The question of the validity of an ISTQB certification as it relates to career growth comes up frequently. Many software testers want to make sure that this is a worthwhile endeavor before they spend their precious time and money getting certified. This makes sense, as the exams themselves cost a couple hundred dollars each, and that does not even factor in the time and money involved in preparing for the exam.
The good news is that earning an ISTQB certification, even the initial accreditation (ISEB Foundation / ISTQB Foundation), can clearly help advance your career. It helps on 2 fronts: getting your foot in the door, and then enabling more opportunity for upward mobility once there.
The first benefit is probably relatively obvious. If you have industry training that others do not have, you will be viewed in a more favorable light by hiring managers. ISTQB certifications are valued and recognized worldwide, and as such hiring managers realize that people holding this accreditation have been well-trained in software testing techniques and best practices. Additionally, having the wherewithal to become certified demonstrates a high level of ambition and work ethic, both of which are obviously coveted in corporate environments.
Secondly, being certified will help you make the most of your opportunities while on the job. Because you will already have comprehensive foundational knowledge in software testing, you will be better equipped to stay on top of industry developments and thus you will quickly become known as an expert within your own company. As such you will be better equipped to lead teams, mentor colleagues, give presentations, etc. These activities will enhance your leadership profile and reputation within the company, and will also facilitate solid networking opportunities.
So in summary, earning an ISTQB software testing certification will put your career into high gear. Start with your ISTQB Foundation certification, and if you are really ambitious then move on to earn your ISTQB Advanced accreditation. You will be glad you did!