Insights Blog The QA job market is a killer, would you stand a chance?


The QA job market is a killer, would you stand a chance?

A unique view into the ever-evolving software testing recruiting industry.

Introduction | A deep analysis of demand trends in the software testing job market

QualiTest has gathered information from the biggest and most popular us-based online job boards. We collected data from over 450,000 listed software QA positions across six job boards:

With the data collected, we can examine patterns and identify trends that can give us a glimpse into testing industry and what is currently in demand. Whether you’re interested as a recruiter, or trying to figure out how to grow your career and stay relevant, everyone should see the direction that the software testing industry is going. Below you’ll find highlights of the data we collected; some may surprise you, and others may seemingly make sense.


With the information we’ve gathered, we’ve been able to dive into some of the most discussed topics. We at QualiTest have found it fascinating, some assumptions have been proven, while others shattered.

  • Insight into the Selenium VS QTP discussion, with a definitive result.
  • We’ll talk about Test Automation vs Mobile Test Automation, which tools are most popular.
  • Compare tools like Jmeter and LoadRunner, is HP still dominate?
  • Which Job title is the most popular?

We dive into these questions and more to discover the true nature of the software testing industry.

Seniority roles | Comparison of Junior, Mid-level and Senior roles and popularity by language


 [bctt tweet=”Only 12% of software testing jobs target juniors ” via=”no”]

Language requirements based on seniority


SQL as a database language is highly sought after due to its utility in a wide range of project types.
Java takes the lead of programing languages followed by the C-languages. Ruby and Perl have seen a steady decline on popularity over the years.

[bctt tweet=”SQL is the most popular language requirement on software testing job boards ” via=”no”]

Job title popularity | Compare popular Job titles by seniority

Junior Roles


Mid-Level Roles


Lead/Senior Roles


We wanted to find the most common position titles for different professional levels. For example, Junior is a much more common title than entry-level. We also found that Automation Engineer is more popular than Automation Test Developer. It was interesting to see more Team Lead roles than other senior positions; perhaps this is due to Team Lead being an almost universal job title, as opposed to the other senior positions on the list, which can all essentially represent the same position.

Job titles, as many recruiters know, affect some people’s perception of the same position. Emphasis or exclusion of certain keywords in a title can become a heated debate. Engineer, Developer, and Tester can certainly represent the same positon, depending on who you’re talking to. Perhaps we should remind ourselves to see the abilities and skills of the individual, not the specifics of a title.

How this could affect you:

  • As a recruiter, excluding any variations of titles could decrease your total candidate pool.
  • Vice-versa, a job seeker could significantly reduce their options by omitting titles.
  • Certain companies will value a certain title over others, meaning not all titles carry the same weight.

 Automation roles Vs. Manual roles | Both are essential, with a significant difference


The Basics – Manual testing is the base of all software testing, certain projects will never be able to efficiently utilize automation testing. The majority of jobs in demand seem to be automation heavy, it’s important to remember a few things. Manual positions typically have lower requirements than Automation positions. Automation positions, while generally lower in numbers, are higher in specialties in language, tool experience, project-type, etc. Creating a higher number of postings for Automation rather than Manual. Are these numbers surprising? As a recruiter, would this change your approach to either position-type?

General Test Automation Tools Vs. Dedicated Mobile Test Automation Tools



From the data, it would seem that General Test Automation is overwhelmingly more popular than dedicated mobile automation testing tools. However, this may not be the case. Automation testing is more often becoming an all-inclusive solution with plugins, add-ons and community-driven solutions and work-arounds. Some of these solutions include the capability to preform mobile testing automation in addition to General Test Automation.  Also, when recruiters are posting a position, they will focus on language and relevant tool-specific experience but will list the position as Test Automation rather than the subcategory of Mobile Test Automation. This may lend a thought as to why Dedicated Mobile Test Automation tools are in seemingly far less demand than General Automation Test Tools.

[bctt tweet=”Appium is the most popular job requirement compared to any other dedicated mobile test automation tool” via=”no”]

Selenium – Taking the testing world by storm. This popular open-source automation tool has been emerging as a dominate force. Although Selenium has its downsides, they are often addressed with a wealth of plugins and supplemental tools, leading to a flexible and versatile solution.

Unified Functional Testing – Previously known as Quick Test Professional. Licensed by HP, UFT only works with VBscript, supports windows machines exclusively, supports only IE and Firefox and most recently chrome browsers. UFT, however, can also automate Web and Desktop-based applications.

Both tools are a representation of their era; QTP was designed to run one test at a time on a single machine and Selenium was designed with a cloud capability in mind. Selenium supports more languages and browsers than UFT/QTP. Both are automation tools created with the capabilities and demands of their times.

How this could affect you:

  • Would knowing that Selenium is 300% more popular than QTP affect your decisions on planned projects?
  • Would the increasing resource pool with selenium-based experience make a difference?
  • As a recruiter, would knowing how much demand there is affect your negotiating tactics?
  • Perhaps you’re looking for the next phase of your career and you want to remain relevant?

[bctt tweet=”Experience with Selenium is 3 time more common as a job requirement compared to experience with QTP/UFT” via=”no”]

Load testing tools | Open source and proprietary tools


jMeter, an open source tool, has gathered strength lately that provides load testing solutions beyond just web applications. The jMeter project is updated and maintained by Apache, a non-profit organization built by a community of developers dedicated to open-source software.

LoadRunner is the runner up, a veteran HP tool, created in 2000 and acquired by HP in 2006. While quite capable and easy to use, the biggest drawback is often the cost of a license.

In situations similar to this comparison, the question often comes to mind; does cost have an effect on which tool a project will use? ROI’s always weighs heavily in that discussion, as to be expected, but it is hard to pass up a community-supported open-source option which will almost always have modifications, add-ons or plugins that will increase the appeal of open source.

[bctt tweet=”jMeter is a more common requirement on job boards than the other 4 leading load tools combined”]

Test Design vs. Test Execution


Test Design – Significantly higher demand. The skill and time required to design tests is higher than test execution, therefore leading to an increase in design test skill demand with a relatively smaller resource pool.

Test Execution – Considerably lower demand than test design. Once the test suite has been designed, it can be executed as many times as needed with a lower skill requirement than design with a relatively bigger resource pool.


We’re seeing many changes in the testing industry’s demands. Some results are surprising, while others were expected.

  • Selenium is the clear front runner in terms of demand and there are no signs that it will slow. QTP is still going strong, but showing signs of slowing.
  • The demand for manual testing is dwindling, only strengthening automation with its capabilities and functions growing every day.
  • We’re seeing Java as one of the sought after programing languages along with C#. Causing major differences in demand for programing languages, SQL as a database language has and will continue to be sought after in many projects.

We hope you’ve found this information as enlightening as we have. At QualiTest Group, we’re always striving to master our craft and further our understanding of the testing industry.