Generally speaking, you will find
a ton of information online regarding the process and sequence of ISEB and ISTQB software testing certifications, but you would be hard-pressed to find information about the specific benefits of earning these certifications. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to take a few steps back and discuss the reasons why you should consider earning these certifications in the first place.
The first software testing certification level is the ISEB Foundation or ISTQB Foundation, the latter of which is also known as CTFL or “Certified Tester Foundation Level.” The Foundation level is the one and only level that offers dual certification in both the ISEB and ISTQB.
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Thus, passing just one of these Foundation-level exams provides both certifications.
After the Foundation level you could go on to earn your ISEB Intermediate, ISEB Practitioner, or ISTQB Advanced certifications. Your choice of which “certification path” to pursue is dependent upon your geographic location: if you live in the UK, ISEB is the correct path, but if you live outside the UK then ISTQB is the appropriate focus.
While many people decide to go on and earn their advanced-level certifications, just earning your ISTQB (CTFL) / ISEB Foundation level accreditation offers excellent benefits.
Benefit 1: Career Advancement
First and foremost, earning your Foundation level certification will help advance your software testing career. While there is obviously no guarantee that earning your certification will push your career into the stratosphere, it will certainly help to put you in the best possible position to capitalize on career opportunities as they arise.
The reason is that the ISEB / ISTQB Foundation accreditation is globally accepted, and demonstrates a high degree of expertise, professional acumen, and personal ambition. Thus, employment candidates holding this certification have an advantage over their non-certified counterparts in terms of the new employee hiring process. By the same logic, certified employees already in the company are more likely to enjoy advancement opportunities compared to their non-certified colleagues.
Benefit 2: Greater Work Efficiency
The second benefit is that your software testing skills will be improved, which in turn will facilitate greater efficiency and accuracy. By following the software testing “best practices” you will learn as you prepare for your certification exam, you will be able to accomplish related
tasks with greater speed and precision. In other words, you will be able to get more accomplished in a shorter period of time.
This relates to the age-old debate of working hard versus working smart. Utilizing the skills you acquire during the certification process will enable you to get your job done faster. Therefore you will feel less swamped in your work, which in turn will improve the quality of your work life and will help avoid job-burnout.
Benefit 3: Personal Achievement
The third primary benefit is an increased sense of self-worth and achievement. Of course this benefit may not appeal to everyone, but for those of us who are internally driven to achieve constant self-improvement, earning your ISEB Foundation certification is a fantastic personal accomplishment.
Of course, each of these benefits tends to increase in magnitude by earning subsequent ISEB or ISTQB certifications. For ISEB, the next step after the Foundation level is the ISEB Intermediate level, followed by the two ISEB Practitioner accreditations (Test Analysis and Test Management). For ISTQB, the next level after the ISTQB Foundation or CTFL exam is the 3 modules of the ISTQB Advanced level certification (Test Analyst, Technical Test Analyst, and Test Manager).
But again, even if you earn only your Foundation level certification, you will still enjoy excellent career, efficiency, and personal satisfaction benefits over your non-certified colleagues. Therefore, it makes sense to consider taking your software testing acumen to the next level via the formal certification process.