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11 Advantages of the ISTQB certification

When you are starting out in testing, you may get bogged down wondering which certification you need. But is the ISTQB certification the right one? Well, let me explain…

What are the advantages of the ISTQB certification? You have an Internationally recognized, industry standard that can get your foot in the door for a lucrative job or contract position. It could be the difference between getting considered by a recruiter or rejected.

If you have spent any time sifting through the job sights, you will probably see a pattern. Many recruiters asking for a list of skills and certifications to even stand a chance for you to get your foot in the door.  Now that you know at a high level the benefits of the ISTQB certification, let’s look at 11 advantages of the ISTQB now to give you a broader scope.:

01. International recognition

One of the beauties of the ISTQB is the fact that it is it’s not restricted to use in your local country but it is internationally recognized.

So, if there is a need for you to go overseas and work, work for an international client or even if you need to emigrate, you’ve got an internationally recognized certification.

02. A keyword on your CV

As we know, recruiters are not always that knowledgeable about every single term for each job role, therefore they heavily rely on searching and scanning CVs for keywords.

Whether you like it or not, without the keyword on your CV and a certificate to back it up you could be rejected from and miss out on a valuable job or contract role.

So, having the ISTQB could be the big tick in the box that could be the difference between you not having a job and watching re-runs of Friends at home on Netflix, or getting a high flying testing job to be proud of.

03. A Tool to Hook in a Client (As an Employer)

If you are trying to snag an important client this certification could make or break the deal. Think of it this way: If you run a consultancy and your potential client, which could be worth millions by the way,  is inundated with proposals from rival bidders.

If your rival consultancy had a team of testers with ISTQB certifications and yours doesn’t, all being equal apart from this, it could be the determining factor that could cost you a lucrative contract.

04. Staff loyalty (As an Employer)

I remember when I passed my ISTQB certification. I was working as a permanent employee and they offered this to me as a perk of the role.

This was quite good because it kept me in the company for longer than I planned to. It also kept me motivated because I was proud that they invested in my career.

As an employer, keeping employees motivated and feeling valued is an important part of retention (keeping them from not leaving). Therefore, this certification could help you keep hold of some of your valuable staff.

05. Standardized terminology (As an Employer)

As an employer, if you are looking to recruit employees it can be difficult unless you are very skilled in that particular job role. It can be hard to understand your perspective employee really has the right skills. Especially if they are creative with their CV 😉

Therefore you can use the ISTQB to get an understanding of some standard terminology. It can help you understand if that person knows what they’re talking about by having access to standardized terminology that can be checked against a recognized curriculum.

06. Improving quality control (As an employer)

This follows on from my point above. The ISTQB will help enforce Quality control by making sure that your employees have a standardized approach to testing, rather than off-the-cuff.

07. Measurable performance targets (As an employer)

If you have performance reviews looming and you want to have a measurable and quantifiable way of checking individual employees performance, getting them to pass a certification, such as the ISTQB, is a great way to do this.

08. General satisfaction

At the time of writing, in my current contract testing role, I am working with graduates who have recently joined the testing industry. It’s great because it reminds me of when I first got started decades ago.

Seeing their face as they find out that they have passed their ISTQB certification just reminds me of how satisfying it can be to feel. I can see that feel validated, making them feel worth something and that they have got something to show for their efforts. For that reason, just the sheer satisfaction of having it, is worth considering it, are you with me?

09. No minimum or expert level expertise required

This benefit could be seen in two ways. Negatively, you could argue with no barriers to entry it opens the Floodgates for anyone off the street and boosts competition.

Or, on a positive note, in my opinion, it levels the playing field allowing anyone to progress. Increases the good people moving into the testing industry and improves the standards.

10. Demonstrates the Individuals Skill Level (Mastery)

Although there are people that may argue that experience outweighs any certificate. I feel it is still important to prove that you have a benchmarkable skill.

And, the only way of proving this, especially in the absence of experience is to have a standardized certification. It is a great benefit, right?

11. Send The Right message to the interviewer

If you are successful, break through the recruiters initial filtering and get selected for an interview in a test role. Having the ISTQB on your CV is a great way to make a good impression, let me explain.

Just having this certification will prove that you were willing to put in the effort to actually do the exam and study. Especially if your competitor does not have this. In fact, this could be the deciding factor.

12. Good Price, in Comparison to other certifications

As you may or may not know there are a number of different testing certification in this industry. One thing that I like in particular but the ISTQB is the price.

If you are not fortunate enough to have your employer picking up the tab for the course, then this is a great way for you to be able to cover the costs if you’re on a tight budget.

Related questions:

Is there a Selenium ISTQB certification? There is an advanced level automation certification, however, this is not solely focused on selenium’ and is more for advanced level professionals who have had experience before they can actually sit the exam. However, there is a certification offered by SIQI which does this.

Is it better to do a 2-day intensive course or self-study then do the exam? Personally, I don the intensive course. However, I was fortunate to get my course fee paid for by a blue-chip company with deep pockets. The question is if I had to do it today, without the company paying, what would I do?

In all honesty, I would be inclined to get some sample papers (click here for some ISTQB study papers), and self- study. This would help me reduce the cost and do it following my own pace.

Can you take the test again if you fail? Yes, there is no real limits. The only limit is your budget. I would say though, if you study carefully and really put in the work you should stand a good chance of passing. Worse case the second time around. But be mindful everyone has different skill levels so it is impossible to say for everyone.

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