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What are the Top 5 Project Management Certifications & What is Agile Project Management?

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on May 2, 2023

5 Best Agile Project Management Tools (& Techniques) in 2023

In recent years, the Agile methodology has developed into an outstanding approach, with individuals who have completed certification courses benefiting from significant experience and attractive salaries around the world. Singapore, recognized as one of the leading information technology centers worldwide, offers tremendous potential for professionals with practical experience and expertise in Agile. There are numerous opportunities for individuals with substantial knowledge of any of the prevalent Agile frameworks that companies in the area are adopting.

To gain a more profound understanding of Agile, individuals worldwide should consider obtaining one of the top Agile Project Management certifications. Pursuing a career in Agile also offers professionals the opportunity to network globally and find better employment prospects in terms of salary, incentives, career advancement, and more. This article explores the five most highly recommended Agile project management certifications that any professional could pursue to pave the way for a successful career.

Best Agile Certification courses

Agile Methodology presents numerous prospects in various frameworks utilized in diverse industries, including banking and finance, and construction, among others. The specific industry and career path an individual wants to pursue depends on their interests and aspirations. Nevertheless, let’s narrow down the certification courses to those highly sought-after in the market and by top companies. Here are five Agile project management certification courses individuals should consider if they seek a career in Agile Project Management.

1. Certified ScrumMaster Certification (CSM)

The Certified ScrumMaster certification is highly regarded in the industry as one of the most recognized certification courses. A ScrumMaster is a servant leader responsible for guiding a team in building complex products creatively and efficiently. As top companies are progressively adopting Agile methodology, they are seeking ScrumMasters, and Scrum remains one of the most widely implemented frameworks among organizations. The ScrumMaster is the ideal person to effect changes within the organization and educate everyone on Scrum values and principles. Considering the significant demand for ScrumMasters by reputable companies, the CSM course is one of the best Scrum certification courses available in the market.

Demand and Career Growth for CSM Professionals

As per LinkedIn’s report, the role of a ScrumMaster was among the top 15 emerging courses in the previous year. With the expansion and growth of Agile companies worldwide, the demand for ScrumMasters is also rising significantly. The CSM course assists entry-level individuals in performing at their best. Companies seeking skilled professionals in Scrum and Agile areas are more likely to consider candidates who have completed a Certified ScrumMaster course. The demand for ScrumMasters is not only limited to Singapore but also exists worldwide, making the CSM course beneficial for individuals in the long run.

The career trajectory of individuals after completing the CSM course differs significantly based on their professional interests, prevailing market conditions, location, and other factors. A ScrumMaster can pursue the A-CSM course after one year of experience. They could work with multiple teams, become Agile coaches, become product owners, or continue being a ScrumMaster by handling more complex and challenging products for the Scrum team.

Benefits of CSM course

  • Higher salary package and additional incentives
  • Opportunity to work in a top organization with networking prospects
  • Membership in Scrum Alliance to interact with Scrum experts globally
  • Establishment of a positive reputation and respect within the organization
  • The initial step towards a promising future as a ScrumMaster with comprehensive knowledge of the Scrum framework

Who can attend?

This course is ideally suited to the following individuals:

  • Team Leaders
  • Product Managers
  • Development Team Members
  • Software Engineers
  • Project Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Testers
  • Software Architects
  • Product Owners
  • QA managers
  • Anyone interested in a career as Scrum Master

Process of CSM certification

The process of obtaining a CSM certification is considered relatively easy compared to other Agile project management courses. To start, individuals must search for the best-registered education provider that offers the CSM certification. Once registered, participants must complete a face-to-face course instructed by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or receive private coaching from a Certified Agile Coach (CAC). In the current situation, online training options are also available, allowing candidates to complete a 14-hour online class, a 16-hour in-person class, or 25 hours of private coaching from the comfort of their homes.

After finishing the course, the candidate will receive an email from the Scrum Alliance and must take a multiple-choice test to obtain the CSM certification. The test consists of 50 questions, which are available in 13 languages, and to pass, the candidate must correctly answer 37 out of the 50 questions within one hour. After passing the test, the participant will receive the CSM certification via mail, which must be renewed every two years by earning 20 Scrum Educational units and paying $100.

2. Advanced- Certified ScrumMaster Certification (A-CSM)

The Advanced-Certified Scrum Master certification is intended for ScrumMasters who have acquired substantial knowledge through their experience. This certification course is designed to further enhance their understanding of Scrum and provide them with various tools and techniques that can help them function more effectively. The certification should be viewed as a progression toward career development and advancement in the industry. The course covers real-world issues faced by ScrumMasters, provides practical experience, and imparts important knowledge necessary for effective ScrumMaster.

