Agile certifications — what will take you to the next level?

By Tige Nishimoto, TCG Program Manager

Scrum Master certification is the most in-demand Agile certification on the marketplace, but it’s quickly becoming table stakes as Agile is expanding beyond IT and DevOps, according to Stephen Townsend, Director for Network Programs at the Project Management Institute (PMI). So what Agile certifications do you need to take you to the next level?

There are a number of certifications in the marketplace. Many are organized according to a specific methodology, such as the Scrum Alliance’s scrum master, product owner, and developer certification tracks. Other certifications are more specialized, such as those from SAFe Inc, which focuses on scaling Agile across an enterprise. 

What other Agile certifications are helpful? How do you know what other certifications will give you a leg up in the marketplace? The answer partly depends on where you are in your career and where you want to go. However, many project managers with at least a couple of years of experience in Agile can benefit from PMI’s Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). This is a highly portable certification that helps you demonstrate your Agile chops as it is more holistic than other certifications. The PMI-ACP cuts across Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming, and test driven development. The prerequisites include

  • Secondary degree
  • 21 contact hours of training in Agile practices
  • 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. (A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.)
  • 8 months of Agile project experience within the last 3 years

If you are more focused on elevating your Agile team leadership skills, we recommend a next-level skills certification such as the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A‑CSM) provided by Scrum Alliance. This certification builds off your foundational Agile knowledge with enhanced implementation skills, engagement techniques, and how to scale Scrum beyond a single team.

When considering advanced Agile certifications, keep in mind the following three considerations:

  • How does this certification help me in my current project endeavors?
  • How will this certification help fill in knowledge gaps I may be experiencing?
  • Does this certification support my future career aspirations?

If you have any questions about TCG’s Agile Capability or to share any ideas, please feel free to reach out to Tige Nishimoto through our Contact Us page or email talktous@tcg.com. Good luck out there!