CSM i.e Certified Scrum Master and CSPO i.e. Certified Scrum Product owner are among the best certification courses that you will have to acquire if you want to gain in-depth knowledge of the SCRUM framework.

SCRUM, as we all know, is one of the most essential frameworks that assist you to implement agile processes. Two individuals play an important role in this implementation viz. Scrum Master and Product Owner.

As it is quite evident from their names, obtaining a CSM Certification makes you a qualified SCRUM Master whereas CSPO trains you to be a Product Owner.

Therefore, let us study these two job roles first to clear the topics covered by CSM and CSPO certification courses.

SCRUM– SCRUM Masters have to see to it that everyone in the team understands the concept, rules, techniques, and practices of SCRUM. They must also ensure that the team has everything that is required to finish their work.

If not, then they must provide those things to standardize the processes. For example, a SCRUM Master has to conduct meetings to impart ideas and knowledge about SCRUM fundamentals to the team members.

CSPO – Product Owners are more inclined towards the business aspects of a project. Therefore, they have to inspire the team members to perform better to meet the vision and goals of a particular project. They must also see to it that the team finishes the work within the deadline.

Agile practices are being implemented in most organizations these days. As a result, most employers search for SCRUM Masters and Product Owners these days.

Certification courses like CSM and CSPO are therefore in much demand these days. Now, let us compare these courses concerning their features, benefits, exams, and other aspects.

Certification Details: CSM v/s CSPO

CSM stands for Certified Scrum Master. This certification course covers all the fundamentals that are related to the SCRUM framework. It makes a candidate well versed in different aspects of SCRUM. It is provided by Scrum Alliance and specially designed for creating successful SCRUM Masters.

CSPO stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner and this certification can also be obtained from the Scrum Alliance. It makes a candidate an expert in product development and also imbibes leadership qualities in the candidates.

CSPO is more suitable for individuals who want to participate in the business decisions of an organization. Also, it is specifically designed for candidates who are interested in the Product Owner job role.

Salary Range: SCRUM Masters v/s CSPO

Most companies are recruiting SCRUM Masters and CSM makes you a qualified SCRUM Specialist. Therefore, you can easily be an integral part of any project that is standardized through principles of Agile & SCRUM.

SCRUM Master or Specialist is one of the best paying jobs in the USA and India. On an average, SCRUM Masters who have completed CSM Certification earn from $100K to $125K in the USA. In India, their pay scale ranges between Rs. 9, 50,000 and Rs. 15, 50,000.

A Product Owner handles a project from a business point of view. Therefore, he has to fulfil great responsibilities and is assigned with the task of making a crucial business decision related to the project and product.

As a result, they are also entitled to high-paying salaries. On average, a Product Owner who has  CSPO Certification earns around Rs. 2000K in India. Moreover, leading companies like Dell, Microsoft, CISCO, etc. are constantly recruiting CSPO Specialists.

How to obtain the certification? CSM v/s CSPO

 Follow these steps to become a CSM Professional:

  • Step 1: Sign-up with SCUM Alliance. It is an official organization that delivers education, support, and assistance to Agile and SCRUM professionals.
  • Step 2: Complete a two-day course that is tutored and instructed by a SCRUM Trainer who is certified.
  • Step 3: Upon completion of this course, you will have to appear for the CSM Test.

Note: CSM Certification test comprises of 50 questions. You need to answer them within sixty minutes. To clear this test, you need to secure at least 60% marks.

  • Step 4: Usually, the candidates clear the test in the first attempt. However, if you fail to do so, you can reappear for this test within sixty days without paying any extra fees. If you appear after sixty days, you will have to pay an additional exam fee of $25.
  • Step 5: Once you clear this test, you will be asked to create your profile on the official portal of SCRUM Alliance after accepting the license agreement of CSM. You will be given the CSM Certificate in a PDF file shortly after that.

Follow these steps to become a CSPO Professional:

  • Step 1: Here also, you need to sign-up with SCRUM Alliance and go through the 2-day certification course as per the instructions of a CST i.e. Certified SCRUM Trainer.
  • Step 2: After that, you will have to go through the SCRUM objectives and guide. Also, you must be aware of the guidelines mentioned in the Agile Manifesto.
  • Step 3: To obtain the CSPO Certification, the candidate does not have to appear in any exam or test. They can directly create a profile on the website of SCRUM Alliance after accepting the license agreement of CSPO.
  • Step 4: You will receive the CSPO Certification on your email id shortly after creating your profile.
  • Step 5: Candidates will have to earn SEUs i.e. SCRUM Education Units to maintain their CSPO Certification. Also, it has to be renewed after every two years and SCRUM Alliance charges $100 as a renewal fee for that.

Which one is better, CSM or CSPO?

Both these certifications impart a different kind of training and education to the candidates and both of them have their benefits. It depends on the candidates whether they want to become a SCRUM Master by completing CSM Certification or whether they want to be a Product Owner by completing CSPO Certification.

Both these courses complement each other perfectly and some individuals obtain both these certifications as well. CSM provides a basic understanding of SCRUM principles whereas CSPO is a slightly advanced level course.

Business Analysts, Developers, Software Testers, and SCRUM Masters usually undertake the CSM Certification whereas Product Manager, Experienced Business Analysts, Product Owners, etc. apply for CSPO Certification. Therefore, it is your choice whether you want to go with either one of them or both!