Software Testing Career Path – Skills, Salary and Growth
As we’re approaching advancement in technology, millions and billions of software and applications are being developed every year. A recent survey reported that the market is likely to cross USD $1000 Billion in the next 2 years i.e. 2027 at a CAGR of above 25% and that’s a quite massive figure. But not to forget, just like a vehicle cannot move on its own without fuel, software or application cannot go live for general usage unless rigorous testing has been performed to check their durability.
What is Software Testing?
It’s a process of inspecting all the components, functionality, and quality of the software product or services. It offers an independent perspective for stakeholders to understand the risks of software implementation in the market. The methods and techniques that are used within the software testing are purely intended to find software bugs and to ensure that the product is good to go live. To learn more about this, you can refer to the article – Basics of Software Testing.
In this article, we’re going to check out the see career path in software testing and all the necessary prerequisites,
Software Testing – Required Education
The foundation starts with the basics. Generally, companies do initiate their hiring process based on relevancy, education, and certification (if any). It is effective for a student to start their career right after finishing their Graduation degree in computer science, or any other degree that is relevant to IT. However, becoming a software tester is not just limited to CSE or IT, as per a survey, there are more than 20% of the employees working with MNCs or mid-tier companies actually don’t hold any IT degree. So, here’s the thing, have a look at the section below to understand this in a better way:
Who can enter Software Testing (with Qualification)?
- Bachelor’s Degree Holder (B.Sc, BCA, B.Tech, etc.)
- Master’s Degree Holder (MCA, M.Sc, M.Tech, etc.)
- Add-on certification (such as Certified Associate in Software Testing CAST, Certified Software Tester CSTE, etc.)
What are the benefits of opting for Bootcamps?
- To get hands-on practice right from scratch & can be opted via both online and offline
- Many students don’t know “how to apply” and “where to apply” and that’s what boot camps do, they help individuals in reaching them to their dedicated zone
- They offer the most in-demand skills and knowledge that is currently running within the organizations
Skills Required to Become a Software Tester
Now, typically there are 2 kinds of people working in “Software Testing” i.e. Tech-background and Non-Tech background. So, how to measure which one are you?
- From IT Background – They will get into the core of the software (for example Automation Testing).
- Non-IT Background – They generally work without using codes (typically Manual Testers) but should have a basic understanding of UT (user testing).
- Programming Language (Java, Python)
- API Testing
- Mobile App Testing (iOS and Android)
- Web Testing
- Performance/Security Testing
- Working Methodologies (such as Agile)
- Cloud Computing (AWS, Google Cloud, etc.)
- DevOps (CI&CD) – For creating infrastructure where automation scripts run.
- Explore Agile, Scrum, etc. – For moving upward in your hierarchy (Product/Project Manager)
- Know the accurate use of automation tools for each task. Some of them are listed below:
- Avo Assure – Suitable for all levels of expertise
- Kobiton – For testing on real devices
- Selenium – Helps in automating web browsers and is widely used in repeatable web app testing.
- Cypress – One of the famous automation tools known for its fast performance (with avg. response time of 20MS)
- TestComplete – Can perform well with both code and codeless test creation
- testRigor – Efficiently used by testers for Integrations with CI/CD and test case management
- Subject7 – Highly adaptive, easy to use
- Virtuoso – Suitable when you want a highly scalable project and also looking for speed, and quality
- Database: It offers you to work beyond the limitations that automation provides.
- ETL: (E)Extracting, (T)Transforming, (L)Loading processes from the source – Transform and then load in a single depository.
- Salesforce: SDFC or Salesforce Dot Com testing ensures that SDLC (Software development life cycle) is going smooth as requested from the customer’s point of view.
- Bigdata: The process of performing QA testing of big data applications.
- Analytics: This feature enables testers to measure results based on comparisons such as pass/fail ratio, bug percentage, etc.
- Basics of Networking: It’s a process of testing and analyzing the network (by using network performance) to identify and fix bugs and other related issues.
- Basics of UNIX or shell scripting: It’s important to know this scripting for rigorous system monitoring.
- CI/CD: Continuous integration, delivery, and deployment (CI/CD) help in building repetitive, testing, and deployment and alert user when any issue arises. Example – Jenkins
- Query monitoring tool: Tool used for monitoring specific segments. Some of the most popular tools are NinjaOne, Atera, etc.
- RPA (Robotic Process Automation) tools: In short, this tool helps in building, deploying, and managing software robots that emulate human intervention via digital systems and software. Some of the best tools are UiPath, Blueprism, etc.
- Power BI
- Oracle Business Objects
Codeless Tools to Run Testing
- Cloud QA
- TOSCA MBTA (Model-Based Test Automation)
Non-Technical Key Skills for Software Testing
Below are some of the non-technical skills that every software tester is required to carry within themselves to excel in their career.
- Analytical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Clear Communication
- Time & Goal Oriented
What Does a Software Tester do?
Being a software tester will require you to have involvement in QA during development and deployment. Your work will include both manual and automation testing to identify if any bug occurs. However, it is recommended for you become familiar with programming languages that will be beneficial for you as you’ll move up to an advanced level. Below are some of the key pointers that will be involved in your job role:
- You’ll be required to meet with system users to understand the scope of the projects
- Being a tester you will work with both software developers and project support teams
- You’ll be monitoring applications and software systems
- Perform different testing such as stress testing, performance testing, functional testing, and scalability testing
- To write and execute test scripts, and run both manual and automated tests
- To test in different environments (including web and mobile)
- To prepare bug reports & documentation
- To ensure quality assurance
- Consistently provide objective feedback to software development project teams
- Spot fixtures – Troubleshoot and problem solve
- Document analysis
Software Tester Salary & Career Growth
The average salary figure of a fresher software tester ranges between INR 3LPA – INR 6.5LPA in India and $45k – $75k in the USA (depending on location and organization’s grade)
After getting some experience, with 3 – 5 Years, the salary bucket may rise between INR 7.5LPA – INR 12LPA in India and $95k – $150k in the USA.
However, the salaries may vary depending upon the skills, technical knowledge, and domain.
Besides this, your career graph in software testing will go into 5 step hierarchy (but it may vary from company to company), let’s have a look at them:
- QA Analyst – I (Fresher)
- Sr. QA Analyst – II (Years of experience > 2)
- QA Team Coordinator (Years of experience > 5)
- Manager – QA (Experience > 8y)
- Senior Manager – QA (Experience > 12y)
- Architect – QA (16+ years of experience)
- Principle QA (18+ years of experience)
The fact is, it’s a never-ending process, as we’re going forward with advanced tools and technologies, we need to be sure that the product that is about to step into the market is free from bugs and working fine and to ensure that we need a software testing team and expertise. The scope of software testers is increasing every day and the newer evolvement of IoT, AI, etc. have started making a significant impact on the software testing industry. As per a recent report, the testing market is ready to touch a USD $50 Billion market cap by the end of 2026 at a CAGR of approx 19% during the forecast period.
How to Be a Good Software Tester?
- Always ask frequent questions
- Starting your career as a Manual Tester is a fair approach but eventually, you’ll have to shift to Automation Testing for growth and salary hikes so ensure to make healthy contact with desired requirements for Automation.
- Enroll yourself in ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) and focus on building strong skills.
- Build healthy relations with developers
- Double-check the environment (keep it safe for the user)
- Keep ‘testing’ notes for yourself – or prepare a chart for future references
- Don’t rush for deadlines (like UT/permission, etc.)
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