What certifications are available for Scrum Masters?

Currently there are two certifications certifications to start a career as a Scrum Master, these are recognized worldwide and thus often explicitly required in job postings.

These certifications are the "Certified ScrumMaster®️ (CSM)" from the Scrum Alliance, the largest agile organization with about 1 million members, and the "Professional Scrum Master (PSM)" from Scrum.org with about 200,000 members.

The number of members can be explained primarily by the orientation of the two organizations. While Scrum.org has an absolutely on software development related focus (to recognize at the claim: "A world in which all software developers love their work"), the Scrum Alliance is the certification industry-independent. Here, the focus is on holistic training. The goal of the ScrumAlliance is set with: "Transform the World of Work" more ambitious and above all detached from a single industry.


Even if you do not see your future exclusively in the software industry, but you can imagine, for example, a Scrum Master activity in hardware development or business areas such as HR, marketing or BI, the certification is worthwhile over the much larger and also generally more recognized Scrum Alliance.


What does the development path of a Scrum Master look like?

First of all, there is not THE typical path in further development. Simply because of the two certification companies, there are different paths, which can also be more horizontal (in terms of deepening the skills of a Scrum Master) or vertical (in terms of process optimization within activities)


Once you have successfully completed your Certified Scrum Master from Scrum Alliance (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) from scrum.org, the path to Advanced Scrum Master (A-CSM) or PSM II certification is open to you within two years. However, you should have two years of hands-on work as a Scrum Master between these steps before signing up for the trainings.


If you want to develop more from the team to the organizational level, you can also use your initial Scrum Master certification to develop into an Agile Coach, Agile Team Coach or Agile Leader. Here, instead of focusing on a single team, the focus is more on the overall organization and the agile transformation of the company.

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Photo of Sohrab Salimi

Sohrab Salimi

Scrum Academy GmbH

Sohrab is a long-standing Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and CEO of the Scrum Academy GmbH based in Cologne. He is a trained medical doctor and worked for Bain & Company as a consultant and as a CIO at SE-Consulting, among others, before founding the Scrum Academy. As a consultant and trainer, he has been supporting companies from a wide range of industries for over a decade on topics related to agile transformation, innovation and organizational development.