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Certified Scrum Master (CSM) – A Comprehensive Analysis


The Certified Scrum Master® (CSM) credential offered through Scrum Alliance is among the most sought-after certifications for professionals eager to dive into the Agile world. Recognized as an entry-level Scrum certification, it’s an ideal starting point for those looking to understand the roles, responsibilities, events, and artifacts within the Scrum framework.

Demand and Market Value for the CSM

Ranked as the 9th most-requested certification in the Indeed.com survey, CSM has set the gold standard for Scrum certifications. With an average annual salary of approximately $120K and a 24% expected job growth rate over the next three years, the demand for CSM-certified professionals continues to surge.


  • Provides a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance
  • Recognized globally for Scrum proficiency
  • Opens opportunities for advanced Scrum certifications

Where to Take Training for CSM Certification

CSM aspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST). KnowledgeHut is an example of a Global Registered Education Provider of Scrum Alliance.

Eligibility for the CSM Exam

The eligibility for the CSM exam requires attending an in-person two-day (16 hours) or live online (14 hours) Certified Scrum Master® course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer®.

Duration to Get Certified

Including a 14-hour live online or 16-hour in-person course, exam preparation, and the exam itself, the total duration to become CSM certified is roughly a couple of weeks.

CSM Course and Exam Fees

  • Course Fee for Certification: $1295 in the US
  • Application fee for certification: NA
  • Exam fee for certification: Included in the course fee

CSM Exam Format

  • Online test consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Pass mark: 74%
  • Retake Fee for Certification: The second attempt is free if taken within 60 days of course completion. Subsequent retakes cost $25.

Course Progression

The CSM is a foundational certification. After achieving it, you can pursue the aCSM (Advanced Certified Scrum Master®), and the CSP-SM (Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master®). The Scrum Alliance also offers Product Owner and Developer tracks similar to the Scrum Master track.


The quality of CSM courses varies. Some are exceptional, while others may be only satisfactory. Certified Scrum Trainers must fulfill various requirements, including training at least 10 courses, attending Scrum Alliance events, and community service. However, there is no minimum training quality standard to maintain CST status.


The Certified Scrum Master® certification continues to be a valuable credential for professionals starting their journey in the Scrum domain. Its broad acceptance and clear career progression path make it an appealing choice. For those seeking an alternative with a focus on high-quality training, considering other certifications like the Registered Scrum Master (RSM) through Scrum Inc. and CAVU may align well with your goals.

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