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3 Reasons Professional Scrum Master Certification Is Required for Scrum Mastery

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Ever wondered why some Scrum Masters seem so much more effective than others? Turns out there’s a qualification that separates the wheat from the chaff. You’ve probably heard of the Certified Scrum Master certification. It’s popular and a good way to get started with Scrum. But if you really want to master Scrum and become a true Scrum ninja, you need to level up to the Professional Scrum Master certification. Here are 3 reasons why the PSM certification is the real deal and will set you apart.

Scrum Master Certifications: PSM vs CSM

When it comes to Scrum certifications, you have two main options: Professional Scrum Master (PSM) or Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). While CSM may be more well-known, PSM is the clear winner. Here are three reasons why:

•PSM assessments are challenging. To become PSM certified, you have to pass a rigorous assessment that thoroughly tests your knowledge of Scrum theory and real-world application. The PSM exams are renowned for being difficult, which is why PSM certification carries more weight.

•PSM is accredited and vendor-neutral. The Professional Scrum Master certification is accredited by, a non-profit organization focused on improving the profession of software development. Since PSM is vendor-neutral, it demonstrates a high degree of Scrum mastery regardless of any single methodology or approach.

•PSM certification is lifetime warranted. That means you will only need to take the test once and pass to be certified as a PSM practitioner for the rest of your life! This allows you to save more money in the long run.

While a CSM course may be useful for learning the basics, Professional Scrum Master certification signifies an advanced level of Scrum mastery. PSM is more rigorous, accredited, and requires renewal, so it will do far more for your credibility and career as a Scrum professional. If you’re serious about becoming a Scrum Master, PSM is the certification you need.

Why PSM Certification Is Superior

Why should you pursue Professional Scrum Master certification over Certified Scrum Master? Here are three key reasons PSM is superior:

  • PSM tests your actual Scrum knowledge. To become PSM certified, you have to pass a rigorous assessment that evaluates your understanding of Scrum principles and ability to apply them in real-world scenarios. The PSM assessment goes far beyond basic Scrum terminology by presenting complex situations and asking you to determine appropriate solutions. This helps ensure PSM holders have a high level of Scrum mastery.
  • PSM is recognized globally. PSM is the leading Scrum certification worldwide. Achieving this certification demonstrates to employers and colleagues across the globe that you have a high degree of Scrum knowledge and skill. In contrast, CSM is limited primarily to the United States and Canada.
  • PSM improves over time. The PSM assessment is routinely updated to evaluate knowledge of the latest Scrum practices. This helps ensure PSM certified professionals stay up-to-date with evolving Scrum principles. In comparison, the CSM assessment has not been updated in many years and does not reflect current best practices.

In summary, PSM certification signifies deep Scrum expertise, worldwide recognition, and up-to-date knowledge. For Scrum professionals serious about demonstrating their mastery, PSM is the clear choice over CSM. Pursuing PSM certification will help set you apart as a highly-skilled Scrum practitioner

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PSM Assesses True Scrum Mastery

The PSM certification aims to evaluate your knowledge and skills in real-world Scrum application. It focuses on assessing how well you understand Scrum principles and can apply them in complex situations.

Unlike the CSM, the PSM is not a training course. It is an assessment of your Scrum mastery. To pass, you need a minimum of 78% on the PSM I, 88% on PSM II, and 98% on PSM III. The PSM uses challenging scenarios and application questions to test your ability to choose and apply the right Scrum approaches.

  • It covers the Scrum Guide in depth. The certification is based entirely on the Scrum Guide instead of a specific training course.
  • It uses practical applications. Questions involve realistic Scrum scenarios that require you to demonstrate how you would apply Scrum in practice.
  • It assesses advanced knowledge. The PSM II and III in particular test your understanding of advanced Scrum topics and ability to apply Scrum in complex real-world situations.

The PSM requires diligent self-study and practice. It may be more difficult to achieve, but is a more meaningful demonstration of your Scrum skills. The CSM, on the other hand, mainly shows you have a basic understanding of Scrum principles after attending a two-day course. While a good start, the CSM lacks the rigor and practical application focus of the PSM assessments.

