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Quality assurance (QA) analysts are responsible for the final step in the development of a game, website or any software product before it is released to the public.

QA analysts look for flaws and weaknesses in the program.

What does a QA analyst do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Quality assurance analysts – also known as localisation analysts and test analysts – test programs, games and any software to make sure they are reliable, fully functional and user-friendly before they are released to the public. They use a test plan to inspect thousands of lines of code to make sure they are entirely error-free. They look for flaws and weaknesses in the program, such as an unappealing interface, and report back to the developers on their findings. They may also fix any system problems or glitches and make suggestions for how to make a software program work better. They must also ensure that the software is right for the market in which it will be released, is translated into the local language and is culturally compatible.

Typical duties include:

  • creating a test plan
  • using the plan to assess functionality, performance, reliability, stability and compatibility with other systems
  • using the plan to hunt down and fix software bugs
  • looking for ways to prevent bugs from occurring in the first place
  • guarding against incorrect language usage, truncated text and incorrect formatting
  • ensuring the product is culturally compatible with the target market
  • some localisation analysts are responsible for translation work
  • rebuilding the corrected software application

Typical employers of QA analysts

  • Game developers
  • Software localisation companies
  • Social media platforms
  • Travel companies and airlines
  • Entertainment companies

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and by recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

To start your career as a QA analyst, it is likely that you will need a degree. Employers tend to prefer their junior QA analysts to have a bachelors degree in an IT-related subject.

Key skills for working as a QA analyst

  • Knowledge of a broad range of software applications and of hardware and networks
  • Strong programming knowledge
  • A good understanding of business
  • Ability to think in the abstract and see how small details fit into the bigger picture
  • A creative mindset – and the ability to approach a problem creatively
  • Good communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Strong IT skills
  • A meticulous approach to work
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of IT systems

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In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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