12 Quality Assurance Certificates for Career Advancement

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Software professionals often perform a range of quality assurance processes to optimise the efficiency of their development and testing processes for new programs. Some of these software professionals earn certificates to demonstrate their proficiency in these skills to colleagues, employers or clients. Learning more about the various certificates available that focus on or relate to software quality assurance can help you determine which certificate might offer the greatest benefit for your career growth. In this article, we explore the subjects and prerequisites of 12 software quality assurance certificates for career advancement.

12 software quality assurance certificates for career advancement

The following are brief descriptions of 12 quality assurance certificates for career advancement that software professionals might consider pursuing:

1. Certified Tester Foundation Level

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) offers numerous software testing certifications at various levels. The Certified Tester Foundation Level certificate is the first level of this certificate, although the ISTQB also offers advanced and expert level certifications. To earn the advanced or expert certifications, it's necessary first to get the foundation level one.

Passing any of these certification exams demonstrates to an international market that you have the qualifications to perform quality assurance processes when testing software because the certification syllabus remains the same no matter which country you're from. While the ISTQB doesn't require students to complete any prerequisites before taking the foundation certification exam, it recommends that professionals have at least six months of experience in the field.

Related: A Guide to Software Developer Skills and How to Improve Them

2. Green Belt Certificate

Offered by the International Association Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), the Green Belt Certificate proves a professional's proficiency in core to advanced elements of the Lean Six Sigma Methodology. Although Lean and Six Sigma are methodologies not specific to software quality assurance, both processes can help software quality analysts maximise their efficiency during testing, which can ultimately reduce costs and boost profits.

The IASSC also offers other certificates related to its Lean Six Sigma processes that vary based on a professional's level and whether they specialise in Lean or Six Sigma. While the IASSC's Green Belt Certification exam has no prerequisites, the organisation advises that candidates first take an approved Lean Six Sigma training program before sitting for the exam.

3. Certified Technical Professional

The Certified Technical Professional (CTP) certificate is one of seven certificates the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) offers. This certificate demonstrates an individual's proficiency in operating technical equipment and solving complex technical problems. The exam covers engineering graphics, technical safety, applied mathematics, production planning and quality assurance. Before taking the CTP certification exam, the ATMAE suggests professionals complete either a two-year or four-year technical program that culminates in an associate's or bachelor's degree.

Related: What Is Software Composition Analysis and How Does It Work?

4. Project Management Professional

Professionals interested in quality assurance certificates for career advancement might consider getting the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), this certificate verifies that you're highly familiar with managing personnel, processes and strategies during the entire project management cycle. This certificate can benefit software professionals because developers, engineers, analysts and others in the tech field frequently collaborate on projects related to new or updated software. The PMP certificate covers three fundamental project management approaches: Agile, waterfall and hybrid. To get the PMP certificate, candidates meet the following requirements:

  • possession of a four-year degree

  • experience leading projects that total at least 36 months

  • education or training in project management of at least 35 hours or a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential

Alternatively, candidates can meet these prerequisites:

  • an associate degree, a global equivalent to an associate degree or a high school diploma

  • experience of at least 60 months total leading projects

  • training or education in project management or a CAPM certificate

Related: 7 Usability Testing Tools (With Definition and Benefits)

5. Certified Software Tester

The International Software Certification Board (ISCB) provides a Certified Software Tester (CSTE) certificate, among other business and technology certificates. The CSTE credential confirms that a professional understands both the principles and the strategies of quality assurance in the information technology (IT) field. To take the exam, candidates meet one of the following criteria:

  • a four-year degree and two years of experience in IT

  • a three-year degree and three years of experience in the tech field

  • a two-year degree and four years of IT work experience

  • six years of IT work experience

In addition, the ISCB requires that candidates are either currently working or have worked in tech within the last 18 months.

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6. Microsoft Office Specialist Master Certification

The Microsoft Office Specialist Master Certification shows other professionals that you're highly skilled at using the suite of Microsoft Office tools, such as Excel, Outlook and Word. While Microsoft Office programs don't focus on quality assurance, some software teams do use these tools to perform quality management tasks, such as analysing data on spreadsheets. Microsoft also offers Office certifications in Word and Excel at the expert and master levels.

While it's not necessary for professionals to complete any prerequisites before taking the certification exam, Microsoft advises taking a course in preparation, having at least 150 hours of experience with Office products or both.

Related: 15 Continuous Integration Tools for Software Developers

7. CSTE

Provided by the Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM), the CSTE focuses on teams of software professionals, including developers, quality engineers, test analysts and compliance managers. Through its internal course leading up to the certification exam, the GAQM teaches professionals about testing standards, project life cycles, risk analysis and prototypes. This online course from GAQM is the only prerequisite for earning the CSTE certificate.

Related: What Is Ad Hoc Testing for Software Development? (3 Types)

8. Certified Software Quality Analyst

The Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) credential is another certificate the ISCB offers. This credential focuses on quality assurance practices, qualifications and strategies to ensure that teams can develop a well-made final software product. The prerequisites for the CSQA credential are the same as those for the CSTE certificate.

Related: 5 Essential API Development Skills and How to Improve Them

9. Certified Software Business Analyst

The ISCB also provides certificates demonstrating a professional's business development and IT knowledge. One of these certificates is the Certified Software Business Analyst (CSBA) credential. A CSBA certificate verifies that a professional understands how to implement the common body of knowledge of CSBA principles and strategies while developing and deploying software products. Professionals interested in earning the CSBA certificate first meet the prerequisites of the ISCB's other credentials.

Related: Computer Engineer Skills: Definition and How to Develop Them

10. Certified Software Quality Manager

The International Institute for Software Testing (IIST) offers a Certified Software Quality Manager (CSQM) credential. Professionals with this certificate can demonstrate to colleagues and employers that they're highly familiar with the best practices and testing techniques related to software quality assurance and control. Subjects covered include validation methods, configuration management, testing requirements and Agile development.

It's necessary for professionals to complete 10 modules or course units approved by the IIST to earn this certificate. Those interested in taking these modules can enrol in public training weeks hosted in various cities throughout the year. They can also conduct their training online or perform the training sessions at the company they work for on-site if they have a team of at least eight professionals.

Related: A Complete Guide to Software Configuration Management Tools

11. Professional Software Engineering Master Certification

The IEE Computer Society offers a Professional Software Engineering Master Certification. Having this credential demonstrates your proficiency in 11 key areas of software engineering, including quality control, testing, design and configuration. While there are no prerequisites, the IEE Computer Society recommends that candidates finish at least four years of tertiary education in computer science or work for a minimum of four years in the tech industry. Those interested in earning this certificate can either take the internal course offered by the IEE Computer Society or enrol to take the exam.

12. Certified ScrumMaster

If you earn the Certified ScrumMaster credential from the Scrum Alliance, you can show colleagues and employers that you understand the foundational concepts and strategies of Scrum. Scrum refers to a popular Agile framework. Although Scrum isn't specific to software quality assurance, a better understanding of this framework can help software teams implement processes, including continuous improvement and rapid delivery. Professionals who want to get a Certified ScrumMaster credential first complete one of the courses the Scum Alliance offers virtually or in person.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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