What Does an Agile Certification Cost (and Is It Worth It?)

Whether you’re looking to find a new role or advance in your current one, certifications are powerful tools.

They indicate you have specific knowledge or skills, sure, but they can do much more. They show initiative, eagerness to improve, and in this context, a real commitment to operating in an efficient way. 

That said, Agile certifications can also be quite an investment both in terms of time and money. So it’s understandable to try and find a way to maximize the benefits you get while minimizing the costs. To help you do just that, we’re going to run through some common Agile marketing certifications while discussing the costs and what benefits they bring.

The Most Valuable Agile Marketing Certifications

As with anything in Agile, the goal here is to drive the most value for the lowest cost, but that process begins with determining what “value” means to you.

The most obvious place to start is by considering what your time and money are worth. Are you extremely cash-strapped but flexible enough to attend classes at specific times? Or are you willing to spend whatever it takes to get the best possible certification but need flexibility?

Next, you should consider what value a certification will bring based on your current role, your current base of knowledge, and the kind of role you want in the future. You should also consider whether a certification is built around a specific Agile framework like Scrum or Kanban, or whether it’s framework agnostic.

Another way to gauge what your industry believes is valuable is doing searches on job-search sites to see how often specific skills or certifications are mentioned. Lastly, you can also talk with leaders in your organization to ask about what skills would add the most value.

Any consideration of Agile certification cost is going to need to take several of these criteria into consideration, so try writing down all those that apply to you and be sure to use them when looking at the certifications listed below.

*NOTE: all prices are shown as of December 2023 and some include sales.

Agile Marketing Fundamentals (AMF)

For people who are new to Agile ways of working, a strong foundation in fundamental Agile principles is immensely important. Because the actual practices involved in Agile can vary widely. What binds them together is that they’re all derived from Agile principles. So starting with these principles is a great way to begin your Agile journey.

This specific Agile certification course is a live, instructor-led, and broken up into 8 week cohorts. It combines lectures with hands-on exercises to help you translate Agile principles into practice. The instructors are Agile marketers themselves with experience helping fellow marketers get real results. Each cohort is limited to 20 participants, and sessions are held weekly and last 90 minutes.

Within that 8 weeks, the course covers:

  • What is Agile marketing?
  • Effective planning in Agile marketing
  • Delivering value continuously
  • Frameworks, tools, techniques: Kanban
  • Teams and teamwork in an Agile world
  • Frameworks, tools, techniques: Scrum
  • Making Agile marketing a reality
  • Virtual lean coffee + starting your journey
  • And much more!

After completing the course, you obtain a Certified Professionals: Agility in Marketing (ICP-MKG) through ICAgile.

Agile certification cost: $1,595

Business Agility Fundamentals (BAF)

While the previous course focused on providing a foundation in Agile fundamentals for marketers, this course does the same for business more generally. By teaching Agile principles and showing the various ways they can be applied (with real examples and case studies throughout), you end up with a firm understanding of Agile business in practice.

The course is broken up into 8 90-minute sessions spread out over 8 weeks. Each cohort is taught live by an experienced instructor and limited to 20 participants so everyone can get plenty of individual attention. 

Within that 8 weeks, the course covers:

  • The new way of working (+ case studies)
  • People, process, systems: your roadmap to business agility
  • People: business agility mindsets & team dynamics
  • Process: minimum viable product for business teams
  • Process: using Lean to deliver business products
  • Process: user stories, backlog, deliverables
  • System: organizational design for business agility
  • Measuring success & scaling
  • And much more!

After completing the course, you become a certified professional in Business Agility (ICP-BAF) through ICAgile

Agile certification cost: $1,495

Agile Product Ownership

Being a product owner in an Agile environment requires its own approach combining a strong understanding of customer needs along with advanced prioritization and planning. If you’re in this role or wish to be in the future, this is a good way to build on a foundation of Agile principles. Importantly, this course is also framework agnostic, so it can apply whether your team uses Scrum, Kanban, or a hybrid approach.

This course is offered by a variety of providers so the dates are quite flexible. It can be completed in a single weekend, in 4 daytime sessions, or 4 evening sessions, and in a variety of time zones. 

The course covers:

  • Defining a product vision
  • Creating and prioritizing backlogs
  • Communicating with stakeholders
  • Participating in sprint planning and review sessions
  • Making decisions as an Agile product owner
  • And much more!

After completing this course you’ll become a ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Product Ownership (ICP-APO) certificate from ICAgile.

Agile certification cost: (varies depending on provider, but in Dec 2023 prices including sales range from $699 to $1,150)

Agile Marketing Leadership (AML)

Leading an Agile team or being a leader in an Agile organization is markedly different from the same roles in a traditional organization. That’s why it’s so critical for leaders to learn and understand how to behave and ultimately thrive in an Agile leadership role instead of simply relying on past experience.