For Scrum professionals serious about demonstrating a high level of Scrum mastery, the PSM is the clear choice over the CSM. The PSM assessments validate your deep Scrum knowledge, ability to apply Scrum in challenging scenarios, and skill in navigating advanced Scrum topics – all of which are required to become a truly effective Scrum Master. Forget the CSM. Aim for the PSM.

Stay Up-to-Date With the Latest Scrum Practices

As a Scrum Master, you need to stay on top of the latest frameworks, tools, and best practices to guide your team effectively. The Scrum Guide is updated regularly to reflect improvements to Scrum, and new techniques emerge constantly. Pursuing the Professional Scrum Master certification shows your commitment to continuous learning and mastery of Scrum.

Stay up-to-date with the Scrum Guide.

The Scrum Guide is the definitive guide to Scrum, and it’s updated every few years. The most recent update in 2020 included changes to the definition of “Done” and clarifications on key Scrum events. As a Professional Scrum Master, you’ll have a deep understanding of the current Scrum Guide and how the latest changes impact your role.

Expand your knowledge.

The Professional Scrum Master learning objectives cover a wide range of topics including facilitation, coaching, training, and team dynamics. You’ll build on your Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) foundation and gain valuable skills that will make you a better Scrum Master. New concepts around servant leadership, Systems Thinking, and Agile metrics will strengthen your ability to support your team.

Learn advanced Scrum techniques.

Concepts like Evidence-Based Management, Modern Agile, and Beyond Budgeting provide new ways of thinking that can enhance your Scrum practice. Discover techniques for improving transparency, adapting to change, and building high-performing teams. The Professional Scrum Master assessment also covers scaling Scrum to multiple teams which is increasingly important in today’s complex work environments.

Staying up-to-date with the latest Scrum practices through Professional Scrum Master certification will make you a better Scrum Master and set you apart as a leader in the Agile community. Continuous learning is key to mastery, and the PSM credential shows your dedication to improving your Scrum knowledge and skills over the long run.

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PSM Opens Up More Career Opportunities

A Professional Scrum Master certification opens up more career opportunities compared to the basic CSM. Here are three reasons why:

Greater Recognition

A PSM certification is more prestigious and recognized globally. Holding a PSM tells employers you have in-depth knowledge of Scrum principles and proven experience practicing Scrum. This can lead to senior Scrum Master roles with higher pay and more responsibility.

Stronger Skillset

To earn a PSM, you have to demonstrate a high level of Scrum mastery. This helps ensure you have the skills to guide teams through complex challenges and advance Scrum adoption. A PSM also requires a minimum of 5 years of Scrum experience, so you’ll have real-world skills to draw from.

Higher Salary Potential

On average, a Professional Scrum Master can command a higher salary than a Certified ScrumMaster. According to Glassdoor, the average pay for a PSM in the United States is $115,000 compared to $100,000 for a CSM. The additional training, experience, and credibility a PSM provides can open up more senior positions with compensation on the higher end of that range or above.

While a CSM is a great way to get started with Scrum, a PSM is really the pinnacle of Scrum Master certifications. It will establish you as an expert, open up career growth, and provide opportunities for higher pay. If you’re ready to take your Scrum Master skills to the next level, achieving the Professional Scrum Master certification is the way to do it.


So there you have it, three compelling reasons why Professional Scrum Master certification is the new standard for true Scrum mastery. Forget the CSM – it’s outdated and won’t provide the depth of knowledge and practical skills you need to become an expert Scrum Master. The PSM requires a much higher level of understanding and the ability to apply Scrum in complex real-world situations. It’s a challenging certification to obtain, but the rewards of becoming a Professional Scrum Master are well worth the effort. Your organization and your career will thank you for stepping up your game. The bar has been raised, so take your Scrum skills to the next level and become a Professional Scrum Master. The future of work is agile, so make sure you’re ahead of the curve. With CuriousCore’s 2-day Intensive Professional Scrum Master course, you can learn all you need to ace the PSM 1 certification exam. We also offer 2 free attempts at the exam as well as up to 70% subsidies for Singaporeans working in the Finance and Insurance industry.