Career Options for Software Test Professionals

Over the last decade, the profile of Software Tester has undergone tremendous changes. Testing has become a show-stopper for several application/product implementations and business has realized the importance of Structured Testing of applications before release.

Testing has created several levels and types and specialization in these various types of testing has increased the intrinsic value of a software tester.


From being a monotonous test case executor, several career options have evolved in front of the testing community. The following diagram depicts the various options available to a Software Tester.

Career Options For Software Test Professionals

Software testing career options

Of late, testing is looked after as a good professional career for many of the aspiring youths. As mentioned above, from being a test engineer one can move to senior test engineer, test lead to test manager; else can become QA lead, QA Manager.

The options available in the testing tools side are enormous. There are numbers of functional, performance, security testing tools besides test management tools like Quality Center from HP, CQTM from IBM, etc.,

The demand for niche skills like SOA testers, Security testers are on the increase. There is a dearth of skills in test automation areas – scripting skills in the tools languages like VB, Java and other scripting languages like Perl, Shell, Python, etc.,

Technical resources with capabilities to evaluate automation tools, create automation framework and reusable components are on demand. Always there is demand for good performance testers who can analyze the performance test results, identify the bottlenecks and suggest tuning techniques.

Specialization Has Come To Stay In The Testing Career

Following are some of the key areas where one need to specialize to move ahead in a career path in testing apart from good knowledge in the Software Lifecycle Testing Process.

#1) Domain Knowledge: Good knowledge in the domain area of the application adds value to the testing professionals. There are ever living domains like BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, manufacturing, embedded, etc. Numbers of certifications are available for each of these areas where the tester can get them certified.

#2) Automation Testing Tools Knowledge: There is a great demand for Automation and Performance testers. Good skill on scripting languages of these tools is the basic necessity for succeeding in test automation. Knowledge on creation, validation, and enhancement of test automation framework is very much required.

#3) Certifications: QAI, ASQ, ISTQB, and several other institutes are offering testing specific certifications. These certifications improve the confidence of the clients on the testing professionals. CQTM, PMP are some managerial certifications, which help the testers to scale up on the professional ladder.

Certifications on the testing tools offered by vendors like HP increases the technical competency of the individual.

#4) Niche areas in Testing – Experts predict that the niche areas like SOA testing, Security testing are gaining momentum in the testing space. Many tools are emerging in these areas. As testing professionals, we should be aware of where the industry is heading and update our knowledge in those areas.

Knowledge updating is a continuous process. Several websites like sticky minds, QAForums offer excellent insight into various facets of the testing arena. I always request my team members to spend at least two hours a week in these selected websites to update themselves to the current happenings and events.

As the saying goes “You need to run continuously to keep yourself in the same place“, as testing professionals we should always work towards sharpening our testing skills to succeed in this competitive environment.

What is your career goal?

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This is a guest post from author Gunasekaran Veerapillai, Bangalore

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181 thoughts on “Career Options for Software Test Professionals”

  1. I have done Bsc (Computer Science) ,and currently I am doing a job in data transcription if i will doSoftware Testing ,then in IT my experience will count or not.Please guide me.

  2. hi, i would like to know about the future of ibm mainframes with software testing. whether telecom testing is included in it or not? please guide me.

  3. hello sir his is karthikeyan doing my final sem in mba (systems)not in a good institute.I got a job in HCL for .net programmer using my B.E the question is that can i shift to some other job profile using my systems degree after working in HCL for two or three years..will it be a bad idea???reply as soon as possible sir…

  4. Dear Mr.Govardhan Reddy M,

    I P.Sureshbabu completed my B.tetch in EEE (2009 pass out) and was been as a site engineer for the past one year. Now due to some personal problem want to switchover to software field. i am in a confusion about what to study. If it is in testing which one is prefferable either functional or performance testing?. rite now am un empolyed.. awaiting for your reply…
    thanks and regards,

  5. hii,
    Iam a fresher just joined a s/w company a week ago.Iam very worried about my career as most of the people arround me are saying that there is no growth in testing field and pay is very less.Actually i got selected for developer position but i requested them to post me in testing side.After shifting i got to know all these things.Now i regret for this?Please explain to me the test engineer growth from starting level specifying the salary structure in india.One thing i mention is that i hate programming but if i force myself i believe that i will get through that..To become a successful developer what skills are required?

  6. Hi All,

    I’m a fresher and now I’ve joined in a MNC as a Performance Engineer, obviously my job profile is performance testing using Load runner tool. I just want to know the scope of my designation in the long run and what and all I have to learn like the tools, languages..etc.,. to shine well in my future. Senior people please clear me on this as most of the people are simply saying, only development has a good scope.

