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Certification Profile: Certified Scrum Master

June 14, 2016

Scrum is an Agile framework that is used when completing complex projects as it organizes a team’s product backlog to better plan their assignment “sprints” every few weeks. IT professionals often seek out the Scrum Master certification as many consider it a standard skill used in the industry. This certification reflects your knowledge of the Scrum process and the ability to guide the team to successfully complete Scrum projects. Hiring managers favor candidates who have the proven ability to lead a team, so it’s no surprise that this certification will help provide you with a competitive advantage when applying for jobs. This month’s certification profile is the Certified Scrum Master (CSM), as part of our monthly certification profile segments.

What is a Certified Scrum Master?

A CSM can be thought of as the ‘ring leader’ for the rest of the Scrum team as (s)he supports them through the duration of a Scrum project. Scrum Alliance states, “CSMs understand Scrum values, practices, and applications and provide a level of knowledge and expertise above and beyond that of typical project managers.” Successful CSMs keep the team focused and on-task, set schedules, facilitates weekly team meetings, communicates up-to-date technology practices with the team, and acts as the link between the product owner and the team.

The annual salary of a CSM can vary drastically due to various factors; however, PayScale reports an average salary of $87,500. The more experience you have definitely influences your salary, even an additional 5 years of industry experience can earn you an extra $10,000-$30,000 per year. And, if you’re located in New York, Dallas, or San Francisco, you’re in luck! These are the top three cities for CSMs as their salaries are reported to be at least 15% higher.

Certification Process

In order to become a CSM, you first need to take a CSM course led by a Scrum Alliance Authorized Trainer and complete an online CSM test. The next step is attending a certified CSM course which is taught over a two-day period. You will also need to take and pass a second CSM exam, answering at least 24 questions correctly. Students who pass the CSM course and the CSM test won’t need to pay for the certification costs and also receive the first two years of membership with Scrum Alliance for free. Renewing your certification is $100 every two years and can easily be done upon login to your Scrum Alliance profile. Additional information can be found on the Scrum Alliance FAQ page.

The CSM certificate provides you with more opportunities for collaboration than other technological certifications out there. Opportunities such as joining user groups, publishing online articles, attending Scrum Alliance meetings, joining the CSM LinkedIn group, and other great benefits are part of being CSM-certified.

Take a look at our other IT certification profiles here.

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Posted By: Jaclyn Roman


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