Do you enjoy problem-solving and critically thinking? If so, software testing might be the career for you. Software testers are skilled professionals in automated and manual testing who ensure that software products meet the specifications of a client, in terms of functionality. If you’re wondering how to get a job in software testing, this guide has got you covered.
In it, we will detail all of the software testing skills that you should acquire, the highest-paying software testing jobs you should consider, and the various ways routes you can take to land a job in softare testing. We also outline some of the best places to look for job openings, as well as how to prepare for your interviews once you start applying.
What Is Software Testing?
Software testing means analyzing and examining various aspects of a software product, then identifying, diagnosing, and providing solutions to the inefficacies or deviations associated with the overall performance and original specifications of the software application or system. Software testing can be done through validation or verification.
Before a software product is released to the public, it goes through different stages, including planning, prototype designing, coding, building, testing, deploying, and maintaining. Once the product has been built, it has to be tested. Software testers conduct unit testing, integration testing, systems testing, and acceptance testing on the product before it can be deployed.
Software Testing Job Outlook
Software testers, grouped under software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, are projected to grow by 22 percent between the years of 2020 and 2030. This is nearly three times faster than the national average for all jobs. During this period, this field will witness an employment growth of about 409,500 job openings.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Software Tester?
To become a software tester, you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or a related discipline. Although it depends on the company you’re applying to, some hiring managers or clients might request a software testing certification or project portfolio, in addition to a relevant degree.
Can I Get a Software Testing Job Without a Degree?
Yes, you can secure a software testing job without a degree. Some jobs in software testing don’t require applicants to possess a degree. In these cases, you’ll need to have relevant hands-on experience, technical knowledge of how to use performance testing tools and programming languages, and some essential soft skills, such as analytical skills.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Software Testing?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you get a job as a software tester. By applying to a software testing or software engineering bootcamp, you can learn in-depth knowledge of what the software testing field entails from experts in the field. Bootcamps specialize in training students interested in this field with the help of short-term, immersive curricula.
In a bootcamp, you can learn about the various aspects of software testing and how to get started as a software tester. While being mentored, you’ll build a professional portfolio and an online job profile so that you stand out to prospective employers. Coding bootcamps can also provide job placements and long-term career services to their graduates.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Software Testing?
It could take you anywhere from six months to four years to get a job in software testing. This is because you’ll need to acquire relevant software testing experience and knowledge. You can do this by studying at a University, at a coding bootcamp, by taking online courses, or by networking in a reliable software testing community.
Even if you’ll be applying to entry-level positions, you should still develop a convincing portfolio and resume. This might take a little while as you’ll need to build a series of software projects that effectively show hiring managers or clients that you have strong knowledge of the software testing process and software industry.
Common Software Testing Education Paths
One of the easiest steps you can take to invest in your career growth is choosing the right form of professional education. There are several ways you can build the technical and non-technical skills you’ll need to succeed in a software quality assurance career. Each of these learning pathways come with its benefits and costs.
Software Testing Bootcamps
Software testing bootcamps are a great platform for learning the ins and outs of software testing. These new-age educational platforms educate learners on more than just software testing concepts. Rather, they ensure their students understand proper test management techniques. Some of them go as far as ensuring their students secure jobs within months of graduating.
Some community colleges offer certificate programs in software testing, while others incorporate it in the curricula of their computer science or software engineering associate degree programs. Attending a community college can help you build the career skills you’ll need to succeed by covering topics such as programming, automation testing, and software process improvements.
Software Testing Degrees
A College degree is one of the best ways to gain the knowledge you’ll need for a career in software testing. Most software development companies prefer candidates with a degree in computer science or software engineering for their software testing roles. Getting a university degree usually takes around four years, although some colleges offer accelerated degree programs.
Key Software Testing Skills to List on Your Resume
There are a wide variety of skills that you’ll need if you want to succeed in this field. Employers are always looking for professionals who can test and implement complex software systems and applications. Below are the key skills you need to acquire and groom.
As a software tester, you’ll need expertise in the use of these programming languages if you’re going to perform tasks such as writing test scripts to run datasets, developing unit tests, performing automation testing for mobile devices and desktops, or managing software configurations.
Automation testing is a technique in software testing that involves using specific tools and processes to run tests, compare results, and implement solutions that reduce a product’s bugs, defects, and errors. Automation testing is used when manual testing is not enough to efficiently evaluate the performance of a software product.
