Best Agile Certifications

In recent years, there is a revolution that started for the creation of new software products. This revolution drove both software development and software testing industries to the peaks. The new way of software revolution is called Agile, as per version One's Gartner state report, Agile is now used by 97% of software companies. The term "Agile" was developed in the year 2001 at the ski resort in Utah. In the 1970s only the Agile was originated when an author called Dr. Winston W. Royce reported in the book, named "Managing the developments of large software systems". In that book, he spilled a bean that development of software methodologies can be changed from the traditional way of assembling them into different integrated parts. In 1997, authors called Michael and Richard published a paper "How Microsoft builds software products". This book explains how waterfall models are gradually losing their capacity because many top companies wanted to build better software products. All these reasons cause the development of newer software methodology that is "Agile”.

What is Agile Certification?

In order to recognize your skills in the concepts of Agile you need a certification that will demonstrate to the employer that you have put in effort and earned it. This certification is called an Agile certification. Agile certifications can advance your project management career, establish you as an Agile expert, and enable you to implement Agile techniques in the workplace and encourage cross-functional teams. Although agile methodologies have their roots in software development, other corporate fields like IT, operations, marketing, and HR continue to use this flexible project management approach.

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Why Should you Choose an Agile Certifications?

According to the 12th state Agile survey reported that many organizations are achieving in producing a better outcomes by adopting Agile methodology.  That survey indicated that adoption of agile methodology is growing rapidly, and deeply. The top primary reasons for adopting agile methodology in any organization are, Agile offers accelerated delivery of any software product, improves the version of predictable delivery, improves the IT or any business alignment, and reduces the project cost. These reasons made the rapidly growing demand for IT professionals, who are having a strong skillset in Agile principles and its applications.And also Agile certifications enable employees in developing the skills required for more advanced positions. Higher earnings are frequently associated with certifications, making the effort and money spent earning the credentials worthwhile. In fact, a lot of businesses will cover the cost of training the staff members to use Agile frameworks more effectively.

The following diagram explains the important factors about the popularity of Agile methodology

Agile Certifications

The following are the multiple advantages of getting Agile certifications:

Slushpile in shortlist of the resume: the agile certifications play a key role in getting through the search of your resume by the recruiters easily. We all know that recruitment databases have thousands of profiles, and processing the correct agile certification catches the recruiters' eyeball.

Huge compensation:  any real-time experienced professional with real-time experience will be added advantage in one's career. Anyone who can use the proven experience in industry-oriented real-time projects with in-demand agile certifications will increase the chance of getting huge compensation related to the opportunity to work in a real-time agile world.

Moving up the career ladder: in recent years, the agile recruitments have become tougher and risky, because of the nature of work, business organizations, and customer demands. Holding any agile certificate will navigate the delivery and seamlessness of any business or clients.

Top Agile Certifications

The following are the main Agile certifications, which play a key role in getting into the top companies as well as huge salary offers.

1. Certified Agile Scrum Foundation certificate

The agile scrum foundation Certification is offered by EXIN center, which is a topmost exam and certification centers in the world. This EXIN center has certified millions of working professionals to deploy them in the digital domain.

This agile scrum foundation certificate testes your complete understanding of agile principles, methodologies, and also scrum agile frameworks. To take this certification exam, the candidate should be aware of agile core concepts, combining agile service framework, managing and practices of frameworks, and developing projects.

http://www.agile.org/certified-agile-scrum

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 60 minutes/ 1 hr.
  • Total number of questions included: 40 questions ( multiple choices)
  • Minimum pass percentage: 65% and above.
  • Additional requirements: successful completion of EXIN’s offered agile scrum foundation coaching.
  • Accreditation: Scrum Alliance
  • Eligible Candidates: Enthusiasts in  Agile and Scrum Masters
  • Prerequisites: ​
      • Having a minimum four hours of face to face interaction with the educator. 
      • An in-person or a live training is delivered by a scrum Alliance which is approved by the scrum foundation trainer.
  •  Career Path:
      • Project Team Members
      • Scrum Team Members
      • Software Developers
      • Project Architects
      • Team Leads
      • Project Managers
  • Average Salary: Salary for the professional who has acquired Agile Scrum Foundation certificate ranges in between $88,251 - $116, 073 per annum.

