Software quality assurance and testing is an industry involved with making sure that software programs and applications are in great, working order before entering the marketplace for sale to consumers. As such, software quality assurance plays a vital role in the product development stage for software producers and makers. Many opportunities exist for individuals who want to further their education with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and some software QA and testing jobs can be quite lucrative-paying as well.

Educational Requirements for QA Careers:
As mentioned, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is required by the majority of employers. Getting one of these degrees in the field of quality assurance or even software engineering qualifies you for working in the field. Beyond your degree, however, two major certificates can further qualify you for software quality assurance and testing careers. The first certificate, the Certified Associate in Software Quality (CASQ), is a two-part test and can be obtained once you have at least three full years of undergraduate education even though most CASQ candidates choose to finish out their undergraduate bachelor degrees.

The second possible certificate, the Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA), can only be obtained for those who have earned a bachelor degree plus related experience in the software quality assurance and testing industry. Unlike the two-part Certified Associate’s test, the Certified Analyst’s test consists of four parts and tests your knowledge on topics such as quality control, quality assurance procedures, and security.

Responsibilities of QA Testers:
Working in software QA and testing jobs means that you’ll have several responsibilities when working for a client. The first involves testing the actual software on its merits. Many types of testing procedures exist for those who work in the software quality assurance and testing field, including white box testing, black box testing, functional and stress testing techniques. While white box testing uses the software program’s written code to test it out, black box uses a variety of other measures based on the program’s stated functionality and requirements.

In addition, an individual working in software QA and testing will be responsible for testing the strength of the software as well. In other words, the QA tester must intentionally throw viruses, bugs, and other errors at the software to determine where security holes and faults lie. This enables the software developers to fix any known problems, if any exist.

Finding Jobs in the QA Field:
When it comes to finding jobs in the software quality assurance and testing field, there are basically two different types of places you can work for as QA worker. The first is for third-party agency companies that provide QA services to software developer and maker companies. Many small-to-medium size companies may not be able to afford or may not find it necessary to keep a QA tester in its software development at all times, which is why these services are contracted out.

The second job opportunity in the software quality assurance and testing field is working directly for large corporations and software developers, such as Microsoft, Kodak, and Electronic Arts (EA). These companies hire their own internal staff to perform software QA and testing duties.

Overall, the software QA and testing industry can be an enjoyable and exciting career, especially for those who love working with different programs and software each time they work with a client. In addition, signing on with a major software company may enable you to earn a high-paying salary as well.