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Top 10 Software Test Engineer Certifications

This article outlines the best certifications available for software test engineers, providing an overview of the best options and their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a software test engineer in the job market because they demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and expertise in software testing. Employers prefer to hire individuals who have taken the time to become certified in their particular field, as it shows a commitment to their profession and a dedication to achieving excellence. Certifications also provide evidence of an engineer’s ability to learn new technologies and methods, as well as show that they have comprehensive knowledge of the current industry standards. With certifications, employers can be sure that the engineer is up-to-date on best practices and can effectively test applications for quality assurance.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most valuable certifications for Software Test Engineers and explain how they can help advance a Software Test Engineer's career.

What are Software Test Engineer Certifications?

Software test engineer certification is a qualification that verifies an individual's knowledge, skills, and abilities in software testing. It is usually awarded after successful completion of a course or program focused on software testing, such as ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board). This certification can help individuals demonstrate their expertise in the field to potential employers, allowing them to stand out from other job applicants. It can also provide them with the opportunity to gain access to more advanced roles within organizations. Additionally, certified software test engineers may have access to exclusive resources and training opportunities that can help them stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends in the industry. Finally, by obtaining this certification, individuals are showing their commitment to professional development and their willingness to invest in their own career growth.

Pro Tip: When considering a software test engineer certification, make sure to research the certifying body and its reputation in the industry. Look for certifications that include hands-on experience and real-world scenarios to ensure you are getting the most comprehensive training available.

Related: What does a Software Test Engineer do?

Top 10 Software Test Engineer Certifications

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

1. Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE)

Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE) is an internationally recognized certification program developed by the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI). It is designed to recognize professionals who have attained a level of proficiency in software testing and quality assurance. The CSTE certification demonstrates a commitment to the software testing profession and provides recognition for individuals who have achieved mastery in this field.

The CSTE certification requires successful completion of two exams: the Foundation Level Exam and the Advanced Level Exam. The Foundation Level Exam covers topics such as software development lifecycle, test planning, test design, test execution, defect management, and test automation. The Advanced Level Exam focuses on topics such as risk-based testing, performance testing, security testing, system integration testing, and more.

It typically takes a minimum of six months to prepare for the CSTE certification exams. To get started on your path to becoming certified, you will need to purchase study materials from QAI’s website or from other vendors that offer CSTE study materials. Additionally, you should consider taking online courses or attending training seminars related to software testing and quality assurance.

The cost of obtaining the CSTE certification varies depending on which study materials you choose and whether or not you take any courses or attend seminars related to this certification. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 USD for all required materials and fees associated with obtaining the CSTE certification.

2. 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 help software professionals demonstrate their knowledge and experience in software quality assurance and testing.

The CSQA certification requires candidates to pass an exam that covers topics such as software quality assurance, testing processes, and software development life cycle. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

To become a CSQA certified professional, you must have at least five years of experience in the field of software quality assurance and/or testing, or have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field. You must also have completed at least 30 hours of approved training courses in software quality assurance and/or testing.

The cost of the CSQA certification exam is $395 USD. Additionally, there are fees associated with the application process which include a $50 USD application fee, a $100 USD registration fee, and a $45 USD late fee if applicable.

Once you have successfully completed the exam, you will receive your official CSQA certificate from ASQ within six weeks after passing the exam.

3. ISTQB Foundation Level Certification

ISTQB Foundation Level Certification is an internationally recognized qualification for software testers. It is designed to provide a basic understanding of software testing and the fundamentals of the ISTQB syllabus. The certification provides a comprehensive overview of software testing principles, processes, techniques, and tools.

The certification consists of two parts: a theoretical exam and a practical exam. The theoretical exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 60 minutes. The practical exam consists of 8 tasks that must be completed within 90 minutes. Both exams are administered by accredited bodies such as ASTQB or iSQI.

It typically takes about 3 months to prepare for the ISTQB Foundation Level Certification exams depending on your background knowledge and experience in software testing. You can find various resources online to help you prepare for the exams including study guides, practice tests, and online courses.

The cost of the ISTQB Foundation Level Certification varies depending on where you take it but generally ranges from $150-$400 USD (or equivalent).

4. ASTQB Mobile Application Testing Certification

ASTQB Mobile Application Testing Certification is a professional certification program designed to help software testers demonstrate their knowledge and skills in mobile application testing. This certification is offered by the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB).

The certification requires passing an online exam, which consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers topics such as mobile application development, mobile app testing strategies, and mobile test automation. The exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and the passing score is 70%.

To get certified, you must first register for the exam on ASTQB's website. After registering, you will be able to access the exam and take it at your own pace. Once you pass the exam, you will receive an official certificate from ASTQB.

The cost of the ASTQB Mobile Application Testing Certification varies depending on where you take it. In most cases, it costs around $200 USD. However, some organizations may offer discounts or special pricing for certain groups of people. It is best to contact ASTQB directly for more information about pricing options.

5. Certified Test Manager (CTM)

Certified Test Manager (CTM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage software testing projects. The CTM program is administered by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB).

The CTM exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within 90 minutes. To pass the exam, candidates must obtain at least 65% of the total marks available.

To become a Certified Test Manager, an individual must first pass the Foundation Level Exam and then complete an Advanced Level Syllabus in Test Management. This syllabus covers topics such as project management, risk management, test strategy development, test estimation techniques, test process improvement methods and test automation techniques. After completing the syllabus requirements, a candidate may take the CTM exam.

The cost of taking the CTM exam varies depending on location. In North America and Europe it typically costs around $450 USD.

