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Quality Analyst Career Guide

Do you love making sure everything is in the right place? Are you an expert at looking for flaws? A quality analyst is responsible for developing and helping run different software test plans. You’ll get to help manage beta test programs, run software audits, develop processes for quality test control, participate in meetings with IT specialists, and provide exceptional customer service to help solve any issues. To be considered for this position, a bachelor’s degree is required in computer science or a related field. It’s also important to have experience in the field, excellent web development abilities, and maintain strong analytical skills. You should be comfortable working alone and be a self-starter who can manage deadlines. If you fit into all of these categories, becoming a quality analyst could be right for you.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is hiring experienced quality analysts to work full time. We’re looking for dependable, detail-oriented candidates with keen analytical thinking skills and the ability to adapt. Quality analysts create and execute test plans to make sure our products function properly. They identify and remedy problems, recommend actions to meet quality assurance standards, and ensure that industry rules and regulations are followed. Quality analysts also investigate customer complaints and make sure the user’s expectations are met during the testing process. If you have excellent communication skills and at least three years of experience in quality assurance, our company could be the perfect fit for you.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develop test plans, cases, scripts, and reports on multiple projects of varying size
  • Perform testing on various software, telecom, and reporting systems
  • Identify and facilitate issue resolution with functional and technical groups
  • Manage software beta test programs
  • Validate user expectation success during the testing process

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related discipline

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent problem-solving skills and attention to detail
  • Outstanding written and oral communication abilities
  • Several years of experience in an SDLC quality analysis environment

Preferred qualifications

  • 2+ years related work experience
  • Strong understanding of testing principles and concepts
  • Knowledge of web development practices and terminology

Typical work environment

Quality assurance is an occupation that spans many industries, from manufacturing and restaurants to engineering and architecture. Most quality analysts work full time in an office, usually as part of a team, to test products before they are available to the public. Quality analysts will also work on-site to document and report on product and service quality.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for quality analysts are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. Sometimes, they may work overtime or during weekends in order to meet deadlines.

Available certifications

Quality control ensures that products work properly before being sold to the public. This process exists in a variety of industries, therefore several quality analyst certifications are available. Here are some options:

  • Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) – This certification, offered by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board, acts as the first step in further levels of certification. Once you pass the exam, you’ll be added to both the Official U.S. List of Certified Software Testers™ and the ISTQB successful candidate register. Gaining the CTFL certification will help quality analysts land a job without previous experience.
  • Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) – This certification is for quality analysts with a mix of both education and experience in the field. A 70% is required to pass this exam. The CSQA is an advanced certification that will help you further your career as a quality analyst.
  • Certified Quality Process Analyst (CQPA) – The CQPA is offered through ASQ to candidates with at least two years of work experience in quality assurance or an equivalent amount of higher education. The CQPA can help you begin or advance your career as a quality analyst.

Career path

The industry website, Tech Beacon, believes that quality analysts are in a unique position with the current landscape. As more companies adopt new philosophies and project methodologies, quality analysts are growing more involved in every stage of a project’s development.

This unique view makes a position as a quality analyst a springboard to other careers in the IT field, such as product management, enterprise architecture, or customer experience leadership. They can also move into roles like release managers or engineers in organizations that take a holistic DevOps approach to project development.

The skills that make an excellent quality analyst may also lead to positions leading IT departments, like IT managers, chief technology officers, or chief information officers. Roles as both quality analysts and IT managers have to consider the big picture and think critically about how to test for and solve problems.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20302,257,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 increase

Thought leaders in the IT industry say quality analysts need to be mindful that many testing practices used in the past don’t apply to micro-services or cloud-based environments. Instead, testing is a continuous action in the delivery of projects and processes.

Soft skills like the ability to influence others are also becoming more critical to quality analysts. Testing products is costly for companies, so it’s up to quality analysts to convince stakeholders of its value in relation to customer happiness and retention.