Top 16 agile certifications available today
The agile approach to project management has gained immense popularity across nearly every industry due to its flexibility and its emphasis on visualizing projects as discrete parts that can then be delivered quickly in sprints.
Given the demand for speed in today’s digital business environment, agile stands out as a project management and software development methodology, helping IT professionals deliver high-quality outcomes quickly — and thereby enhancing their career prospects.
Developing agile expertise will also improve IT leaders’ ability to get the most out of their multi-skilled agile teams. Armed with agile know-how, enterprise technology leaders can increase their projects’ prospects for success in service of business goals, which will in turn help take their careers higher.
Here are 16 agile certifications that will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to take your IT career to the next level.
Top agile certifications
- Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM)
- Agile Project Management (AgilePM)
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
- Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)
- Certified Agile Project Manager
- SAFe Agilist
- SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager
- SAFe Scrum Master
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
- ICAgile Agile Fundamentals (ICP)
- ICAgile Agile Product Ownership (ICP-APO)
- ICAgile Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)
- ICAgile Business Agility Foundations (ICP-BAF)
- ICAgile Agile Project and Delivery Management (ICP-APM)
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM)
The AgilePgM certification offered by UK-based APMG International offers the planning, management, and communication skills required for agile program implementation. It offers hands-on knowledge of incremental development, in which each consecutive version of a product is usable, and is developed on the previous iteration based on user feedback. The AgilePgM can be earned independently without coursework, which various training providers do offer for those who need it. The certification is currently offered in foundational proficiency only.
Cost: $160; training fees are billed separately, if necessary
Agile Project Management (AgilePM)
The AgilePM certification offered by APMG aims at enabling practicing project managers and agile team members to scale up as agile project managers. The certification covers the framework and principles of agile, as well as the roles and responsibilities of team members within an agile project. It deals with an agile project lifecycle, containing alternative configurations and the techniques applied, as well as their advantages and constraints. The AgilePM can be done independently without coursework, which is provided by various training providers if necessary. This cert is currently offered in both Foundational and Practitioner proficiencies.
Cost: $160, Foundational; $240, Practitioner; training is billed separately, if necessary
Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
Anyone who desires to validate their knowledge of the Scrum framework and its application can avail the Professional Scrum Master certification offered by Scrum.org. Courses are available to aid your preparation for the assessment, including the Applying Professional Scrum and Professional Scrum Master courses, but you can also take the PSM I assessment directly without coursework. The certification is also offered at higher proficiencies (PSM II and PSM III). All Scrum.org assessments are conducted in English; many test takers use the Google translate plugin to take the assessment. There is no need to enroll in a course if you already have a substantial level of Scrum knowledge and an understanding of Scrum application within Scrum teams.
Cost: $150, $250, $500 for PSM I, II, III, respectively
Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)
The Professional Scrum Product Owner certification from Scrum.org aims to equip product owners with a clear understanding of the value drivers for their products, and to help them develop a keen sense of how to use agile practices and Scrum to maximize that value. Anyone intending to validate their knowledge of the Scrum framework and ability to support value creation and delivery should undertake this certification, which is also offered at higher proficiencies (PSPO II and PSPO III).
Cost: $150, $250, $500 for PSPO I, II, III, respectively
Certified Agile Project Manager
This certification offered by the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) is for candidates holding a basic knowledge of agile project management. It aims to help candidates understand how to establish and implement an agile project efficiently, giving them tools for completing routine project activities spanning from project initiation to project close-out. The IAPM certification is offered in three proficiency levels: Basic (Certified Junior Project Manager), Intermediate (Certified Agile Project Manager), and Advanced (Certified Senior Agile Project Manager). It can be taken without coursework from a training provider as long as self-preparation is robust enough.
Cost: From $90 to $580, depending on proficiency level
The SAFe Agilist certification covers the foundations of SAFe, the principles and practices of Lean agile transformation, and the tools necessary to lead SAFe agile in remote environments with distributed teams. The certification helps candidates understand how companies can build business agility with SAFe and improve quality, productivity, employee engagement, and time-to-market. It provides certification holders expertise in making organizations more customer-centric and in running significant SAFe alignment and planning events, such as PI planning. The certification is coupled with trainings, which are provided by several training providers and are not offered independently. Depending on the training providers selected, prices may vary over a wide range.