Automation testing is necessary to ensure that a product meets a client’s defined specifications as communicated by a prototype design. Automation testing makes it possible to design and reuse test scripts to repeatedly identify and correct product errors.
Aside from knowing how to use various software testing methods, software testers must also be skilled in managing test processes, test tools, and product life cycles. They must understand how the various test stages, such as planning, test designing, building, executing, and accepting, fit into the entire software development cycle.
Failure to master test management can lead to using incorrect testing methods to resolve errors in a software product. This can lead to inconsistencies in test results, inadequate test evaluations, inadequate configuration control, and the launching of defective or buggy products.
Where to Find Software Testing Jobs
Identifying job boards that consistently advertise job positions closely related to your profession will help you with your job search. They should post verified jobs and have a wide reach to give you lots of options with impressive pay scales. Depending on whether you want to freelance or get a full-time job, below are some of your best options.
Dice is a job site connecting skilled tech professionals with credible employers from different parts of the world using regular and real-time job posts, job reports, and company information. Software testers and QA engineers will find this site useful and simple to use. All you have to do is sign up with an account to get notified, found, and hired by top employers.
Quality Assurance/Quality Control Crossing is a private job board for QA engineers and software testers around the world. This site provides job offers updated in real-time to interested professionals in the field, increasing their chances of getting to the interview and hiring stage. To take advantage of these services, you have to become a member.
Ladders is a popular corporate job site for high-paying jobs in diverse industries. This site is unique for the salary scale of the jobs it offers. Most of the jobs listed here offer salaries of $100,000 and above. Over the years, software testers have come to rely on this site thanks to their wide range of client partners, verified jobs, specialist job posts, career advice, and resume reviewing.
How to Prepare for Your Software Testing Interview
Landing any job, especially one as demanding as that of a software tester, requires you to be able to effectively convey your competence to the hiring manager. Typically, a software testing interview will uncover details about your general knowledge of the field, your technical knowledge of testing processes, and your behavioral compatibility with the company. Below are some of the technical questions you may encounter.
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Software Testing Interview Questions
- What is the difference between a software developer, software testing engineer, and a software engineer?
- What is configuration management?
- How long does it take to write a test case?
- What is the difference between white box, black box, and grey-box testing?
The Five Highest-Paying Software Testing Jobs
|Software Testing Jobs
|Mobile Application Tester
|System Test Engineer
|Software Development Engineer in Test
|Automation Test Engineer
|Quality Assurance Engineer
*Projected Growth data was sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics under software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
Software Development Engineer in Test
- Salary: $120,242
A software development engineer in test (SDET) is a professional whose primary duties include building software applications and systems, as well as writing test scripts to detect software program errors, bugs, and defects in a product. They understand and can implement the various stages and types of tests on a product.
Mobile Application Tester
- Salary: $102,764
A mobile application tester’s job functions are limited to applications designed for mobile devices. These professionals evaluate the functionality, performance quality, usability, and compatibility of mobile apps to client specifications. They do this through the planning of manual and automated test systems for mobile device apps, and the implementation of testing techniques for mobile device applications.
Automation Test Engineer
- Salary: $98,965
An automation test engineer is responsible for building and designing computer programs used for automation testing. These professionals plan and develop software testing frameworks and libraries that developers and software testers use to perform complex automated software tests.
Systems Test Engineer
- Salary: $96,650
Systems test engineers are professionals who conduct performance tests on both software and hardware systems. They develop test plans, procedures, and scripts that are used to identify, correct, and improve the technical quality of computer systems. They have proficiency in computer modeling, test automation, electronics, and system development.
Quality Assurance Engineer
- Salary: $84,888
A quality assurance engineer specializes in quality control. They are involved in the development, testing, deployment, and maintenance of software products. They proactively identify possible issues that might affect the performance and security of a product. They perform continuous testing to ensure a product is validated and verified before its launch.
Software Testing Career Path
If you’re thinking about getting started in software testing but would like to know more about the possible career path that awaits you in this field, the list below will accommodate you well. It includes a list of entry, mid-level, and senior-level jobs that you may eventually have throughout your career.
Entry-Level Software Testing Jobs
- Software Test Analyst – This entry-level position involves the writing of basic tests for software or hardware products before they are packaged and released to the public. The performance analysis done here occurs within a controlled environment.
- Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst – QA analysts assess a product’s performance and compare it to the standards set by the developers before it is released to users.
- Software Developer – Software developers design and build software programs. They collaborate with programmers in converting code into functional applications and systems.
