What is a Test Strategist?
Test strategists develop plans of action for testing new technology products. This includes identifying areas that need to be tested, designing test strategies that target those areas and setting acceptance criteria for each test. Test strategists work closely with test engineers, emphasizing to them the importance of responsible, quality testing practices. Additionally, test strategists are tasked with monitoring the continued quality of technology products and finding ways to increase the performance of those products.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field|
|Job Skills||Software testing experience; experience with automated testing tools, cloud technologies, and Agile methodology; knowledge of one or more computer programming languages; interpersonal skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$88,510|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||9.3%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A bachelor's degree program in computer science or a related field, like software engineering, is typically the minimum education needed to work as a test strategist. In an undergraduate computer science program, students usually take courses in computer systems and programming, data structures, and operating systems. These programs also tend to be heavy in mathematics classes, such as discrete math and calculus. Aspiring test strategists might tailor their curriculum to their desired career by choosing electives like problem analysis and solution and user experience design or by completing an independent research project.
Because they work closely with other team members, including test engineers, developers and product managers, test strategists also need excellent interpersonal skills, including strong written and oral communication skills and active listening skills.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide job data specific to test strategists. However, it does classify software quality assurance engineers and testers under the umbrella of 'computer occupations, all other.' This group of workers was projected to see job growth of 9.3% between 2016 and 2026, per the BLS. This was slightly faster than the U.S. average for all occupations.
The BLS also doesn't have salary figures specific to test strategists. Again, we can turn to the 'computer occupations, all other' category, where workers earned a median annual salary of $88,510 as of 2017, based on BLS figures.
The following careers in computer science and quality assurance also might be of interest to those who are curious about the test strategist field: