A Complete Guide to Career in Software Testing. Career Skills, Salary, Growth, Roles, Responsibilities, and More.

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Career in software testing

Typically, there are 7 major roles in software testing if you’re looking to opt software testing as a career. It depends on your knowledge, academic background, skill level, and experience. Let’s look at these 7 software testing roles.

  • Junior Software Tester / QA Engineer
  • Senior Software Tester / Senior QA Engineer
  • Test Architect
  • QA Lead / Test Lead
  • QA Manager / Test Manager
  • Quality Head
  • Delivery Head

Academic Background

As you know software testing is a field linked to computer software development. So you should have an academic background in Computer Science if you wish to pursue a career in this field. If you have the following educational background, it’s easy for you to start your career in software testing.

  • BTech/ B.E.
  • MCA
  • BCA
  • BSc- Computers

But if you do not have any of these degrees, it doesn’t mean you cannot opt for a career in software testing. You still have options to complete certifications like ISTQB and CSTE. These certifications help you learn different testing methodologies so you can begin your career.

Remuneration

There are several factors that contribute to deciding the salary you would get in a software testing field. Mainly, it depends on the job position, experience, company, and academic background.

On average, a software tester in the U.S. earns around $45,993 – $74,935. And not just a salary, software testers get different benefits like bonuses, health insurance, gratuity, etc.

How to enter the software testing field?

Getting to know about a career in software testing, the question comes to mind about how to start the career. If you wish to enter the software testing field, you have to begin with an entry-level role, Junior Software Tester. Companies hire people for this role who are new and have no experience.

It’s not obligatory to have a particular degree or specialization in any subject. And it means anyone is free to enter the software testing field. However, having a bachelor’s degree in computer science is always preferable.

If you’re working in some other role and wish to enter the software testing field, you can do that too. But for that, you need training in software testing.

There are some other names for a similar role like QA Engineer, Junior QA Engineer, Junior Quality Assurance Engineer, or Software Tester.

Certification Exams

There are several certifications you can achieve by passing the certification exams. However, if you’re looking for certification for the foundation level, ISTQB is your way to go. ISTQB is the basic certification that can help you uplift your career in the software testing field.

It’s not like you have to get ISTQB and you cannot make your career in the testing field with this certification. However, it significantly increases your chances to get a job. Many companies prefer hiring people with certifications, as it’s proof that they have mastered a certain skill level.

As a matter of fact, a software tester with ISTQB gets more opportunities when compared with other candidates.

Alternate Career Tracks as a Software Tester

As you have made your entry into the software testing field, you need to get hands-on experience as a software tester. After that, you have multiple options to choose from as a career in software testing.

Here, we’ll discuss three major options to choose from.

Automation Testing:

You can become an automation test engineer. In this role, you will automate manual test case execution. There are several tools you will need to get acquainted with to excel as an automation tester.

Performance Testing:

If you go for performance testing, you will take responsibility to check application responsiveness. As a performance test engineer, you will learn and use tools like WEBLoad, Loadrunner.

Business Analyst:

As you master in the field of software testing, you will have in-depth knowledge of an end-to-end business. Having such an experience welcomes a lot of progress in an alternate role in the company. Considering all the relevant experience, you can become a business analyst. In this role, you will take care of managing your company’s business model. Also, you will analyze and assess a company’s business model and workflows and will integrate them with technology.

Non-Technical Skills

Not only technical skills you need to make a career in software testing, but you also need some non-technical skills. Let’s check out what those skills are!

Communication skill

As a team member, you will need to communicate critical information with others. Also, you will need to comprehend test strategies, reports, test cases, etc. So, you need to have good written and verbal communication skills if you want to make a career in software testing.

Time Management

Time management is a skill that you need in any field. And not just in professional life, it’s also essential for personal life. You will have to efficiently manage workload, make changes in the project without delay in delivery, and other such challenges.

Analytical skills

You need sharp analytical skills to understand critical software testing tasks. And not just that, you need to tackle challenging situations smartly and sharply. So for that, you must have strong analytical skills.

Dedication

Without dedication, no one can achieve anything in life. With great dedication, passion, and hard work you can nail as a software tester.

Looking for a Test Case Management Tool? Try QATrail

Technical Skills

Here are some major technical skills that you will have to develop as a software tester.

Basic Understanding of Database/ SQL

A basic understanding of databases like Oracle, MySQL, etc is mandatory to excel in this field.

Learn Basic Linux Commands

Many software applications are deployed in Linux machines. So it makes it mandatory for software testers to get some knowledge about Linux commands.

Experience in Using a Test Management Tool

These days, every company makes use of a test management tool for software testing. Considering this, you must get hands-on experience in using a test management tool.

Experience in Using a Defect Tracking Tool

Again, hands-on experience in using tools like a defect tracking tool is mandatory for a software tester. Luckily, testers these days have this facility of using tools that make the job easier.

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