I test a web-based product and am good at exploratory testing, scenario testing, do proper analysis, know database SQL queries and try my best to find critical problems in functionality, but don't use programming or tools.
I wonder how you access a database without tools... I think you already use a lot of tools, bez perhaps you are not aware of that.
Do I need to become a technical tester to save my job in the software industry?
Software industry is almost by definition technical, so having technical skills won't hurt your career.
And so going back to what you said:
... I am good at exploratory testing
You need to take into account that exploring technical side of the products you test is, and perhaps should be, a part of a more complete exploration. If you consider yourself an Exploratory Tester, but at the same time shy away from technical testing, then it doesn't exactly sound like a good strategy to me. It even sounds like a contradiction.
What you need to get straight is:
- test automation
- tool supported testing
Number 1) is what you talk about. All those Test Automation Specialists who write test code in Selenium and what not. Personally I don't think having these skills will be necessary in order to survive in the testing industry. However, number 2) is what I believe is necessary to survive in the testing industry. Technology is evolving and you can't be efficient without tools, or you can't even do certain tasks without them.
Let's consider this example: you most likely use some collaboration tool like Jira etc. where you fill in bugs etc. Can you imagine working without it? Perhaps this is not so obvious. Let's iterate on it. Let's say you're testing a web application. Can you imagine testing it without DevTools in the browser? I don't because it'd feel like being blind. Can you imagine testing it without http proxies? How do you then effectively test frontend vs. backend validations on input fields? Another example could be testing how an application handles a lot of data. Do you add in all the data manually entry by entry? I hope not, I hope you're more efficient and write a code snippet that generates and saves the data for you. It's not exactly programming, but you still need to do this to become effective in exploratory testing.
Do you see where I'm going? Testing without tools could be even unrealistic nowadays. So the only way forward is to embrace them, learn some of them, explore others and see what value they can bring to you.