We live in a fast-paced world, where now, changes are happening within moments, not months, and definitely not years. This rapidly changing world urges us to use dynamic approaches for better outcomes within less time. Among one of these approaches, Scrum stands out! Considered as one of the most agile frameworks by businesses for obvious reasons – Scrum helps to enhance productivity and offer practical customer value. This has led to a dramatically increased demand for knowledgeable Scrum individuals. You can be one too by opting for this CSM course.
With so many options for Scrum certifications, it's normal to feel confused about which popular one to pick. Whether you're a student aiming for your dream job in project management or a professional wanting to improve your skills, making a smart choice is important.
Let me help you understand the different Scrum certifications and choose the best one for you!
What is Scrum Certification?
Scrum certifications are highly sought-after certifications, that acknowledge your skills in applying Scrum principles for project management. Employers place high value on these certifications while hiring for Scrum Master roles - a project manager using Scrum methods. Some of these certifications include the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Professional Scrum Master (PSM), and Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). These credentials showcase your expertise in guiding teams and projects effectively within the fast-paced, dynamic landscape of modern business.
Why Earn a Scrum Certification?
Before we delve into the benefits of acquiring a Scrum certification, allow me to share an insightful story. Dutch Railways, a prominent player in the transportation industry, embarked on the creation of an innovative information system. Initially adopting a traditional approach for three years, they failed miserably. Subsequently, they teamed up with proficient IT experts who introduced the Scrum methodology in their system. This strategic shift proved immensely successful. Improved communication, efficient progress, and overall satisfaction were the evident outcomes. You can imagine the growing importance of Scrum Masters for an organization of such stature.
Now considering this, let us explore the rationale behind obtaining a Scrum certification for you:
1. Proficiency Validation: Prominent Scrum certifications serve as a testament to adept practical application of agile principles, substantiating competence in project execution.
2. Career Advancement: Scrum-certified professionals are highly sought after, leading to enhanced career prospects and commensurate remuneration.
3. Industry Recognition: Select Scrum programs confer prestigious certified status, positioning individuals favorably within a competitive job market.
4. Elevated Project Efficacy: Scrum methodologies streamline project management, engendering heightened efficiency and success rates.
5. Facilitated Collaborative Dynamics: Scrum's emphasis on teamwork and communication is underscored by certified practitioners' exceptional ability to excel in these critical areas.
6. Adaptability: Scrum certification equips individuals with the acumen necessary to navigate evolving project requirements and fluid industry landscapes.
7. Continual Intellectual Growth: Following certification, an enduring commitment to acquiring knowledge ensures a sustained competitive edge within a dynamic professional sphere.
Should you be inclined to pursue a Scrum certification course, allow us to extend our assistance by presenting a thoughtfully curated selection of premier courses tailored to your needs.
Best Scrum Certifications in 2023
I opted for the most suitable course after thorough research. The following list below is curated with keeping individual demands in mind. This will help you find the best Scrum Certification in 2023 for you:
1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)
- Introduction: One of the most recognized and globally sought-after Scrum certifications is The Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification. If you want to become a Scrum Master - a lead who will manage high-performing agile teams - this course is for you.
- Certification Provider: Scrum Alliance, a leading non-profit organization.
- Demand: With the increasing adoption of agile methodologies, the demand for Certified Scrum Masters has surged across industries. Organizations value professionals who can guide teams in implementing Scrum practices successfully.
- Eligibility & Requirements: There are no specific prerequisites for the CSM® certification. However, attending a two-day CSM® training led by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) is mandatory to become eligible for the exam.
- Certification Cost Details: The cost of the CSM® certification varies based on the training provider and location. On average, the certification cost ranges from $405 and $695.
- Importance: With my experience in the industry, I have understood that incorporating Scrum methodologies into projects requires the knowledge of specialized tools and techniques. Apart from upskilling yourself, you can also create a conducive working environment.
- Gain a thorough understanding of Scrum principles and practices.
- Engage with Scrum teams directly to improve productivity and efficiency.
- Enhance your leadership and communication skills as a Scrum Master.
- Earn recognition in the job market and increase your employability.
- Popularity: I would suggest you pick up this certification as it can help you to improve your Scrum knowledge and further your career prospects.
- Difficulty: The CSM® exam is considered relatively accessible if you have attended the required training and have a solid understanding of Scrum concepts.
