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So, you’re thinking about a career change and What are the available Career growth paths in software testing? For many software testers, the next steps are clear: continuing to develop your skills with industry certifications and professional development training.
But for others, that’s not where the journey ends. In order to explore options outside of traditional testing roles and test automation, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the available careers in software testing.
In this blog post, we look at some of the possible pathways for career growth in software testing — including some job titles that don’t typically have an explicit software tester title (for example quality assurance engineer) as well as those that often go by different names (for example: lead test analyst).
What Are The Available Career Growth Paths In Software Testing?
Junior Level Possible careers:
1) Junior Manual QA tester
This is a new role sometimes called “manual test engineer” or “junior tester”. Junior Manual QA testers are new with testing and looking to learn the trade.
2) Junior Automation tester
Junior Automation testers are similar to junior manual testers, although they should have a bit more experience with automation. In the future they will assist software developers with testing automation.
Mid Level Possible careers:
3) Mid Level Tester
Mid-level testers are in between junior and senior level testers, they have experience with manual testing, automation, and testing frameworks.
Senior Level Possible careers:
4) Senior Level Tester
Senior level testers have experience with manual testing, automation, and testing frameworks. They are in charge of manual test plans and test cases.
Senior Test Engineers are highly technical individuals who have advanced software testing skills and knowledge. They can be involved in the complete testing life cycle from manual testing to automation, and can be involved with internal and external clients as needed.
5) Senior Automation tester
Senior Automation testers have experience with automation and testing frameworks. They verify (check to make sure) that software is meeting the requirements of development teams and end users.
Lead Level Possible careers:
6) Lead Automation Engineer/Lead QA Engineer/Lead Test Analyst
Lead Automation testers are highly technical individuals who have advanced software testing skills and knowledge. They can be involved in the complete testing life cycle from manual testing to automation, and can be involved with internal and external clients as needed.
Management Level Possible careers:
7) Manager – Software QA
Managers of Software QA are experienced, senior level software testers with lead management responsibilities. They provide strategic direction and vision for the testing activities within their project and/or program teams.
8) Test Architect
Test architects are generally responsible for designing and developing verification and validation test strategies, plans, policies, processes and procedures, as well as having a sound understanding of critical systems or business processes to include aspects that affect operational performance. Methods are used to develop these strategies so that risk is minimized through controlled testing activities.
9) Quality Manager
Quality Managers are primarily responsible for overseeing the quality systems of an organization, including managing software testing.
10) Software Development Manager
Software Development Managers are responsible for directing a specific software development project and ensuring that it is completed to schedule, within budget and according to the quality standards set by the organisation.
11) Project/Program Manager
Project/Program Managers are accountable for the overall planning and execution of the various tasks involved in their projects or programs.
These are just rough guidelines for most organisations and it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a need for these specific positions. If you have a good understanding of software testing skills and are looking for another skill, then you should try passing the certification exams at different levels before trying to join these roles.
Testing is an important profession, which should be treated as a profession. Every software tester should have a clear career path based on their interest in Testing and their passion to become an authority in the testing industry. In case of confusion and questions, many individuals like to seek professional advice from organizations that have expert knowledge about such roles.
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