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CSM Vs. CSPO Certification, Which Certification Is Right For Me?

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In this article

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The Agile methodology has become one of the most used methodologies in many sectors, such as software, government, education, etc. Agile has become popular due to the benefits it offers to the users and primarily due to the quick delivery time and customer interaction while developing the product. The Scrum framework is one of the most widely used frameworks as it is simple to implement in the organizations and give the desired outcomes of the required products. The Scrum framework involves a Scrum Development Team, a ScrumMaster, and a Product Owner. All of these members have a crucial role in the development of any product and the success of the project. Scrum involves delivering the updates to a product in the form of Sprints such that the quality of the product is enhanced and the quicker deliveries of the updates occur. Scrum framework proves to be the most used framework among the Agile industries as it offers solutions to many problems that were faced by the traditional software methods. Hence, as many companies have shifted towards implementing the Agile methodology to create their products, Scrum’s job opportunities have also exponentially increased.


Who is a Scrum Master?


A ScrumMaster is professional acting as a servant leader and coordinates between the Scrum Development Team and the Product Owner. They are responsible for solving any impediments that the Scrum Team faces such that the team can deliver the products on time. The ScrumMaster is also responsible for organizing Scrum ceremonies and making sure that the agenda for the organized ceremonies are fulfilled. The ScrumMaster makes sure that the team completes all the work that is assigned to them. They have a key role to play when a company has to implement the Scrum framework in their industry. The ScrumMaster gives knowledge about the Scrum values and principles and makes sure that all the Scrum team members adhere to the Scrum principles while developing the product. A Certified ScrumMaster certification (CSM) is an excellent course for individuals who want to start their journey as ScrumMaster in any organization and boost their career opportunities.


Who is a Product Owner?


A Product Owner is a professional who is the vision of the product customized by the client. A product owner’s responsibility is to understand the customer’s requirements and form the product backlog for the developing product. The Product Owner’s job involves being a communicator between the Scrum team and the customer and stakeholders. They make sure that the Scrum team has understood the requirements that the developers have to design. Product Owners also participate in Scrum events such as Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. They give a detailed opinion about the product that the developing team is working on. The characteristics that make a great Product Owner is to have great knowledge about the current market trends and design products that would give a higher return on investment and maximize the business value of the company. More importantly, the Product Owner’s primary role is to make sure that the customer is satisfied with the product. Any inputs or changes by the customer are addressed to the Scrum Development Team.

Both jobs in the Scrum framework have a high demand in the market and offer a high salary package to the professionals who are certified in the respective field. If you are an individual who is interested in the Scrum framework but confused about which job to pursue further, read on to find out the differences between the CSM and CSPO i.e., Certified ScrumMaster and Certified Scrum Product Owner and know which certification would be more suited according to your interests and skill set.


How to get the CSPO certification?


CSM vs CSPO certification


Here is a detailed comparison between the Certified ScrumMaster and Certified Scrum Product Owner certifications:


Certified ScrumMaster Certification

Certified Scrum Product Owner certification

Accreditation/Governing Body

Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance


No eligibility requirements. Can be attended by professionals interested in project management.

No eligibility requirements to attend the CSPO certification. However, basic knowledge about Scrum would help candidates understand the role of the product owner in an enterprise.

Certification cost

Varies depending on the institute and the location.

Varies depending on the institute and the location.

Exam details

There will be an online exam that is conducted after the workshop. The exam consists of 50 Multiple choice questions with 60 minutes to complete the exam.

No Scrum Alliance Product Owner certification exam to gain a CSPO credential.

Pass Score

The candidate has to answer 37 questions (74%) correctly out of 50 MCQs to pass the exam.


Certification Renewal details

The certificate has to be renewed every 2 years by paying a renewal fee of $100 and submitting 20 SEUs earned within the two years of course completion.

The certificate has to be renewed every 2 years by paying a renewal fee of $100 and submitting 20 SEUs earned within the two years of course completion.

Average Salary




Why take the CSM certification?


The Certified ScrumMaster certification is a course for individuals who want to gain a deeper knowledge of Scrum values and principles. Scrum has proved to be an excellent environment for employees to gain higher productivity. Working in a Scrum environment provides the professional to grow as an individual and progress in their career. The CSM course allows candidates to become the Scrum development team’s voice and gain a high reputation in their organization. The individuals who are skilled in problem-solving, managing and organizing people, and motivating them during any impediments faced are excellent professionals who can become a successful ScrumMaster. The CSM course offers all the necessary and practical Scrum skills that a professional needs to know to become a great ScrumMaster. 

