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ScrumMaster Certification Guide

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 5/29/2013

Learn how to become a ScrumMaster in this informative guide. How much does it cost, and how do you take the course? Find out in this article by Ronda Bowen.

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    Why Become a ScrumMaster?

    ScrumMasters lead their teams in software development projects. A ScrumMaster is responsible for the implementation of Scrum methodologies. ScrumMasters make $70,000-$100,000 on average in the industry serving as consultants, team leaders, and product managers. By obtaining this certification, you can increase your employment and career opportunities.

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    What Is Involved?

    Most people interested in becoming ScrumMasters take a course, a 2 day program. Courses generally cost around $1,000. Once the course has been completed, they have a certain amount of time, between 30 and 90 days, to take the exam. The exam covers the following topics:

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    Choosing a Certification Program

    Aside from cost and scheduling considerations, a scrum certification program should be chosen based upon its merits, the number of students who passed, and the reputation of the training institution. There are many programs for obtaining the training for Scrum Certification, including working directly through Scrum Alliance using their suggested ScrumMaster study materials. These materials provide a background context for the training an ScrumMaster candidate will receive during the course of studies. The Scrum Alliance lists dates of upcoming training seminars on their website.

    Other options exist as well. Mountain Goat Software also offers two-day training courses. If you're looking to have your entire team become Scrum Certified, you may wish to have them participate in Rally Software's two-day training program for groups.

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    Do You Need This Certification?

    ScrumMaster Certification has been criticized as being unnecessary or a waste of time. Critics often point out that many of the participants receive certification, making them question the rigor of the ScrumMaster certification process. It is suggested, however, even though former participants critique the system, that should you have the opportunity, you should take advantage of the program and become a certified ScrumMaster.

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    What About the Course?

    Some certifications in life require only that you can pass the certification exam after self-study. The ScrumMaster Course is not like that. In order to receive eligibility to take the ScrumMaster exam, you must first take the two-day Scrum Master course. Also, if you were thinking you could participate in a distance-learning program for your Scrum Master certification, you will find that unfortunately, this is not currently an option. The reason for this is because ScrumMaster certification requires participants to interact with one another in a live format. Finally, ScrumMaster students must learn how to manage projects in an organic environment, without the impediments of Internet interactivity. This facilitates the implementation of the Scrum methodologies into a workplace environment.