As organizations embrace digital transformation, they adopt professional ways of managing projects. Those businesses creating software products began adopting the Scrum Agile framework for speed and efficiency in complex projects. Today it is implemented across many industries, such as financial services, product development, and consulting. The growth of Agile methodologies is leading business economies, resulting in a spur in the demand for Scrum Masters who play a leadership role in managing projects end to end. Professional platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn list Scrum master as one of the most promising and in-demand jobs in recent times.
So what is Scrum? Why should you consider investing time and money to become a Certified Scrum Master?
Scrum is an Agile methodology that approaches the management of software projects in an iterative and incremental software development framework. It allows teams to work in sprints, completing software projects in small increments with continuous reviews and improvements.
If you are considering a Project Management role in software development or want to excel in Agile methods for an edge over other candidates, consider a certification in Scrum. It will make you career-worthy in a highly relevant professional area. A Scrum certification can help you master best practices for the delivery of high-quality software within deadlines.
If you plan to work for a company that uses Scrum principles, consider earning your CSM certification. This certification may give you an advantage over other job applicants as it shows your understanding of Scrum principles and methodologies.
Who is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
According to the Scrum Alliance organization, a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) helps the Scrum Team optimize performance and ensures the Scrum framework is implemented as per the principles.
A CSM is gained by attending a two-day course and taking a 50-question exam as an entry-level certification. It has three levels of certification: CSM, Advanced CSM, and Scrum Professional. You renew this certification and keep your training ongoing through Scrum Education Units, classes, event participation, etc.
Earning the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) credential expands your knowledge of Scrum principles and Agile methodologies. You learn to implement the Scrum framework within the business ecosystem of your organization. The certification ensures you are familiar with the fundamentals of Scrum, the iterative process of software development and adaptation, accountability, and team performance. It demonstrates your knowledge of the Scrum principles and practices, such as working with various teams in short sprints, evaluating performance, getting timely feedback, and implementing changes to the product.
A CSM certification is thus an official validation of your skills as a Scrum Master. It shows that you are an effective team leader who can implement the Scrum Agile methodology in software products while meeting customer satisfaction.
While the official CSM is issued by the Scrum Alliance, comparable certifications are also available from other organizations. For instance, Scrum.org has three levels of Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certifications, and Scrum Inc. offers training for a Registered Scrum Master (RSM). Some other platforms offer Scrum classes with online certificates of completion issued upon completion. However, although these courses cover the Scrum framework, they are not the same as the official CSM designation. So if you seriously wish to pursue a career in Scrum methodology, consider gaining an official CSM certification.
Is it worth it?
If you ask whether it is worth the time spent on the learning and exam, then certainly yes. It takes about two days to prepare for the exam, which leads to the certification if you pass. Imagine spending only two days for an industry-level certification that paves the way for a lucrative career and senior position in the software industry.
Is the CSM worth the time and money?
Yes, if your company is paying for the course. Organizations implementing Agile and Scrum methodologies often invest in training their staff, funding the costs for the certification, and giving the necessary leave from work. However, if your organization is not paying for the course, consider various aspects before investing hundreds of dollars in the certification. Consider why you want to get the CSM. Is it to further your career in Agile or Project Management roles within your organization? Do you want a professional Scrum experience or the CSM to stay relevant at your job? Are you confident a CSM will help you get that much-coveted promotion and rise at your workplace? And if you are looking for a new job in an Agile ecosystem, but lack the experience, then the CSM is worth consideration.
Other factors you may like to look at are available Scrum Master jobs within your target organizations or job locations. Job portals like Indeed and Glassdoor can help you get answers. For instance, Scrum Master jobs are usually available in urban geographies or hubs of large enterprises.
Further, you may like to consider the following benefits of a CSM before you opt for the certification pathway:
Helps you develop Risk Assessment Skills
By learning Scrum, you become an expert in anticipating events and problems before they occur and learn to avert them, to prevent losses arising from project silos.
Helps increase your team’s effectiveness
An SMC gives you the skills to work to collaborate with your team members and mentor them for more efficiency and productivity. You learn how to motivate them, keep them focused and work together for common business goals.
Makes you Career-worthy
An SMC on your resume makes your resume stand out from the rest during job applications. Most hiring processes use critical keywords to eliminate or consider potential candidates for an interview. CSM helps your potential employers know you are aware of industry standards of software development. You are also showcasing your knowledge of the Scrum framework to make you more hire-worthy.
As a CSM, you can build your career for higher earning potential and get the opportunity to serve in leadership roles.
The Scrum Alliance requires you to study Scrum principles through a CSM course, which means investing about 16 hours of training over two days. Before taking the course, you may also like to browse the free articles and resources on its website.
If you enjoy working in teams and the Scrum framework interests you, then you stand to benefit from an SMC. So go ahead and commit the resources if you think you stand to benefit.