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Top 10 Software Consultant Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the most sought-after software consultant certifications, helping readers identify the best options for their career goals.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for software consultants in the job market because they demonstrate a certain level of expertise and knowledge in the field. They can be used to validate a consultant's skills and capabilities, making them more attractive to potential employers. Certifications also demonstrate that the consultant is committed to ongoing professional development and has taken the time to stay current with industry trends, best practices, and technologies. Finally, certifications may provide access to exclusive job opportunities or special rates from vendors.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Software Consultants and explain how they can help advance a software consultant's career.

What are Software Consultant Certifications?

Software consultant certification is a type of professional certification that demonstrates a person's knowledge and experience in the software development and consulting industry. It is awarded by organizations that specialize in certifying software professionals. This certification can help individuals demonstrate their expertise to potential employers, clients, or colleagues. It also shows that they have the necessary skills to provide quality services related to software engineering, software development, and other areas of software consulting.

Having a software consultant certification can help an individual stand out from the crowd in terms of job applications or client proposals. It can also give them an advantage when negotiating salary or other contract details with potential employers or clients. Additionally, it might enable them to access certain opportunities that may not be available to those without the certification. In some cases, having this certification may even be required for certain positions or contracts.

Overall, having a software consultant certification can be an invaluable asset for anyone looking to advance their career in the software engineering and consulting industry.

Pro Tip: Software consultant certification is an invaluable asset for any aspiring software consultant. It can provide a competitive edge and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field. Make sure to research certifications thoroughly to find one that fits your specific goals and interests, as well as taking into account the time commitment required to complete the certification process.

Related: What does a Software Consultant do?

Top 10 Software Consultant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Software Consultants today.

1. Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA)

Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in software quality assurance and testing. The CSQA certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as software development life cycle, quality assurance processes, testing techniques, and project management.

It typically takes around 3-6 months to prepare for the CSQA exam. This includes studying the recommended materials, taking practice tests, and attending review classes if available. Additionally, applicants must have at least three years of full-time professional experience in software quality assurance or related fields within the past 10 years.

To get certified as a CSQA, applicants must first register with ASQ and pay the required fees. Once registered, they can begin preparing for the exam by studying the recommended materials and taking practice tests. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their official certificate from ASQ.

The cost of getting certified as a CSQA varies depending on location and membership status with ASQ. Generally speaking, it costs between $400-$500 USD to take the exam without any discounts or promotions applied.

2. Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP)

The Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) is a certification program offered by the International Institute of Software Testing (IIST). It is designed to recognize and validate software development professionals who have demonstrated excellence in their field.

The CSDP certification requires a minimum of three years of professional experience in software development, as well as successful completion of an online exam. The exam covers topics such as software development processes, project management, software architecture and design, coding techniques, testing methodologies, and quality assurance practices. Candidates must also pass a practical assessment that tests their ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations.

To get the CSDP certification, candidates must first complete the online exam and practical assessment. The cost for the exam varies depending on the country where it is taken; typically it ranges from $250 to $500 USD. After passing both exams, candidates must submit an application to IIST for review and approval before they can receive their certification.

In total, it takes approximately two to three months to get the CSDP certification once all requirements are met.

3. Certified Software Project Manager (CSPM)

Certified Software Project Manager (CSPM) is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s knowledge and experience in managing software projects. The CSPM certification is awarded by the International Institute of Software Project Managers (IISPM).

The CSPM certification requires a minimum of three years of software project management experience, as well as passing an exam. The exam covers topics such as project planning, risk management, quality assurance, and budgeting. In addition to the exam, applicants must also complete a portfolio demonstrating their ability to manage software projects.

The CSPM certification can be obtained within six months to one year depending on the applicant’s commitment level and how quickly they can complete the required coursework and exams.

The cost for obtaining the CSPM certification varies based on where you take the courses and exams. Generally speaking, it will cost between $1,000 and $3,000 USD to obtain the CSPM certification.

4. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is a professional certification program designed to teach and validate the knowledge and skills of experienced Scrum practitioners. It is the most widely recognized certification in the Agile community.

