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How To Become A Certified Scrum Master?

19th Feb, 2024
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    How To Become A Certified Scrum Master?

    Organizations all over the world are looking to hire external assistance to manage their project development in a sagacious manner. The demand for Certified ScrumMasters has thus seen an increase off-late. As a ScrumMaster, your responsibilities would include facilitating meetings, coaching team members, encouraging the use of Agile practices, reviewing the team’s work, communicating the requirements of the product owner to the team, guarding the team against external distractions, and maintaining harmony in the tea.

    Who is a Scrum Master?

    ​The role of the Scrum master is to guide the team through the project using Agile methods. To ensure a positive conclusion. A Scrum Master coordinates and supports all interactions between the team's leadership and its members. 

    ​There are several dimensions and levels to the Scrum Master's job while looking for how to become Scrum certified. Scrum Masters need the soft skills to coach and mentor members of the Scrum Team and others in the organization.   

    ​Scrum Masters are responsible for the success of their teams and can do so by providing them with group and individual support as needed. They may lead activities, provide direction, or encourage participants to reach their Goals. It's vital to remember that not everyone possesses the abilities necessary to be a Scrum Master. 

    ​The Scrum Master is ultimately responsible for the efficiency of the Scrum Team as they aid the Scrum Team in enhancing their value-creating collaboration. 

    Read more on Scrum Master Certification Guide!

    ​How to Become a Certified Scrum Master in Easy Steps 

    ​To become a Certified Scrum Master, you must demonstrate your ability to lead and support agile teams while adhering to the Scrum framework. know How to Become a Certified Scrum Master in 5 Simple Steps:  

    ​Step 1: Top Skills Needed to Become a Certified Scrum Master  

    ​Here are some of the required skills you have to develop to become a Certified Scrum Master: 

    ​Soft Skills 

    • ​Communication 

    ​As a Scrum Master, you know how important it is to keep the team informed. You should be able to articulate your thoughts, hear others out, lead productive conversations, and mediate disagreements. 

    • ​Leadership 

    ​Inspiring team members, encouraging cooperation, and fostering a culture of continual development. All demand strong leadership qualities. 

    • ​Empathy 

    ​When you empathize with your teammates, you can foster a positive atmosphere and forge lasting bonds. 

    ​Hard Skills 

    • ​Project Management 

    ​You can successfully manage the project within the Scrum framework if you have experience with project planning, task estimating, risk management, and stakeholder management. 

    • ​Agile Methodologies  

    ​You should be familiar with various agile methodologies: Scrum, Kanban, and Lean. Learning how these approaches square with the Agile Manifesto's tenets is crucial. 

    • ​Technical Awareness 

    ​One way to improve communication and teamwork on a software development team is to learn the procedures, technology stacks, and tools they employ. 

    ​Other Competencies

    • ​Coaching and Mentoring 

    ​You can assist your team members in developing as individuals and professionals by learning to coach and mentor them. 

    • ​Conflict Resolution 

    ​Your communication skills, dispute resolution expertise, and capacity to broker compromises should all serve you well. 

    ​Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Timeline  

    ​How to become CSM certified? the answer is setting a realistic timescale that suits your schedule and learning pace is essential. Identify your present obligations and free time. Think about how your employment commitments, family obligations, and other activities can interfere with your time spent being certified.  

    ​Knowing your availability will allow you to prepare better for becoming a certified scrum master. If you’re thinking, how long does it take to get scrum master certified?  Think about how you learn best and how quickly you like to learn. While some people thrive on fast, intense learning, others may do better with a more measured pace. 

    ​Step 3: Begin Building Your Portfolio / Resume 

    ​You must create an impressive portfolio or resume if you’re searching for How to become a Certified Scrum Master. It's a great way to show your accomplishments and expertise to future employers or clients. Please detail your prior involvement with project management, agile methods, or Scrum teams. You should describe the projects you've worked on, your roles, and the results you obtained.  

    ​Your ability to facilitate agile processes, lead teams, and ensure successful project deliverables should be highlighted. 

    ​Exhibit your expertise in other agile processes and methods besides Scrum. Don't forget to highlight your Lean, Kanban, and other agile framework certifications, training, and workshops. Showcase your flexibility, teamwork skills, and ability to motivate agile teams to always grow. 