    Thanks & Regards,

  7. hi,
    am a bca 2010 pass out i want to plan career in s\w testing can it is good for me pls suggest me ……..
    in the institute STQAC………

  8. Hi!

    Can someone help me with more details about software testing? I don’t have any computer background. At moment, i’m in the Travel Industry and would like to shift my career to Software Testing.

    Your valuable suggestion/advice in this regard would be of great assistance and support to me.

    Thanks and rgds,


  9. I am feeling as if i have selected a wrong option as testing . I am test lead with an MNC and have good exposure in manual testing . I have done all ISTQB papers. But in automation i have worked only on company specific tools not on QTP or othe well known tool.I am frustrated as i am feeling that lest experience testers are preferred over other just bcos of less CTC.
    my question is that is there no scope for manual tester.

  10. Hi

    I have done diploma in c.s passed out year 2011. Am looking forward to software testing course. In this field is the growth is good?
    plz suggest me .. soon!

  11. i m pursuing master of computer management , i have done projects on .net & studied c#,c languages & doing, i m confused what to choose in between software testing and .net development,which has a scope,my college is providing 2 months training on live project in testing and .net ,& after that according to performance they will give the i m confused what to choose for my career,please help me out ,i will be grate full to you….my email id is

  12. I am new in testing job ,now just started to learn that what the testing is? I was feeling insecure about my career ,By reading your Suggestions and blog ,now i am feeling fine ,i can have great career in testing thank you.

  13. So where do you go when you have done all these things? What if you mostly like thinking of ideas and solutions and new ways of doing things? Is there an IT job where you can do that?

    I was a test manager several times and don’t like managing people. Can’t stand writing so BA is out. Security is the most boring area to me. PM is out. I am really good at keeping projects on track but find the nonsense of others intolerable.

    I have about every domain experience you can think of. Health, Insurance, Finance, Government, Engineering, Manufacturig, Mining, etc. etc.

    Consultant, is a joke. I used to be a consultant years ago, a real one but now they are just contractors where you go in and do the same job as everyone else. They aren’t interested in your ideas or expertise.

    So now I am drifting along as a consultant flavored senior test lead and am bored to tears.

    So where to now? Should I write books? Give seminars?

  14. I am new in the testing line and I have electronics background. I want 2 know whether its necessary to have knowledge of languages like C, C++,java, oracle etc.
    Please provide some guidelines how 2 begin as a testing engg.

  15. Hi,

    I am working as a tester for past 3.5 years.I am doing automation using shell scripting and stability testing(partial performance).Now I would like to enhance my knowledge further by learning some tools.Can U guide me which side is in more demand and more challenging now like automation,performance or SOA testing.

  16. Hello sir,
    Tis s rajeh from bangalore, am working as an software testing engineer from 2011 august, our company work for defence so we test softwares used for aircrafts. I just want to know how will be my my scope in manual testing after 2 years? because in automation we use some rational tools which is not used by MNCs. so please give an brief answer sir.

  17. Hi,

    I am currently working for BPO. But i am a M.Sc Graduate with testing certification. Can i go ahead and look for a testing carrer now?

  18. Hi,

    I’m a B.E graduate, i have worked as donet software developer for past 7months but due to some problem unfortunately our company was closed. I don’t like to continue in development side i want to switch on in testing, so I’m thinking to do a valuable course in tat because i don’t have any idea about that…

    Is my decision is right? i need some suggestion sir… I don’t want to waste the time help me…

  19. i’m a mca student ,i have done manual testing already and now i want to do automation testing in a 6 month training . can u tell me exactly from which place and who give the perfect training for this .

    how many language we want to know about automation testing.

    Sir,please help me immidiately because i have a shortage of time to registration my self in a college….

  20. I have done my BCS in 2002 and i am planning to get back into software. thinking of doing some testing course. pls suggest me a good one in mumbai and also is there a scope for me to grow in this field as i am totally blank about computers now.

  21. Hello,

    I am 2006 batch passout and having background as Lecturer, but after 5 years I want to go to testing field , right now Got ISTQB cerification. But I am not able to find job. What else I have to do?
    Kindly suggest me .
    Thanks in advance


  22. Hi Guna,

    The article is really good and informative. This will be a good guidance for the freshers who are starting their career into testing. This gives lots of hope to testers.


    Jayakumar R

  23. HI , nice artical and nice followup to all comments..

    I want to ask questions
    1)can i directly jump to automation testing rather geting manual testing 1st..
    2)can u tell me from wher i can get informtion about domain certification?

