Skip to content Skip to Live Chat


QA Analyst Career


What Is a QA Analyst?


Although quality assurance applies to a wide range of industries, a QA analyst in this context works specifically on testing IT systems such as software, applications, telecommunications, and even games. Their job is to thoroughly test programs to ensure they’re working correctly and are fully functional before being released. 

This involves parsing through thousands of lines of code to check that it is 100% correct. The quality assurance analyst's ultimate goal is to spot any flaws or defects that could compromise performance or hurt user experience. As they unearth information, a quality assurance analyst makes suggestions to developers on how to improve the program and provide a better user experience. That way, the end product runs optimally and is free of errors. 

A bachelor’s degree in a technological field is usually required for most entry-level positions. For more advanced positions, however, you’ll often need a master’s degree. It’s also helpful to have at least some level of experience in quality control, as this should give you an edge over other candidates. 


What Does a QA Analyst Do?

Here are the core day-to-day quality analyst job responsibilities:

  • Design and develop software testing plans for programs from conception to completion.
  • Test the functionality and performance of programs, based on the software testing plans.
  • Identify flaws, bugs, and glitches in the programs.
  • Resolve any issues that are found and determining how to prevent them from happening again.
  • Look for potential areas of improvement to continually refine programs and provide an optimal user experience. 

These tasks require a great deal of diligence and are instrumental in turning out high-quality programs that operate as they should.

Where Do QA Analysts Work?

IT systems have become mainstream in recent years, and countless companies now use software, applications, and so on. Therefore, quality analyst jobs can pop up in a wide range of industries. 

That said, here are five industries that have an especially high need of these professionals:

  • Software development companies, where a QA analyst handles platform testing and works out the kinks before the systems and applications are released to the public.
  • Computer systems design companies, where they help refine the quality of systems and achieve optimal performance.
  • Social media platforms, where they are involved with the endlessly iterative process of fine-tuning platforms.
  • Game development companies, where they look for defects and bugs that could hinder game performance.
  • Data analytics providers, where they’re involved with the software development process to ensure platforms generate accurate, reliable reporting.

As IT becomes increasingly ingrained in the operations of more and more companies, this list should continue to grow. 


What Education Does a QA Analyst Need?

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for entry-level quality analyst jobs. One particular degree that’s ideal for this career is a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics. This degree focuses primarily on turning raw data into usable information, but also covers several other key topics that are useful for becoming a QA analyst, such as:

  • IT leadership
  • Data systems administration
  • Advanced data management
  • Data analysis 
  • Scripting and programming

Or, if you’re interested in a more advanced QA career and education, a Master of Science in Data Analytics degree could be the perfect fit. This degree is built around the theory and application of data analytics; you use innovative technology to learn about the following topics:

  • Modern analytics tools
  • Advanced data analytics
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Data cleaning
  • Representation and reporting

Note that because of the ever-changing nature of IT and computer sciences, ongoing education to stay up to date on the newest technologies is extremely important.

What Degrees are Best for a QA Analyst?


Data Analytics – B.S.

Lean into data, and walk away with a cutting-edge online degree:...

Lean into data, and walk away with a cutting-edge online degree:

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,735 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 39 total courses in this program.

Certifications in this program at no additional cost include:

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • CompTIA Data+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Udacity Nanodegree—a unique, highly recognized credential designed to prepare you for a career in data science
  • MSI Change Management (Optional Certification)
  • Certiprof Design Thinking Professional Certificate (Optional Certification)

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Data management
  • Data wrangling
  • Statistical analysis
  • Visualization
  • Leadership and management 
  • Model deployment & storytelling

Data Analytics – M.S.

Lead businesses with strong analysis skills:...

Lead businesses with strong analysis skills:

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish within 20 months.
  • Tuition: $4,055 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Data Analytics Lifecycle 
  • Data Science and Advanced Analytics Applications
  • Data Mining Techniques
  • Machine Learning 
  • Data Management

Master data mining, visualization, and SQL—and lead analytics at the business of your choice.


Web Application Deployment and Support Certificate – School of Technology

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the...

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the help of the Web Application Deployment and Support Certificate from the School of Technology.

  • Time: 5 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $2,950 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 4 courses total in this program.

This certificate also offers two industry certifications, Linux Essentials and AWS Cloud, which will add extra power to your portfolio of experience. You are also guaranteed admission into a WGU School of Technology degree program. This certificate will prepare you for the next step in your career.

This program is ideal for individuals who have 3-5 years of IT experience and a basic understanding of scripting languages and SQL. Prerequisites include: Experience with either Python or Java or another high-order OO (object-oriented) programming language along with Git, experience with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and experience with a major DBMS (database management system) - MySQL (preferred), SQL Server, Oracle, MariaDB, etc.



Back End Web Development Certificate – School of Technology

The Back End Web Development Certificate helps students gain a critical...

The Back End Web Development Certificate helps students gain a critical foundation in databases, Java, SQL, and other areas that are crucial for success in the field.

  • Time: 6 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $3,950 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 5 courses total in this program.

This certificate is designed to help individuals who want to pursue web development gain important skills and experience, boosting their résumé right away. In this program you will take courses that move directly into a School of Technology bachelor's degree at WGU, where you are guaranteed admission after completing your certificate. This program is an important step for your career.

Build your foundational skills in back end web development with a focus on SQL queries, user interface, database management, Java fundamentals and frameworks, and more.

How Much Does a QA Analyst Make?


The average salary for a quality assurance analyst in 2021 was $72,834, according to ZipRecruiter. Those in the top 10% of this profession earn significantly more, at around $108,000 annually, while those in the bottom 12% earn between $35,000 and $44,000. 

This is largely dependent upon the level of education a QA analyst has, along with the number of years of experience they have under their belt. Besides that, location often has an impact on salary, where quality assurance analysts in larger markets tend to make more than those in smaller ones.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


Like most jobs in the IT industry, quality assurance analyst jobs are seeing solid growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the job-growth rate for the computer systems analyst field to increase 7% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than average. “The further adoption of cloud computing by both large and small businesses and an increasing use of IT services in healthcare settings is expected to increase demand for these workers,” the BLS notes. This makes a QA analyst one of the more stable professions and one for which there should be plenty of demand through the 2020s. 


What Skills Does a QA Analyst Need?

This is a career that involves very methodical, meticulous work, such as sifting through vast amounts of data to find defects. Therefore, you’ll find that having strong attention to detail is perhaps the most important skill of all. 

In addition, these skills are also essential:

  • A firm understanding of programming and IT. A QA analyst must filter through line after line of code, which requires an in-depth comprehension of programming and how it fits into IT.
  • Critical thinking. They must be adept at analyzing programs and identifying problems.
  • Creative problem-solving. The entire purpose of working as a QA analyst is coming up with solutions to difficult problems, which often requires an out-of-the-box approach.
  • Great communication. They constantly collaborate with managers and other team members and need to be adept at both verbal and written communication.
  • The ability to see the big picture. They must also be capable of understanding how the smaller pieces of a program fit in with one another and how they affect the overall user experience. 

Possessing these skills should make you a natural fit for this career and is integral to catching errors before programs are released to the public.

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

Next Start Date

Interested in Becoming a QA Analyst?