The CSM program is offered by the Scrum Alliance, an international organization dedicated to promoting and advancing Scrum as a framework for project management. The program consists of a two-day course that covers all aspects of Scrum, including its principles, values, roles, events, artifacts, and practices. Upon successful completion of the course and passing an online assessment, participants receive their CSM designation.

It typically takes two days to complete the CSM course. During this time participants will learn about the core principles of Scrum and how it can be applied in various contexts. They will also gain hands-on experience with practical exercises and simulations designed to help them understand how to apply Scrum in their own work environment.

To get your Certified ScrumMaster designation you must first register for a CSM course with an accredited training provider. These courses are generally available both online and in-person depending on your location. Once you have completed the course you must pass an online assessment which tests your understanding of the material covered during the course. Upon successful completion of this assessment you will receive your official CSM certificate from the Scrum Alliance.

The cost of getting your Certified ScrumMaster designation varies depending on where you take the course but generally ranges between $1,000-$2,000 USD for both online and in-person courses.

5. Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM)

Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of agile principles, practices, and tools. CAPM certification holders are able to lead agile projects using the PMI’s Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) framework.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for the CAPM exam, depending on your experience level. To get certified, you must pass the CAPM exam, which consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within three hours. The cost of taking the exam is $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members.

To become eligible to take the exam, you must have at least 1,500 hours of project experience or 23 contact hours of formal education in project management. You can obtain these hours through a combination of formal education classes and professional work experience.

6. Certified Cloud Computing Professional (CCCP)

Certified Cloud Computing Professional (CCCP) is a professional certification program offered by the Cloud Credential Council (CCC). It is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective cloud computing professional.

The CCCP program consists of three courses: Introduction to Cloud Computing, Advanced Cloud Computing, and Professional Cloud Computing. The courses cover topics such as cloud architecture, security, scalability, performance optimization, and more. Each course is designed to be completed in approximately 6-8 weeks.

To get certified as a CCCP, you must successfully complete all three courses and pass the final exam. The exam is administered online and can be taken at any time. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official CCCP certificate.

The cost of the CCCP program varies depending on which provider you choose to use for certification. Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$1000 USD for all three courses and the exam fee.

7. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program designed by Microsoft to recognize IT professionals who have the skills and knowledge to design, implement, and manage infrastructure solutions based on Microsoft technologies.

The MCSE certification requires that individuals pass a series of exams that demonstrate their expertise in specific areas of Microsoft technology. The exams cover topics such as networking, security, virtualization, cloud computing, storage solutions, messaging systems, and more.

It typically takes between six months and one year to earn an MCSE certification. To get certified, you must pass a series of exams related to the particular technology area you are certifying in. You can find a list of available exams on the Microsoft website.

The cost of getting an MCSE certification varies depending on the number of exams you need to take and the country where you are taking them. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $150 USD and there may be additional fees for proctoring or other services.

8. Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer

Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer is an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates a professional’s expertise in developing applications using the Java programming language. This certification is designed to validate a programmer’s knowledge of the core concepts and principles of the Java language as well as their ability to use the language to develop robust, secure, and maintainable applications.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete the necessary training and pass the exam required for this certification. To get started, individuals must first become a member of Oracle University. Once they have registered with Oracle University, they can choose from a variety of courses that cover topics such as object-oriented programming, design patterns, collections framework, concurrency, JDBC API and more. After completing these courses, individuals can then register for the Oracle Certified Professional: Java SE 8 Programmer Exam (1Z0-808).

The cost of this certification varies depending on which courses you take and how you choose to study for the exam. The cost of membership with Oracle University is approximately $100 USD per year. In addition, there are fees associated with each course taken and additional fees for taking practice exams or purchasing study materials. The cost of taking the actual exam is $245 USD.

Overall, obtaining an Oracle Certified Professional: Java SE 8 Programmer Certification can be an expensive endeavor but it can also be extremely rewarding in terms of career advancement opportunities.

9. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ Certification is an industry-leading certification program that validates the skills of IT professionals. It is a globally recognized credential that proves an individual’s expertise in computer hardware and software, networking, security, and troubleshooting. CompTIA A+ Certification is designed to help IT professionals advance their careers by demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of computer technologies.

The CompTIA A+ certification requires two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). The exams are designed to test the skills needed to install, maintain, customize, optimize, troubleshoot, repair, configure, and operate personal computers. The exams also cover topics such as mobile devices, printers, operating systems, networks, security fundamentals, virtualization technologies, cloud computing concepts and other emerging technologies.

To get CompTIA A+ certification you must pass both Core 1 and Core 2 exams. The exams are available at Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. Each exam takes 90 minutes and consists of 90 multiple choice questions.

The cost for taking the CompTIA A+ certification exam varies depending on location but typically costs between $219-$299 USD per exam.

10. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an entry-level certification offered by Cisco Systems. It is designed to provide a foundation of networking knowledge and skills that are required for the installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of basic network infrastructure. The CCNA certification covers topics such as IP addressing, routing protocols, switching technologies, wireless networking, security fundamentals, and more.

It typically takes around 6 months to prepare for the CCNA exam. This includes studying the material covered in the exam objectives as well as hands-on practice with Cisco routers and switches. There are also many online resources available to help you prepare for the exam such as study guides, practice tests, and video tutorials.

To get your CCNA certification you must pass two exams: ICND1 (Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1) and ICND2 (Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 2). The cost of each exam varies depending on where you take it but usually ranges from $150-$250 USD per exam.

In addition to passing these two exams there is also a fee associated with obtaining your CCNA certification which is currently $300 USD. Once you have passed both exams and paid the associated fee your CCNA will be valid for three years before it needs to be renewed.

Do You Really Need a Software Consultant Certificate?

Whether or not you need a Software Consultant Certificate depends on your individual situation. On the one hand, having a certificate can help demonstrate your knowledge and abilities to potential employers, making you more attractive as a candidate. Additionally, if you are working with clients, having a certificate can add an extra layer of credibility to your services. On the other hand, certifications may not always be necessary in order to land a job or obtain client work.

If you have the necessary experience and qualifications for the job that you are applying for, then it may not be necessary to get certified. For example, if you have several years of software consulting experience and are able to show prospective employers your ability to work with clients and solve complex problems, then certification might not be essential for getting hired. However, if you are just starting out or have limited experience in software consulting, then having a certification can help set yourself apart from other applicants.

In the end, whether or not you should pursue a Software Consultant Certificate is up to you and your individual goals and circumstances. It could potentially help open new opportunities for professional growth but is by no means required in order to succeed in the field of software consulting.

Related: Software Consultant Resume Examples

FAQs About Software Consultant Certifications

1. What are the Benefits of Software Consultant Certification?

Answer: Software consultant certification provides a number of benefits including increased job opportunities, higher pay, more professional credibility and recognition, and the ability to keep up with industry trends and best practices.

2. What Types of Certifications Are Available for Software Consultants?

Answer: There are several different certifications available for software consultants depending on their experience level, such as Certified Associate in Software Engineering (CASE), Certified Professional in Software Engineering (CPSE), Certified Solution Architect (CSA), Certified Systems Analyst (CSA), and Certified Programmer Analyst (CPA).

3. How Do I Become a Certified Software Consultant?

Answer: To become a certified software consultant, you must pass an exam administered by an accredited certification body and meet any other requirements specific to the certification you are seeking. You may also need to have certain experience or qualifications related to software engineering or consulting prior to being eligible for certification.

4. How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Software Consultant?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become a certified software consultant varies depending on the type of certification you are seeking and your current knowledge base. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete all the necessary steps required for certification.

5. Is There an Age Limit for Obtaining Certification as a Software Consultant?

Answer: No, there is no age limit for obtaining certification as a software consultant; however, most certifying bodies require that applicants have at least three years of professional experience working in software engineering or consulting before they can take the exam.