7 Scrum Master Certifications That Can Help You Succeed

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 November 2022 | Published 7 May 2022

Updated 22 November 2022

Published 7 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Scrum masters are mentors of Scrum teams, and are responsible for ensuring that every member follows the practices that exist within the Scrum framework. There are many Scrum master certifications available, each with its own unique features and benefits. In this article, we discuss what a Scrum master is, outline their responsibilities and go through 7 Scrum master certifications that would help you succeed in this role.

What is a Scrum master?

Scrum is a set of principles, values and practices that are used as a framework for project management. Its use is popular in several different sectors but especially in the IT industry. A Scrum team is made up of 3 persons, namely the developer, product owner and Scrum master. Scrum masters are the leaders of Scrum teams.

In a Scrum framework, teams of workers collaborate by sharing responsibilities.

Related: What Is a Good Work Environment? (Plus Other FAQs)

What do Scrum masters do?

Scrum masters are leaders of Scrum teams and are responsible for ensuring that other team members follow the Scrum process correctly. They also perform the following roles:

  • facilitate daily Scrum meetings

  • review product backlog regularly to ensure that it's prepared for upcoming sprints

  • coordinate with other Scrum teams

  • build a positive and productive work environment, particularly through the use of retrospective sessions

  • facilitate discussions and conflict resolution

  • mentor Scrum team members in Agile and Scrum concepts, practices and methodologies

Related: Important Roles and Responsibilities of a Team Leader

Why are Scrum master certifications beneficial?

Scrum master certifications prove that you have the necessary skills and knowledge needed to be an effective Scrum master. They can also boost your competitive edge in the job marketplace and increase your earning potential.

7 popular Scrum master certifications

Here are 7 popular Scrum master certifications:

1. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification is a highly valuable, entry-level qualification that imparts the fundamentals of Scrum techniques and Agile methodology. It also covers topics like Scrum master responsibilities, sprints and releases.

If you finish your training and pass the CSM exam, you are considered a Certified Scrum Master for 2 years. When that time is up, you have to renew the certification again.

Related: 15 Project Management Skills a Project Manager Should Have

2. Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM)

The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) certification focuses on the management of complex Agile projects and team dynamics, as well as in-depth techniques in coaching and facilitating.

3. Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)

The Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) focuses on the disciplined Agile development (DAD) framework. The DASM certification teaches candidates how to manage Agile projects using Scrum techniques, but also gives instruction on applying concepts like Kanban and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to real-life situations.

Completing this certification makes you eligible for the Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) certification and the Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM) certification exams.

4. Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I)

The first level of the Professional Scrum Master certification covers topics such as Agile methodology, sprints and Scrum master roles.

5. Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II)

The Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) certification is specifically for individuals who already have their PSM I certification and want to further enhance their knowledge of Scrum. The certification covers advanced topics, such as:

  • facilitating effective meetings between team members

  • running productive retrospectives at the end of each sprint or release cycle

  • managing conflict within teams using different techniques, such as role-playing games and improvisation activities

6. Professional Scrum Master III (PSM III)

The Professional Scrum Master III (PSM III) certification is the highest level you can obtain of this certification and is for experienced Scrum masters who already possess solid knowledge of Scrum and Agile practices. It assesses the Scrum master's ability to apply Scrum in a wide variety of real-life situations and contexts.

7. SAFe Scrum Master

The SAFe Scrum Master certification is available at the Scaled Agile Academy. This certification is primarily for Scrum masters responsible for implementing and managing Scrum in a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) environment.

This certification teaches candidates how to apply Scrum in a SAFe environment, and is an excellent choice for large organisations that want to adopt Agile practices in their companies but aren't sure where to start or how big their teams may be. You can renew this credential annually.

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

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