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What Is CSPO

What Is CSPO? Certification Benefits, Process and Costs to Become a Certified Scrum Product Owner in 2024

If you’re ready to learn about scrum and, more specifically, the product owner role, you may be asking yourself, “What is CSPO certification?” Our guide will tell you all you need to know about this globally recognized certification from the Scrum Alliance.

Brett DayAleksander HougenJasna Mishevska

Written by Brett Day (Writer, Editor)

Reviewed by Aleksander Hougen (Co-Chief Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-05-21T19:09:11+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: CSPO Training: Is It Right For You?
  • The CSPO is an entry-level certification for those who wish to learn about scrum fundamentals, product owners’ responsibilities and how they fit into agile teams.
  • Certified courses last two to four days and can be completed online or in person.
  • The course requires no special work or educational experience, and the certification is awarded with no exam at the end of the course.

Facts & Expert Analysis: Certified Scrum Product Owner 

  1. The Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Product Owner certification is one of the most well-recognized certifications. CSPO certificate holders gain global recognition.
  2. Those who obtain the CSPO certification will immediately be eligible for more jobs and can significantly increase their earning potential.
  3. Research shows the average pay for product owners (POs) is $97,0002 in the U.S. and that the demand for certified product owners is growing rapidly1.

Product owners are a vital cog in scrum teams. Not only do they manage backlogs by using the best project management software, but they also collaborate with stakeholders and developers, create product visions and are responsible for delivering high-quality products. If you want to become a product owner and find yourself asking, “What is CSPO?,” then this guide is for you.

In this guide, you’ll learn what the Certified Scrum Product Owner certification is, how you can obtain the certification, what the benefits are and how much POs can earn. We know you’re eager to learn, so let’s get started.

  • 05/21/2024

    Updated the article to add custom graphic.

Certified Scrum Product Owner: What Is CSPO Certification? 

The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is a participation-based certification for individuals who wish to become certified scrum product owners. Product owners play a critical role on scrum teams and are a vital component of agile software development. This foundational course is part one of a three-part journey with the Scrum Alliance.

cspo
The CSPO is an entry-level certification for those who want to become product owners.

The certification proves that the holder understands the scrum framework and has the knowledge to make critical project decisions, deliver products that align with stakeholder and client product visions, manage a product backlog, provide customer value and communicate and collaborate with scrum masters and scrum developers.

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Most CSPO certification courses will teach you about the scrum framework, communicating with stakeholders, creating a product vision, managing releases and more. If you want to enhance your project management career, grow your earning potential and open up career opportunities, the CSPO certification could be for you.

cspo advanced
The Scrum Alliance offers three certifications for aspiring and experienced product owners.

It’s worth noting that the Scrum Alliance also offers more advanced courses for product owners. If the CSPO sounds too basic, you might want to consider the Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) certification. Alternatively, if you have significant experience, the Certified Scrum Professional – Product Owner (CSP-PO) certification may be a better fit.

How to Get CSPO Certification

Obtaining the CSPO certification is easier than you might think. Like many of the best project management certifications, you’ll need to attend a course to obtain the CSPO. The course structure can vary by provider, but any course that a CSPO-certified trainer offers will meet the requirement of 14 hours of interactive training from a certified scrum trainer.

obtain cspo
The path to obtaining the CSPO is straightforward.

CSPO courses are available online and in person, and generally last two to four days. As mentioned, class structure can vary, with some classes lasting four hours per day and some lasting nine hours daily. The good news is you can easily find providers and pick the class that best suits your schedule.

There are no course requirements. Going into the course with a grasp of scrum will help, but you do not need any work-related or educational experience to qualify for the course. Still, this scrum certification course is best suited for scrum masters, product owners, project managers, development team members and those with scrum experience.

What Is the CSPO Certification Cost?