- Average Salary: $100,00 - $130,000
- Website link: CSM from Scrum alliance
2. Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®)
- Introduction: The Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification is designed for individuals responsible for maximizing the value of products that Scrum teams develop.
- Certification Provider: Scrum Alliance.
- Demand: As organizations focus on delivering value to customers through their products, the demand for Certified Scrum Product Owners has grown significantly.
- Eligibility & Requirements: There are no specific prerequisites for the CSPO® certification. A two-day CSPO training led by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) is required for certification eligibility.
- Certification Cost Details: The cost of the CSPO® certification varies depending on the training provider and location. Generally, it ranges from $399-$780.
- Importance: Getting the CSPO® certification is beneficial for product owners as they can acquire the essential skills needed to manage product development - which include managing backlogs, prioritization, and effective collaboration with all stakeholders.
- Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the Product Owner role in Scrum.
- Learn techniques to prioritize and deliver valuable product increments.
- Develop the skills to communicate and negotiate with stakeholders.
- Drive business value and meet customer needs through product development.
- Popularity: The CSPO® certification is highly regarded in the agile community and among professionals seeking to excel in their Product Owner roles.
- Difficulty: The CSPO® exam is generally considered approachable for individuals who have attended the mandatory training and have a good grasp of Product Owner responsibilities.
- Average Salary: $101,459
- Website link: CSPO Certification
3. Professional Scrum Master™ ( PSM™ )
- Introduction: Another globally recognized certification is the Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™). We recommend this course if you are a Scrum master and want to enhance your expertise in easily implementing and driving Scrum practices successfully.
- Certification Provider: Scrum.org, founded by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber.
- Demand: The PSM™ certification aims to assess your knowledge and skills comprehensively, ensuring better performance as a Scrum master.
- Eligibility & Requirements: There are no specific prerequisites for the PSM™ I certification, making it accessible to individuals at various experience levels. However, it is recommended to have a good understanding of Scrum principles before attempting the exam.
- Certification Cost Details: The cost of the PSM™ I certification exam is $150. Scrum.org also offers advanced levels of certification (PSM™ II and PSM™ III) for individuals looking to demonstrate their expertise further.
- Importance: As I mentioned earlier, putting Scrum into action for projects and dealing with its challenges isn't simple. But if you're PSM™ certified, it means your skills have been evaluated and you're now an expert.
- Strengthen your facilitation and coaching skills to support Scrum teams effectively.
- You can showcase your understanding of Scrum principles and leadership skills.
- Enhance your career prospects as a highly skilled Scrum Master.
- Join an exclusive community of Scrum professionals associated with Scrum.org.
- Popularity: The PSM™ certification will prove to be particularly popular to you if you want to assess your Scrum master skills and practical implementations.
- Difficulty: Designed for professionals, you need to be aware of the Scrum concepts to pursue the PSM™ exam.
- Average Salary: $100,500
- Website link: PSM I
4. Advanced Certified ScrumMaster℠ (A-CSM℠)
- Introduction: The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster℠ (A-CSM℠) certification is designed for Scrum Masters seeking to advance their expertise and take their skills to the next level.
- Certification Provider: Scrum Alliance.
- Demand: As organizations continue to adopt agile methodologies, the demand for Scrum Masters with advanced skills and experience has grown substantially.
- Eligibility & Requirements: To be eligible for the A-CSM℠ certification, you must hold an active CSM® certification from Scrum Alliance and complete the mandatory A-CSM℠ training.
- Certification Cost Details: The A-CSM certification costs vary based on the training provider and location. On average, it ranges from $1000 to $2000.
- Importance: When CSM® creates your foundation, A-CSM℠ certification is here to boost them with advanced techniques to support teams and make necessary changes to the organization.
- Gain specialized skills to overcome challenges faced by Scrum teams and stakeholders.
- Strengthen your coaching abilities to guide teams toward higher performance.
- Increase your value as a Scrum Master and enhance your career growth opportunities.
- Popularity: When you learn more advanced skills, companies are more interested in hiring you. This certification helps you improve your Scrum expertise and play a key role in your organization's shift towards agility.
- Difficulty: This certification is specifically designed for Scrum Masters. To be eligible for the A-CSM℠ training and certification process, you are required to have practical knowledge of Scrum and be keen towards self-assessment.
- Average Salary: $100,00 - $130,000
- Website link: Advanced Certified ScrumMaster
5. Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO)
- Introduction: With my personal experience of pursuing the Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO) certification, I can tell you it is designed for product owners. If you want to excel in your role and deliver maximum value to customers and stakeholders, without a doubt, choose this one.
