Top 10 Software Support Engineer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top software support engineer certifications available, including details on their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Software support engineers are responsible for troubleshooting and resolving software-related issues. As such, having certifications can be an important asset in the job market. Certifications demonstrate a strong level of expertise in specific software programs or platforms, showing employers that the candidate has the knowledge and skills to effectively provide software support. Having certifications can also give candidates an edge over other applicants who do not have them, making them more attractive to potential employers. Additionally, certifications can help software support engineers stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and best practices, ensuring they are providing the highest quality of service possible.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Software Support Engineers and explains how they can help to enhance a software support engineer's career.

What are Software Support Engineer Certifications?

Software Support Engineer Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates proficiency in the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of software products. It is designed to provide employers with assurance that a certified individual has the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively support software products.

The certification process typically involves passing an exam that tests both theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to software support engineering. The exam can include topics such as system architecture, operating systems, networking, storage management, security, scripting and automation tools, database technologies, and application development. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will be awarded the certification.

Having a Software Support Engineer Certification can help individuals stand out from other job applicants in the same field by demonstrating their expertise in software support engineering. It also provides employers with assurance that they are hiring someone who is qualified to handle technical issues related to their organization’s software products. Additionally, having this certification can give professionals greater job opportunities and higher salaries as they prove their abilities in the field of software support engineering.

Pro tip: When considering a software support engineer certification, make sure to choose one that is vendor-agnostic and covers the latest technologies. This will ensure that your certification has broad applicability across multiple companies and platforms.

Related: What does a Software Support Engineer do?

Top 10 Software Support Engineer Certifications

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

1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program designed to validate an individual's technical expertise in the design and implementation of Microsoft-based solutions. It is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to build innovative solutions across multiple technologies, both on-premises and in the cloud.

It typically takes between 6 months to 1 year to get your MCSE certification, depending on the type of certification you are pursuing. The process includes studying for exams, completing hands-on labs, and passing one or more certification exams.

To get your MCSE certification, you will need to pass one or more of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) exams first. These exams are designed to test your knowledge and skills in specific areas such as Windows Server 2016, Office 365, Azure, SQL Server 2016, SharePoint 2016, Exchange Server 2016 and System Center 2012 R2. After passing these exams, you can then take the MCSE exam which validates your overall knowledge and experience in implementing Microsoft solutions.

The cost of obtaining an MCSE certification varies depending on which track you choose to pursue. Generally speaking, it can range from $300-$500 per exam plus any applicable taxes or fees. If you choose to attend instructor-led training courses or purchase study materials such as books or videos, those costs would be additional.

2. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates a technician’s competency in computer hardware and operating systems. It is the most widely recognized certification for entry-level IT professionals, and is often required for technical support positions. The certification covers topics such as installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance and basic networking.

It typically takes between three to six months to complete the CompTIA A+ exam depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying. The exam consists of two parts: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). You must pass both exams to become certified.

To get CompTIA A+ certified, you need to register for the exams through the CompTIA website or through a third-party testing provider such as Pearson VUE or Prometric. Once registered, you can study using practice tests, textbooks, online courses or other resources available from CompTIA or its partners. After passing both exams, you will receive your certificate via email within 7–10 business days.

The cost of CompTIA A+ certification varies depending on where you take the exam and which version of the exam you choose (A+ 900 series or A+ 220 series). Generally speaking, it costs around $200 USD per exam plus any additional fees charged by the testing provider.

3. Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) is a certification program designed to validate an individual’s knowledge and skills in administering Windows-based systems. An MCSA certification demonstrates that an individual has the ability to install, configure, and manage Windows Server operating systems. It also validates the ability to work with networking technologies, security, and other related services.

It typically takes around six months of preparation to become certified as an MCSA. This includes taking courses or self-study materials, such as books or online tutorials. Once you have completed your studies, you will need to pass three exams: 70-740: Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016; 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016; and 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016.

To get your MCSA certification, you must register for the exams through Microsoft's website. The cost of each exam varies depending on where you take it but can range from $100-$200 per exam. In total, the cost of becoming an MCSA can range from $300-$600 depending on your location and other factors.

Once you have passed all three exams, you will receive your official Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certificate from Microsoft.

4. ITIL Foundation Certification

ITIL Foundation Certification is a globally-recognized qualification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the ITIL framework. It is a prerequisite for higher-level ITIL certifications, and is designed to provide individuals with an understanding of how to use IT service management (ITSM) best practices to improve the quality of their organization’s services.

The ITIL Foundation certification requires passing a 60-minute, 40 question multiple choice exam. The exam can be taken online or in person at an accredited testing center. The exam covers topics such as Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, Continual Service Improvement and the ITIL 4 Foundation Bridge.

To get certified, you must complete a training course from an accredited provider and pass the exam with a minimum score of 65%. The cost of the training course varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $600-$1500 USD. After completing your training course and passing the exam, you will receive your official ITIL Foundation Certificate.

The cost of taking the exam also varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $150-$300 USD.

5. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification offered by Cisco Systems that validates an individual's ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized routed and switched networks. It is the entry-level certification within the Cisco Career Certification program.

The CCNA certification typically takes around 6 months to complete depending on the individual’s experience and background. To get the certification, individuals must pass two exams: ICND1 (100-105) and ICND2 (200-105). Both exams are 90 minutes long and consist of multiple choice questions. The cost of each exam varies depending on location but usually ranges between $150-$300 USD per exam.

6. VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification program designed to validate an individual’s knowledge and skills in virtualization technology. It is offered by VMware, the world’s leading provider of virtualization solutions. The VCP certification demonstrates that an individual has the technical expertise to design, deploy, manage and troubleshoot VMware vSphere environments.

