Kick-Starting your Career in Software Testing – We Need to Talk About Grads

As a recruiter and a link in the Software Testing eco systems, I have noticed something worrying. Grads just don’t know enough about Software Testing. I am biased, as a Software Testing fan girl I naively thought it was a widely recognised career path and one that would appeal to many fresh out of Uni graduates. However, this isn’t the case!

So why is this?

There are many factors. Unfortunately, a vast majority of University teaching topics such as Software Engineer, Computer Science etc. don’t include ANY modules on Testing (Madness I know).

Secondly, rightly or wrongly it is still widely considered that any “good graduate” should pursue a career in Development! This is due to a few factors, lack of promotion of Testing jobs via the Uni themselves, careers fairs, and lack of knowledge of the many ways a Testing role can look. It’s widely considered to be not as technical as a Dev role, and this simply doesn’t have to be the case.

Again, I am biased but a career in Software Testing can be just as rewarding, technical and as financially lucrative as becoming a Developer. It’s our responsibility to make sure this is known! One exception that I know of is Edge Hill University in Liverpool, who not only teach modules of Testing, they actively encourage and promote careers in Testing to their Grads.

All is not lost
Of course, a degree, or technical degree is by no means essential to be a good Tester, just look at these results from a recent Twitter poll:

A huge 50% of these current Testers didn’t study a Tech related degree, and many of them simply didn’t attend University at all. Here are some of their stories:

You get the gist! It would appear many people fall into the industry, leading me to my next set of poll results….

85% “fell into it”. Which is great! However, this only plays into the theory that we simply are not doing enough to inspire people to pursue a career in Testing. Exhibit A:

So, what do we do?
It is up to ALL of us, the recruiters, hiring managers and University Lecturers to do more. We all have different roles. As a hiring manager, consider this: are you making your Testing roles sound just as appealing and as important as your Developer roles? Perhaps you could volunteer some time at your local University talking to students about Software Testing and its advantage?

As a recruiter, help to educate. We can’t always help people secure the right role for them right now. Don’t be afraid to educate your candidates and point them in the right direction to resources that will help them to “upskill” and learn more. These include:

  • Online courses
  • Ministry of Testing and all their wonderful knowledge
  • Key figures in Test who may be able to coach / mentor them
  • Organisations that will help to train them up
  • Meetups and Events

I would love to hear any other suggestions from you all on how we tackle this issue! Don’t hesitate to give me a shout!

Gabbi

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