How Do I Become a Certified Software Manager?

Gabriele Sturmer

A certified software manager (CSM) helps create and manage various software policies within an organization. He or she particularly deals with the issues of software piracy and licensing requirements and periodically performs audits to make sure the company is following the legal policies required by software vendors. Although a CSM usually works in a technology company, he or she also may work as a legal representative or human resources manager. If you want to become a certified software manager, then you initially need to pass the certification exam. You also should have experience in an information technology position and will need to meet continuing education requirements to keep the certification.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Although there is no professional experience requirement to become a certified software manager, those pursuing the certification typically have experience in a role related to computer software, systems management or asset management. Rather than intending to help you find a job, the certification is geared more toward helping you gain more responsibility in your current organization. It is common for existing system administrators and software analysts to pursue the CSM certification. Those considering careers in law or human resources also may find the exam's study material useful, although earning the CSM credential may not specifically be a job requirement.

There are various seminars and self-study courses available to prepare you to become a certified software manager. Although it is recommended that you attend a course at a training school or on the Internet, you also can purchase the official student manual and study at your own pace. The course and student manual cover copyright laws, penalties for infringement, types of licensing agreements, procedures for software license auditing, and software management plans. If you take an official online or on-campus course, you will gain experience through case studies, practice exam questions and training exercises that will give you better insight on the skills needed on the job.

After you study using the student manual or complete your training course, you should be ready to take the certification exam. If you take a course, you will likely complete the exam on the last day of your training. Those who study for the exam on their own can register for the exam whenever they feel prepared. The exam is given on the Internet, and you can sign up online, via fax or through the mail. After you pass, you are considered a certified software manager, and you'll need to retake the exam every three years to maintain the credential.

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