  24. Hi All
    I am from IT backgound bt rite now m wrkin’ in Testin’,m nt satified with this . I m thinkin’ to switch frm Testin feild to Oracle or SAP field, bt m little bit confused tat should i continue with testing only or i should move to other domain…:( can’t figure it out can u help me wht is better option…..

  25. Govardhan Reddy M

    Dear sir

    I’m BBA graduate and confused in doing SAP or testingtools so please any1 could help me in this…….

  26. hi ,
    I have 1.6 experience in Software Testing (manual).. i have knowledge of DB testing, & C# Dot net…

    now i want to enter into a product based company…

    please suggest me will it be good or me with 1.6 1.6 experience in Software Testing (manual) to enter into a product based company…please suggest me any coures to enter into a product based as per my experience…

    thanks in advance …

  27. Hi,this website is really very informative and helpful.I am a fresher and I have done software testing course.I want to know for database testing which things should I know in prior?Which study material to prefer for preparation of database testing.I come from Electronics background,so I don’t know even a single word from database.What skills are required for automation testing.Plz reply this query,its urgent!!!!!!1

  28. Hi Tiger 2k,Lakshmi,zakir
    All you are providing valueable information and its very useful to improve our knowledge in S.T field.
    Please tell me weather the bug tracking tool is used by both developing team and testing team?? I think both team is using this tool Pls clear my doubt…!!

  29. Hi
    I want to build my carrier in software field now am working in admin process(6 Years Experience) if i will choose testing it will help me?
    How will be my future can u suggest some good training come placement center in bangalore.
    How many years the scope will be there.
    Basically am from commerce back round M.B.A (2011batch correspondence)

    Please guide me and suggest me weather i can jump or what?
    I want to do testing engineer in that i will get job or what?
    After that how will be the growth?
    How much salary package i will get?

  30. Hi,
    Sir I want a piece of advice from you.I am Bsc-IT graduate having 1.3 years of experience in Manual Testing.Can you suggest me what qualification or studies can make my career strong in Software Testing.


  31. Hi,
    Thanks for you above post.

    Currently I am working as a application support analyst in wipro Bangalore but I don’t like the work at all because I am not getting any kind knowledge in the work and already 1 year passed. I need to move in testing can you please tell me on what point i need to concentrate more and what are best institute in Bangalore so that I need to join that will help me to build my career.

    Thanks ,

  32. I just want to know that what is the basis requirement or knowledge to join the software testing Domain.
    and also give me a guidance about top 10 s/w testing institute in Delhi NCR.

  33. Hi
    I am a teacher teaching computers in school for the last 15 years(last 7 years teaching java). Most of the core java concepts are handled. I would like to shift my career to testing field. How are the chances? I did my BSc in 1990. Also pl guide me if I can take guidance from good institutes from Hyderabad.
    Thank u

  34. Hi i am B.Sc discontinued candidate but i am very much interested in Software testing. Is there any possibility to build my career in Software Testing field also i ve knowledge about neworking kindly guide me…

  35. Hi !!!
    I have completed my engg. in E&E and currently i’m looking for job in IT sector….many of my frenz asked me to join software testing course to get a job in the above sector…I would like to know if it’ll be worth for a person like me who is not having CS/IT background..?!!!

  36. Hello,
    Its a very good article…
    I am Mayuri and i have a total 4.6 years to Manual Testing experience. I have done PG in Biotechnology and had domain knowledge of E-learning and Healthcare.
    I wanted to shift to Technical Writting career…is it advisable?…what will be the pros and cons of this change in career path…can anyone pls guide me on this?

  37. hi guys,
    i have completed my engg. with ECE depart this year,
    i got n offer from Thinksoft under testing field. they are asking me to sign 2 yrs bond and 1L bank gaurentee with a pay of 10K/mon..
    suggest me guys wat shuld i do..
    pls do reply,,

  38. hey..thanx for this article,i want to start my career in S/W testing. can som1 will help me by telling from which institute in delhi and ncr , i need to go with ….

  39. I did MBA in HR, , Am I eligible to learn testing tools with background qualification of MBA (HR), I am interested in tester carrier,
    1. Will I get a job if I learn testing tools?
    2. Will the companies recruit for testing who has MBA background?
    3. Is there a scope for testing tools in the future?
    4. What would be the salary for fresher and the experienced candidate?

    Can you please someone answer to my questions and suggest me what to do ?

  40. What is the difference between the TEST ENGINEER and TEST ANALYST roles shown in the diagram? What are the key roles and responsibilities of a test analyst?


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