The cost of CSPO certification training varies wildly depending on whether you want to learn online or in a classroom and on the trainer giving the CSPO course. The instructors, not the Scrum Alliance, control factors like student discounts and other offers. It can be beneficial to shop around for certification providers.

cspo courses
CSPO courses can vary in cost, as the certified trainers, not the Scrum Alliance, set the price.

Our research shows that online courses vary in price. You can pay as little as $300 to as much as $795 for an online course and even up to $1,250 if you want to attend in-person training. Another cost to take into consideration is the renewal. CSPO renewal costs $100 every two years. In addition, you must also earn a minimum of 20 SEUs (Scrum Education Units).

Benefits of CSPO Certification

As you can imagine, there are many benefits to holding the CSPO certification, including:

  • Global recognition: Employers around the world recognize the CSPO certification, which means you can land a job as a product owner just about anywhere.
  • Increased confidence: Your increased knowledge of all things scrum and the product owner role will boost your confidence in the workplace.
  • Enhanced job prospects: The CSPO certification will improve your job prospects, as employers will know you have the skills required to do the job.
  • Increased earning potential: Certification increases your worth, which means you can command a higher salary.

CSPO-Certified Salary

Holding the CSPO certification will enhance your earning potential. Roughly 33,700 product owner jobs are expected to be created over the next decade, and product owner salaries have increased by 8% in the last five years1.


Experienced product owners can expect to make roughly $97,000 annually in the U.S., while entry-level POs can bring home approximately $71,000 annually2. Now is the time to make the move into this role.

CSPO vs PSPO

The CSPO and the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certifications are aimed at those who wish to pursue a career as a product owner and get involved with an agile software development project. However, there are differences between the certifications. 

The Scrum Alliance offers the CSPO, while Scrum.org offers the PSPO. There are also differences in how the certifications are obtained and the items covered on the exam. The key differences between the two certifications are listed in the table below.

Features:CSPOPSPO
Course & Exam Prices$300 to $1,250*Course not required, fees around $1,395 to $1,495. Most courses offer one free exam attempt; otherwise, the exam fee is $200 per attempt
Requirements14 hours of course study with a certified trainerNo requirements for the exam
Certification RenewalEvery two yearsNo renewal
Areas of Focus1. Scrum basics & roles
2. Product vision
3. Customer satisfaction
4. Key stakeholder
5. Scrum master communication
6. Backlogs
7. Sprints
8. Release management
1. Scrum fundamentals
2. Product owner role
3. Working with stakeholders,
4. Working with customers
5. Working with dev teams
6. Managing products
7. Delivering products
8. Evolving agile organizations
ExamNo CSPO certification exam. Certification is granted after course completionExamination required — passing grade is 85% or higher
*No exam required

Final Thoughts

The CSPO certification makes our roundup of the best scrum certifications for good reason. If you are interested in scrum or are part of a scrum team and wish to further your career, the CSPO course could be for you. You’ll learn about the scrum framework, what’s expected of a PO, how to create a product vision and manage a backlog, and more. 

In addition to the skills you’ll learn, you’ll be eligible for more jobs, gain global recognition and increase your earning potential. Are you ready to be part of an agile team and help lead a scrum development team? Does becoming a CSPO-certified professional appeal to you? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading. 

FAQ: Is It Worth Doing CSPO?

  • The CSPO certification is for individuals who want to pursue a career as a product owner on agile and scrum teams.

  • The CSM and CSPO certifications are for two different roles. The Certified Scrum Master certification is for those who want to lead teams and take on the responsibility of a scrum master, while the CSPO is for those who wish to become a product owner.

  • Absolutely. Obtaining the CSPO Scrum Alliance certification will help you find a better job, increase your pay and gain global recognition.

  • It helps to have an understanding of scrum before you take the CSPO course, but obtaining the certification only requires you to sit through 14 hours of certified training. There is no exam.

Sources:

  1. https://www.zippia.com/product-owner-jobs/trends/
  2. https://www.zippia.com/product-owner-jobs/salary/
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