Demand and career growth for A-CSM Professionals 

The ScrumMaster role is highly in demand in the current job market, with top companies and organizations seeking individuals who possess a deep understanding of Scrum and can effectively manage both the technical and managerial aspects of the role. Recruiters from these companies prioritize candidates with superior knowledge of Scrum over others. The A-CSM certification sets individuals apart from their peers by indicating an advanced level of knowledge and experience gained from the course. The A-CSM program offers training in real-world problems and provides hands-on experience with tools and techniques necessary for ScrumMasters to operate effectively. The demand for A-CSMs in top companies continues to grow, providing ample opportunities for career advancement. Those seeking to advance their careers and take on leadership roles should consider pursuing the A-CSM certification. With this certification, individuals can coach multiple teams and share their expertise as an Agile coach. The career growth potential for A-CSMs is significant, enabling them to pursue their interests and capitalize on current job trends.

Benefits of A-CSM course

  • Possibility to work for top companies and practice as an Advanced Certified ScrumMaster
  • Recognition and status in the organization as a Scrum expert
  • Higher salary benefits and incentives by working for the best Agile organizations
  • Priority over other candidates during recruitment due to A-CSM certification standing out
  • Becoming an active member of the Scrum Alliance and networking with Scrum experts worldwide

Who can attend?

Candidates who have completed a CSM course and have at least one year of experience working as a ScrumMaster are eligible to pursue the A-CSM certification course. After completing the A-CSM course, they can further pursue the Certified Scrum Professional- ScrumMaster certification course to become a high-level Scrum professional in their organization.

Process of Becoming an A-CSM Professional

To be eligible for the A-CSM course, the candidate must have completed the CSM course and have at least one year of experience as a ScrumMaster. If these requirements are met, the candidate can enroll in the A-CSM course through a registered education provider. During the course, the candidate must complete the pre and post-work as well as all the educator-designed components. Additionally, they must become a member of the Scrum Alliance and accept the A-CSM license agreement upon receiving the certification. To validate the A-CSM certification, the participant must work as a ScrumMaster for one year.

3. Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification (CSPO)

If a professional is interested in the business aspect of project management, becoming a Product Owner can be a great choice in the Agile world. The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification is designed for individuals who enjoy interacting with clients and are passionate about developing high-quality products that meet customer and market needs. As a PO, they focus on ensuring that the product is excellent and meets the customer’s requirements. They communicate with both the customers and the development team to ensure that the product generates adequate revenue for the company. The CSPO certification provides individuals with a stepping stone to understanding the business side of Agile project management and discovering many opportunities in the market.

Demand and Career Growth for CSPO Professional

The increasing demand for Product Owners has led top companies to offer competitive salaries to professionals with a CSPO certification. As Agile organizations expand, having a Product Owner with immense knowledge about Scrum values and skills has become a primary requirement for any company to run smoothly and maximize business value. This has led to an abundance of career opportunities for CSPO professionals.

Starting with a specific team and product, individuals can work towards succeeding in their roles. As they gain more experience, they can take on more challenging projects with complex products and clients that are harder to anticipate. With this experience, Product Owners can work with multiple products and teams and can even act as Agile coaches after receiving sufficient training.

Furthermore, Product Owners always have the option to pursue the Scrum Master course if they enjoy the process of product development rather than the product itself. The A-CSPO certification is also an option for CSPO professionals looking to take their career growth further.

Benefits of the CSPO Course

  • Being offered competitive salaries and greater incentives than other members of the organization
  • Being highly respected and valued as an individual in the organization
  • Gaining extensive business knowledge about the product and sharing it with others
  • Networking with individuals worldwide through the Scrum Alliance membership
  • Having access to more career growth opportunities once started with the CSPO course.

Who can attend?

  • Developers
  • Software testers
  • Architects-software development
  • Managers of software development
  • Product managers
  • Project managers
  • Team members and team leads who are interested in learning Scrum.

Process of CSPO certification

To obtain a CSPO certification, the individual must first register for the course with a recognized education provider. Upon enrollment, the candidate is required to attend a face-to-face course instructed by a Certified Scrum Trainer, receive private coaching from a Certified Agile Coach, or complete online classes that last approximately 14 hours. The duration of in-person training with a CST is 16 hours, while private Agile coach instruction takes about 25 hours. The course has no prerequisites, and no exams are required to obtain the certification. After completing the course, the participant must accept the license agreement and complete their Scrum Alliance profile. The individual is then awarded their CSPO certification, which must be renewed every two years by earning Scrum Educational Units and paying a $100 fee.

4. Advanced-Certified Scrum Product Owner certification (A-CSPO)

The A-CSPO certification course is designed for experienced Product Owners who aspire to advance their career prospects. As Product Owners are highly esteemed in the industry, top companies only recruit the most qualified professionals for this role, and possessing an advanced CSPO certification would undoubtedly enhance the individual’s reputation. The certification provides participants with a broader perspective and equips them with the skills needed to develop distinctive and impactful products. It offers guidance on several techniques that the best Product Owners employ, enabling candidates to take their companies to new heights. The A-CSPO program empowers individuals to optimize their business value and trains them in managing business initiatives, customers, users, and the market.

