The Direction of Testing
For the past few years, we have surveyed the techTesters database of over 12,000 testers to find out more about trends, pay-rates and opinions within the software testing market. The results have been published each time in the form of Info-graphics.
This article reviews the 2 sets of results from 2017 and 2019 and provides an insight into the direction software testing is going from a market perspective, salary perspective and from opinions of testers.
Growth in the Software Testing Services Market
What has become very apparent from our surveys is the huge growth in the global software testing market.
In 2017 the Software Testing market was £28bn and projected to grow 14.4% yearly to £54bn in 2022.
The 2019 results currently show the market at £34bn and is now expected to grow yearly at 15% to £52bn in 2022.
So we can see the 2017 projections so far have been fairly accurate. Growth to 2019 has been close (slightly under) to the predicted 14.4%, and with a predicted 15% growth from now on, a £52bn industry in 2022 is very realistic.
Growth in the Global Automation Testing Market
The 2019 survey shows annual growth of around 17% and this is predicted to continue to reach £14.8bn by 2023.
This reflects on our 2017 survey where 51% of testers surveyed believed that manual testing jobs would significantly decline over the next 5 years and at techTesters, we have clearly seen evidence that manual testing is declining in replace of automation.
Growth in Global Mobile Application Testing Services Market
Mobile application testing has been a huge area of growth over recent years but our survey results indicate this is now slowing down.
In 2017, 4-year growth was predicted at 18%
In 2019, 4-year growth has been predicted at only 12.7%
So, in 2019 we see a significant reduction in Mobile Application Testing growth predicted compared to the 2017 survey. A valid assumption for this could be that mobile application testing has now become the norm compared to something companies are still introducing, causing a levelling out in growth.
Permanent Salaries by Experience
It is no surprise that salaries for employees in the software testing industry have been increasing year on year as there is such a high demand for this skill set.
What does stand out though is the significant increase in salary (and contract rates) for testers who have between 5-12 years experience. From 2017 to 2019 there has been roughly a 25% increase in these permanent salaries.
So once 5 years in the software testing industry have been gained, there is currently a real opportunity to significantly increase your salary. To achieve this it is often necessary to leave your current job and find a new one, and this will somewhat explain the high turnover of permanent staff not only in Software Testing, but in the Tech Industry as a whole.
Salaries by Industry
When looking at Salaries by Industry, there are 4 statistics that really stand out.
Media & Entertainment salaries for testing resources have been rising annually at 13% since 2017. This is around 9% higher than other industries. Noticeably though contract rates in this industry for the same time period have not changed much at all.
At techTesters we have seen an increase in demand for Software Testing resource from the Media & Entertainment industry and based on supply and demand, it would appear that the drive to specifically hire permanent testing resource has subsequently pushed up salaries.
Salaries in the Public Sector & Government have remained the same since 2017, however contract rates have risen 10% each year since 2017.
The fact that within Public Sector & Government the tester salaries have remained the same is likely a result of austerity as very few pay rises have been awarded across the whole of that industry. The increase in contractor salaries could well be a result of the new IR35 legislation when working for a Public Sector client.
So what does this insight really tell us about the direction testing is going?
Well based on the statistics:
- It is good to be working in the Software Testing industry as it is growing year on year.
- Automation Testing is increasing significantly year on year (and replacing manual testing).
- Mobile Testing growth has peaked.
- 5-12 years experience in the testing industry is the prime time to be seeking a salary increase.
- Salaries in Media & Entertainment are rising significantly for Software Testing roles.
- Salaries are static in the Public Sector but contract rates are increasing.
When we do our 2020 Survey next year, it will be interesting to see if the highlighted predictions are remaining accurate, the trends we have outlined have continued, and if the different aspects of testing covered are still heading in the same direction.