Agile product management has been a popular philosophy in software development for years! Now that it’s gaining popularity in marketing, finance, and even design, we’re seeing a significant upward trend in people pursuing a Scrum Master certification.
One of the biggest reasons why is because the Scrum methodology, in which work is planned in short, defined time slots known as sprints, offers significant benefits over traditional project management methods. However, Scrum can’t happen without a Scrum Master, which is why so many companies are looking specifically for employees who are certified in this methodology.
What is a Scrum Master?
A Scrum Master is almost a hybrid role of a project manager, boss, and motivational coach. You’re responsible for planning a project and assigning sprints to your team, but unlike a traditional project manager, the responsibility of a project’s failure or success isn’t attributed solely to you.
While you do have a degree of responsibility for a project and your team, you also don’t have the same powers as a regular manager. Instead, it’s your job to coach your team and help them succeed through learning, persuasion, and insight.
Not anybody can be a Scrum Master, however. To be seriously considered for this role, you need to hold some degree of Scrum Master certification. As with most qualifications, there are different levels of certification you need to consider.
Why Pursue a Scrum Master Certification?
Many Organizations Now Require Certification
Like we just mentioned, almost every company that’s serious about using Agile requires certified Scrum Masters. If you’re looking to pursue a career in an industry like technology, marketing, or finance, a Scrum Master certification can often be a requirement of a higher-level position.
Similarly, your organization might be implementing Agile and require that you take a Scrum Master certification so you can lead your team within the Agile process. In which case, taking this course might be an unavoidable step on the career ladder. However, given the benefits that a Scrum Master certification can have for your career, it’s still worth pursuing.
You Want a Higher Salary
With Agile becoming more popular across a wide variety of industries, the need for certified ScrumMasters is only increasing. On average, Scrum Masters earn more than their non-qualified counterparts, with the average Scrum Master earning around $100,000/year in the US.
There are a few key reasons for this. One is that Scrum Masters are high in demand, so companies are willing to pay a premium to hire someone who’s already certified. Another is that ScrumMasters typically hold higher-level jobs, which will push the average salary up somewhat.
This means that you can use your Scrum Master certification to negotiate a raise if you’re happy in your current role, or you have a powerful bargaining position when you’re looking for a new job.
Learn New Career Skills
Not only is holding a Scrum Master certification a powerful thing to include on your resumé, but it’s also a great way to learn new skills that you’ll need regardless of the industry you work in.
If you’re considering becoming a Scrum Master, then chances are that you already have some of the qualities and skills you need to succeed in this role. However, with a Scrum Master certification, you’ll also learn:
- Effective task prioritization
- Better communication
- A better ability to judge and minimize risks
- Coaching and motivational skills
- Better team collaboration and delegation
- Conflict resolution
Network With Other Professionals
Regardless of if you only take an entry-level Scrum Master certification or you want to work to something more advanced like your CSP-SM, you’ll get access to both The Braintrust Group and the Scrum Alliance support systems as a recognized Scrum professional.
With a global network at your fingertips, you can make connections with other professionals in your industry around the world, as well as actively influence the future of the Agile philosophy. You can guide other people, or receive guidance yourself.
It’s a great way to get to know other people in your industry that share your passion for Agile, which can help you to broaden your horizons, learn even more new skills, or even help you find a new job elsewhere.
You’re Serious About Project Management
If you’re considering pursuing a career in project management, then working towards a Scrum Master certification with ScrumAlliance is a great way to begin moving towards that goal.
Even if you’re just starting, working towards your Certified Scrum Master certification will help you to learn the basics of good project management practices within the Agile philosophy, and how you can adapt those for your workplace.
Adding a Scrum Master certification to your resumé will also help you to stand out against other candidates if you’re looking to move into a project management career, as it will show employers that you’re already dedicated to your learning and development. Plus, with the Agile philosophy becoming increasingly popular as a project management process, pursuing a Scrum Master certification shows that you’re keeping up with modern processes and you’re prepared for the future.
You’ll Understand the Language
Agile and Scrum come with their own set of acronyms and terminology that’s often difficult to understand from the outside. Pursuing even an entry-level Scrum Master certification will teach you what the language of Agile means and how it’s applied at work.
In addition, a Scrum Master certification will teach you a whole new set of skills you can apply to your job role, regardless of if you’re already in a higher-level position or not. Being able to understand and apply the language of Agile and Scrum can help to improve your reputation at work, network with peers already versed in Agile, and contribute better to workplace discussions.
It’s The Future
With massive corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel adopting Agile methodologies, it won’t be long before Scrum Master certification becomes a requirement for high-level positions in the technology industry and beyond. Taking a certification now puts you in a great position for when that inevitably happens, so it’ll continue to convey an advantage long after you’ve taken and passed the certification.
Have questions? Reach out to our Agile Advisors at CSR@braintrustgroup.com!