If you’re a problem solver and have a keen interest in the analytical side of technology, then a job as a test analyst could be ideal for you. The role is essentially quality assurance, the vast majority of the job will involve stress testing software and other computer products for errors and security flaws before they are released to the public.
Generally, test analysts are brought in during the planning and design stage of the software lifecycle to ensure that the quality and useability of the final product remains high. Having a good test analyst really can make or break a software project, as poorly tested platforms are likely to be buggy for the end-user and not fit for purpose leading to a less than ideal user experience.
According to our Salary Checker, an average wage for a test analyst in London is around £45,000 and a career in the field also offers plenty of opportunities for progression, with many individuals moving into a more senior position or a test consultant role.
If a test analyst job appeals to you, the following tips can help improve your chances of securing a role.
Key skills of a test analyst.
There are a specific set of skills necessary to become a successful test analyst. As well as being analytical thinkers with a thorough attention to detail, candidates will also need a genuine passion for technology.
Other important skills for a test analyst to possess include:
- A broad knowledge of different types of hardware and software
- The ability to problem solve creatively
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Able to work well as part of a team
- Good time management skills and the ability to thrive under pressure
- The ability to explain complex technical processes clearly
Because the amount of technology, particularly software that we encounter is rapidly increasingly, test analysts will face a great deal of variety across the projects that they work on and must be able to adapt to new innovations. Day-to-day work may include focusing on a single piece of software or taking a broader look at the IT systems of an entire company. Test analysts will need to be aware of the company’s aims, the customer’s needs and any potential regulatory issues when carrying out their work as these all contribute to whether an IT service or product is working correctly.
Test analyst jobs may require individuals to come up with their own testing models and solve any issues that appear, so it is a crucial role in many businesses, particularly those with a digital focus.
Improving your chances when looking for test analyst jobs in the UK.
In order to improve your chances of becoming a test analyst, candidates must not only possess the skills mentioned above, but find ways of standing out from their competitors. Candidates could acquire a professional qualification to show employers that they have the necessary skills to thrive in the industry. The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) has foundation, advanced and expert level courses that can really help you build your career by providing international recognition of your skills.
If you want to take it to the next level and become a Certified Software Tester (CSTE), the International Software Certification Board (ISCB) offer a wide range of certifications. The requirements are fairly strict, you’ll need to have either:
- A bachelor's degree and at least 2 years of experience in information services
- A 2 year degree and 4 or more years of experience
- Six years of experience in information services
In addition, you have to be able to prove that you’ve worked in software testing for at least 18 months.
A relevant degree, such as in computer programming, is usually required for all test analyst jobs but further study for a masters or certification could give you a competitive edge in the recruitment process. Course content will vary by institution, but any degree with a technical or IT focus will demonstrate your knowledge and passion to employers. Applicants will also improve their chances of securing a job by making sure that they demonstrate an up-to-date understanding of the industry that goes beyond professional qualifications.
If you can demonstrate to recruiters and employers that you not only have the skills, but also the desire to thrive in a test analyst job, then it could provide the start of a long and fruitful career in IT.
If you’d like more information on becoming a test analyst or would like general CV, cover letter and career advice, take a look at our career hub. It’s jam-packed with useful information to help to take your career to the next level.