If you want to advance your career in the project management spectrum and get better compensation than your peers, you must start with a Scrum certification.
Scrum has long been a popular software development framework that enables your project team to work together and complete the project on time. Due to its utility in productivity and efficiency in project management, other industries have also adopted the Scrum framework.
Not all project managers can apply the Scrum methodology. You must go through specific international accreditation to apply Scrum in projects. Once certified, you earn the academic title of Scrum Master.
Read on to know the pathway for a scrum master certification in the present day.
What Does a Scrum Master Mean?
A Scrum Master leads the project team via Agile project management during the entire product lifecycle. Such professionals go through advanced skill learning processes to become confident enough to apply the Scrum framework in any business. The ultimate goal of a Scrum Master is to keep the entire team synchronized and aimed to achieve the project goals.
You can also consider being a Scrum Master equivalent to a Scrum team leader. You become the connecting link between the product owner, project team, product developers, and others who are essential. However, you do not need to involve yourself in product strategy and ideation.
Injecting the Agile framework, conducting daily scrum meetings, monitoring and enabling the team’s progress, and communicating are the four key responsibilities of a Scrum Master.
Who Should Opt for a Scrum Master Certification?
Any business manager willing to adopt a better and more efficient way of solving complex business issues and project bottlenecks should opt for the Scrum Master certification.
Scrum framework incorporates teamwork, budget management, time management, short sprints, team reflection, appreciation of individuals, focus, and visibility into conventional project management. Thus, almost any industry can adopt this methodology to improve the project lifecycle.
Therefore, the following professionals are highly suggested to take up Scrum courses:
- Software Engineers
- Trainee Scrum Masters
- Business Analysts
- New team members of a Scrum team
- Project Managers
- Digital or conventional product marketers
- Data Scientists
- HR managers and representatives
Above all, you should go for the Scrum Master Certification if you have reached a ceiling of vertical growth as a manager and want a new designation that pays well.
Career Prospects of a Scrum Master Certification Holder
Whether you are a business manager, software engineer, HR manager, or project manager, upon getting a Scrum Master Certification, you widen your scope of work and growth within the company.
A Scrum Master can become the followings:
- Become an Agile framework coach with executive-level perks and benefits
- Upgrade to the position of a team mentor for the Scrum framework
- Chances of becoming a product owner or manager with budgeting and decision-making powers
- Become an executive for the organizational transformation and development
- Ascertain a leadership role to inject Agile and Scrum into every process of the business
The salaries of a Scrum Master varies with the organization and the Scrum Certification you hold. A recent Glassdoor report suggests the followings:
- The minimum salary is $65K/year in the USA
- However, it can go up to $225K/year in the US
- The median salary that you can expect in the USA is $153K/year
Since most of the Scrum Master roles of executive-level responsibilities, you can expect additional perks, profit sharing, stock options, higher bonuses, and tips.
Moreover, you can also take up part-time or freelancing projects as a Scrum mentor or Scram framework enabler in small and medium businesses (SMBs).
Types of Scrum Master Certifications
There are many versions for Scrum-certified professionals. It mainly depends on the industry, trade, certification authority, and most importantly, the course work. The followings are some popular ones that most project and business managers opt for:
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) accreditation is the first or entry-level certification for Scrum professionals. Mostly, companies ask for this certification from Scrum professionals who want to be a part of the Scrum team. Sometimes, you can also become a Scrum Master.
The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) certification enables you to go beyond the basics of the Scrum framework. You can facilitate, interact, coach, and govern team dynamics within an organization.
The Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) accreditation lets you go beyond the borders of CMS and A-CSM. It endorses your training, experience, and knowledge of the Scrum framework and applying it on the job.
The Certified Team Coach Scrum Master (CTC-SM) accreditation enables you to become a certified Agile coach. There is also another variant of this certification for enterprise-level businesses, which is known as CEC-SM or Certified Enterprise Coach Scrum Master.
Scrum Certifications for Product Owners and Developers
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
CSPO trains you to be a product manager or owner with the knowledge of the Scrum framework. Apart from Scrum, you learn the basics of product management, get product-specific training, learn how to manage stakeholders, etc.
The CSPO certification validates your expertise being a Scrum product owner or manager. Thus, you can get an executive-level position in any organization that aggressively works on new products and services.
If you are already a CSPO, you can start preparing to become CSP-PO or Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner and ACSPO or Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner.
Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
You can advance your product development career multifold by acquiring the CSD certification. It endorses that you have the required skills and competencies to lead a product development team by injecting Agile and Scrum product development methodologies.
Anyone who wants to get the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) license or Advanced Certified Scrum Developer (ACSD) must acquire the CSD certification.
Being a CSD, you can efficiently coordinate with external clients, internal clients, other Scrum teams, and business stakeholders. You ensure that the product development team follows the Scrum framework to deliver a finished product at the end of short development blocks or sprints.
It is an online examination organized by Scrum Alliance Inc. Once you register for any certification training course, you become a member of Scrum Alliance. The Scrum Alliance team will send you a welcome email, and you have 90 days to complete the test.
Anyone who has gone through the Scrum Alliance’s certified coursework from a reputed source is eligible for the test. You must be computer literate and have a standard computer to take the test.