2. Agile Scrum Master Certificate (ASM®)

The agile scrum master certification provided by EXIN institute is considered as the best certification for management-level professionals who are working in fields like IT software management, development of Software, business management field, and IT software service management. This Agile scrum master certification works on the combination of agile methodologies, scrum framework practices, and software practical assessments. This exam is ideal for the candidates who are having the ability to function as a team leader, manager-level roles, team coach and working with high-level cross-functional teams.

 http://www.agile.org/agile-scrum-master-certification 

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration : 90 minutes/ 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total number of questions available:   40 questions ( multiple choice questions)
  • Average passing percentage: 65% ( minimum)
  • Additional requirements: successful completion of Agile scrum master training offered by EXIN institute.
  • Accreditation: Scrum Alliance
  • Eligible Candidates: Managers
  • Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites but having some basic knowledge of scrum will be beneficial. You also need to have 1 year experience as a Scrum Master.
  • Career Path
      • Manager
      • Scrum Master
      • Product Owner
  • Average Salary: Salary for the professional who has acquired Agile Scrum master certificate ranges in between $100,000 - $130, 000 per annum.

Related Article: Agile Scrum Methodologies

3. Scrum Master Certification ® (CSM)

The Scrum Master certification is provided by Scrum Alliance institutes, this is one of the largest, and influential membership centers. The Scrum alliance institute is described as most established, and also works as a certified organization in the agile community. This certification organization was adopted by Ken Schwaber, and Jeff Sutherland, the co-founders of Scrum as their study program for the guidance.

To take this certification exam, you should know about the Scrum and its responsibilities. The responsibilities may include are Scrum Master, Product owner management, and Development teams. Other than these roles, you should be aware of a few additional roles such as ceremonies, sprint planning methods, Backlog Refinements, Sprint Retrospective techniques, Sprint methodologies, Sprint demo, product backlog incremental, Sprint and product owner backlog. One important thing is that Integration with Scrum it's not an easy task compare to Agile, it takes a lot of effort, consciousness, and commitment towards producing an effective outcome.

http://www.scrum.org/scrum-master-certification/

The Certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam Duration: 1hr/60 minutes
  • Total number of questions available: 50 questions (only multiple choice)
  • Average percentage to pass: 74% minimum
  • Additional requirements: 16-hour in-person training provided by a certified Scrum master center.
  • Accreditation: Scrum Alliance
  • Eligible Candidates: Anyone managing scrum projects and wanted to be proficient in Scrum
  • Prerequisites: Work experience as a Scrum Master for 5 years
  • Career Path: 
    • Scrum Master
    • Manager
    • Product Owner
    • Mentor
    • Coach
  • Average Salary: professional who has acquired Certified Scrum master certification can earn upto $ 91,000 per annum.

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4. Certified Scrum Master Professional (PSM)

The certified Scrum master professional is offered by Scrum.org this is an organization that provides the top-notch broad training facility, tests conduction, and finally acknowledges with Certifications to help the professionals to reach the high peak in their career. The professional scrum training community which is also equivalent to certified scrum trainers by Scrum Alliance. This certification exam is available for those who want to validate their in-depth knowledge in the agiled scrum framework. The certification is divided into levels, to clear the PSM 1 first level you should have a skill related to fundamental levels of Scrum mastery frameworks. One more important thing is that a working professional considers this one as the toughest among all other certification exams because this course consists of the complex syllabus, higher passing percentage, and tough pattern of the exam.

http://www.scrum.com/certfified-scrum-master-professionals/

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 1hr/ 60 minutes
  • Total number of questions available: 80 questions (multiple choice and true/false type)
  • Percentage to pass: 85%
  • Additional requirements: no need for any training.
  • Accreditation: : Scrum Alliance
  • Eligible Candidates: Professionals seeking to advance their knowledge of the Scrum framework's artifacts, roles, and procedures
  • Prerequisites:
    • Basic knowledge of Scrum
    • A-CSM certification which is in active state
    • work experience as a Scrum Master for 2 years
  • Career Path:
    • Mentor
    • Scrum Master
    • Coach Manager
  • Average Salary: professional who has acquired Certified Scrum master professional certification can earn upto $121,261 per annum.

