The Typical Career Path of a Scrum Master

By Zach Chapman - October 7, 2018

The Typical Career Path of a Scrum Master
October 7, 2018 By Zach Chapman

The Typical Career Path of a Scrum Master

Are you a Scrum Master or someone thinking about pursuing the career choice?  If so, you may be curious about the typical career path or the job.  What is the ladder you can expect to climb and where will it bring you?  When you assume the role of Scrum Master, you can expect a career that continues to evolve for the better.  Let’s dig through some of the career paths you may see from the role.

Career Path of a Scrum Master

Day One, Starting Small and Build

When you begin down the road as a Scrum Master, chances are you will start small.  You will assume the role for just one Agile team, helping them through Sprints and facilitating in a way that lets them deliver value.  The initial squad will also likely be one on the simpler side, with personalities that gel well.  You want to be in a position where you can succeed initially.  As a Scrum Master, you will undoubtedly begin your career in a role such as one where you are on one squad.

You are going to build complexity in the role over time.  It is very common for a Scrum Master to eventually be a part of multiple Agile squads, filling the role in a variety of situations.  Scrum Masters need challenges once they get good at what they do.  The next step you can expect to see, once you master the role for one squad, is to do it for a few others concurrently.

The Role of the Mentor or Agile Coach

When you are fortunate enough to have a mastery of the Scrum Master role, you can also take those talents and progress your career in a mentor or Agile Coach position.  Once you have had a lot of success as a Scrum Master, why not pass it down to others and help them get to your level?

A Scrum Master with a lot of knowledge and experience is quite valuable.  Organizations need mentors. They need Agile Coaches so that they can transform how they are doing work.

You get to showcase what you learn and also do it in a way where your career takes the next step forward.  You may also be a mentor or an Agile Coach for a rookie Scrum Master, while fulfilling the role itself on a few Agile squads at the same time, in the same company.

The Move to Product Owner

A Scrum Master learns a lot about Agile and Scrum specifically, but they also get exposure to how Product Owners work the Sprint Backlog and help build products, deliver value.  A Scrum Master, in their career progression, will have an opportunity to move into the Product Owner role if they wish.  

A Scrum Master may realize they love what their organization is building and would rather have a say in the what and how versus just the Agile practices the squad follows.  If so, they may move into the Product Owner slot.

Options Galore

The great thing about a Scrum Master is they have a lot of options.  Once you take on the role of Scrum Master and learn Agile, learn Scrum, you can do a lot with it.  The skills are transferable to roles like mentors, Agile Coaches, Product Owners, and more.  

You want to think about the Scrum Master role initially as one where you get to become an expert in Agile and Scrum.  Please take advantage of the doors the Scrum Master role opens as it continues to flourish and evolve.