The exam spans 90 minutes. You get two attempts at the beginning. If you fail after two attempts, you need to pay an additional retake fee of $25.
You must score 74% or more to pass the exam. There will be multiple choice and true/false type short questions to test your essential Scrum competencies.
The certification cost is $29. The learning course fee could be between $450 to $1000. The recertification cost is $100.
The license is valid for two years. You must earn 16 SEUs and pay the renewal fee to keep the title.
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster
The exam will be online, and the questions will test your competencies on:
- Respond confidently
- Facilitate better dialogue
- Scale Scrum and Agile
- Increase engagement
First, you should have a valid CSM license from the Scrum Alliance. Other requirements are:
- Complete a 2-day certification course from Scrum Alliance partners
- Complete all pre and post course works
- Minimum 12 months of Scrum Master work experience
The certification cost is not publicly available. You need to sign up for a course that may cost $600 to $1500, including the exam fee.
The certificate stays valid for two years. During this period, you must earn 30 SEUs and pay a $175 recertification fee to extend the license’s validity.
Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster
Similar to the first and second-level certification courses described above, it is also an online test. The exam paper will test your competencies on the followings:
- Lean, Agile, and Scrum
- Scrum Master Core Competencies
- Service to the Scrum Team
- Service to the Product Owner
- Service to the Organization
- Advanced Scrum Mastery
You must bring the following to the table to appear for the CSP SM exam:
- A valid A-CSM certification
- Complete the course works outlined in a certified CSP SM learning course
- Minimum 24 months of experience as a Scrum Master
You must sign up for any CSP SM educational offerings that are the partner of Scrum Alliance. The course fee varies from $1,400 to $2,000 with the certification fee.
If you pay the renewal cost of $250 and earn 40 SEUs in the last two years, Scrum Alliance will recertify you with CSP SM.
Scrum for Beginners + Scrum Master Certification Preparation: Udemy
This Udemy course is one of the most popular online courses based on the latest Scrum Guide. You should find all the course materials and information to appear for the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification by Scrum.org.
The course covers:
- Prep materials for Scrum Master accreditation
- Prep materials for Agile certification
- Test your Scrum skills
- The complete Scrum framework
- Technical debt, velocity, and burn-down charts
The course is also suitable for the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification run by the Scrum Alliance. Furthermore, the top businesses that follow the Scrum framework like Eventbrite, Nasdaq, box, NetApp, and Volkswagen, offer this online course to their employees.
Professional Scrum Master Certification Course: Whizlabs
Yet another worthy course for Professional Scrum Master Level I certification candidates is this collection of various test papers from Whizlabs. You get a free trial practice paper for 80 questions for evaluation. If you like what you see, you can buy the course to access the rest of the premium practice papers.
It is a must-try question bank for those looking to pass the primary level of Scrum certifications like CSM and PSM I. The questions cover Scrum competencies like enhancing the team at individual levels, professional product development and delivery at each sprint, managing products in an Agile environment, etc.
Scrum Master Certification Exam Preparation: Coursera
You can try out this Coursera course for CSM exam preparation since it is dedicated to the Scrum Alliance’s syllabus. You may also want to complete the Scrum Master Certification specialization course on the same platform to understand the basic Scrum framework.
It is a 2-week course that starts with the CSM Exam Preparation for 3 hours in the first week. In the 2nd week, the course work will cover Scrum Roles, Events, and Artifacts for 4 hours. In both sections, you will find plenty of videos, readings, and quizzes to master the basics of Scrum.
Moreover, the course comes with financial aid, and you can apply for it if you meet specific eligibility requirements. And finally, the course is highly suitable for on-the-job managers and engineers who prefer self-paced learning courses over instructor-led ones.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification Training: Edureka
This Edureka course will walk you through the required competencies to pass the CSM certification effortlessly. It is an instructor-led classroom course. Hence, you need to schedule your appearance for the course and attend it to learn the Scrum framework, get a hard copy of the course work, and get PDUs and SEUs.
The course curriculum includes:
- Agile and Scrum Overview
- The three roles in Scrum
- Scrum Ceremonies
- Daily Scrum and Sprint Retrospective
- Definition of Done (DoD) and Acceptance Criteria
- Product Planning, etc.
Professional Development Units (PDUs) and Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) are mandatory for those who already have the CSM certification and want to keep the validity intact.
Certified ScrumMaster Certification Training Course: Simplilearn
If you want to attend a classroom course for the upcoming CSM certification but do not want to attend in-person classes, this Simplilearn course is the right choice. You can attend the class virtually from anywhere. Also, the course work is only for two days for 8 hours.
This CSM accreditation training course overviews the Scrum framework for Agile Project Management. Thus, you become prepared to be a CSM endorsed by the Scrum Alliance. The course work includes 2-year Scrum Alliance membership, CSM Exam fee, 20 PDUs, and 16 SEUs.
So far, you have gone through the basics of Scrum Master certification, types, an overview of the tests, and some online courses to start your journey towards the Scrum Master. Try out any of these resources and upgrade your management skills and career.
You may also be interested in Kanban vs. Scrum: Differences.
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