Mid-Level Software Testing Jobs
- Software Test Engineer – Software test engineers collaborate with other development teams in coordinating software test analyses. It involves identifying, designing, and implementing proper test techniques for different performance conditions.
- Quality Assurance Engineer – as a QA engineer, your job includes designing QA techniques and coordinating the testing process. They also manage the quality of the product until it is released to the user.
- Software Engineer – Software engineers assess the workability of a client’s specifications, design product prototypes, and collaborate with development teams in developing software applications or systems.
Senior-Level Software Testing Jobs
- Software Test Manager – Software test managers lead and manage software testing teams. Their roles include planning, implementing, controlling, and monitoring testing activities for diverse product conditions. They also document test results.
- Quality Assurance Lead – QA Leads oversee the efforts of QA teams. They are responsible for communicating quality goals to their team members. They also assess quality standards before the release to ensure specifications are met.
- Software Architect – Software architects are experts in software development. They are responsible for developing and implementing technical standards across a software’s development cycle.
Software Testing Certifications
Professional certifications are a great way to accelerate your career growth. Software testing professionals who want to be seen as authorities in the industry use these certifications to boost their professional image and increase their professional networks to take advantage of various career benefits.
ASQ Certified Quality Assurance Engineer
The American Society for Quality is a professional community of professionals from over 130 countries around the world. This organization offers various levels of certification to professionals, as a way to grow their careers. Depending on your specialization, there are certifications for specific software testing roles.
GAQM Certified Software Testing
The Global Association for Quality Management is an internationally recognized organization for certifying professional testers and QA professionals. It provides online courses to prepare students for different certificate exam levels and increase their chances of success.
ISTQB Software Test Management
The International Software Testing Qualification Board is the most recognized international organization for certifying software testers. It has issued over 700,000 certifications to professionals from 129 countries around the world, including all different levels of expertise and areas of interest.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Software Testing
To speedily secure a job in software testing, there are a few things you should do to boost your chances of getting hired. A solid education in software development, experience in coding or engineering, along with a great portfolio and well-written resume will go a long way when applying for positions. Joining online communities will also be beneficial.
Get the Right Education
Your education is a major factor that hiring managers will assess when considering you for a testing position. You should ensure that you gain the right educational qualification and properly highlight it in your application. Keep in mind that most employers prefer a college degree or a coding bootcamp certificate.
Build a Convincing Portfolio
While most coding bootcamps and universities do a good job of preparing students for the job market by making them work on projects as a part of their certificate or degree requirements, it might not be enough to make you stand out to prospective employers. Creating a personal portfolio tells the hiring manager you are competent and committed to your career growth.
Prepare a Professional Resume and Cover Letter
Once you’re ready to start applying for jobs, ensure your cover letter and resume are well written and effectively convey what you need employers to know about you and your expertise. It helps to look for tips online or have a mentor or peer review it before submitting it.
Identify Specialist Software Testing Job Sites
Not all job sites should be consulted when looking for a job. Stick to job boards that are tailored to your field or industry. This will optimize the relevance of job posts you find. Some job sites offer career advice, resume reviewing services, and job placement services.
Join a Collaborative Software Testing Community
Being a part of a professional community is integral to your professional development. These forums can offer essential career services to their members. You can find solutions to complex technical challenges, receive tutorials, stay updated on the latest industry trends, and discover career opportunities by networking in forums like StickyMinds and MoT.
Should You Get a Job in Software Testing in 2022?
Yes, you should. Software testing is an essential skill in the tech industry. It is utilized in various tech companies to optimize product quality and improve user experience. If you’re interested in a career that will stay relevant in succeeding years, software testing is for you. You can also expect high annual salaries and lots of opportunities to grow your career.
Software Tester FAQ
Yes, you can. You don’t necessarily need a college degree to get started in the software testing field, as there are several viable alternatives. You could apply to software testing apprenticeships or enroll in certificate programs.
No, it’s not. Getting into software testing isn’t hard if you’re determined and have devised a workable plan. You need specialized education or training to succeed in this role. While this may seem challenging, you can simplify the process by starting with a coding bootcamp.
According to ZipRecruiter, software testers earn an average annual salary of $68,937, as of 2022. Your salary will most likely depend on your experience level and specialization.
No, it’s not. Software testing isn’t a difficult discipline to navigate. As long as you can develop or already possess strong analytical and communication skills, you can succeed in this field.
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