6. Certified Scrum product owner ® (CSPO):

The certified Scrum product owner certification exam is provided by the Scrum alliance. To take this certification exam, you should have the basic knowledge to understand the things like the software business side of the software projects. Once you become a certified Scrum product owner, you will work on the product visions, catalog the product, customer backlogs, and deliver the most valuable product features, user stories, and responsibility to maximize the ROI. Along with this certificate credentials, you will also receive a two-year membership with a scrum.com alliance institute, which you can top join any scrum community, group, and also agile forums. This membership credential also helps you to access discounts on any Global or local level institutes.

Related Article: Top Agile Project Management tools

Check the link for further details http://www.scrum.org/scrum-product-owner-certification.

The certification exam details are as follows.

  • Exam duration: No exam needed
  • Total number of questions available: not applicable
  • Percentage to pass: not applicable
  • Additional requirements:  16- hours of in-person training offered by professional scrum trainers.
  • Accreditation: Scrum Alliance
  • Eligible Candidates: Anyone who has the business acumen to manage software projects
  • Prerequisites: there are no specific requirements
  • Career Path: 
    • Product Analyst
    • Business Analyst
    • Project Manager
    • Product Manager
    • Software Development Manager
    • Release Engineer
    • Technical Program Manager
    • Senior Software Project Manager
    • Scrum or Agile Coach
  • Average Salary:  Salary for the professional who has acquired Scrum master product owner certificate ranges in between $86,000 - $130,000 per annum.

7. PMI- Agile certified practitioner (ACP®):

The Agile certified practitioner is provided by a Project management institute to testify your Agile Manifesto skills, agile principles, and agile methodologies. This PMI's Agile certified practitioner training covers topics like length and breadth of many Agile approaches such as Scrum frameworks, Kanban (lean) principles, extreme programming methods, crystal, and DSDM. PMI's Agile certified practitioner is proof of real-world experiences in agile related projects, skill sets, and techniques. The agile certified practitioner exam is rigorous when compared to other agile certifications. Because this certification exam tests the theoretical knowledge, and real-time experience along with basic agile skills. The link as follow;

http://www.agile.com/agile-ceritfied-practitioner/.

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 3 hours/ 180 minutes
  • Total number of questions available: 120 questions (only multiple choice)
  • Passing percentage: there is no specific passing percentage mentioned by the project management institute (PMI), but a minimum of 70% of the score will help you to pass the certification exam.
  • Accreditation : Agile Project Manager Institute
  • Eligible Candidates: Anyone who is working with Agile team
  • Prerequisites: 
    • A secondary degree
    • Agile training for 21 hours
    • Work experience in a project team for 2,000 hours
    • work experience with Agile methodologies/Agile project team for 1,500 hours
  • Career Path:
    • Business Analyst
    • PMP Scrum Master
    • Technical Business Analyst
    • Digital Channel planner
    • Agile Project Manager
    • Project Manager
    • Agile Trainer
  • Average Salary: Salary for the professional who has acquired PMI- Agile certified practitioner certificate ranges in between $86,000 - $120,000 per annum.

Additional requirements:

  • You will earn a total of 2000 hrs of project management experience
  • Approximately 1500 hrs working on complete agile projects, and agile methodologies.
  • Handling cross-functional teams
  • More than 21 hours of training will be only focused on agile practices and project techniques.

8. IC Agile certified professional:

The IC Agile Certified professional is offered by the agile international Consortium. This IC Agile certified professional will testify your Agile foundation and IC Agile tacks skills. This Certification is ideal for those who want to start their career as an Agile professional, and also for those who want to change their domain. Under this Certification, you will be able to learn, Agile methodologies values, adopting Agile, feedback reviewing, Inspection of principles, and also enable you to work with cross-functional teams. The original link is as follows;

http://www.agile.com/agile-certified-professional/.

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: No exam required for this certification
  • Total number of questions available: not applicable here
  • Percentage to pass: No mandatory percentage calculated here
  • Additional requirements: 16-hour in-person training will be provided by Authorized IC agile training institutes.

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9. ICP –Agile Certified Coach:

The ICP agile certified coach is offered by Agile international Consortium, and it is considered to be one of the top-notch agile certifications on the base of coaching agile tracks. Under this certification training, you will be able to learn primary roles and responsibilities, and also you can learn the mindset of any agile coach. Once the successful finish of the Agile certified coach, individuals will be able to learn the differences between the monitoring software products, coaching tracks, teaching, and facilitating of roles. As a Certified Agile coach professional, you will also learn how to design an environment for the collaboration of the software product, and form a resolution within the team. Totally this certificate enhances one's teaching coaching ability and team development skills in any organization. 

