How popular are Agile Certifications with employers?

How popular are Agile Certifications with employers?


Certifications can be a controversial topic. Get a bunch of Agile practitioners together, and if the topic should turn to certifications, then a heated debate often follows.

Some folks love certifications and see much value in them. Others don’t think that they’re worth the paper they are written on.

Regardless of your personal opinion about the value of certifications, if employers or clients are looking for certain certifications, then this tends to drive all but the most strident certification opponents, to attain the highly demanded certification.  I’ve witnessed this trend several times before during my career with different IT certifications.

With a number of different Agile Certifications available in the market place, I thought it might be interesting to compare these certifications to see just how popular each one is with employers.

Agile Certifications Research

My research methodology involved performing a number of queries on three of Indeed’s country-specific job websites:
Indeed.com (USA)
Indeed.co.uk (UK)
Indeed.com.au (Australia)

Agile Certifications Data

The raw data collected is shown in the following table.

Certification Query Indeed.com Indeed.co.uk Indeed.com.au
Certified Scrum Master (CSM) “certified scrum master” or csm 2,726 343 43
PMI-ACP pmi-acp 243 5 3
SAFe Practitioner “safe practitioner” or “safe certification” 11 23 0
Professional Scrum Master “professional scrum master” or psm 1223 74 3
PMP* pmp 13,237 872 140

*Project Management Professional (PMP) is an established and well-known traditional Project Management certification. I’ve used PMP as a proxy for traditional Project Management approaches in order to facilitate a comparison between  Agile certifications and traditional PM certifications.

Charts

The charts for each individual region are as follows:

USA

agile-certifications-usa-2016-july-6

UK

agile-certifications-uk-2016-july-6

Australia

agile-certifications-australia-2016-july-6

Analysis of the Data

While maybe not the most scientific study ever conducted, an Analysis of the data does provide three key insights

  1. The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is clearly the most popular Agile Certification currently on the market today and this is evident across all three geographies.
  2. The Professional Scrum Master certification from Scrum.org is about half as popular in the USA as CSM, but it hardly rates in the other regions.
  3. PMP is still the King (or Queen) and demand for this certification still far outweighs demand for the Agile certifications. So perhaps Agile has some way to go before complete domination?

Coming Soon

I plan to update this data periodically to monitor changes to the popularity of each certification over time. Stay tuned!

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