My Education: Professional Online Coursework, Specific company internal online universities.
My Prior Experience: I used to work in quality control at the factory level and then after working in business for a couple of years, moved to work as a test engineer
My Company: My company provides test engineering on demand for large companies and software development houses.
Job/Career Overview: My job is not the highest paid position that you will find in engineering, although it is certainly necessary to any company or organization that works with information. NASA lost a Mars Lander due to a lack of quality assurance and testing and countless other firms and organizations are in need of talented individuals that have an eye for detail and a strong organizational mindset to help them ensure that their products are safe and reliable.
On any given day, I might be working on one of 50 different applications that we are responsible for testing. I come in and have a brief meeting in the morning before heading off to the laboratory and starting to work with machines in a virtual environment. We can emulate any operating system or hardware type from our environment and many of the configurations become quite complex. If you enjoy looking for problems or finding solutions, you will like my line of work.
I rate this career 3 out of 10.
The nice thing about test engineering is that it tends to attract people who have a great deal of intelligence, so you will be able to work other talented people while you test. Another nice thing is that you are always kept abreast of the latest technological changes.
A couple of downsides include long hours and workdays and incredibly short job cycles that often cause engineers to have to look for more than two jobs in a year.
If you are just starting out now and are considering a career in test engineering, I would recommend that you think about which career choices you will make after you finish being a test engineer. With the onset of automation, many test engineers have been replaced with software developers that are just starting out as employees for the first time. As most developers do not plan to remain test engineers, they usually remain a test engineer for 6 months to 2 years and then move into another position. Knowing what kind of position you might move into after your time as a test engineer before you start will help make you more focused.