® Agile FoundationPRINCE2® Agile Practitioner qualification.Even if there are four levels of certifications for PRINCE2®, the first two, PRINCE2® Foundation, and PRINCE2® Practitioner are the most sought after and the prerequisites vary for each of them.Let us have a look at each of their requirements and what you will learn from them.PRINCE2® Foundation qualification will educate you with the principles of PRINCE2®, its themes, terminology, and the way you will be able to implement PRINCE2® methodology to a project environment supporting PRINCE2®, thus making you an informed member of a project management team.Prerequisites:There are no specific pre-conditions for the Foundation level certification.You may study this on your own or as take it as a prerequisite to the PRINCE2® Practitioner courseHowever, with respect to PRINCE2® Certification Requirements, while it is not mandatory, having a basic knowledge of managing projects is always preferred.In that way, training in PRINCE2® will prepare you for the Foundation level certification in a much better manner in familiarising you with the methods, terms, and concepts.PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification will prepare you to apply PRINCE2® methodology in running and managing a project in an environment which supports the idea of implementing PRINCE2®. Once are able to do so, you will be able to apply PRINCE2® accordingly to take care of the requirements and issues that emerge from a specific project scenario. This results in you getting a comprehensible knowledge about relating PRINCE2® principles with its themes, processes, and PRINCE2® products, and understand them at the same time.Prerequisites:To go for this course and examination, you will need to provide proof that you  passed one of the following:PRINCE2® FoundationProject Management Professional (PMP®)Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate).Only present-day certifications will qualify as a prerequisite.PRINCE2® Agile Foundation qualification comes into the picture once you are aware of what PRINCE2® processes, themes, and principles are, will educate you about governing PRINCE2® and an extensive range of agile concepts. It is similar to PRINCE2® Foundation and after being qualified, you will be able to understand how PRINCE2® 's methodology goes hand in hand with agile concepts while being an informed member of an agile project team simultaneously.PRINCE2® Agile Practitioner qualification teaches certified project managers on how to combine PRINCE2®'s structure, governance, and control with agile methods, techniques and approaches to get an effective result.Prerequisites:Just like PRINCE2® Practitioner, you will need to furnish proof of having passed one of   the following:PRINCE2® Foundation (or higher)Project Management Professional (PMP®)Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate).Like before, only current certifications will qualify as a prerequisite.However, all the levels of certification have the same examination style and structure.Who can go for PRINCE2® certification?Anybody can use PRINCE2® to manage their projects. If you are a project designer, or into the development and delivery of projects, then you will find this certification very helpful. Moreover, if you currently are a project manager or planning to become one, then PRINCE2® certification is the one for you.The PRINCE2® Foundation certification is for professionals who want to indicate that they can be an informed and effective member of a project management team by knowing PRINCE2® methodology, its themes, principles and processes within a PRINCE2®  supporting environment.Moreover, the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification also acts as a prerequisite for professionals who want to get PRINCE2® Practitioner or PRINCE2® Agile certified.The PRINCE2® Practitioner Certification is for professionals who have sufficient knowledge about PRINCE2® methodologies and the application of the same, working effectively and actively with a project management team in a specific scenario and within a PRINCE2®  supporting environment.What are the PRINCE2® training options?You can attend classroom training or study onlineVisit this Axelos link or the PRINCE2® website to find a local PRINCE2® Classroom Training or Online Training centre.Tell me about the PRINCE2® Certification examinations.Now that we have discussed the requirements of the PRINCE2® Certifications, let us understand the style and structure of the PRINCE2® Certification examinations to help you know how to pass it.Understanding the examination formatIt is quite normal to have lots of questions about the examination format, as this is one of the most crucial inquiries.PRINCE2® examinations are either undergone:As a part of a PRINCE2® accredited training course through your PRINCE2® training providerOnlineAt a public PRINCE2® examination centre.Regardless of which option you choose, the style and structure of each examination remain nearly the same.First, we will cover the examination structure. Let us go through them one by one.PRINCE2® Foundation Level Certification Examination 2009:The duration of the examination is 60 minutes.It includes 75 questions.You will need 50% to pass the examination. So you will need to get at least 35 out of the total 70 questions correct. Please note that 5 of the questions are for trial and are not counted in your final score.It will have a ‘Multiple Choice Question’ pattern.There is no negative marking.PRINCE2® Foundation Level Certification Examination 2017:The duration of the examination is 60 minutesIt includes 60 questionsYou will need 55% to pass the examination. So you will