Software testing forms the bedrock of any IT product or service, having around USD 13 billion global turnover and being among of the biggest job providers. Nevertheless, no undergraduate program in the United States offers a software testing specialization. Most testers initially didn’t set sights on testing career; they either ended up in it after some other position, or use it as a springboard. Therefore, just a few people can boast a list of testing-associated educational credentials in their CV.

Thus, is it really that important to go through the formal training and obtain certification instead of self-facilitated learning, in order to succeed? Ultimately, why is taking a software testing training class good idea? Here are some reasons.

You receive not only knowledge, but a one-to-one insight from instructor.

Professional QA consultants conduct their workshops for the small groups of people. They love to share their expertise and craft, to empower the new wave of QA automation engineers. Best educational experience is interactive, and certification courses in software testing makes no exception: students feel free to ask questions and have all trainer’s attention. At immersive testing boot camps, mentors always know where you are beginning, where you are now, and where you are moving further. Doesn’t matter whether you wish to validate your knowledge, close gaps, or gain a broad overview from the ground up – you will probably find a course you need for a tuition fee you can afford.

You will master concepts, demonstrate them at an exam and apply in work.

Today, many apps go through DevOps cycle, where development, tests and delivery represent a continuous loop. Modern testers are engaged in planning and design phases, and often participate throughout after-release support. New methodologies like test-driven development, Agile, Scrum, responsive design are taking hold in vendor’s applications industry. Everyone involved should understand the subtle aspects of new approaches. When we convert to them from conventional QA, we strongly need the live instructor to demonstrate us how things operate in the real world.

DevOps cycle

However, the main reason we decide to attend the boot camp for testers is to prepare and successfully pass the exam and obtain certification. Such documentary confirmation proves its owner’s alacrity and bring her or him the attention of recruiters. Most certification courses in software testing are vendor-neutral, recognizing expertise and experience relevant across all facets of testing. Here are some popular QA certifications.

  • ISTQB – these credentials of Foundation and Expert levels are offered by the international and local Software Testing Qualification Boards in 120 countries. Since establishing in November 2002 till June 2017, more than 740 thousand exams have been administered and around 535 thousand certificates have been issued. ISTQB exam rules are applied consistently worldwide, with materials being available in multiple languages.
  • CSTE (Certified Software Tester) – the International Software Certification Board (ISCB) issues eight credentials in testing, quality control and business analysis. On top of passing a certification exam, the CSTE candidate should meet certain requirements to academic degree, have two to six years of experience, and prove at least a year and a half of testing practice.
  • CAST (Certified Associate in Software Testing) can be a starting point for people who do not fully comply with the mentioned criteria. This certificate demonstrates a foundation-level understanding of quality testing principles and practices. Applicants must adhere to the industry Code of ethical behavior and may be inquired education or employment references. Exam consists of one hundred multiple-choice questions with 70% passing mark.
  • CSQA (Certified Software Quality Analyst) demonstrates that a person is greater accepted in role of advisor to management, her or his competence is recognized by business associates. The requirements to experience-education combinations and the pass criteria are similar to those for the CSTE applicants, while 100 multiple-choice questions are expanded with the twelve short essay questions.
  • CMST (Certified Manager of Software Testing) indicates competence in principles and practices of software testing, necessary to manage the QA function. Applicant must already hold active CSTE credential. The examination is represented by 12 constructive response (essay) questions in such fields as test planning and execution, management, analysis, communications and relationships.

There are many platform-specific and vendor-specific software development certifications; however, few of them really focus on testing. For people committed to a specific platform and willing to work on projects built on it, we recommend to ask vendor about its certification programs and whether any of those comprise a testing component. Microsoft Virtual Academy offers such trainings. Last but not least, International Institute for Software Testing invites enthusiasts to subscribe for interactive and on-demand webinars, and live seminars in certain cities in the USA.

You will work on real-world projects, network with employers and be guided through the career.

Good software testing training is always exciting, full of practical exercises and true-life challenges. Some training (and testing) providers partner with local technical application vendors who support the talented graduates with placement. One trainers focus to prepare students for job application: organize the mock-up interviews, provide career guidance, help to optimize the resume, offer lifetime access to the “meet-and-hire” events, free after-course startup coaching and so on. Others teach tips and tricks of exam taking techniques, perform pop-quizzes, allow mock-up exam, grant unlimited access to recorded lectures and seminars. The most ethical companies provide their attendees full satisfaction guarantee.

Times when recruiters were hunting for application tester candidates with a bachelor’s degree in math, engineering, or computer science are gradually remaining in the past. Recently, if you have solid experience, steady work history and recommendations, it is possible to be propelled into a job without STEM college degree.

After software testing certification, many graduates choose to make the next steps to Mobile Testing or Agile methodology. Whatever the case, the average earning of the software tester in the United States is about 55 000 USD (according to PayScale), and it may climb even higher depending on business field and region.