9 Reasons you should consider a CSM Certification

9 Reasons You Should Consider A CSM Certification


Last updated December 20, 2017


Today’s trend toward agile software environments has created a surge in demand for professionals with expertise in lean and agile methodologies who can successfully manage and execute agile projects. A Scrum Master Certification not only trains a professional in these techniques, but also serves as tangible, demonstrable proof to employers of proficiency in this much sought-after skillset.

The certification would also show that you have the necessary dedication that companies want in their scrum masters. There is a much greater need for scrum masters than for product owners because you can have a single product owner for several products, but every team needs a dedicated scrum master.

Preparing to become a Scrum Master? Take this test to know where you stand!

Being a CSM also demonstrates that you have mastered the best practices of helping project teams working within the scrum environment. It will ground you in the proper framework, making it easier for you to see what should be kept and what should be adjusted based on the project’s needs.

Here are nine reasons why you should consider getting a CSM certification:

Salary Compared To Non-CSMs

Not only are you more likely to be hired than an uncertified scrum master, CSM certified employees have a median pay of $87,579. That is nearly $10K a year more than their uncertified counterparts’ median salary ($78,139).

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Source PayScale.com

Salary Compared To Project Managers

CSMs don’t just earn more than those who aren’t certified as scrum masters: at $59.98 an hour (average), they stand to earn more than project managers based on an hourly rate ($57.53 an hour).

Exam Format

While there are many types of certification, most of them require long and time consuming courses and exams. By comparison to DBA tests and networking certification, the CSM exam is only 35 questions. As long as you score 24 or better within the 90 day timeframe, you will pass.

The Exam Is Part Of The Training

As long as you sign up for the training course, the cost of the exam is covered. Not only do you have 90 days to finish the training and take the exam, if you don’t pass the first time, you have one more chance to take the exam without any additional charge.

Training Duration

Most certification training courses only require two days, making it a much quicker program to complete. While there has been a lot of criticism that the exam is too simple, or just a token effort to wrap up the class, students who take and pass the course gain the benefits of the certification. You will have between 60 and 90 days to take the exam following the training, depending on who is offering the course.

Range Of Skills

The certification can help focus on your actual experience and skill set because you have demonstrated that you understand the principles essential to managing a scrum team. Of the more than 3,000 CSMs surveyed, the vast majority listed project management as their top skill, compared to 375 who had been scrum masters. The second most desired experience was working in an agile environment (1,023 had previous agile experience).

Most Widely Accepted Scrum Certification

There are a number of scrum certifications, but the CSM is the one that is most widely accepted by employers. It was the first way to get certified in the field, which is probably the reason that the certification has so much recognition. Another reason for its popularity is that it is applicable to other areas as well. By 2013, there were over 220,000 CSMs, and only 11,000 PSMs (Professional Scrum Master Certification).


Some people wonder if it is worthwhile to get the CSM because it seems to make more sense to get the product owner certification (CSPO). However, companies are not looking for product owners as much as they are seeking scrum masters.

The number of certified product owners in 2011 was only 10,000, while there were over 95,000 CSMs. This is because being a scrum master relies heavily upon understanding the scrum environment and how best to help the team working within that environment. The CSM will have more work to do getting the environment established; the product owner focuses on getting the specifications and deadlines. Outsourced projects also rely heavily upon Scrum expertise rather than on Product Owner knowhow.


During 2014, CSMs averaged about $5,112 in bonuses. On top of having the highest earned salary ($120,359), this is a stable and potentially lucrative position, making it well worth the time to take the training course for the certification.


Currently, companies are still scrambling to become more agile, and there are not enough people with experience to fill the high demand for scrum masters. If you are a CSM, you stand a better chance of not only of getting a job, but earning a higher salary and switching over into another field when you want to.

How about investing your time in a Scrum certification now? Take a look at our CSM course preview NOW!

About the Author

Priyadharshini is a knowledge analyst at Simplilearn, specializing in Project Management, IT, Six Sigma, and e-Learning. With a penchant for writing and a passion for professional education & development, she is adept at penning educative articles. She was previously associated with Oxford University Press and Pearson Education, India.


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