    ​Step 4: Where and How to Find a Job  

    ​When looking for how to become a certified scrum master, the most important question is where and how to find a job. Check out LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster, among others, for available Scrum Master positions. Get specific by using terms like "Certified Scrum Master," "Agile Project Manager," or "Scrum Master" in your search. You can also check out the job boards of well-known organizations for adopting Agile principles and Scrum.  

    ​Top Companies Hiring Certified Scrum Masters 

    ​Numerous businesses operating in various sectors are currently recruiting Certified Scrum Masters. The following are examples of major firms that place emphasis on agile principles and frequently hire Scrum Masters: 

    • ​IT and Technology Companies: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce. 

    • ​Financial Institutions: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and American Express. 

    • ​Consulting Firms: Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey & Company, and Boston Consulting Group. 

    • ​Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Companies: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and UnitedHealth Group. 

    • ​Retail and E-commerce Giants: Walmart, Target, Amazon, and eBay. 

    • ​Automotive Industry: General Motors, Ford, Toyota, and BMW. 

    • ​Telecommunications Companies: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Airtel. 

    ​Step 5: Ace the Interview 

    ​The following is a concise summary of the interview process, along with some advice that might help you perform well: 

    ​General Interview Process 

    • ​Initial Screening 

    ​The interviewing process will often start with a phone call or an interview that serves as the initial screening.  

    • ​Technical Interview 

    ​A technical interview might be part of the hiring process at some companies. Its purpose is to evaluate candidates' understanding of Scrum techniques and their capacity to implement agile methodologies.  

    • ​Behavioral Interview 

    ​Prepare yourself for questions about managing tough stakeholders, resolving conflicts, collaborating as a team, and coaching.  

    • ​Role-play or Simulation Exercises 

    ​Role-playing and simulations may be used as training tools by some companies. 

    Responsibilities of Certified Scrum Master 

    It is expected that the Certified Scrum Master promote an Agile way of working and to lead Scrum implementation in order to improve the team's overall performance. It implies these activities:

    • Teaching Agile values and principles and ensuring they have been understood and adopted by the Scrum Team and even by the whole organization if possible (and relevant)
    • Implementing the Scrum framework so that it fits  the needs expressed by the Scrum Team
    • Listening, observing and reflecting on how the Scrum Team is reacting to first changes, then selecting and adapting Scrum elements accordingly.
    • Protecting Team Members from any interference or troubles that make them lose focus on their primary work
    • Anticipating, identifying and removing any impediments and coaching Team Members to learn to solve these situations by themselves
    • Helping the Product Owner to manage the Product Backlog so that time-to-market is reduced and every increment brings value to end customers
    • Acting as a Servant Leader

    how to become a scrum master

    Requirements to Become a Certified Scrum Master

    Getting some basic knowledge about the Scrum framework is a nice-to-have prerequisite. However, the first mandatory step is to attend a two-day CSM course conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®). This course will prepare you well for the CSM exam by delivering insights about how to organize and support a Scrum Team. The final step is easy: you need to accept the License Agreement and update your Scrum Alliance membership profile.

    Who Should Be a Certified ScrumMaster?

    Ideally, anybody looking to help develop and maintain an efficient team in their organization can apply for a ScrumMaster certification. The candidates who are most likely to benefit from this certification are:

    a. Professionals - With a ScrumMaster certification, you can add more value to your résumé and expand your career prospects. More importantly, you can enhance the success of your team and make significant contributions to the project.

    b. Trainers - Make a career by training aspirants in this up-and-coming field while building concrete knowledge about the subject.
    c. Coaches - Project management teams need to be tutored with the latest updates of Scrum and Agile. With a ScrumMaster certification, you can coach the team and also ensure they implement these practices in the advancement of the projects.

    d. REPs - With a ScrumMaster Certification, you can be a part of one of the several REPs—Registered Education Providers—and offer Agile training to aspiring students.

    What do You need to do to become a CSM? 

    A true belief and strong interest in Agile philosophy will help for sure to get knowledge, to practice efficiently and to stand out among Agile practitioners. Nonetheless, passing the Scrum Alliance certification for Scrum Master lies mainly in learning Scrum fundamentals and attending to the two-day training (see above paragraph c.)

    a. Why CSM over PSM: Best Scrum Master certification

    1. courses- Price, Renewal, Pros, and Cons

    • Price: It includes exam fees but depends on content, duration, trainer and location:
      • US: $1500
      • Europe: 1500 euros
      • India: INR 26,000
    • Renewal: No expiration (lifetime certification)
    • Pros:
      • Course content is officially designed by so all teachers deliver the same content. It implies that selects qualified instructors and ensures students learn the same core content.
      • The exam can be taken without attending the course - Exam fees are $150
      • There is an online free assessment exam for practicing
    • Cons: 
      • The exam is much harder than CSM. It requires experience and deep theoretical knowledge

    2. Difference between the Scrum Alliance and courses

    The main difference lies in the fact that provides a standard curriculum and course content, while training conducted to become CSM depends on individual trainers experience, opinion and knowledge.

