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Certifications Vs Knowledge

“I am now a scrum Master! Thanks to my Trainer for the wonderful 2-day training”

“Verify my certificate in………..” (Fill in the gap) badge.

Statement as such is what I often see on LinkedIn. In some cases, the individual has not attended the training instead, read some course materials, sat for multiple-choice exams and boom, they are a scrum master!

We are currently seeing a culture of qualification over having experience and/or knowledge of the topic or role one claims to be versatile in. Sorry to burst your bubble, having certification in scrum doesn't make you a Scrum Master. That said, some people need that validation before they can embark on their chosen career.

Why is there an increase in certification demand?

The Market demand

Recruiters/Hiring Managers is laser-focused on certifications rather than quality and experience the individual is bringing to the table. If you don't have the “right” buzzwords on your resume, you are guaranteed not to get a job Interview.

Popularity contest

There are certain certifications which are sought after than others. So much so that candidates believe that having the certification guarantees the job. That notion is partially correct. Some years ago, a friend of mine applied to one of the four big banks in Canada. They were offered a job but the Hiring Manager made a U-turn because my Friend has PSM1 instead of CSM certification. My friend was livid and vowed never to work for the Bank again. In some cases, the type of the certifications can either help or hinder you securing the role.

“Name it, I have” syndrome

For some, it is about keeping up with the trend. They will go for training or certification because a friend mentioned it to them or it is the thing to do currently. They are not always seeking how the training connects to their career goal.

Think about: To have or not to have

When you don't have the scrum master experience, there is the tendency to believe that attending a training and/or certification is where to start your journey. How many times have you seen a laundry list of certifications being demanded on a job description only to be hired by the said organisation and the need for those certifications/knowledge is never utilised. I will suggest you carry out a gap analysis of experience/knowledge and identify transferable skills. Amplify those skills on your resume and surface added value you bring to the table.

A scrum master certification is helpful but it depends how willing you are in changing your mindset, grow and adapt to situations you find yourself in. I remember my Scrum Alliance CSM years ago, there were almost 20 people in attendance. Mostly Project Managers who believed that agile/scrum will never work in their organisation. They have been “mandated” to attend the training by their line manager. Thinking about these project managers, some of them will never get it. The bottomline is that the qualities of a Scrum master are significantly more meaningful than a certification.

You are perhaps thinking, how can someone without experience secure their first scrum master role you asked? The answer is- having the right attitude, implement scrum in your current organisation, at home, within the community. There are some examples of how scrum is used in unconventional ways, such as Managing Autism, coordinating health care professionals, planning a wedding.

If you are interested in the enormous number of agile/scrum/kanban certifications you only have to google it. There are nearly over 300 certifications in agile and scrum.

Wrapping up

Leave a comment below and share the blog on your social media platform as some people might also find it useful. In addition, your gesture motivates me to write more. Thank you.

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