6. Certified Agile Tester (CAT)

Certified Agile Tester (CAT) is a certification offered by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of agile testing principles. The CAT certification is designed for testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers who want to demonstrate their agile testing skills.

The CAT certification requires successful completion of an exam that consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. The exam must be completed within 90 minutes and requires a score of 65% or higher to pass.

To become certified as a CAT, you must first register with the ISTQB website and pay the applicable fee. Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online exam. You can then take the exam at your convenience from any location with internet access.

The cost of the CAT certification varies depending on your country of residence; however, it typically ranges between $200 - $400 USD.

7. International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) Advanced Level Certifications

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) Advanced Level Certifications are a set of internationally recognized qualifications in software testing. The certifications are designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful software testers. The certifications are divided into three levels: Foundation, Advanced, and Expert.

The ISTQB Advanced Level Certification is the second level of certification offered by the ISTQB. It is intended for experienced software testers who have already achieved the Foundation Level Certification and want to further their knowledge and skills in software testing. To obtain this certification, candidates must pass an examination that covers topics such as test design techniques, test management, risk-based testing, defect management, and automation. The exam also includes questions on advanced topics such as performance testing, security testing, and usability testing.

The ISTQB Advanced Level Certification typically takes around two months to complete depending on how much preparation you do beforehand. To get started you will need to register for the exam online or through your local ISTQB office. Once registered you can begin studying for the exam using books or online resources. After passing the exam you will be awarded your certificate which is valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

The cost of taking the ISTQB Advanced Level Certification exam varies depending on where you take it but typically ranges from $200-$400 USD (or equivalent).

8. HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT) Certification

HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT) Certification is a professional certification program offered by HP that validates an individual's skills in using the UFT software. The certification program is designed to help individuals demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in using the UFT software for automated testing.

The certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as test automation, object-oriented programming, debugging, and scripting. It typically takes around two hours to complete the exam.

To get certified, you must first pass the HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT) Certification Exam. This exam can be taken at any authorized HP testing center or online through HP's website. To register for the exam, you will need to create an account on HP's website and pay a fee of $150 USD. After successfully passing the exam, you will receive your official certificate from HP within a few weeks.

The cost of getting certified depends on where you take the exam and how many attempts it takes you to pass it. If you take the exam online through HP's website, it will cost $150 USD per attempt. If you take it at an authorized testing center, there may be additional fees associated with taking the test there.

9. Microsoft Technology Associate: Database Fundamentals Certification

Microsoft Technology Associate: Database Fundamentals Certification is a certification program designed to help individuals demonstrate their knowledge of database fundamentals. The certification covers topics such as database design, data manipulation, and query writing. It also covers the use of Microsoft SQL Server and other related technologies.

The certification exam consists of 40-60 questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. To get certified, you must pass the exam with a score of 700 or higher on a scale of 1000.

You can register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. The cost of the exam varies by country but typically ranges from $100-$150 USD. You can also purchase practice exams to help prepare for the actual exam.

Once you pass the exam, you will receive your Microsoft Technology Associate: Database Fundamentals Certification which is valid for two years from the date that it was earned. After two years, you will need to retake the exam in order to maintain your certification status.

10. Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer

Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer is an industry-recognized certification that validates a programmer's knowledge and experience in developing applications using the Java Standard Edition 8 programming language. It is designed to ensure that developers have the skills necessary to create robust and secure applications for business environments.

The Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer certification exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 150 minutes to complete. The exam covers topics such as object-oriented programming, design patterns, collections, generics, concurrency, lambdas, streams, functional interfaces, JDBC API, I/O fundamentals and more.

To get the Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer certification you must pass the Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer Exam (1Z0-809). The exam can be taken at any Pearson VUE or Prometric testing center.

The cost of taking the Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer Exam (1Z0-809) is $245 USD.

Do You Really Need a Software Test Engineer Certificate?

Whether you need a software test engineer certificate depends on your career goals. If you are interested in becoming a professional software test engineer, then having the proper certification can be beneficial. It can demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the job successfully. Additionally, having a certificate may help you stand out amongst other applicants.

If you already have extensive experience in software testing or if you are already working as a software test engineer, then a certificate may not be necessary. Employers may prefer hiring someone with experience over someone with only a certificate. You should also consider the cost associated with obtaining the certificate and whether it is worth it for your career goals.

Ultimately, whether or not you need to obtain a software test engineer certificate depends on your individual circumstances and goals. If you decide to pursue certification, make sure that it is from an accredited institution and that it will provide value for your future career endeavors.

Related: Software Test Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Software Test Engineer Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become a Software Test Engineer?

Answer: To become a software test engineer, you must have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or related field. You may also need experience with software development and coding languages such as Java, C++, Python, etc.

2. How much does a Software Test Engineer Certification cost?

Answer: The cost of a software test engineer certification depends on the certifying body and the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, most certifications will range from $100 - $1,000 USD depending on the complexity of the exam and other associated costs.

3. How long does it take to complete a Software Test Engineer Certification?

Answer: The time required to complete a certification varies depending on the certifying body and the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, most certifications can be completed within 1-2 months if studying full-time or up to 6 months if studying part-time.

4. What are some common topics covered in a Software Test Engineer Certification program?

Answer: Common topics covered in software test engineer certification programs include software testing fundamentals, design and implementation techniques, quality assurance processes and tools, automation testing strategies, and scripting languages such as JavaScript and SQL.

5. Is there an industry standard for Software Test Engineer Certifications?

Answer: While there is no single industry standard for software test engineer certifications, many organizations recognize certain certifications as valid measures of knowledge and skill in this field. Popular examples include ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL), ASTQB Mobile Application Testing Professional (MAST), and ISEB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing (FCST).