    CSM Certification Training

    Syllabus of Scrum Master certification 

    Syllabus of Scrum Master certification

    Scrum Alliance provides a list of selected resources to learn the Scrum framework. People who want to become Certified Scrum Master are invited to read articles from experts like Mike Cohn or Steve Denning or from other members. One specific advantage of Scrum Alliance lies in their learning series: a dozen short videos introduce Scrum Theory and Values, Scrum Roles, Scrum Events and Scrum Artifacts.

     Besides, it is strongly recommended to read the references:

    • the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland
    • the Scrum Primer by Pete Deemer, Gabrielle Benefield, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde
    • the Do Better Scrum by Peter Hundermark

     Not mandatory but relevant to go further, Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen and Software in 30 days by Ken Schwaber.

    Exam and Certification Information

    Scrum Alliance courses- Price, Renewal, Pros and Cons 

    • The CSM course is a two-day (16 hours) course delivered by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®).
    • There is no standard fee, so the price can vary depending on the context: trainer, content, location, date; the usual range is from 1000 to 1500 euros (or from 1150 to 1750 dollars).
    • It includes two attempts to take the CSM exam and a two-year membership to the new Scrum Alliance® community. Those two attempts have to be used in the next 90 days after attendees receive the welcome email to pass the test. Beyond this duration, they will be prompted to pay $25 to take the exam. Certification is valid for two years, then it requires to be renewed after that.

    Besides, attendees to the CSM course will be granted 14 PDUs credits: 10 PDUs in Technical Project Management and 4 PDUs in Leadership.

     What can be considered as a drawback is that there is no standard content course. Course materials are made by individual trainers, which implies it can be limited by their experience and opinion.

    Cost of the Scrum Master Certification

    There is no specific cost for the Certification: the fee is included in the CSM two-day course.

     The structure of the exam

    The exam is composed of 35 multiple-choice and true/false questions. At least 24 correct answers are required to pass the exam, and there is no time limit to answer those questions.

    Topics covered in the CSM exam

    As this exam requires demonstrating an understanding of the key Scrum elements, it covers general Scrum knowledge, Scrum roles, Scrum meetings and Scrum artifacts.

    How To Take Up The CSM Exam?

    To earn the ScrumMaster Certification, you need to enroll yourself in a CSM course with a Scrum Alliance Authorised Trainer. It is an added benefit if you are already familiar with Scrum.

    You’ll have to attend a 16-hour CSM course, following which you can take up the CSM test.

    The test is comprised of 35 questions multiple-choice questions. To qualify as a Certified ScrumMaster, you’ll need to get at least 24 of these right. If you do not clear the test, the questions that you missed will be shown to you. The answers, however, are not displayed.

    You can opt for a second attempt to better your score for free. You’ll charged a small amount of fee for any consequent attempts.

    There is no hard-and-fast rule that you have to finish the test in one shot. You can stop and restart the test as many times as you want. If you are uncertain about an answer, you can always skip it and bookmark it for a later review. If you plan on completing the test, try to spend at least an hour answering the questions.

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    Learning After The Certification

    Changing times and technology require constant updation and adaptability to newer techniques and methods. You can learn a lot through real-time experiences throughout your career. You can also opt to keep up with the changing standards and values of Scrum and get a boost in knowledge in conventional ways.

    Scrum Alliance gatherings are a great way to meet like-minded people and learn as well as share experiences. Participate in CSM LinkedIn forums. You can pursue further qualifications to enhance your knowledge, which in turn adds value to your résumé. With the right amount of experience and expertise, you can choose to become a Certified Scrum Professional.