- Certification Provider: Scrum.org, founded by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber.
- Demand: Organizations are becoming more and more aware of the importance of a certified product owner, thus selecting professionals meticulously. This certification is your answer if you too want to grow the necessary skills like I did to become a high-in-demand product owner inleading organizations.
- Eligibility & Requirements: The PSPO certification does not have strict prerequisites. However, having a good understanding of Scrum principles and practical experience as a product owner is recommended before attempting the exam.
- Certification Cost Details: The PSPO I certification exam costs $200. Scrum.org offers advanced levels of certification (PSPO II and PSPO III) for Product Owners seeking to demonstrate higher proficiency.
- Importance: This course certifies your knowledge and skills, absolutely necessary for product owners to manage product backlogs, work as per priority, and communicate effectively with stakeholders.
- As a product owner, showcase your ability to the accurate delivery of products.
- Learn advanced techniques to maximize product value as per client feedback.
- You will develop the skills for better collaboration.
- Popularity: The PSPO certification is the most popular among product owners looking to upskill and develop products strategically.
- Difficulty: Even though it is a rewarding certification, the main challenge is that you need to have a basic knowledge of product ownership principles and practices.
- Average Salary: $104,000
- Website link: Professional Scrum Product Owner
6. SAFe® Scrum Master Certification
- Introduction: The SAFe Scrum Master certification is designed for Scrum Masters working in scaled agile environments.
- Certification Provider: Scaled Agile, Inc.
- Demand: As more organizations embrace SAFe for large-scale agile implementations, the demand for certified SAFe Scrum Masters has grown significantly.
- Eligibility & Requirements: There are no specific prerequisites for the SAFe Scrum Master certification. However, attending the SAFe Scrum Master course provided by a certified trainer is recommended before taking the exam.
- Certification Cost Details: The cost of the SAFe Scrum Master certification exam varies based on the training provider and location. On average, it ranges from $600 to $1099.
- Importance: The SAFe Scrum Master certification teaches you to apply Scrum principles in a SAFe framework. Additionally, you will also learn to collaborate effectively and identify the challenges.
- Understand the role of Scrum Master in SAFe and its alignment with agile principles.
- Learn to organize program-level events smoothly and support the Scrum teams.
- Learn to rightly implement the Scrum framework in a large-scale agile environment.
- Popularity: With the increased popularity of Scaled Agile Framework® in organizations for agile transformations, the demand for a certified SAFe® Scrum Master is on the rise.
- Difficulty: This exam will test your knowledge of SAFe® practices and how to implement Scrum.
- Average Salary: $97,319
- Website link: SAFe Scrum Master Certification
7. PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI - ACP)®
- Introduction: Do you want to demonstrate your expertise in agile principles and practices? Then the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI - ACP)® certification is designed for you.
- Certification Provider: The Project Management Institute (PMI)®.
- Demand: With the increasing popularity of agile methodologies, the demand for professionals holding the PMI-ACP® certification has grown across various industries.
- Eligibility & Requirements: To be eligible for the PMI - ACP® certification, you must have experience in agile project management and formal training in agile practices.
- Certification Cost Details: The cost of the PMI - ACP® certification exam varies for PMI members and non-members. For PMI members, the exam fee is typically around $435, while non-members pay a higher fee of $495.
- Importance: The PMI-ACP® certification will make you a valuable member of different projects in your organization by teaching you advanced agile methodologies.
- Gain knowledge of various agile methodologies, not just Scrum, but also Kanban and Lean.
- Learn to flexibly adapt agile practices depending on the project requirements.
- Gain recognition as a versatile and skilled agile practitioner.
- You will enhance your career prospect in the field of project management, focused on an agile environment.
- Popularity: The PMI - ACP® certification is widely respected among project managers like you seeking to upskill your expertise in working with agile projects.
- Difficulty: The PMI - ACP® exam will test your knowledge of different agile methodologies and their application.
- Average Salary: $123,000
- Website link: Agile-acp
8. Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification
- Introduction: The Scrum Master certification is designed for individuals who want to understand Scrum principles and practices defined by Scrum co-founder Dr. Jeff Sutherland.
- Certification Provider: Scrum Inc.™.
- Demand: The Scrum Master certification by Scrum Inc.™ is gaining traction among professionals seeking to learn Scrum principles directly from one of its creators.
