What Agile Certifications Should You Pursue to Become a Brilliant Project Manager?
December 5, 2019

The Agile certifications give the professionals global recognition and make them stand out from the crowd. Choosing the top Agile credential is the easiest and best way to show your expertise.

Nowadays, there is a high demand for the Agile specialists in the IT industry as well as in many areas of engineering. This is because the days when traditional methods of project development were enough have ended. Agile is actually the need of an hour. Today, the hiring organizations rely on the certifications, and that is why the need for the certified professionals has really increased.

As an Agile practitioner, you need to obtain one of the top Agile certifications in order to validate your skills and level up your career. There are several credentials available via various educational institutions and bodies. You may find it difficult to choose the one that will help you align your career. For this reason, we have focused on several of the best Agile certificates that you can consider. They include:

  1. SAFe Scaled Agilist;
  2. PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner);
  3. Scrum Alliance (Certified Scrum Professional);
  4. Scrum Alliance (Certified Scrum Product Owner/Certified Scrum Master/Certified Scrum Developer);
  5. Scrum.org (Professional Scrum Product Owner/Professional Scrum Master/Professional Scrum Developer-1).

Let us now look at each of these certifications in detail.

1. SAFe Scaled Agilist

Also known as Scaled Agilist or SAFe Agilist, it is a training course that is offered by the training providers. The candidates for this certification are those who have at least 5 years of experience in business analysis or scrum, management, software development, and testing. In this two-day training course, the learners get detailed information and learn more about Learn-Agile.

The certified SAFe Scaled Agilists also have the skills to continuously release and maintain value-added software for continuous development. Any candidate who would like to gain transformational skills is advised to enroll for the leading SAFe Agilist course in order to level their career and get ahead with the SAFe Agilist jobs.


Agile Certified Practitioner or PMI-ACP is among the best project management certifications. This certificate is offered to the PM specialists by the Project Management Institute. It is targeted at the project management professionals who use Agile methodologies and practices in their planning or projects to move to Agile. This credential recognizes and validates that an individual has real-world experience working on Agile projects. The PMI-ACP certification also demonstrates the certified specialists’ skills and knowledge of various Agile subdomains, such as Lean, Scrum, Kanban, and others. After obtaining this certificate, the candidates must renew it every 3 years by earning 30 PDUs (Professional Development Units).

3. Scrum Alliance (Certified Scrum Professional)

Offered by Scrum Alliance, the Certified Scrum Professional certificate is one of the best Agile certifications that one can achieve in 2019. This credential demonstrates and recognizes an individual in advanced practices, roles, artifacts, and procedures for the Scrum Framework (it is also one of the leading project management certifications). You don’t have to join any training for this CSM certificate.

4. Scrum Alliance (Certified Scrum Product Owner/Certified Scrum Master/Certified Scrum Developer)

If you don’t know, Scrum Alliance is a leading organization for those individuals who are using Scrum practices in their projects. Scrum simply involves a collection of practices that are usually used in managing Agile projects, especially for software development. There are three popular certifications that Scrum Alliance offers to the Agile Scrum professionals. They include Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Developer, and Certified Scrum Product Owner. These certificates are meant for the scrum masters, scrum developers, and scrum product owners, respectively.

To earn any of these credentials, one must attend the relevant training program. For Certified Scrum Developer (CSD), the training course lasts 5 days, while for Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Certified Scrum Master (SCM), it lasts only 2 days.

5. Scrum.org (Professional Scrum Product Owner/Professional Scrum Master/ Professional Scrum Developer-1)

The professional-level Scrum certifications confirm the candidates’ understanding of Scrum and their knowledge of how to effectively apply Scrum practices and frameworks in real-world situations. Scrum.org offers the relevant certificates for all Scrum developers, product owners, and masters. You don’t need to join any training courses in order to earn these credentials. However, you have to pass the certification exam.

Choosing the Best Agile Certification

One may ask why most of the certificates in the list above are based on Scrum. Well, the main reason for this is that Scrum is actually the most used form of Agile worldwide. So, how do you choose the best credential for you from the list?

  • Start with the basics of Agile

The basic knowledge is very important, and any individual who would like to acquire it is advised to start with the basics of Agile. Thus, it is obvious that obtaining the CSM/CSPO/CSD credentials is easier than earning PSM/PSPO/PSD.

  • Move to advanced knowledge

After developing the basics, an individual can develop advanced knowledge. After obtaining CSM/CSPO/CSD, you can go to CSP, which is the next certification offered by Scrum Alliance. There are advanced credentials offered by scrum.org as level 2 and level 3 for PSM/PSPO that you can go for.

  • Get Scaled Agile

Scaling should be the third certification step, and it is something very different from normal Agile knowledge. It is actually a special skill that is needed for the Agile change agents, executives, and managers who lead an Agile/Lean change initiative in a big software enterprise. SAFe SA is the certificate to go for at this stage.


Apart from the five certifications that we highlighted above, there are many others available. The professionals must make informed decisions based on what they want to achieve when choosing a credential. If the specialist wants to gain more knowledge, then PSM-1 should be the starting point before proceeding to a higher level. But if the main goal is to benefit from a job or career change, the PMI-ACP & CSM credentials are more popular and have more market value.

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