The link is as follows; http://www.agile.com/agile-certified-coach/.

The certification exam details are as follow:

  • Exam duration: No exam conducted
  • Total number of questions: not applicable here
  • Passing percentage: No mandatory percentage
  • Additional requirements: 21-hours of in-person training conducted by an authorized IC agile training institute.
  • Accreditation: ICAgile
  • Eligible Candidates: both working and aspiring Agile Coaches
  • Prerequisites: basic knowledge on Agile Methodology and few months experience as Agile Practitioner is advisable.
  • Career Path: Agile Coach
  • Average Salary: professional who has acquired ICP Agile Certified coach certification can earn upto $121,261 per annum.

    10. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) agilist certification:

    Scaled Agile framework agilist certification is provided by Scaled Agile central academy, this is one of the leading agile framework organizations. This Academy is famous for offering fully scaled framework agility training. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) certification will help the individual to organize the scale lean, agile developments, execute the program incrementally, deliver effective business values, and lean-agile budgeting. One more important thing is that the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is widely accepted by fortune 500 companies. Once the successful completion of the certificate, you will be able to perform a successful transformation of any organization into lean-agile framework enterprises.

    The link is as follows;

    http://www.agile.com/scaled-agilist-certification/.

    The certification exam details are as follows:

    • Exam duration: 1 and half an hour/ 90 minutes
    • The total number of questions available: 45 questions (multiple choice questions)
    • Percentage required to pass: minimum 75%
    • Additional requirements: 21-hours of in-person training conducted by authorized Scaled agile framework academy.
    • Accreditation: Scaled Agile
    • Eligible Candidates: People who desire to acquire transformative skills
    • Prerequisites: a minimum of  5 years experience in business analysis, project management, or software development and testing
    • Career Path: 
      • Agile Coach
      • Program Consultant
      • Release Train Engineer
    • Average Salary: professional who has acquiredScaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) agilist certification can earn upto $123,000 per annum

    The top three reasons to do Agile Certifications

    The following are the top three reasons explain to you why you need to take Agile certification to reach a higher peak in a professional career. I would like to mention few of them:

    Increase in demand for Agile adoption:

    As is discussed earlier, almost 75% of fortune 500 companies are showing a keen interest in adopting Agile approaches and methodologies. As per the Forbes report, most of the companies believe that the overall organizational integrity plays a crucial role in business success. In 2018, Scrum state reports say that more than 60% of respondents are involved in agile transformations, and changing the future scope. Then 80% of the companies based in the Netherlands and Belgium believe that Agile implementation will overtake all the waterfall projects by the end of 2020.

    If you have any doubts on Agile, then get them clarified from Agile Industry experts on our Agile community!

    Multiple agile methodologies are used by the organizations depending on the nature of work:

    Overall 28.7% of both manufacturing and automation organizations are depending on sole agility, remaining organizations on combined cross-functional agility implementations. These methodologies help enterprises to climb up the ladder and also get deployed into varieties of Agile projects. There is a continuous demand for agile professionals like agile project manager, director of agile PMO, Agile coach specialist, and scrum master. According to the Indeed.com job portal around 50,000 jobs available worldwide for agile management skills.

    Newer perspectives

    1. More scope of delivered work: QSM academy has assessed the overall performance of Scaled agile developments. There are 8000+ of primarily agile traditional projects available on the base of 3 major key areas, a) productivity, b) marketing time, and c) quality of the product. It was a known fact that the team that using agile is 60% faster than any integrated system, and 30% more productivity.

    2. Offers more valuable features (80% of the agile features are written in 20% of the code usage):

    One of the recent studies reveals that "only 1.25% of the Microsoft support 32% of attributes usage and all these features "must-have" basic ones". This is the drawback of using Microsoft attributes. The agile management system allows users to implement 80% of the features and ROI.

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    How to choose the Right Agile certification?

    There are more than 12 agile certifications available for software professionals to learn and gain valuable information. But depending on their skill sets they should select the suitable Agile certification.

