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Since software testing is an integral part of the software development lifecycle, the need for talented QAs is constantly on the rise. There are also many out there who aspire to become a software tester by setting them apart from the overwhelming competition that has a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Certifications are a great way to accomplish just that, but there is a catch as not all certifications will be worth the effort and resources. So in this blog, we will be taking a look at the best QA testing certifications that will help a QA either kickstart their career or move higher in their career.
ISTQB – Foundation Level
The International Software Testing Qualifications Board is one of the most renowned and globally acclaimed QA testing certifications in the industry. The primary reason we are starting with this certification is that it can help you get a perfect start to your software testing career. It will help you understand all the fundamentals of software testing that are needed to fit into the various software testing roles such as test automation engineer, mobile-app tester, user-acceptance tester, and so on. The syllabi that they follow are constantly improved to keep up with the growing business needs. But the primary advantage that their syllabi have is that they are open to the public and you can go through their material before deciding to attend the exam that will cost you $229.
The foundation level certification isn’t the only one offered by ISTQB and we will be exploring the rest as we progress.
CAST – Certified Associate In Software Testing
CAST is yet another apt choice for the ones looking to start their software testing career. It is a foundation-level QA testing certification like the ISTQB certification we saw earlier and it will help you learn the important principles and best practices you would need to know. Let’s take a look at the prerequisites for this certification,
- Have a 3 or 4-year degree from an accredited college-level institution.
- If you have a 2-year degree at the same level, then a year of experience in testing will make you eligible.
- You could do the certification without a relevant degree if you have at least 3 years of experience in testing.
So it is evident here that you have the option to get this high-value QA testing certification just with your degree. So like ISTQB, it is a great option for freshers, and also a viable option for people with experience to certify themselves. CAST would cost you $100 to attempt and you should make sure that you attend the examination within 1 year of payment and get 70% to clear it.
CSTE — Certified Software Test Engineer
Now that we have seen two entry-level QA testing certifications to get started with, let’s move on to the next level. CSTE is more of a professional-level certification that helps you establish your competence and achieve better visibility in your team. So you will be able to present yourself as someone who can take up some additional responsibility and take a step forward in their career. The prerequisites also change accordingly,
- Must have a 4-year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 2 years of experience in testing.
So if you have a 3-year degree, you will need 3 years of experience in testing.
- Similarly, if you have a 2-year degree, then you will need 4 years of experience in testing.
- If you don’t have an appropriate degree, then you could compensate for that with 6 years of experience in testing.
Similar to CAST, you would have to score 70% to pass the test and it would cost you around $350 to $420.
CTM — Certified Test Manager
If CSTE was the first step towards a management role, CTM is the one that helps you get better at it. As the name suggests, this QA testing certification is targeted towards improving your management skills. It is a great option if you are currently in a leadership role as it can help you better your skills. You will be learning about various skills like how to manage test processes & test projects, how to measure a test process so that you can work on improving it, risk management, and so much more. Since it is management-level certification, you would also require experience in any leadership role.
The prerequisite is that you should have 3 years of experience in testing that includes 1 year of experience in a leadership role that is relevant to software testing. This has to be met with by the time the CTM will be granted. You would require a lot of supporting documents for this one. So make sure to check over the complete procedure on their website. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the Test Management Body of Knowledge book as it is the key to this certification.
CSSBB — Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
Another option to sharpen up your management skills is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) certified CSSBB. Like ISTQB, there are other belts available as well, but the black belt certification helps you understand the team dynamics and assign roles & responsibilities accordingly. You will be able to use the Six Sigma principles to optimize the DMAIC (Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) model. In addition to that, you will also be equipped with the basics of lean management and how to identify non-value elements. The prerequisites are,
- You would require a minimum of 3 years of experience in one or more areas of the CSSBB Body of Knowledge.
- You would require a minimum of 1 or 2 completed projects with signed affidavits.
The exam would cost you $538 and would be an open-book test. If you are an ASQ member, then you would get a discount of $100 in the cost.
ISTQB – Advanced & Expert Level
The Advanced level of ISTQB is on par with the CTM certification that we saw earlier and the expert level is the one with the highest recognition. So starting with the foundation level certification, you should work yourself up the ladder and complete the advanced level first and then follow it up with the expert level. The expert level is the epitome of all these QA testing certifications as in addition to the in-depth concepts you will be learning about, you will also be handling practical exercises and discussions for almost half of the entire time. The prerequisites would also be very high for this certification.
- One must have at least 5 years of practical testing experience in testing.
- In that 5 years, at least 2 years should be industry experience in the specific topic that you are looking to become an expert in.
As one of the top software testing companies in Chennai, we always concentrate on getting our employees certified with ISTQB. We are currently a Silver-level partner with ISTQB and on a path to become a Platinum-level partner in the near future. We are aware of how valuable these ISTQB certifications are, and that is why we have started and ended the list with them. So we hope you have found this list of our top QA testing certifications to be useful. Make sure to pick the courses best for you and also remember that even though certifications are important, it is the knowledge you build that matters. So pour your heart and soul into it and be on a path of continuous learning.