    Choose from the various reputed institutions that offer the online course to become a Certified ScrumMaster. With a commitment to constant improvement, patience, and persistence, you can promote enhanced production and management of your team’s project

    Top Cities Where Knowledgehut Conduct CSM Certification Training Course Online

    CSM Certification in BangaloreCSM Certification in SydneyCSM Certification in Chennai
    CSM Certification in New YorkCSM Certification in LondonCSM Certification in Chicago
    CSM Certification in SingaporeCSM Certification in Pune CSM Certification in Washington
    CSM Certification in TorontoCSM Certification in DubaiCSM Certification in Los Angeles
    CSM Certification in HyderabadCSM Certification in MelbourneCSM Certification in Atlanta

    Sample questions for the CSM exam

    1) What does NOT belong to the Agile manifesto's main pillars?

    • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • Working software over comprehensive documentation
    • Processes over people
    • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

    Answer: Processes over people

    2) How should work be allocated to the team in an Agile project?

    • The Team Leader (ScrumMaster) should allocate specific tasks to individuals
    • Tasks should be randomly allocated to team members using Planning Poker
    • Team members should self-select tasks appropriate to their skills
    • The most complex tasks should be allocated by the Team Leader (ScrumMaster)

    Answer: Team members should self-select tasks appropriate to their skills

    3) What are the disadvantages of the classical waterfall model? (Select the best alternative)

    A)  End-Product has to be fully anticipated beforehand
    B)  Some requirements are implemented as defined at the beginning of the project, and yet they are not really needed by the customer
    C)  Each phase is strictly separated

    - A

    - A, B

    - C, B

    - A, B, C

    Answer: A, B, C

    4) Who is responsible for prioritizing the product backlog?

    - Product Owner
    - Project Manager
    - Lead Developer
    - Business Analyst

    Answer: Product Owner

    5) What kind of software development projects can be executed by Scrum Project Management Framework?

    - Complete software packages
    - Customer projects
    - Sub-systems, components or parts of bigger systems
    - All kinds of software development projects
    - None of the given answers

    Answer: All kinds of software development projects

    Salary of the Certified Scrum Master

    Salary per year Junior Senior 
    US$82,000 - 105,000$105,000 - 120,000
    Europe38,000 - 55,000 €55,000 - 75,000 €
    DubaiAED 25,000AED 35,000
    IndiaRs. 731,983Rs. 1,424,186

    How To Become A Certified Scrum Master: Refer to our getting started guide

    Why Should you be a Certified Scrum Master?

    Becoming a Certified Scrum Master is one way to expand your career opportunities. Indeed, Agile is spreading everywhere in organizations in all industries. Strongly correlated, software and digitalization are eating the world, so the need for Scrum Masters in software development is increasing. It is also the beginning of a long journey: it enables you to engage with other Scrum practitioners all over the world, to share best practices, to solve common issues and to promote Agile values and continuous improvement.

    Besides, this certification offers you to learn the foundation of Scrum and the scope of the role of Scrum Master. And because it is delivered by Scrum Alliance, this is very valid proof of your Scrum knowledge. Some of the benefits of being a certified ScrumMaster are:

    • Diversifying career options across a variety of industries
    • Displaying and putting to use your core Agile knowledge
    • Acquiring Scrum knowledge from reputed Scrum geniuses
    • Engaging with a community of well-trained and highly skilled Scrum experts
    • 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance and access to all their resources and meetings

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Is CSM certification worth it?

    ​​​If you want to work as a Scrum Master, getting your Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) credential may be worthwhile. The credential confirms that you've got what it takes to be an efficient Scrum Master, thanks to your familiarity with Scrum concepts and practices. 

    2Why is the Scrum Master salary so high?

    As more companies adopt agile methods to boost project delivery and business agility, demand for experts experienced in agile methodology, including Scrum, has risen

    3Does the Scrum Master need to know to code?

    ​The ability to code is not required of a Scrum Master but is helpful. Facilitating and empowering the Scrum team to deliver value is the primary responsibility of the Scrum Master. 


    Lindy Quick

    Blog Author

    Lindy Quick, SPCT, is a dynamic Transformation Architect and Senior Business Agility Consultant with a proven track record of success in driving agile transformations. With expertise in multiple agile frameworks, including SAFe, Scrum, and Kanban, Lindy has led impactful transformations across diverse industries such as manufacturing, defense, insurance/financial, and federal government. Lindy's exceptional communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills have earned her a reputation as a trusted advisor. Currently associated with KnowledgeHut and upGrad, Lindy fosters Lean-Agile principles and mindset through coaching, training, and successful execution of transformations. With a passion for effective value delivery, Lindy is a sought-after expert in the field.

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