Demand and Career Growth for A-CSPO Professionals

In today’s fast-paced industry, technology is constantly advancing and competition is high. Companies strive to be the best and most profitable in the market, therefore they need individuals who can maximize product development, interact with customers, and increase revenue. Product Owners are professionals who take on these responsibilities. However, top companies only want to hire the best professionals. Recruiters look for candidates who are well-versed in the business aspect of products and have the skills to market them to get the maximum value.

A-CSPO certified professionals are considered senior in terms of knowledge and skills compared to CSPOs, making them highly sought after by top organizations. After completing the A-CSPO course, professionals can take on more complex products and work with multiple teams. Moreover, pursuing the Certified Scrum Professional-Product Owner certification is an excellent way for A-CSPO-qualified professionals to further enhance their careers and gain knowledge about different products.

Benefits of A-CSPO certification

  • Best salary packages with attractive incentives
  • Priority consideration for top companies
  • Networking opportunities with Scrum experts worldwide through Scrum Alliance membership
  • Recognition as a product expert within the organization
  • Increased career opportunities as a CSP-PO and potential to advance to Certified Scrum Trainer or Agile Coach roles.

Who can attend?

Candidates who have at least one year of experience as a Product Owner and have completed the CSPO course can pursue the A-CSPO certification. This certification can be a stepping stone to pursuing the higher level Certified Scrum Professional- Product Owner certification and becoming a senior Scrum professional within their organization.

Process of Becoming an Advanced-Certified Scrum Product Owner

To become an A-CSPO professional, certain requirements must be met. The candidate must have completed the CSPO certification and have at least one year of experience working as a Product Owner. After meeting these requirements, the candidate must enroll in the A-CSPO course from a registered education provider affiliated with the Scrum Alliance. To complete the course, the candidate must finish the pre and post-work, along with all the educator-designed components, after the two-day course. Additionally, the candidate must complete the Scrum Alliance membership and accept the A-CSPO license agreement to receive the A-CSPO certification. To validate the A-CSPO certification, the participant must work as a ScrumMaster for one year.

5. SAFe Agilist Certification

In today’s fast-paced business world, most organizations work with large, collaborative teams that may be dispersed geographically. In these scenarios, Agile methodology needs to operate across the entire enterprise to achieve faster delivery, better product quality, and faster customer response times. However, the Scrum Framework may not suffice as it is primarily designed for smaller teams. Therefore, organizations require experts in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to help them succeed. The SAFe Agilist certification course is an ideal way for individuals to gain SAFe expertise and develop the essential skills and practical knowledge required to work in such organizations. The certification covers key topics such as managing alignments, collaboration, and delivery across multiple teams, all of which are critical to the success of the enterprise.

Demand for SAFe Agilist Professionals

The SAFe Agilist certification serves as a benchmark for enterprises that operate on Lean-Agile principles, providing participants with increased value and career opportunities. With more organizations expanding globally, SAFe offers a smooth process for complex product development, eliminating the hassles that organizations may encounter when using other software frameworks. As one of the most adopted enterprise Agile approaches, professionals trained in SAFe have a high demand in the job market. SAFe is continuously growing in popularity worldwide, and building a career in this field can lead to significant growth opportunities. After completing the course, candidates can choose to pursue more specific SAFe courses tailored to their domain or personal interests. Career growth ultimately depends on the individual’s ability to handle work and learn from their experience and training. This field offers a stable career and abundant growth opportunities.

Benefits of SAFe Agilist Certification

  • Drive organizational transformation and promote awareness of the Scaled Agile Framework
  • Access high-paying jobs and attractive incentives with top global Agile companies
  • Unlock a wide range of career opportunities and advance up the career ladder
  • Stay up-to-date with market changes and emerging trends
  • Gain exclusive access to the Scaled Agile Framework platforms and connect with experts worldwide

Who can attend?

  • Quality Analysts and developers
  • Leaders and executives
  • Portfolio Managers, Process leads, and PMO
  • Project and Program managers
  • Infrastructure management personnel
  • Product and Product line managers
  • The solution, System, and enterprise architects.

The process to become a Certified SAFe Agilist

To become a certified SAFe Agilist, the first step is to search for a registered education provider offering the course and explore the benefits they offer. Upon enrolling, candidates must attend the two-day SAFe course taught by SAFe Program Consultants (SPCs). After completing the course, Scaled Agile will provide information about the online exam, which is a one-and-a-half-hour test consisting of 45 multiple-choice questions. To pass, candidates must answer a minimum of 35 questions correctly. After passing the exam, SAFe Agilist will send the certification and a one-year membership with Scaled Agile. The certification must be renewed annually.

Conclusion

Deciding on the most suitable Agile Project Management course can be a challenging task. However, having identified the best course available, a comprehensive understanding of all the options will help individuals identify their interests. For instance, if one is fascinated by the process of product development rather than the product itself, the role of a ScrumMaster may be ideal, while those interested in the product could become Product Owners. As Agile continues to evolve and expand, it presents one of the most promising career paths in the Information Technology industry. Furthermore, selecting the appropriate Agile course can assist professionals in planning their careers, setting achievable goals, and realizing them.

 


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