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9 Best Scrum Alliance Certifications of 2023

Nicholas Rini
Published: December 1, 2023

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Scrum Project ManagementScrum Project Management

Founded in 2001, the Scrum Alliance is a leader in promoting Agile methodologies, seeking to make Agile practices the norm in workplaces. As a unique, community-funded nonprofit in the Agile field, the Scrum Alliance dedicates itself to advancing Agile through education, advocacy, research, and fostering community connections.

Scrum Alliance offers three main tracks for Scrum certification: Scrum Master Track, Product Master Track, and Developer Track. Each track comprises three certifications, detailed below. Additionally, there is a two-certification track designed to cover Agile leadership skills, a three-certification track designed for guide-level Scrum coaches/trainers, and two additional standalone certifications: one for Certified Facilitator and the other for Agile Skills, based around the concept of scaling.

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Scrum Master Track

The Scrum Master Track offers a series of certifications for Scrum Masters. Starting with the basic Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), it progresses to the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) and then to the Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM), each deepening in Scrum knowledge and skills. The track can culminate with Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) for those aiming to teach or coach Scrum at an expert level.

Certified ScrumMaster

In a software development environment, Scrum Masters foster productivity and help team members understand Scrum values and practices. Scrum Masters should possess strong emotional intelligence and people skills. The CSM course aims to promote those abilities and is an ideal choice for aspiring Scrum Masters, people in organizations adopting Scrum, or those seeking to learn more about agility tools. The certification provides a comprehensive understanding of Scrum and practical application techniques for teams, project managers, and organizations.

  • Level: Introductory course for Scrum Masters or members of a Scrum team
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies by presenter but starts at $350

Advanced Certified ScrumMaster

The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster is considered the next step after taking the CSM certification. The A-CSM certification seeks to enhance your skills in facilitating team communication, tackling resistance to change, increasing engagement and accountability, and applying Scrum and Agile practices in multiple teams.

  • Level: Advanced course for Scrum Masters with one or more years of relevant work experience
  • Prerequisites: CSM certification
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $650

Certified Scrum Professional – ScrumMaster

Certified Scrum Professionals (CSPs) are known to enhance their teams’ Scrum and Agile practices by applying practice knowledge and experience in project management environments. Scrum Masters looking to advance their careers and skillset should consider taking the CSP-SM certification. It focuses on practical solutions designed to improve Scrum implementation in software development environments and beyond.

  • Level: High-level course for experts who want to develop and demonstrate a mastery of the Scrum Master track
  • Prerequisites: A-CSM certification
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $550

Product Owner Track

The Product Owner Track starts with the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification, which focuses on the basics of being a Product Owner, backlog management, and maximizing value. The certification progresses to the Certified Scrum Professional – Product Owner (CSP-PO), which covers advanced principles such as product vision and strategy. The track prepares Product Owners for effective leadership in Agile environments.

Certified Scrum Product Owner

The CSPO class teaches the basics of the Scrum framework, Scrum principles, and critical skills for product ownership. The course covers concepts like managing stakeholder needs, how to develop a product vision, and how to understand customer preferences. CSPO is a widely recognized certification that can increase your demand in the industry. Additionally, Scrum Alliance membership grants you access to a vast community for networking, events, resources, and coaching, all of which support ongoing development beyond the classroom.

  • Level: Introductory course for those wanting to better understand the Scrum framework and its principles
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $299

Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner

The Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) certification builds on the skills you learn in CSPO, focusing on how to manage project initiatives, prioritize backlogs, define product vision, and enhance stakeholder communication and collaboration. It further aims to enhance a project manager’s ability to identify opportunities, validate business value, and establish your expertise as a product expert.

  • Level: Advanced course for Product Owners who possess one year of experience on a Scrum team
  • Prerequisites: CSPO certification
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $650

Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner

The CSP-PO certification enhances product ownership skills, placing a focus on product validation, positive customer interaction, and backlog management. CSP-PO benefits include exclusive event access, enhanced career prospects with higher earning potential, and a pathway to higher-level Scrum certifications such as the CST, CEC, or CTC. CSP-PO recipients also receive a free premium subscription to Comparative Agility, an Agile assessment tool.

  • Level: High-level course for experts seeking to master the Product Owner track
  • Prerequisites: A-CSPO certification
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $899

Developer Track

Introduced in 2023, the Scrum Alliance Developer Track is a certification series for developers focusing on Agile skills. It starts with the Certified Scrum Developer (CSD), progresses to the Advanced Certified Scrum Developer (A-CSD), and culminates with the Certified Scrum Professional for Developers (CSP-D).

Certified Scrum Developer

The CSD certification seeks to enhance Agile development skills and understanding of Scrum methodologies, specifically for developers in Scrum or Agile environments. It focuses on critical Agile programming methods and an iterative software creation approach. Benefits of the certification include better career prospects, increased Scrum expertise, and access to a community of Scrum experts dedicated to continuous advancement.

  • Level: Introductory course focusing on collaborative product development for Scrum team members and developers
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $719

Advanced Certified Scrum Developer

The A-CSD certification increases Agile development skills for Certified Scrum Developers through training and hands-on practice. It places an emphasis on advanced Scrum tools and collaboration. This certification can benefit your career by improving your technical abilities, teaching you how to work more effectively in teams, and raising your Scrum knowledge. It also provides access to a community of Scrum professionals and insights for Agile career advancement.

  • Level: Advanced course for developers in a Scrum environment
  • Prerequisites: CSD certification
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, but starts at $795

Certified Scrum Professional for Developers

Certified Scrum Professional Developers are able to demonstrate advanced skills in Scrum and Agile development environments. This certification, which is distinct from CSP-SM or CSP-PO, validates course-takers as a seasoned Scrum expert. CSP-D benefits include access to exclusive events, better job prospects with higher earning potential, a stepping stone to elite Scrum roles like CST, CEC, or CTC, and a free subscription to Comparative Agility, a popular Agile tool.

  • Level: High-level course for expert developers wishing to master Scrum product development
  • Prerequisites: A-CSD certification
  • Cost: Varies by presenter, currently no offerings to compare

The Bottom Line

The Scrum Alliance offers tailored certification tracks for Agile and Scrum roles. The Scrum Master Track, from CSM to CSP-SM, is best for those seeking Scrum Master skills. The Product Owner Track, ranging from CSPO to CSP-PO, is perfect for those who wish to focus on business skills. The Developer Track ranges from CSD to CSP-D. It is best for developers who want to advance in Scrum and Agile software development environments.

Looking for additional project management certifications? Check out our highlight of the Top 7 Certifications for Project Managers.

Source: www.developer.com