- Eligibility & Requirements: There are no specific prerequisites for the Scrum Master certification by Scrum Inc.™. Candidates can opt for the certification training provided by Scrum Inc.™ or demonstrate their Scrum knowledge through other means.
- Certification Cost Details: The cost of the Scrum Master certification varies depending on the training provider and location. The cost may vary as the certification can be obtained through alternative means.
- Importance: The Scrum Master certification by Scrum Inc.™ provides an opportunity to learn Scrum principles from an expert leader in the agile community, Dr. Jeff Sutherland.
- Acquire firsthand knowledge from one of the co-creators of Scrum.
- Understand the core principles and best practices of Scrum.
- Learn to implement Scrum with more efficiency within projects.
- Enhance your credibility as a Scrum Master through this unique certification.
- Popularity: The Scrum Master certification by Scrum Inc.™ is gaining popularity among Scrum enthusiasts looking for an authentic learning experience directly from a Scrum co-founder.
- Difficulty: This program will test your practical knowledge and awareness of the insights from Dr. Jeff Sutherland.
- Average Salary: $59,000 - $120,000
- Website link: Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification
How to Choose the Right Scrum Certification for You?
With a wide array of Scrum certifications, choosing the right one that aligns with your career goals and current expertise can be challenging. Let me list out some considerable factors that will help you make an informed decision:
1. Career Aspirations: Identify your career aspirations and the role you want to play in agile projects. If you aim to be a Scrum Master, certifications like CSM® or PSM™ would be ideal. For Product Owners, consider certifications like CSPO® or PSPO.
2. Experience Level: Assess your experience with Scrum and agile practices. Some certifications may have prerequisites or recommended experience levels, so choose accordingly.
3. Certification Provider: Research the reputation and credibility of the certification providers. Opt for certifications offered by well-known organizations with a strong track record in the agile community.
4. Training Opportunities: Look for training opportunities associated with certification. Attend workshops led by experienced trainers to gain practical insights and prepare for the certification exam.
5. Scrum certification cost and Accessibility: Consider the Scrum certification cost and the availability of training courses in your region. Evaluate if the investment aligns with your budget and schedule.
6. Industry Recognition: Check if the certification is widely recognized and valued in your industry. If so, it will help in your career growth.
7. Specialization: Some certifications focus on specific aspects of Scrum or agile methodologies. Choose a certification that aligns with your area of interest or specialization.
8. Certification Renewal: Consider the renewal requirements for the certification, as some may require continuous learning to make the course justifiable.
9. Community Support: Joining a community of certified professionals can provide networking opportunities and ongoing support in your Scrum journey.
While choosing a Scrum certification course, It is mandatory to keep in mind that it should match your experience, skills, and professional goals. Do not abruptly commit to a course that won’t do much good in your career.
How to Become Scrum Certified?
Before divulging the steps of becoming Scrum-certified, let me shed some light on a recurring issue faced by the leading American multinational corporation Intel. Being accustomed to traditional waterfall culture, the conglomerate had a record of over-committing, failing schedules, poor work-life balance, and much more. But these started becoming a hindrance in Intel’s productivity, and hence, they decided to adopt a more flexible method for better team collaboration and product delivery. To test this approach, their Product Development Engineering team decided to create 7 sub-teams. And for better communication within the teams, Scrum was implemented. For each team, Intel employed Scrum Masters - so I hope you can understand how important the certification is. At the end of this test, the positive result was evident to Intel, with better team collaboration and, of course, better productivity.
So, you should always choose the best Scrum training in the market to learn to properly strategize Scrum methods to become a successful practitioner, maybe in MNCs like Intel. Here's a step-by-step guide to navigating the best online Scrum training process:
1. Understand Scrum Fundamentals: The first step will obviously include your understanding of the fundamentals of Scrum. Familiarize yourself with the Scrum Guide, which outlines the Scrum framework's roles, events, and artifacts.
2. Choose the Right Certification: Various Scrum certifications are available, each catering to specific roles and skill levels. You must identify the one that aligns with your career goals. Some popular Scrum certifications include Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®), Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®), and Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™).
3. Participate in Training Workshops: Most Scrum certifications require candidates to attend training workshops conducted by certified trainers. Attending these workshops makes sure that you gain in-depth insights into Scrum practices, become aware of real-world cases, and experience interactive learning.