The CSM course is the first step the individual takes to become a successful ScrumMaster in the industry. If you are good at managing people and getting work done, the ScrumMaster role is an excellent opportunity to grow as a professional. Also, as organizations are starting to implement the Scrum framework in their organization, the ScrumMaster plays an important role in building the framework. The CSM course gives a holistic approach to an individual about the Scrum framework and trains them to become a Certified ScrumMaster.

The top reasons for taking the CSM course are:

  • According to payscale, the average salary of a Certified ScrumMaster is more than $90k, which is an excellent pay compared to other IT professionals. The CSM course allows individuals to enhance their salary by giving them a credential of a Certified ScrumMaster.
  • Candidates with CSM certification have a higher chance of getting noticed by the recruiter during job placements or job hunting.
  • Individuals with CSM courses have a plethora of job opportunities, as many companies look for Certified ScrumMasters to implement the Scrum Framework.
  • The CSM course offers skills and knowledge that are advantageous for the career growth of the individual.
  • Job opportunities in top reputed companies that offer a good salary along with incentives.

How to get the CSM Certification?

Here are the steps to follow to get the CSM certification:

Step 1: Register for the CSM certification course with a REP of Scrum Alliance.


Step 2: Attend the 2-day Certified ScrumMaster training by the Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs)


Step 3: Scrum Alliance will send an email to create login credentials after successful course completion.


Step 4: Create your credentials from the link received by the Scrum Alliance.


Step 5: Take the 60 minutes exam, which consists of 50 MCQs, by logging in through the credentials..


Step 6: Pass the exam with a minimum of 74% (37 of 50 MCQs should be correct).


Step 7: Once you clear the test, you will have to accept the license agreement.


Step 8: After you accept it, you will have CSM designation and a two-year Scrum Alliance membership.


Step 9: You have to renew the certification once every two years.


Why take up the CSPO certification?


The CSPO certification is for individuals who want to understand the market size of the products. The CSPO certification teaches candidates about creating the vision for the product and understanding customer requirements. Individuals taking up the course get detailed knowledge about the on-time releases, high-value releases, and maximizing the return on investment. The role of the Product Owner is crucial for any high functioning Scrum team. The CSPO course trains individuals about the skills that are essential to becoming a great Product Owner and become a reputed and recognized member of the organization. The CSPO is a globally recognized certification that allows the candidates to connect with other Product Owners worldwide. Product Owner jobs are on the steep rise as companies implementing the Scrum framework are increasing every day. Most companies look for a Certified Scrum Product Owner for their Scrum team so that the maximum business value is delivered and higher ROI is gained. 


The top reasons for taking a CSPO certification are:

  • Increased salary package for individuals with CSPO certification. According to PayScale, the average salary of a Certified Scrum Product Owner is around $100k annually.
  • Wide scope of knowledge in the field of Agile practices.
  • Enhanced chances of getting selected in top reputed companies.
  • Actively engaging in networking with Agile practitioners around the globe to enhance Agile and Scrum knowledge.

How to get the CSPO certification?

Certification Process

Step 1: Signing up with a Registered education provider of Scrum Alliance.

Step 2: Understand basic Scrum concepts and terminologies from the Scrum Guide and Agile Manifesto to be ready for the training.

Step 3: Attend the 2-day CSPO course instructed by Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs)

Step 4: After course completion, the CST will update your details to the Scrum Alliance website.

Step 5: Scrum Alliance will send an email to log in to your Scrum Alliance account.

Step 6: Log in through this link, reset your login credentials, and accept your license.

Step 7: Download your CSPO certification by accepting a license.


The CSM and CSPO certification are reputed certifications in the Scrum community and the professionals with these credentials are highly reputed individuals in their organization. A candidate should select CSM or CSPO based on their interests, current roles, and area that they want to specialize in. If you are good at managing people and have effective communication and problem-solving skills, ScrumMaster is a good choice for you. However, if you also like to understand the business side of the products and know more about the market releases about a specific product, the Product Owner’s job becomes an apt choice. The candidates get the appropriate training required for the job by attending the respective courses, and being certified in either of the courses would be an excellent step towards the growth in their career.


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