It typically takes around 6-12 months to obtain the VCP certification depending on the individual's experience level and background. To become certified, individuals must first complete a VMware authorized training course or equivalent self-study materials. After completing the training course, they must take and pass two exams: one on vSphere fundamentals and another on their chosen track (Data Center Virtualization, Cloud Management & Automation or Network Virtualization).

The cost of obtaining the VCP certification varies depending on which track you choose and whether you opt for instructor-led or online training. Generally speaking, it costs between $3,000 - $4,000 USD for the entire process including both exams and training courses.

7. Certified Novell Engineer (CNE)

Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) is a certification program offered by Novell, Inc. that recognizes IT professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in the areas of networking, system administration, and security. The CNE certification is designed to validate an individual’s ability to design, implement, and manage a Novell network.

It typically takes about 6-12 months of study and practice to prepare for the CNE exam. To become certified, individuals must pass two exams: one on NetWare 6 fundamentals and another on either NetWare 6 Advanced Administration or Network Services & Security.

To get started with the CNE certification process, individuals must first register with Pearson VUE (the testing provider) and purchase an exam voucher from Novell's website. The cost of the exam voucher varies depending on which exam you are taking but generally ranges from $150-$200 USD per exam.

In addition to the cost of the exam voucher, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exams such as registration fees or proctoring fees if you are taking the exams at a testing center.

8. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a certification program from Red Hat, Inc. that validates the skills of IT professionals in administering and managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. It is designed to provide hands-on experience and knowledge in the areas of system administration, configuration, troubleshooting, security, networking, and storage.

The RHCSA certification requires passing a single exam that takes approximately two hours and is based on real-world tasks that system administrators would be expected to perform. To get certified, candidates must have at least six months of experience working with Red Hat Enterprise Linux or equivalent distributions.

To get RHCSA certified, you must pass the RHCSA Exam (EX200). The exam covers topics such as installation and configuration of operating systems; user management; file systems; network services; system security; package management; software management; troubleshooting; monitoring tools; scripting languages; virtualization technologies; and more.

The cost for the RHCSA exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $400 - $500 USD.

9. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Certification

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Certification is an entry-level certification that validates a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. It demonstrates a basic understanding of how to use the platform to solve business problems, as well as the ability to configure and customize it.

The exam covers topics such as core concepts, security, data management, integration, customization, reporting, and analytics. It also covers the basics of using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for customer service and sales automation.

The exam typically takes about 90 minutes to complete and requires a passing score of 70%. The cost for the exam varies by region but generally ranges from $99-$150 USD.

To get certified in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals, you must first register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. Once registered, you will need to study for the exam using resources provided by Microsoft or third-party vendors. After studying and preparing for the exam, you can then take it at your local testing center or online via remote proctoring.

10. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize and validate an individual's expertise in project management. The PMP credential demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully manage projects of any size or complexity.

To be eligible for the PMP exam, applicants must have a minimum of three years of project management experience, as well as a four-year degree or equivalent. Applicants must also complete 35 hours of formal project management education prior to taking the exam.

The PMP examination consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. The cost of the exam varies depending on the country in which it is taken, but typically ranges from US$405 to US$555. Once passed, the certification must be renewed every three years by completing at least 60 professional development units (PDUs).

Do You Really Need a Software Support Engineer Certificate?

The short answer to this question is no, you do not need a software support engineer certificate to become a software support engineer. However, having a certificate can be beneficial in several ways.

First, having a software support engineer certificate can help employers quickly identify you as someone who has the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective software support engineer. A certificate demonstrates that you have taken the time to learn the concepts and principles associated with the job and that you are committed to staying up-to-date on the latest technologies in the field.

Second, having a certificate can also provide an edge when applying for jobs or promotions within your current organization. Employers may view you as more qualified for certain roles if you have a certification that proves your expertise. This may give you an advantage over other candidates who do not have any certifications related to their field of work.

Finally, earning a certification may also provide additional opportunities for career advancement. Many companies will offer special benefits or bonuses for employees who have obtained specialty certifications in their fields of work. This could include additional training or even higher pay grades.

In conclusion, while it is not necessary to obtain a software support engineer certificate in order to become one, doing so can certainly be advantageous when it comes to obtaining employment or advancing your career in this field.

Related: Software Support Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Software Support Engineer Certifications

1. What are the requirements for becoming a Software Support Engineer?

Answer: The exact requirements vary depending on the specific position and employer, but typically a minimum of an Associate’s degree in Computer Science or a related field is required. Additionally, experience with software applications, troubleshooting techniques, customer service and problem-solving skills are also important.

2. How long does it take to get certified as a Software Support Engineer?

Answer: Generally speaking, certification programs usually require anywhere from 4-6 months of study and preparation before taking the certification exams.

3. What is the best way to prepare for Software Support Engineer Certification Exams?

Answer: The best way to prepare for these exams is to focus on the material covered in your coursework or training program and use practice tests and study guides to help you become familiar with the exam format and content. It is also important to stay up-to-date on current industry trends and technologies so that you can answer questions accurately during the exam.

4. Are there any online resources available for studying for Software Support Engineer Certifications?

Answer: Yes, there are many online resources available such as practice tests, study guides, tutorials, and forums where you can ask questions about particular topics related to your certification program. Additionally, many employers may offer training courses or seminars specifically designed to help you prepare for these exams.

5. What types of jobs can I apply for after becoming a certified Software Support Engineer?

Answer: Certified software support engineers typically find employment in IT departments of large companies or organizations as well as smaller businesses that need assistance managing their computer systems and networks. They may be responsible for installing software programs, providing technical support or troubleshooting issues related to software applications or hardware components. They can also work as consultants helping companies develop new software solutions or update existing ones.