Enhance Your IT Career Prospects with Scrum

Whether you are an established IT professional or looking to get your first job in tech, becoming a certified Scrum master will enhance your career prospects. Learning and practicing Scrum principles and processes will not only help you develop leadership skills but will also broaden your technical and methodological knowledge.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework used for developing, delivering and sustaining complex products, particularly in software development. It is a variation of the Agile methodology (opens in a new window) , which emphasizes iterative progress, collaboration and flexibility. Scrum is a structured but adaptable approach to project management.

According to the Scrum Alliance (opens in a new window) , “Scrum relies on cross-functional and self-managing teams to deliver products and services in short cycles, enabling:

  • Fast feedback
  • Quicker innovation
  • Continuous improvement
  • Rapid adaptation to change
  • Delighted customers
  • Reduced time from idea to delivery”

It is not hyperbole to say that Scrum has revolutionized the software development process. Experts agree that the strength of the Scrum process is based in its continuous experimentation and feedback loops that deliver value incrementally to key stakeholders. Sean Peek, a contributing writer to Business News Daily (opens in a new window) , says, “Whereas other project management methods emphasize building an entire product in one operation from start to finish, agile scrum methodology focuses on delivering several iterations of a product to provide stakeholders with the highest business value in the least amount of time.”

How does the role of a project manager differ from that of a Scrum master?

Although the roles of the project manager and Scrum master are sometimes misconstrued, they differ significantly in focus, responsibilities and methodologies; both aim to ensure the successful delivery of projects.

While the project manager is responsible for defining the project scope, creating detailed project plans and setting milestones, the Scrum master focuses on facilitating the Scrum process and supporting the team.

Sheryl Grey, education writer for Forbes (opens in a new window) , describes the Scrum master’s role and responsibilities as follows:

  • “Keep a scrum team on task and ensure team members produce high-quality work while following scrum principles. Have a thorough understanding of scrum principles and agile methodology as they pertain to product development.
  • Guide scrum teams as they work through sprint backlogs to reach each sprint’s goals.
  • Facilitate daily scrum meetings to assess the progress the team has made toward the set goals and make adjustments if needed.
  • Maintain communication with product development teams to meet any challenges or problems head-on. Resolve any issues that could stall the product development process.”

Why get certified in Scrum?

Simply put, Scrum has been a game-changer for the tech sector. XDreamCode’s article “Agile SCRUM, 5 reasons it transformed the IT industry” (opens in a new window) sums up Scrum’s impact on the industry as follows: “When the Agile Scrum methodology met the IT sector, the results were impressive. Teams began to see their KPIs closer and closer, the collaborative environment was strengthened exponentially, and end customers were the biggest beneficiaries.”

Angela Druckman, certified Scrum trainer and author of the Agile Mindset Blog (opens in a new window) , emphasizes that, “When you go on interviews with IT companies, be prepared because they will ask you, ‘What do you know about agile? What do you know about Scrum?’ Make sure you have something to show. A Scrum Master certificate would be ideal.”

When Scrum skills and experience are combined with technical proficiencies, opportunities open for roles such as Scrum master, product owner or Agile coach.

The benefits of knowing Scrum include:

  • Enhanced Team Collaboration: Scrum emphasizes teamwork, requiring regular communication and collaboration among team members. This can help you develop strong interpersonal skills and a better understanding of team dynamics.
  • Increased Productivity and Efficiency: By breaking down projects into manageable sprints and tasks, Scrum can help you stay focused and productive. The structured approach ensures that you consistently deliver value and meet deadlines.
  • Improved Adaptability: Scrum promotes flexibility and responsiveness to change. You’ll learn to adapt to new requirements and pivot when necessary, which is crucial in the fast-paced tech industry.
  • Continuous Feedback and Improvement: Regular sprint reviews and retrospectives encourage continuous feedback and learning. This iterative process helps you improve your skills and processes over time.
  • Better Problem-Solving Skills: Scrum’s emphasis on self-organizing teams and collective problem-solving can enhance your ability to think critically and devise effective solutions.
  • Clear Career Pathways: Many tech employers value familiarity with Scrum and other Agile methodologies. It can open up career opportunities for roles such as Scrum master, product owner or Agile coach, in addition to your technical expertise.
  • Focus on Delivering Value: Scrum prioritizes delivering working software and tangible results. This focus on value can help you align your work with business objectives and customer needs, making you a more valuable team member.
  • Enhanced Communication Skills: The regular ceremonies in Scrum (daily stand-ups, sprint planning, reviews and retrospectives) require you to articulate your progress, plans and challenges clearly, enhancing your communication skills.
  • Exposure to Best Practices: Scrum often incorporates various best practices and tools for software development, testing and project management. Consequently, you can broaden your technical and methodological knowledge.
  • Leadership Opportunities: Scrum encourages taking ownership of tasks and roles within the team, a key career skill. This can help you develop leadership skills and prepare for higher responsibilities.

Overall, embracing Scrum can make you more versatile, collaborative and effective in your tech career. At the same time, scrum also provides a framework for continuous learning and improvement.

How long does it take to get certified in Scrum?

Scrum training classes are typically held over a two- to three-day period and comprise approximately 16 hours of classroom instruction. Factors influencing time to becoming certified include prior knowledge and experience; familiarity with Scrum and Agile methodologies; and study method (formal course or self-study).

Once classroom training is complete, students take a required certification test administered by either of the following organizations:

  1. The Scrum Alliance (opens in a new window) offers the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification. The Scrum Alliance is one of the oldest and most widely recognized organizations in the Scrum community.
  2. Scrum.org (opens in a new window) offers the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification. Scrum.org was founded by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-creators of Scrum. Scrum.org is known for its rigorous assessments.

Which Washington State community colleges offer Scrum training classes?

Several community colleges in Washington State offer Scrum master classes or related training in Agile methodologies. Those colleges include:

  1. Bellevue College: Bellevue College offers courses in project management that include Agile methodologies and Scrum master training. The college provides professional certificates that can help in preparing for Scrum master certification exams​.
  2. Everett Community College: Through its Corporate & Continuing Education Center, Everett Community College provides training in Agile and Scrum approaches as part of their Software Testing & Quality Assurance Certificate Program​.
  3. Tacoma Community College: Tacoma Community College includes courses related to Agile and Scrum methodologies within their computer science programs.

For more information about the IT degrees and training programs offered by the Washington State Community Colleges, please contact:

Brianna Rockenstire


Center of Excellence for Information & Computing Technology

brianna.rockenstire@bellevuecollege.edu | 425.564.4229

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