Agile is the new buzzword in project management. The demand for Agile professionals has increased with the boom in engineering and IT. No wonder companies now look for Agile certifications in their job profiles. If you’re serious about taking your IT career to the next level, then Agile certifications are a step in the right direction because you learn to work in an Agile-based environment. But the sheer magnitude of training courses and certifications on offer might prove intimidating for aspirants, especially since many of the names are strikingly similar. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best Agile-focused certifications that offer the greatest return on your money and time.
Certified Scrum Master
One of the most popular Scrum certifications, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) involves a two or three-day training class from a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Complete the 35-question online examination post class and you achieve the certification.
Signing up for a class is easy, and you become a CSM within two days. However, for someone who’s a certified “Scrum” master, the content is quite thin.
On the bright side, you won’t have to put in too much effort to pass the course and it does open up several new career opportunities for tech candidates. Advanced certifications are available for Scrum masters along with basic certifications for product developers and owners.
Professional Scrum Master
Offered by scrum.org, the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification requires you to undergo intensive training and testing. Standard assessments are devised to test your Scrum knowledge along with its application.
You only get one shot to complete the PSM assessment, which consists of 80 questions. Candidates who secure a score of 85 percent or higher within a 60-minute period are the only ones who pass. On top of this, it’s more or less an open book deal, but you must prove that you’ve got the chops for the subject if you want to pass.
No additional training is necessary. As long as you’ve practiced Scrum regularly or studied the guidebooks, you’re free to attempt this assessment without appearing for the course, thereby saving money and time. Since this is a fairly new job role, only a handful of individuals possess this designation — less than 120,000.
Agile Certified Practitioner
The Project Management Institute introduced the PMI-ACP certification in 2012, and now more than 17,000 individuals hold this credential.
One of the reasons why many aspirants choose this certification course over others in the industry is its scope. Rather than focus solely on Scrum, an Agile Certified Practitioner is expected to know Lean Software Development, Kanban, and eXtreme Programming.
Another area where this course differs from others is how it requires a minimum of 1,500 hours of experience with agile practices and methods. So, unless you’ve got full-time experience working with agile for nine months, you do not qualify for the course. This prevents candidates new to scrum and agile from adding the credential.
The actual test comprises of 120 questions, and none of them is open book. You must finish answering the paper within three hours. What’s more, you must complete 21 hours of agile training from the Project Management Institute before appearing for the exam.
Certified Enterprise Coach
A Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) is closely involved with Scrum teams and possesses foundational know-how of Scrum principles and the way they apply to organizations at different levels.
Offered by Scrum Alliance, this course is worth the money for any business leader intending to understand the principles of enterprise transformation and Scrum. It also helps if you’re familiar with organizational transformation, coaching and leadership, and agile methods for enterprise businesses.
Certified Disciplined Agilist
A candidate who achieves the Certified Disciplined Agilist (CDA) certification will succeed in showing his/her bosses and peers that he/she possesses the essential understanding and knowledge of Disciplined Agile techniques. Moreover, it displays a keen enthusiasm to learn and boosts the aptitudes and talents for any software professional.
Whether you’re an amateur in the Agile work environment or have become an industry pro, a CDA certification will help your career. Obtaining this certification requires you to attend a recognized course and then pass the examination.
Also called a Scaled Agilist, an SA is a tech professional who successfully attends and passes the Leading SAFe course. This informational assessment and course last two days and safely launches SAFe in Agile and Lean enterprise environments. You begin to recognize the Lean-Agile mindset and devise a strong Lean portfolio.
On top of this, you get detailed information about Lean-Agile leadership principles that allow for smoother organizational transformation. And, if that’s not all, a SAFe agilist knows how to maintain a continuous release of value-added software for continuous improvement.
Software developers interested in learning more about transformational skills that allow them to succeed in a disruptive technology environment should take part in the Leading SAFe course and take up the SA job.
Certified Agile Project Manager
IAPM or International Association of Project Managers is a professional association offering this certification. The certification aims to promote development, research, and other practical project management applications, so that guidelines and standards may be set for beginner and advanced project management training.
Candidates are judged on the basis of their ability to assess and approve the necessary competencies in the profession.
The IAPM offers four different levels of agile project management certification — Certified Junior Agile Project Manager, Certified International Project Manager, Certified Agile Project Manager, and Certified Senior Agile Project Manager.
Try to memorize the foundational concepts of Agile project management and Agile itself, such as organization basics, planning, and methodology, if you’re interested in adding this designation to your resume. The test will cover both the soft and hard parts of project management along with questions on the basics of agile.
Secure your destiny with Agile certifications
You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to applying for Agile certifications. However, it is paramount to select the right course if you want to build up a strong IT career.
Featured image: Pixabay
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