need to get at least 33 out of the total 60 questions correctIt will have a ‘Multiple Choice Question’ patternThere is no negative markingThere will be a Reference Book: Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® publication, 2017 edition. But, it will be a closed book examinationThere will be various types of questions: You may be given the regular question pattern with 4-Answer options, or filling a missing word type or pick 2 correct statements from a given list of 4 statements.But you might be wondering how the 2009 Certification differs from the 2017 version, and if either the requirements or the content has changed. Well, here is what is new about PRINCE2® 2017:It has a revised PRINCE2® GuidanceEmphasises the approach in the methods of managing projects using the same 7 principles, themes and processesCustomises PRINCE2® for the specific organisational and environmental needFocuses on the relationship between themes and principlesRedraws ‘Themes’ to include pertinent and specific examples of tailoringProvides more examples of practical application of methods and guidance to enable you to use for project managementHas become even more a ready reckoner and reference for all aspects of managing projectsPuts more emphasis on membership for practitioners and foundation level certification holders to stay up to date and validate their certifications.Now, let us analyse the PRINCE2® Practitioner examination requirements as well.PRINCE2® Practitioner Level Certification Examination 2009:Type of questions: ObjectiveThere will be 8 questions – 10 question items per question, each worth one markYou will need 55% to pass the examination. So you will need to get at least 44 out of the total 80 questions correctThe duration of the examination is 150 minutes (2 and a half hours)It will be an open book examination (Official PRINCE2® manual only).You might get this question about what you will need to do if you have a 2009 certificate, that whether you will need to reappear for the examination in the new 2017 format or wonder what the PRINCE2® certifications might reflect.If you hold a 2009 credential, you will not need to appear for the examination again!But, as the update was made to add more best practices or make subtle adjustments to the existing content, it is good to have an understanding of the revised material.This can be done by:Purchasing the 2017 PRINCE2® manual:Take AXELOS membershipGo through the FAQs published on AXELOS websiteBe a part of the AXELOS community account.PRINCE2® Practitioner Level Certification Examination 2017:Type of questions: ObjectiveThere will be a total of 68 questionsYou will need 55% to pass the examination. So you will need to get at least 38 out of the total 68 questions correctThe duration of the examination is 150 minutes (2 and a half hours)It will be an open book examination (Official PRINCE2® manual only).What is the outcome of being certified as a PRINCE2® Practitioner?When you become a certified PRINCE2® Practitioner, you demonstrate your ability to implement PRINCE2® methodology in multiple environments for any kind of project, and according to the specifications of your organisation. That is why, in project management, PRINCE2® Foundation certification level remains as one of the crucial requirements to pursue the Practitioner level.About the validity of the Practitioner certificate:Although the PRINCE2® Foundation certificate has lifelong validity,  the Practitioner Certificate is not. It will expire three calendar years from their original certification.You either will need to resit for the Practitioner examination or renew your certificate through a subscription to My PRINCE2®.Here are the criteria that you need to meet within the three-year period, to make sure that you stay updated through My PRINCE2®:Join My PRINCE2® within three months of passing your Practitioner examination and renew your subscription every year during the three-year period. The membership fee is £50.00 + Taxes per year.You will need to maintain the PRINCE2® digital badge which you will get as a part of My PRINCE2® during the three-year period. During that period of time, you will require to earn 20 CPD points each year in the prescribed categories to be eligible for the renewal extension of your badge.This will result in you getting your Practitioner certificate renewed for a further three years.You will have the one year’s subscription included with your PRINCE2® Practitioner certificate.                My PRINCE2® is an online subscription to the latest resources and content assisting you to apply everything that you learned during the PRINCE2® Practitioner examination to the workplace, as well as sharpening your skills and knowledge in line with future innovations in project and programme management.What are the benefits of being registered My PRINCE2®?As a My PRINCE2® subscriber, you will have access to:PRINCE2® templates and publications to apply ‘PRINCE2® best practice’A CPD toolset to keep your certificate up-to-date.Axelos will contact the successful candidates with a discount code. When contacted, the chosen candidates should have opted into AXELOS’s Successful Candidates Register at the time of examination registration. For any relevant enquiries, the candidates can email Axelos at membership@axelos.com.What is My PRINCE2®?My PRINCE2® is the go-to best practice subscription for project management professionals. It provides you with every possible practical help, easily accessible support, and professional approval to develop your project management career.You will get easy access to:PRINCE2® 2017 and PRINCE2® Agile official online guidancePRINCE2® 2017 templates to support you