Career Definition of an Agile Coach
An agile coach works in information technology. 'Agile' refers to a particular approach to working on applications and software development. Instead of working on long-term projects, the agile system involves breaking things down into small pieces or chunks, also known as iterations. The objective is to complete one chunk every 15 days and then evaluate it. At that point a decision is made about which piece will be worked on next.
It's a more fluid approach to IT projects. Agile is a system that originated with software development, and one of the objectives of agile coaches is to help prepare teams to apply agile methodology in other industries. Agile coaches help develop a plan to prepare teams to learn agile methodology and train staff. They provide the leadership and knowledge needed in order to effectively expand or introduce agile methodology. In some companies an agile coach may also be referred to as a supervisor or project manager.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree; certification|
|Job Skills||Leadership skills, excellent communication skills, strategic planning skills, ability to multitask, effective decision-making skills, time management skills, computer skills, interpersonal skills|
|Median Salary (2020)*||$122,784|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)**||11% (computer and information systems managers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Agile coaches typically work in information technology (IT) departments. They need to have computer and IT skills and are usually required to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or comparable experience and education. Some employers may also consider those who've studied engineering or business management. A master's degree may be necessary for some opportunities in this field and ScrumMaster certification and other agile certifications may also be required for some opportunities.
Since the agile methodology focuses on breaking things down into pieces and completing a piece every 15 days, agile coaches need to have excellent time management skills. This approach involves an assessment of the iteration completed at that time and the ability to decide what iteration should be worked on next, so those using agile need to be capable of making quick and effective decisions. Since agile coaches are training others to use agile methodology they need to demonstrate these practices and they also need to be strong leaders who are capable of training others. This means that they need excellent communication skills and outstanding interpersonal skills.
Career and Salary Outlook
PayScale.com reported that $122,784 was the median annual income for agile coaches in 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have a specific listing for agile coaches. The related job field that the BLS classifies agile coaches in is with computer and information systems managers. This field is experiencing a strong rate of job growth and the BLS forecasts employment opportunities will increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028.
If being an agile coach sounds appealing, you may also be interested in some similar career options, such as being a software development manager, an information technology manager or a game software developer. You can learn more about these career options, as well as the role of a software developer, by following these links.