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Agile Development

Scrum Certifications (Part I)

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SCRUM Certifications, like cakes, are not all the same. They come in different flavors, shapes, and colors, and deciding which one suits you best, would depend on different aspects. So, to make your decision a bit easier, we’ll give you a taste of the most well-known options for certifying your SCRUM knowledge.

In general, certifications help you grow in your career, by getting a ‘globally recognized’ distinction on your knowledge/understanding of a specific technology, application, method, or framework. Furthermore, an Agile certification can help you take the first step towards a mindset change, and become part of the elite group of Scrum professionals who can mentor their Agile teams and lead them towards success.

If you think Agile is only for Scrum Masters, let me tell you that learning Scrum concepts can be beneficial to project managers, product owners, business analysts, developers, and even team managers/leaders.

To start your certification path, I would recommend considering several factors like your preferred study method and exam modality, availability, budget, and institution preferences as well as your current role, career goals, experience, and, of course, recommendations. Here are a few aspects that can help you get on the right track to a success story:

By institution:

  • Widely recognized. Founded by Ken Schwaber (co-developer of the SCRUM framework).

  • Training is not required.

  • Affordable. Price ranges between $150 – $500 USD.

  • Long-lasting. Once you pass the assessment, you will retain that certification and will be listed on the website with no future costs.

  • Only available in English.

  • No free certifications. However, there are open assessments available for you to practice before taking the entry-level exam.

  • In-Demand and widely recognized. Highly requested in the job market.

  • Requires training. Every candidate must complete the CSM training program to qualify for the certification exam.

  • High registration fees. Price ranges between $450 – $1500 USD.

  • Valid only for 2 years. Renewal costs between $100 – $200 USD depending on the level.

  • Available in more than 15 languages.

  • No free certifications.

  • Membership included. Access to resources and community with registration and renewal fees.

  • Widely available. It has the largest authorized training partner network, with 2,400 partners in over 115 countries.

  • No training is required. You can either pay the exam fee and take the online prep course included or pay for one of their training sessions and get an exam voucher.

  • Somewhat affordable. Price ranges from $0 – $800.

  • Valid only for 3 years. Renewal costs between $50 – $150 USD or passing any other of their certifications.

  • Available in more than 8 languages.

  • Free basic certification. Their Scrum Fundamentals Certification is free and available to anyone.

  • Membership included. You’ll get 1 year of access to resources and community every time you get a certification.

By accountability:

Scrum Master Certifications. This is usually the entry-level certification in all institutions. Scrum is applicable across industries, so these certifications would be useful to anyone new to the agile way of work, from IT specialists to HR representatives, looking to generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.

Product Owner Certifications. Useful for anyone who wants to become more familiar with the business side of projects, business analysts or stakeholders looking to help the product owners or project managers to make the correct decisions and ensure that the most valuable, impactful products are regularly delivered.

Developer. Useful for quality assurance professionals and developers, looking to learn the most important tools and techniques needed to deliver high-quality products, at a regular pace, while avoiding rework and waste.

If you want to know more about SCRUM certifications, don’t miss the second part of this amazing article. Click here to read it

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Carolina Cansino

PSM I Certified Business Analyst with more than 15 years of IT experience. Enthusiastic learner and passionate people developer committed to fostering Agility at all organizational levels. Jarocha-Regia, by heart, enjoys discovering by traveling, watching a movie, eating delicious food, playing with her awesome child, or listening to her friends' random stories.

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