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I'm in my second semester as junior in college, and until recently, I've been on the pre-med track. Long story short, I realized that I wasn't planning on going to medical school because of my passion, but because it would make others (my parents) happy. Thus, up until now, all of my experience has been medically-related: volunteering, clubs, pre-med classes, etc.

Recently, I've learned about SQA engineering, and from what I've learned so far, it's seems like an interesting field to work in that appeals to me. I'm still not sure if I'm dead-set on the field, but it certainly is an option I'm keeping in mind. That said, I took an AP Computer Science class my senior year of high school, and have intermediate understanding in HTML, and beginner's in CSS. That's as far as it goes with my computer science experience. I would consider changing my major from Biology to CompSci, but I'm already so far into my requirement courses that it would throwing all of my work away.

So, my question is: if I were to become an entry-level SQA engineer, how would I go about doing so? I know of some people who had no experience like me, and still got a job with good pay. I know I need to get certification, but my main concern is how I would size-up to those with computer science majors, and what can I do to better my chances at getting hired? And as a minor sidenote: do I need to do anything special (certification-wise) to work abroad, such as in the UK?

Thank you!

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RE certifications, see also sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/1055/… –  user246 Mar 26 at 0:09

3 Answers 3

Testing certifications are crap. Suck it up and do a Comp Sci degree as it will leave you with far more tech related options than QA. What if you decide you don't like QA?

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+1 for preparing for a wide range of options. QA is an awesome field, but if you're only just starting to explore options outside medicine there's likely to be a whole host of fields you've never heard of that you'd be even more passionate about if you did. –  user867 Mar 26 at 4:12

You don't mention where you are - in some countries employers are more likely to want certifications, in others not so much.

As Merch says, you definitely want to explore your options more. If you can switch some of your electives to comp sci courses, I'd recommend doing that in your next semester to give you a better idea if this is where you want to be.

Look around the internet (something I wish had been available to me umpteen years ago when I was having doubts about my first degree - Geology, for what that's worth) and read some testing blogs. Joe Strazzere's All Things Quality is a good one. So is Alan Page's Tooth of the Weasel. Reading about the challenges involved in a testing career is something you definitely want to do, as is seeing if there's a tester meet-up anywhere near where you live - that would be a good opportunity for you to meet some of the more active people in the field and talk with them about your options and where you want to go.

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Certification is just formal paper that prove you understand testing terms and process. Certification does not prove your skills. So I suggest you to get some engineering speciality at first and then find out about some SQA courses, read books, take a part in QA's conference. And, of course, how are going to verify quality of product without technical knowledges? I believe computer science or some technical degree background would be very useful and give you more chances to become great SQA Engineer.

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