with every projectExclusive white papersMember’s discounts to industry publications, training courses, and events.But what are PRINCE2® digital badges?Digital badges are tokens that look like icons. They are granted to imply that you have reached an accomplishment. It is a simple process to verify and share information online. Your digital badge contains and reveals information regarding the activity of your professional improvement along with the issue date and an expiry date.AXELOS authorises this information and delivers it using metadata to avoid alterations. Employers and recruiters can use these badges to verify an individual’s credentials and can act as a differentiator.Your badge will show the highest certification that you hold. For example, if you hold both a PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner certification, then you will receive a PRINCE2® Practitioner badge.What is the outcome of being certified as a PRINCE2® Practitioner?When you become a certified PRINCE2® Practitioner, you demonstrate your ability to implement PRINCE2® methodology in multiple environments for any kind of project, and according to the specifications of your organisation. That is why, in project management, PRINCE2® Foundation certification level remains as one of the crucial requirements to pursue the Practitioner level.Cost of PRINCE2® certificationsFirstly, the components involved in the PRINCE2® certification cost are:PRINCE2® TrainingPRINCE2® examinationCost of Sample Examination papersStudy GuideMembership fee.From PRINCE2® Foundation to PRINCE2® Practitioner, the training and examination costs change from country to country and from one accredited training organisation to another. All the fees are approximate values and you will need to contact the accredited training organisations to check the exact costs.The components involved in the PRINCE2® certification cost are:PRINCE2® TrainingPRINCE2® examCost of Sample Examination papersStudy GuideMembership fee.Choosing a PRINCE2® course online results in the cost of your training component in PRINCE2® being as low as under $300. Do keep in mind to go for a PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification examinations bundle. By doing so, you will get access to the entire course that will last for a year. Some training providers do provide such courses for just $60 if you desire to finish the same in one month’s time. Generally, you could have to pay around $900 for the Foundation examination, but if you get one of those combined courses featuring both PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification examinations, then you automatically would end up paying much less on the PRINCE2® certification.Nevertheless, if you decide to attend classroom training, then you may have to pay around $1000 for your PRINCE2® certification. Quite some of these PRINCE2® courses cover the cost of the PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification examinations. So do make a note of the cost of the PRINCE2® certification if you intend to go for PRINCE2® training. On top of that, do pay attention to the extent of course coverage, flexibility and the bundled services that each accredited training organisation has to offer. Doing so will help you save money on the cost of PRINCE2® certification.PRINCE2® course onlineGoing for a PRINCE2® course online will help you save a lot of money on the cost of PRINCE2® examination. The online course for PRINCE2® Foundation level may cost you €450 or more. However, the classroom session may cost €1000 or higher. So, in this manner, you will be able to cut down on the cost of the PRINCE2® examination if you choose for the online course.PRINCE2® Examination and Certification InfoInfo/ Examination typeFoundationPractitionerQuestion typeObjectiveObjectiveCertification familyPRINCE2®PRINCE2®Conducted byPEOPLECERTPEOPLECERTCreated byAXELOSAXELOSLevelFoundationAdvancedRe-certificationNot requiredRequiredNumber of questions6068Time allotted60 minutes150 minutes, 180 minutes for languages other than EnglishMarks to qualify33 out of 6038 out of 68Closed/Open bookClosed bookOpen book Only the manual is allowedExamination Languages66The languages that the examinations are held in are:DutchEnglishFrenchGermanNorwegianPolishYou can check the PEOPLECERT website for more information.Choosing the test centre and scheduling/rescheduling/cancelling the examinationFollow these steps in order to register for the examination and choose the examination centre.Via Pearson Vue:Step 1: Visit the link:https://www.peoplecert.org/browse-certifications/project-programme-and-portfolio-management/PRINCE2®-2/PRINCE2®-2017-foundation-2232.Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the header ‘Take the Exam’.Step 3: At the bottom right corner of the screen, under ‘Approved Test Centre’, click ‘Pearson Vue’.Step 4: You will be taken to the page of Pearson VueStep 5: At the right-hand side of the page, you will see a host of options. You will need to sign in or create an account to schedule, reschedule or cancel an examination.Step 6: To find a test centre, look just below where you are asked to sign-in and you will need to either  click on ‘Find a Test Center’ or ‘Find a test center on a military base’ to search for the test centre according to your choice.Step 7:  Proceed with the chosen test centre to schedule the examination date that you prefer.Via Prometric:Step 1: Repeat step 1 from above.Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the header ‘Take the Exam’.Step 3: At the bottom right corner of the screen, under ‘Approved Test Centre’ click ‘Prometric’.Step 4: You will be taken to the page of Prometric:Step 5: At the top of the page you will find four options:‘Schedule My Test’: Click this option if you want to schedule the day and date of your examination.