Cost: From $650 to $900
SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager
The SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager certification guides candidates through the strategic responsibilities required for these roles in the Agile Release Train. It offers tools to work efficiently in remote locations with dispersed teams and imparts understanding of how product owners and product managers should work in collaboration to get the best customer and business outcomes. Topics include customer-centric design; test processes; collaborating with engineering teams and business stakeholders; how to write epics, features, and stories; and the ways to design, prioritize, build, test, and deliver products with enhanced productivity and superior quality. Certification is coupled with trainings provided by several training providers and is not offered independently. Depending on the training providers selected, prices may vary over a wide range.
Cost: From $550 to $850
SAFe Scrum Master
The SAFe Scrum Master certification aims to help candidates coach agile teams to deliver business value, providing tactical skills to be an efficient Scrum master in a SAFe organization. It also offers instruction in facilitating agile events such as iteration planning, standups, and retrospectives, and it imparts know-how of DevOps implementation for continuous flow and delivery. Certification is coupled with trainings provided by several training providers and is not offered independently. Depending on the training providers selected, prices may vary over a wide range.
Cost: From $595 to $1,300
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
The Certified ScrumMaster credential provides an understanding of the Scrum framework and a perspective of team accountabilities, events, and artifacts. It also provides an understanding of how to guide a team to apply Scrum. The interactive course helps increase leadership skills and influence organizational change. In addition to the foundational certification, it is also offered as advanced proficiency (Certified ScrumMaster Professional). Price for combined certification and training varies depending on the training provider selected and on the delivery channel, whether in-person or online.
Cost: From $445 to $1,595, for CSM; from $750 to $1,495, for CSM Professional
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
The Certified Scrum Product Owner certification provides an understanding of the framework and principles for efficiently deploying Scrum, as well as the critical skills and tools required to be an effective product owner. Scrum Alliance members can tap into the community to gain access beyond the classroom via resources, events, education, and coaching. Prices for training and certification vary depending on the training providers selected and the delivery channel chosen.
Cost: From $495 to $1,495, for CSPO; upward of $1,500 for CSPO Professional
ICAgile Agile Fundamentals (ICP)
The Agile Fundamentals certification provided by International Consortium for Agile (ICA) offers an understanding of the foundational concepts along with an understanding of the agile mindset and principles. Also known as the ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP), the cert paves the way for ICAgile’s product and technical certification. With this, you can gain organizational agility without pinning on any particular agile methodology or framework (i.e SAFe, Scrum, Kanban, XP, DSDM, etc.). Certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person courses. Price varies depending on provider and delivery channel.
Cost: From $800 to $1,725
ICAgile Agile Product Ownership (ICP-APO)
The Agile Product Ownership certification from ICAgile imparts knowledge to successfully deliver software, products, and services via key agile practices. Product owners, product managers, business subject matter experts, business analysts, and project managers can take this certification, which is given on successfully completing the class and post-class survey. The certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person trainings. Price varies based on provider and delivery channel.
Cost: Upward of $1,000
ICAgile Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)
The Agile Team Facilitation certification is intended for professionals who wish to learn how to facilitate and coach agile in a team context. Befitting roles include Scrum master, product owners, business analysts, agile product managers, agile coaches, and those keen on harnessing facilitation capabilities. Certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person trainings. Price varies based on provider and delivery channel.
Cost: From $650 to $1,545
ICAgile Business Agility Foundations (ICP-BAF)
Professionals looking to drive organizational agility in modern business environments may find the Business Agility Foundation certification from ICAgile worthwhile. The ICP-BAF is not a direct substitution for the ICP credential, and those already in possession of the ICP may find the ICP-BAF more useful. Certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person instruction. Price varies by provider and delivery channel.
Cost: From $300 to $1,595
ICAgile Agile Project and Delivery Management (ICP-APM)
The Agile Project and Delivery Management certification is aimed at validating candidates’ skills for successful Lean and Agile product delivery. Various approaches including projects and value stream delivery methodologies are taught in the training. Trainees will be able to identify dependencies and blockers, enable rapid feedback and learning, and facilitate incremental value delivery through this training and subsequent certification. The ICP-APM is bundled with training from various training providers, which offer both online and in-person training. Prices vary depending on provider and delivery channel.
Cost: From $1,100 to $1,495
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
The Agile Certified Professional credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI) covers several approaches to agile such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming, and test-driven development to increase your versatility, no matter how the project spirals out. The three-hour exam has 120 multiple-choice questions. To maintain the PMI-ACP, 30 professional development units in agile topics must be completed every three years. Prerequisites include a secondary degree, 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, 12 months of general project experience within the past five years, and eight months of agile project experience within the past three years.
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