Software QA Training Programs and Career Information
Software quality assurance (QA) specialists work with computer programmers to design, as well as analyze and eliminate errors from, software programs. A bachelor's degree in computers is generally required for someone interested in a software QA career.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
While a bachelor's degree in computers is typically required for a job in software QA, some employers may look favorably on a software QA specialist with a computer-based master's degree. Additionally, employers often require these specialists to have experience in software quality assurance. They may also require experience in a particular area, such as Web applications.
Some of the most common majors for software QA specialists include computer science and computer engineering. Students gain software quality assurance training by participating in lectures and hands-on labs.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Computer science programs provide students interested in software QA with training in computer systems, data structures, software engineering and database management. These software QA training programs also instruct students in theoretical math, programming languages, security features and Internet technology.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
Students enrolled in a computer engineering program learn a combination of statistical mathematics, computer programming and electronics engineering principles. They also learn about computer hardware and software structures and networks.
Job Experience and Career Information
Often, 3-5 years of related experience is required to work in software QA roles. Initial experience can be gained through college internship opportunities. Upon graduation, some cooperating agencies may hire interns full-time. Depending on the skill level and training required, quality assurance specialists can work in roles as:
- Software QA designers
- Software QA engineers
- Software QA testers
- Software QA analysts
- Software QA project managers
Licenses and Certifications
Software QA specialists may become certified by individual software vendors. More commonly though, QA specialists earn general certifications, such as Certified Software Quality Analyst or Certified Associate in Software Quality (www.softwarecertifications.org). In order to qualify for this credential, applicants must meet minimum education and, or, experience requirements and pass an exam. The exam must be taken at a proctored center and, depending on the certification, may consist of essay, fill-in and multiple-choice questions.
Workshops and Seminars
A number of computer organizations offer software QA-related conferences, which often last 2-4 days. Central topics may include system security, software engineering or emerging technology. Other times, associations and colleges may provide 1-2 day software QA seminars.
Additional Professional Development
Students interested in software QA training must be willing to take additional courses throughout their career in order to keep up with emerging technology. Furthermore, software QA specialists can search the Internet for related articles, blogs and discussion forums.
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