‘Locate A Test Center’: Click this option if you want to find the test center according to your choice.‘Reschedule/Cancel My Test’: Click this option if you want to reschedule the day of your examinations or cancel it.‘Confirm My Test’: Click this option if you want to get a confirmation on the test centre, the day and date when your examination will be held.PRINCE2® SyllabusIn order to excel in the PRINCE2® certification examinations, you will need to know exactly what will be taught in the certification courses. We will go through the syllabus of both the PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner certification levels.PRINCE2® Foundation Syllabus:The PRINCE2® Foundation examination intends to test your capability to understand how Prince 2 methodologies work in a project and to be able to act as an informed member of a project management team using the PRINCE2® methodology within a project environment.You will need to exhibit that you have a proper understanding of the principles of the method and terminology. You must be able to:Explain the purpose and major content of all roles, the seven principles, the seven themes, and the seven processesMention which management products are to be included as input or output from the seven processesState the main purpose, and key contents, of the major management productsTell the relationships between processes, deliverables, roles and the management dimensions of a project.PRINCE2® Practitioner SyllabusThe Practitioner is the second of the two PRINCE2® examinations that you require to pass to become a Registered PRINCE2® Practitioner.This PRINCE2® examination test your ability to be able to understand and implement PRINCE2® in running and managing of a project within an environment supporting PRINCE2®. You will require to show that you have what it takes to excel to get qualified with the Foundation certification. You need to demonstrate that you can fine-tune PRINCE2® to address the requirements and issues of any given project scenario. You should be able to:Elaborate all the principles, themes and processes and examples of all PRINCE2® products that are worked on, in the manner they might be applied to address the particular situation of a given project scenarioShow that you do understand how principles, themes, processes, and PRINCE2® products are related to each other and can implement the sameDemonstrate that you do understand the reasons behind the principles, themes, and processes of PRINCE2® and the principles assisting these elementsYou must be able to fine-tune PRINCE2® to different project circumstances.Now, after knowing all about getting PRINCE2® certified, you definitely will be curious to know how this certification benefits you.Here are the benefits of getting PRINCE2® certified:Growth in career: Both levels of certifications, be it PRINCE2® Foundation or PRINCE2® Practitioner, boost your career in the best manner possible. If you think you fill in all the checkboxes of the PRINCE2® Certification Requirements, then PRINCE2® certification should become one of your most sought after resolutions.Increase in salary: As it is a much sought after credential, PRINCE2® definitely increases your chances to get a raise.Professional Recognition: As a result of being PRINCE2® certified, you will get more recognition and credibility from your peers and organisation.Best Practice: You know what it takes to manage projects in the most efficient way possible and thus you can implement your ideas on the same, The certification adds value to your career, which in turn makes you a valuable asset to your company.PRINCE2® Vs PMP®Both PRINCE2® and PMP® are two well-acclaimed certifications in Project Management. They comprise of different ideas that are special in their own way. It is really difficult to ascertain which one of these two is better and proves itself as the best choice for an individual in Project Management.Let us have a look at the similarities between these two and compare them with each other Conclusion.Similarities:Both deliver the methods of project management.The prime focus is to manage projects with efficiency.Both are well-known throughout the world.In order to complete both the certifications, proper training and evaluations are to be conducted and completed successfully.Comparisons:PRINCE2®PMP®It is a methodology including processes and templates in details.It is based on PMBOK, which is not a methodology but a standard.It is more applicable to the IT industry.It is a general knowledge base for project management and relevant to many industries.It originated in the UK and is widely accepted in Europe and Australia.It was born in the USA and is very popular in North America, the Middle East and Asia.It has three levels: Foundation, Practitioner and Professional.It has only one level.A Project Manager is a mediator between the project and the control board.A Project Manager is the one responsible for the outcome of the project.ConclusionAs we come to the end of our discussion, you do realise that the PRINCE2® Certification requirements give you a proper head start to realise what exactly you need to become a PRINCE2® certification professional.It is quite evident that you will need proper training to help you clear the examination, even if this point is not mentioned in the requirements. So, you will require to choose an accredited and certified training provider to guide you throughout the term of certification. Good luck on your ventures ahead!
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