The course is broken up into 8 90-minute weekly sessions taught live by an experienced instructor and limited to 20 participants so everyone can get plenty of individual attention. 

Within that 8 weeks, the course covers:

  • Why agility & agility delivers
  • Transformational leadership
  • Situational leadership & EQ
  • Mindfulness & mental models
  • Prioritizing transformational outcomes
  • Transformation in action
  • Leading transformation & managing change
  • Backlog presentations & action items
  • And much more!

After completing the course, you become a certified professional in Agile Leadership (ICP-LEA) through ICAgile.

Agile certification cost: $1,895

Agile Project and Delivery Management

While a certain base level of Agile knowledge and skills are needed to be an effective member of an Agile team, managing those teams is another story. If you’re already a project manager, product manager, Scrum master, or delivery manager, this certification course can help you hone your Agile project management skills. 

This course is typically broken up into two 5 hour sessions with a total of at least 14 hours of total time to complete. Class sizes vary by provider though all certification courses are framework neutral.

The course covers:

  • How to use Agile ways of working to deliver value
  • Managing Agile teams and systems
  • Empowering members of Agile teams
  • Delivering value continuously
  • Planning and monitoring Agile processes

Agile certification cost: (varies depending on provider, but in Dec 2023 prices including sales range from around $800 to $1,300)

After completing the course, you become an ICP-APM certified professional through ICAgile.

Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)

If you want to invest in the Scrum framework and get one of the most recognized Agile certifications around, becoming a certified Scrum Master is an excellent option. If you’re just getting started, this course also combines some Agile basics alongside deeper explorations of how you can use Scrum to generate true value for your stakeholders.

The course is broken up into two full days along with pre-work and is conducted with smaller class sizes to ensure participants get plenty of individual attention from the instructor.

The course covers:

  • Agile basics including applying Agile principles to understand value
  • Using Scrum to create a product
  • Common Scrum practices
  • Understanding Agile and Servant leadership
  • Tackling the realities of applying Scrum
  • Tackling impediments
  • And much more!

After completing the course, you become a Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®).

Agile certification cost: $985 - $1,185 depending on how early you register.

Leading Amazing Teams (LAT)

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when transitioning to Agile is assuming that all the changes need to happen at the team level. In fact, leaders need to make their own transformation in order for Agile to succeed and ultimately thrive. This course is designed for anyone in a leadership role who wants to understand how they should lead in an Agile environment.

This course is broken up into three days of online in-person learning supplemented by pre-reading assignments. Cohorts are kept small to ensure instructors have time to work closely with individual learners.

The course covers:

  • The connection between coaching and leadership
  • The value of Agile leadership
  • Finding and using a coaching framework to fit your needs
  • How to kick off a new team
  • Dispelling Agile leadership myths
  • Shifting your mindset and approach to empower teams
  • Understanding how to bring organizational agility to multiple teams
  • Creating and refining leadership backlogs
  • And much more!

After completing the course, you obtain a certification in Agile Leadership from the Scrum Alliance (CAL-T) as well as an Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC) from ICAgile.

Agile certification cost: $2,100 - $2,400 depending on how early you register.

Calculating the ROI of an Agile Certification

It’s easy to assume they aren’t necessary but the data tells another story. According to the 6th Annual State of Agile Marketing Report, a full 25% of Agile marketing teams cite a lack of training as their biggest barrier (the second most common response). 

The Biggest Barrier Preventing Agile Adoption

So actual marketers practicing Agile say that training is a major barrier, but which training gets you the most bang for your buck?

The first thing to note is that most of them are simply not directly comparable because they’re designed for different people. Your first step should always be to build a shortlist of certifications that are all tailored to someone in your role. Only then can you really start evaluating their ROI together.

Now you can consider a few factors. First, there’s the actual benefits Agile brings you, the teams you’re on, the teams you manage, etc. Here, that same marketing report shows how teams report substantial gains in how they handle fast-paced work, the feeling their work contributes to broader goals, and generally that work is meaningful.

An Agile certification at the very least enables you to work and thrive on teams like this, unlocking all of the benefits that come along. But employers also know about the value Agile brings, which is why that same report found that most marketers are either already Agile or plan to be. They know that hiring someone with Agile experience and certifications is the most reliable way to ensure they can thrive in an Agile environment.

Before proceeding to see why you need an Agile certification in 2024, why don't you take a second to get our Agile Marketing Quick Start Guide?

Why Do You Need an Agile Certification in 2024?

Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh these factors together to determine what the return you can expect is. But considering the popularity of Agile ways of working it’s hard to argue that an Agile certification is anything other than an investment in your career.

One place you can easily compare a range of options is on our own course page. Or, if you’ve got a burning question you can always ask us directly.

 

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