Scrum Master Certification Sees High Demand in 2020: Explore the Reasons to Become a Scrum Master

by Steve Ostermiller (Ed.)

Uncertainty in employment is the norm right now. However, that doesn’t mean some roles aren’t in demand. Working in scrum is certainly one of those, with Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®) as one of the most valuable certifications for 2020. If you’re considering a new career or already have some exposure in the field, earning your certification has significant benefits. A certification benefits your professional growth and your organization. Let’s look at why you should become a scrum master.

What is a scrum master certification?

Earning your CSM is one of the most accessible certifications for those with busy schedules. The process isn’t long. You attend a course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) with the Scrum Alliance. The course typically includes 16 hours of instruction, either in-person or live online.

What does the course include?

Most CSM seminars focus on the fundamentals of scrum and agile concepts. You’ll learn about:

  • The 12 agile principles
  • Scrum theory and principles
  • Scrum roles and responsibilities
  • Scrum artifacts
  • Scrum events
  • Technical debt
  • Scrum transitions

The CSM test

Upon course completion, you’ll take the Scrum Alliance’s CSM self-assessment. The test is online. You must answer 37 of the 50 multiple-choice questions correctly within the 60-minute time limit to pass.

Maintaining certification

You’ll renew your certification every two years. To keep it valid, you’ll continue learning and using scrum, reporting scrum education units (SEUs). Recertification requires 20 SEUs every two years.

Why earn your certification?

The journey to become a scrum master is even more useful when you certify. It helps chart a career course that rewards you with security and higher pay.

Certification represents that you have spent two full days, immersed in hands-on learning and practice led by a CST. This experience is very valuable. It can also make you more attractive to employers.

Certification can also increase your paycheck. According to PayScale, the average salary of a CSM is $91,032. The exact numbers vary based on experience level, location, and industry.

The designation of CSM is essential to hitting high numbers. According to the Robert Half 2020 Salary Report, such a certification earns you 5-10% more than your peers. Further, the 2019 Scrum Master Trends Report found that 44% of participants with certification earn more than $100,000. Only 18% of non-certified were in this bracket.

That’s a substantial return on investment, considering CSM classes are very affordable.

What are the opportunities for scrum masters?

The opportunities for CSMs are wide open. LinkedIn named scrum master as one of the most promising jobs of 2019. Even during economic disruptions, these positions are still essential to company success. Possibly even more so now, as companies focus on agile transformation. The expectation of growth in the space is 24% through 2026.

CSM roles expand beyond tech

Scrum and agile mindsets are expanding beyond tech companies, so the roles are expanding beyond traditional industries. Per the 2019 Scrum Master Trends Report, survey participants represented multiple verticals outside of tech, including finance, professional services, engineering, telecom, and transportation.

The uptick in agile methods is really one that reflects a lot of common sense. Organizations can no longer live in silos and have rigid structures. Collaboration, transparency, and responsiveness are core to success in the 21st century. Agile transformation promotes this smart evolution.

Becoming an agile coach

There are more options for a CSM than just being the scrum master on the scrum team.
You can become an agile coach, an instrumental role for agile project team success. Agile coaches are mentors that help new teams launch. They may also consult with and counsel other scrum masters.

Improve your career and your organization by becoming a scrum master

The future of the scrum master role remains bright. Earning your certification opens up possibilities and can increase your salary. These reasons make it a great time to become a scrum master.

Check out our schedule of CSM classes today to begin your journey.


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