Why are ISTQB certifications and AT*SQA micro-credentials so popular during a recession and during layoffs?
Here are 3 reasons the demand for ISTQB software testing certifications and AT*SQA micro-credentials goes up during an economic downturn and when layoffs occur.
While recessions can lead to layoffs and smaller staff sizes, the workloads usually do not decrease. This means software QA productivity must increase quickly. The result: The demand for software testing certifications and micro-credentials typically increases rapidly. Below are 3 reasons companies, managers, and software testers increase their reliance upon ISTQB certifications and AT*SQA micro-credentials during a recession and when QA testers are laid off.
- Employers want to hire only the best software testers – and they want the documentation to prove it. Companies hiring testers during a recession or during periods of layoffs have their choice of many excellent candidates. However, verifying the authenticity of a tester's resume can be difficult. While the truth may become clear during a well-crafted interview, employers don't want to waste their time weeding out candidates at that stage – it's too expensive. They want to know at the resume stage if a candidate has proven knowledge of software testing in general, with perhaps specific knowledge of areas such as test automation or performance testing. The only way to easily determine software testing knowledge at the resume stage is by the presence of one or more ISTQB certifications and AT*SQA micro-credentials. It's not enough for the tester to list the credential on their resume – it must also appear on the tester's profile on the Official U.S. List of Certified & Credentialed Testers™. Note: For reasons of verification, the only way to appear on that list is to have registered for and taken the ISTQB exam or AT*SQA exam through AT*SQA. This is why U.S. companies check the Official U.S. List.
- Experienced managers know that while staff sizes may be cut during a recession, the workload does not decrease. Those testers who are fortunate to keep their software QA jobs are asked to do more software testing than perhaps ever before. This means every tester must be more efficient and effective than ever before, and that is why ISTQB certification and AT*SQA micro-credentials are so important. These credentials provide a common terminology and set of testing principles that make software testing teams more efficient. Moreover, studies have shown that testers who are certified are faster and better at finding defects than non-certified personnel. And CFOs know that a small investment in an ISTQB exam or AT*SQA micro-credential can have a very positive return on investment, as much as 1500% or greater. Managers are under a lot of pressure during a recession and when there are layoffs, so having a plan that improves efficiency and has a strong ROI makes everyone look good.
- Software testers who have been laid off will get more attention when they have ISTQB certifications and AT*SQA micro-credentials on their resume. As one software tester remarked about their software testing job search, "As far as getting the attention of employers, I do feel that my certifications tend to propel my resume to the top of the pile." Consider this scenario: If a hiring manager is considering two software testers who have similar experience levels and interview skills, but one has ISTQB certification plus several AT*SQA software testing micro-credentials, which one do you think they would choose? Those with multiple credentials will be even more impressive candidates because they have a higher level in their Testing Tiers® ranking – a tool that hiring managers can use to compare candidates for a software testing job. In addition, testers who have earned their ISTQB certification or software testing micro-credential through AT*SQA can appear in the AT*Work™ Software Tester Directory that connects employers with testers who have been laid off.
Questions? Let the AT*SQA support team know how we can help support your career.
 Capers Jones, "A Short History Of The Cost Per Defect Metric | Software Defect Origins & Removal Methods"
 Randall Rice, "The Value of ISTQB Certification"