ITIL Certification vs. Scrum Master Certification

ITIL and Scrum are two fundamental concepts in the current agile software development and IT operations landscape. ITIL focuses on the Operations and Service aspect of IT, while Scrum is a framework for software development. Together, they are essential components of Agile software development and IT operations. This frequently leads to the comparison of ITIL vs. Scrum. You may not recognize the difference between them or their interrelationship. This article will clarify all of these points, allowing you to comprehend the nature of ITIL certification vs. Scrum Master certification. 

Before deepening the core concept, let’s understand ITIL and Scrum Master and later move on to its distinctions.

Overview of ITIL 

ITIL, which stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of practices based on ITSM (Information Technology Service Management). It is prevalent in IT organizations and assists them in aligning IT with business objectives and enhancing IT service.

An ITIL V4 Foundation Course demonstrates their proficiency in IT service management best practices. It aligns IT with the business and improves overall resource utilization. IT service management training courses are in demand due to the popularity of cost reduction and IT service improvement. 

The latest version of ITIL, is version 4, was released in 2019. This was a significant update that departed from previous versions’ “service lifecycle” model and instead proposed a “Service Value System” with five components:

  • Guiding principles
  • Governance
  • Service value chain
  • Continual improvement
  • Practices

The 30 ITIL practices encompass everything from strategy management to change enablement and software development.

ITIL employs a systematic approach and assists businesses in increasing efficiency, enhancing customer relations, mitigating risks, and establishing a scalable and stable environment for effective IT operations. In addition, it emphasizes cost management and includes Asset management.

The ITIL certification is managed by AXELOS, which manages training and examination institutes. It released the most recent guidelines in 2017 and related modules in 2019 and 2020. Each version of ITIL provides administrators with updated documentation and certifications for the current infrastructure.

An Overview of Scrum

Scrum differs significantly from ITIL. They operate in vastly distinct domains.

Scrum is a lightweight framework that enables people to solve complex adaptive problems while maintaining high levels of productivity and creativity by breaking complex projects into short sprints. It also assists individuals, teams, and organizations in generating value using adaptive solutions.

It is centered on three roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developer) collaborating within a cross-functional team. They plan and deliver work in “sprints,” which are short iterations (which are usually two weeks long).

Let’s focus on “Scrum Master” in detail in this section.

A scrum master is a team member who ensures that the software development team has a productive and effective work environment to undertake and complete their projects successfully. Scrum masters also assist others in comprehending values, beliefs, and practices. They are typically people-oriented and have a solid understanding of team members. The certified individual can educate professionals on the Scrum® values, accountability, team performance, and incremental progress. 

A Scrum Master must cultivate an environment in which:

  • During a Sprint, the Scrum team assigns tasks as increments of value.
  • A product owner identifies and moves complex tasks into the product backlog.
  • The Scrum team and stakeholders examine the results and plan for the next Sprint.

ITIL Certification vs. Scrum Master- Key Distinctions 

The following are some of the significant differences between ITIL and Scrum Master Certification: –

ITIL is concerned with operations and service management, while Scrum Masters assist organizations in removing obstacles that could impede a project. Let’s delve into this section to discover the distinctions between ITIL and Scrum Master certifications.

ITIL and Scrum Master Certifications

ITIL certifications are for individuals who wish to learn and improve their IT Service Management skills and perceive the knowledge of ITSM governance framework. Scrum Master certification, however, validates your knowledge of software development techniques, methodologies, and values by emphasizing people and processes. It entails organizing the team and tasks for maximum efficiency.

Project Management

ITIL certification does not require a comprehensive explanation of all project management aspects. Consequently, an ITIL-certified professional does not participate in project management.

A Scrum Master is not a project manager but rather an active project management team member. They ensure better communication with stakeholders and comprehend the project’s requirements and expectations. Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum principles are adhered to and teach Scrum principles to the team. Moreover, they collaborate with project managers to eliminate potential obstacles.


ITIL provides the benefit and framework to collaborate within information technology teams to deliver and expand IT and digital services across the enterprise to gain maximum value. The training certification improves service delivery and customer satisfaction and allows for a more substantial alignment between IT and business. The global standard and one of the best IT practices are relied upon by millions of practitioners to manage their IT operations.

In contrast, the team leader provides the advantage of ensuring a smooth, agile implementation and effective team collaboration. It facilitates the acquisition of Scrum principles and skills through career advancement. And it will enable the certified individual to join the Experts Community. The certification enables you to become an Agile coach, scrum master, product owner, and team leader, allowing you to earn more money and improve your team collaboration and management skills.


Depending on their skills, both certifications are in high demand and are compensated handsomely. Depending on the level of certification, ITIL Foundation professional in the United States is approximately $ 92,080 annually. On the other hand, the average salary for a Scrum Master in the United States is $103,629 annually.


Here we come to the end of this article. I Hope, by now, you are clear with the various differential features of both certifications. 

ITIL and Scrum focus on two distinct domains. Scrum is more concerned with software development adhering to agile principles and values, whereas ITIL is more concerned with operations and service management. Nevertheless, each of the certifications is valuable and significant.

ITIL certification positions you to ensure that the IT infrastructure of your organization is robust, secure, and quick. ITIL demonstrates that you are trained in service management best practices and are equipped to deliver the entire lifecycle of IT services within an organization, including planning, delivery, and maintenance.

With an Online Scrum Master Certification, you will lead teams delivering complex software products in short sprints. In contrast, the Scrum Master serves the product owner by establishing a conducive environment and recognizing the need for backlog items that are clear and concise.

When deciding on professional certification, you should consider your skills, career aspirations, or business objectives, and we hope this article has provided some clarity.

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Jacob Gillingham is an Incident Manager with 10+ years of experience in the ITSM domain. He possesses varied experience in managing large IT projects globally. With his expertise in the IT service management domain, currently, he is helping an SMB in their transition from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4. Jacob is a voracious reader and an excellent writer, where he covers topics that revolve around ITIL, VeriSM, SIAM, and other vital frameworks in IT Service Management. His blogs will help you to gain knowledge and enhance your career growth in the IT service management industry.


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