7 agile certifications to take your career to the next level

The agile methodology has changed the face of software development and project management -- and also increased demand for professionals with agile skills

agile skills increase pay

Agile certifications to take your career to the next level

Agile has revolutionized the face of software development and project management, and has increased demand for IT professionals with understanding of the methodology and its many flavors: Lean, Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile, or SAFe for the enterprise. A number of certifications exist to benchmark and test your knowledge and competency with the framework. Here, CIO.com gathers seven top agile-focused certifications you should consider.

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PMI-ACP

PMI-ACP

The Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is for project management professionals whose organizations currently use or are moving to agile practices. The PMI-ACP proves certification holders have real-world experience managing agile projects and familiarity with many subsets of the agile methodology, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and others. Those who achieve the certification must earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) every three years to maintain their status.

APMG International

APMG International

APMG International is a global accreditation organization with a number of agile project management certification offerings. The goal is to benchmark the ability of project managers to deliver agile projects in organizations that require standards, rigor, and visibility around the agile framework. APMG International offers certifications in agile program management and agile project management, as well as a certification for practitioners of the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), an agile project management and delivery framework that is vendor-neutral.

Strategyex Certificate (Associate or Masters) in Agile

Strategyex Certificate (Associate or Masters) in Agile

Online learning company Twenty Eighty Strategy Execution, in partnership with George Washington University, offers either an Associate's or Masters certificate in agile practices. The Associate's certificate requires taking three courses over two years, and highlights your agile knowledge and skills. The Master's-level certificate requires taking seven courses over a four-year period to demonstrate your expertise in the subject and methodology. Only the Master's-level certificate allows certificate holders to add credentials after their name. Twenty Eighty also offers individual courses for Agile project and product management, estimation, and planning and Agile requirements.

International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile)

International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile)

The International Consortium for Agile is an independent accrediting agency offering comprehensive agile certifications that provide role expertise across all agile "flavors," including Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), Kanban, and more.

There are three certification levels -- Professional, Expert, and Master -- to test and evaluate candidate's knowledge acquisition and competency within Agile.

Agile Certification Institute

Agile Certification Institute

The Agile Certification Institute is an agile standards body focused on all aspects of enterprise agile adoption -- not just within software development. The ACI offers a wide variety of agile certifications and credentials, covering enterprise agile product and project management, Agile talent management and talent development, and Agile process improvement. In addition to enterprise agile certifications, the ACI offers certifications for agile flavors Lean, Kanban, and Scrum at the Associate, Practitioner, Master, and Owner levels.

Scaled Agile Academy

Scaled Agile Academy

As agile moves into the large enterprise, agile professionals with demonstrable skills and knowledge to scale the framework become critical. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) body of knowledge is the foundation for delivering Lean/Agile development successfully in large software enterprises. The Scaled Agile Academy offers five certifications to demonstrate knowledge and experience with SAFe: The SAFe Program Consultant Trainer, the SAFe Program Consultant, the SAFe Agilist, the SAFe Practitioner, and the SAFe Product Manager/Product Owner.

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Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance

Scrum is the leading framework of the agile methodology, especially for software development. The Scrum Alliance is the leading membership organization for Scrum professionals, with the mission of supporting widespread adoption and effective practice of Scrum. The Scrum Alliance offers six Scrum certifications for IT and software development professionals: Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Certified Scrum Developer, Certified Scrum Trainer, Certified Scrum Coach, and Certified Scrum Professional.

Related Story: Scrum's co-creator talks about the framework's transformational effect