4. Gain Hands-on Experience: While theoretical knowledge is essential, practical experience is equally valuable. While pursuing the course, you can apply Scrum principles in some real sample projects to gain confidence in effectively implementing Scrum practices.
5. Prepare for the Exam: Scrum course exams assess your comprehension of Scrum concepts, roles, and responsibilities. Utilize study guides, practice exams, and additional resources to prepare thoroughly for the certification exam.
6. Register for the Exam: Once you feel adequately prepared, register for the certification exam through the official certification provider's website. Some certifications might have eligibility criteria or prerequisites, so ensure you meet the requirements before registering.
7. Take the Exam: On the scheduled date, confidently take the certification exam. Stay focused, manage your time wisely, and answer the questions thoughtfully based on your knowledge and training.
8. Achieve Certification: Congratulations! Upon passing the exam, you will receive your Scrum certification, officially recognizing your expertise in Scrum principles and practices.
9. Maintain and Renew your Certification: Scrum certifications often require renewal after a certain period. So, keep yourself updated with the latest industry practices, attend relevant workshops, and earn continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain your certification's validity.
Resources and Study Materials for Scrum Certifications
To prepare effectively for Scrum certifications, you can utilize various resources and study materials available online and through training providers. Here are some valuable resources to aid your preparation:
1. Scrum Guides: The official Scrum Guides, an essential reading material for aspirants, comprehensively overview Scrum principles and practices.
2. Certification Provider Websites: Visit the official websites of certification providers for exam details, study guides, sample questions, and training opportunities.
3. Books and Publications: Several books and publications focus on Scrum and agile methodologies. Research thoroughly, and pick out the ones recommended by professionals of the certification providers.
4. Online Courses: Enroll in reputable online Agile courses offering in-depth scrum training and interactive learning experiences.
5. Practice Exams: Just like you used to study sample questions and give practice exams before your finals in school, the same way, this method will help you assess your knowledge better before the final certification exam.
6. Community Forums: Join online forums and communities dedicated to Scrum and Agile practices. Such engagements will enhance your knowledge, and you will also receive the required support.
Remember to combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience to succeed in Scrum certifications. Allocate sufficient time for preparation and practice to increase your chances of passing the exams.
Maintaining and Renewing Scrum Certifications
Once you've earned your Scrum course online, it's essential to maintain and renew it to ensure its continued validity and relevance. Evidently, the renewal requirements vary from one certification to another, so stay updated with the specific guidelines. Here are some general tips for maintaining and renewing your Scrum certifications:
1. Continuing Education: Many Scrum certifications require you to earn continuing education units (CEUs) or professional development units (PDUs) to maintain your certification. Participate in workshops, webinars, conferences, and training sessions related to agile and Scrum practices to accumulate the required units.
2. Practical Experience: Applying Scrum principles in real-world projects enhances your skills and fulfills the renewal requirements for certain certifications. So, remember to keep your experience certificates/documents ready, including the impact you created on the project outcome.
3. Recertification Exams: Some certifications may require you to retake the exam periodically to demonstrate your ongoing knowledge and expertise. Be aware of the recertification schedule and prepare accordingly.
4. Community Involvement: Interacting with others in Scrum-related online communities and forums can help with your career. Apart from learning about industry trends, you can also develop connections for your career growth and stay updated.
5. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of any changes or updates to the Scrum framework and certification guidelines by reading blogs, publications, and official announcements.
6. Networking: Engage with other certified professionals, attend meetups, and participate in agile conferences to expand your network and exchange knowledge.
7. Set Reminders: Create reminders for certification renewal deadlines to avoid lapses in certification validity.
Remember that maintaining and renewing your Scrum certification online is not just a formality; it ensures you stay relevant and up-to-date with the evolving agile landscape.
If you have come to the end of this guide, it is definite that you want to improve or develop skills to manage Agile practices. And to become successful in your goal in today's cutthroat corporate world, you need to pursue a suitable Scrum certification. The correct Scrum training online may lead to interesting job options, whether you want to be a Scrum Master, Product Owner, or agile practitioner.
We have examined some of the top Scrum certifications of 2023, tailored to certain jobs and degrees of knowledge. Consider your job objectives, experience level, and hobbies carefully before choosing the certification that best suits your desires.
Do not forget that popular certification associated with Scrum is more than simply badges to display on your CV; they symbolize your dedication to agile principles and ongoing learning and development. Enjoy the turning point of your career by becoming a certified Scrum professional, growing to be an inseparable part of your organization’s agile project management.