    Here are the very important suggestions;

    If you want to become a certified scrum master professional from any leading scrum institute, you can go with Scrum master Academy from Scrum Alliance. This certification testifies your basic agile skills using Scrum agiled framework through any exams. However, aspirants should attend 16-hours of in-person training conducted by the Scrum alliance academy.

    • Aspirants those who wish to take Scrum master basic skill to higher levels; Scrum.com offers the various levels of scrum certifications like PSM1, PSM 11, PSM 111 levels. These levels indicate the complexity of training. PSM certification is considered to be the toughest among other certifications but helps you to change your domain to a higher level.  
    • Aspirant those who wish to understand the various agile features like Scrum methods, XP, Crystal specifications, and DSDM, then you can go with PMI-ACP certification will be the right fit.
    • If anyone likes to perform scale agility across the business enterprise level to monitoring the agility, then you should go with a scaled agile framework agile certificate (SAFe) will be the right fit.

    Insight

    In this blog, I have mentioned the various agile certifications, and their importance. Getting Agile professional certifications from the leading academy will help you to reach a high peak in your professional career and also enables you to get connect with top-class Agile forum communities. Here I have mentioned ten major Agile certifications, you can select any certification according to individual interests and capabilities. I hope this blog may help a few of the aspirants, those wish to do any agile certifications, and also many Agile social/community forums.

    What are the Benefits of Agile certifications?

    • High Demand

    Both software development and project management employ agile methodology. The methodology has become quite popular since it improves operations of any kind of organization. Agile certification enhances the knowledge of the candidate and improves their problem-solving abilities. So, professionals with Agile certification and skills using agile approaches are in high demand on the market.

    • Wide Range of Methodologies

    To get Agile Certification, a candidate needs to learn about numerous Agile methodologies, including FDD, Scrum, Kanban, Crystal, etc. The path to Agile certification will also help the candidates learn how to use Agile methodologies and tools. Learning all these things will improve your chances of landing a better job.

    • Certified Growth in Industry

    Today's markets are dynamic and undergoing continuous change. All working professionals therefore need to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to enable them to be adaptable and progress with the advances. Agile certifications are a way to learn how to adapt to changing environments while still growing professionally. Therefore, with the help of Agile methodology certification, project managers will achieve more success by demonstrating their proficiency with agile methodologies.

    • Increased Productivity

    Businesses adopting agile methodologies to operate their operations are more productive than businesses using conventional methodologies, particularly when it comes to completing the project on schedule and under budget.

    Who should sign up for the Agile training?

    Following are the recommended professionals to attend Agile training to leverage its benefits:

    • Project owners
    • Project managers
    • Project leads
    • Iteration managers
    • Scrum masters
    • Both aspiring and working Agile coaches

    Conclusion

    Agile Certification is in high demand across the world as businesses of all sizes adopt the methodology. There are numerous Agile Certifications on the market, therefore practitioners must make a wise choice based on their needs. The advantages of implementing Agile into teams, such as adaptability, enhanced transparency, and quicker delivery speed, have been widely praised. We hope you found this article helpful. For more blogs on Agile certifications visit HKR Trainings. If you have any queries, feel free to comment below in the comment section

    Other Related Article:

    1. Agile resume

    2. Agile Prioritization Techniques

    3. Agile VS Scrum

    4. Scaled Agile Framework

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    Manikanth
    Manikanth
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    As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

    Best Agile Certification FAQ's

    Certified Scrum Master is the ideal Agile certification for starters. This kit serves as a starting point and will assist you in learning the basics of Scrum, sprint planning, product backlog, backlog refinement, sprint demo, and many other concepts.

    We cannot pick a certification and say it as the best. Best Agile coaching certification depends on the requirement of the professionals. Following are some of the Agile coach certifications:

    • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
    • AgilePM Foundation - APMG
    • Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I)
    • ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP)
    • PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
    • SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (SAFe POPM)

    If you're looking for any kind of job that requires managing teams of technologists or engineers, your resume can demonstrate your Agile knowledge and training. Agile-related certification may prove to be much more helpful.

    Agile is simple to learn however tough to master. Like any profession, obtaining the certification should only be the beginning of your Agile journey rather than being an end in itself.

    Generally, the educational requirement for becoming an agile coach is a bachelor's degree. Any individual holding a degree in electrical engineering, computer science or business can become an Agile coach. Approximately 71% of Agile coaches will have a bachelor's degree while 22% of them will have a master's degree.