To become a Scrum Master or Product Owner you need a Scrum certification. But with all the options in the market, it can be difficult to choose one that will help you improve your Scrum project management skills. Here’s a list of the top Scrum Certifications available in 2022.
What is Scrum Certification?
Scrum is a popular agile project management framework that, according to Scrum.org, “helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems”.
Scrum requires a Scrum Master to help teams and organizations understand the Scrum framework and implement it at different levels.
A Scrum Master certification is a credential that recognizes one’s competency in Scrum fundamentals. It qualifies candidates to become Scrum Masters, whose job is to enable the Scrum Team to improve its practices in order to deliver products of the highest value.
Scrum also requires a Product Owner who understands the business side of projects and whose role is to maximize the value of the product.
A Product Owner certification indicates to potential employers that the candidate can effectively represent the customer and other stakeholders and communicate their expectations of the product.
Why Get a Scrum Certification?
Getting a Scrum Master or Product Owner certification not only lends credibility to your skills but also adds value to your resume and increases your potential earning power.
With more companies adopting agile practices, the number of job descriptions requesting, and often, requiring Scrum Master certifications is seeing a steady increase across different job portals around the world.
Read more: 3 Steps to Becoming a Certified Scrum Master
What are the Different Types of Scrum Certifications?
There are multiple paths available to an aspirant who wants to transition to an agile way of work or adopt Scrum in their work and personal lives.
A recent study conducted by Coursera researched over 20 Scrum certifications to see how many times each was mentioned in postings across various job search sites. The results show the seven most-mentioned certifications in job listings as of May 2022.
These are, in order of most mentions to least:
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM I)
- Certified Scrum Professional – Developer (CSP-D)
- SAFe Scrum Master (SSM)
- Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I)
- Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
Let’s Explore the Top 7 Scrum Certifications of 2022.
1. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification is the most well-known and widely recognized of all certifications. It is administered by Scrum Alliance, the first such organization to offer Scrum certifications.
In a recent review of the best Scrum certifications currently available from the top Scrum certification and training providers, it was revealed that the CSM certification from Scrum Alliance is the best overall Scrum Master certification of 2022.
CSM certification is recommended for current and aspiring Scrum team members and project managers across industries. However, anybody who wants to find a simpler way to solve complex problems or expects to work on cross-functional teams can benefit from CSM certification.
The Scrum Alliance CSM course is an interactive and engaging learning experience. It is taught by experienced and passionate agile trainers around the world.
Prerequisites: To become a Certified Scrum Master, aspirants need to take a 2-day training program and pass the online certification test with a minimum score of 74%.
Cost: UC Agile offers an all-inclusive rate of $449 for the CSM course. Course fees include the exam costs, including one retake.
While the CSM certification helps aspirants get started on their Scrum journey, they can further their Scrum Master skills by taking the more advanced courses offered by Scrum Alliance, such as Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) and Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM).
2. Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification is another highly recognized credential offered by Scrum Alliance. It teaches the basics of Scrum from the product perspective and includes hands-on instruction on managing multiple stakeholders’ expectations, creating a product vision, and identifying the best products to develop based on customers’ needs.
CSPO certification is recommended for anyone interested in learning about the business side of projects and is especially required for product owners and product managers, as well as business analysts and data analysts.
Prerequisites: To become a Certified Scrum Product Owner, aspirants have to take a 2-day CSPO course approved by Scrum Alliance.
Cost: UC Agile offers an all-inclusive rate of $449 for the CSPO course.
After getting the CSPO certification, aspirants can choose to elevate their Scrum knowledge with more advanced certifications from the Scrum Alliance’s product track, such as an Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) or Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner (CSP-PO).
3. Professional Scrum Master (PSM I)
The Professional Scrum Master (PSM I) certification offered by Scrum.org for the role of Scrum Master and is a standard certification to prove your knowledge and understanding of Scrum.
Prerequisites: Courses are not necessary in order to take the PSM I assessment. However, Scrum.org does prescribe a couple of 2-day courses if you feel the need for some help in preparing you for the assessment. The assessment has a passing score of 85%.
Cost: The cost of the PSM I assessment (exam only) is $150 USD per attempt.
After the PSM I, you can take the PSM II and PSM III assessments, which are meant to prove your knowledge of more complex Scrum processes.
4. Certified Scrum Professional – Developer (CSP-D)
Scrum Alliance offers the Certified Scrum Professional – Developer (CSP-D) as the pinnacle certification for developers on the product development track. The CSP-D is designed to help developers become professionals who can challenge their teams to improve the way Scrum and Agile principles are implemented.
The first step on the path to becoming a CSP-D is the Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification (#7 in this article).
Prerequisites: To become CSP-D certified, you need to hold an active A-CSD or Advanced Certified Scrum Developer certification, and have completed a minimum of twenty-four months of Agile or Scrum work experience in the last five years, and attend a CSP-D course to expand your Scrum knowledge.
Cost: $100 application fee, plus $150 certification fee
5. SAFe Scrum Master (SSM)
This certification administered by Scaled Agile is for those looking to become a Scrum Master in an organization where Agile, Lean, or DevOps concepts are practised at a large scale. In addition to gaining the tactical skills to be a Scrum Master in a SAFe organization, you’ll learn the tools you need to work effectively with distributed teams in remote environments.
Prerequisites: To become a Scrum Master in a SAFe organization, you need to take a two-day virtual course approved by Scaled Agile and pass the SAFe Scrum Master certification exam.
Cost: Course fees range from around $500 to above $1200 depending on the provider and generally include exam fees.
6. Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I)
Scrum.org also offers the Professional Scrum Product Owner level I (PSPO I) assessment to anyone who wants to validate their mastery of the Scrum framework and demonstrate their ability to support maximum value creation and delivery.
Prerequisites: While taking a course is not necessary for PSPO I assessment, Scrum.org does recommend taking a two-day course to help you prepare for the exam. The assessment has a passing score of 85%.
Cost: The cost of the PSPO I assessment (exam only) is $200 USD per attempt.
After the PSPO I, you can take the PSPO II and PSPO III assessments to demonstrate your advanced knowledge of more complex Scrum processes.
7. Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
The Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) training by Scrum Alliance is designed as a basic course for product developers working in agile product development. The training gives you a working understanding of Scrum and agile principles and equips you with specialized agile engineering skills to help you thrive in a Scrum environment. The training also gives you an overview of the most important tools and techniques needed to deliver the most value in an iterative and incremental fashion.
Prerequisites: To become a CSD you need to take at least two days of formal training from a CSD Educator approved by Scrum Alliance.
Cost: Courses start from around $800 USD.
The CSD is the first step in the product development track of Scrum Alliance. After CSD, you can also take the more advanced levels of Advanced Certified Scrum Developer (A-CSD) and Certified Scrum Professional – Developer (CSP-D).
Getting a Scrum Certification
Any professional who works on a Scrum team or wants to transition to a Scrum role can benefit from mastering Scrum concepts. These include developers, project managers, product owners and business analysts. Scrum-certified professionals are not only in demand but also command a higher average salary than other project managers.
The first step is to choose the right course for yourself. If you want a basic introduction to Scrum, consider enrolling in our CSM course. If you’re interested in understanding Scrum from a business perspective, consider enrolling in our CSPO course.