We agree. The heading sounds like a commercial ad. But in the case of Hitek Computer School, as promised by its director, Oleg Vertlib, it is a question of real money.
Q: Oleg, let’s start at the beginning. Who does your school prepare?
A: Hitek Computer School prepares specialists in professions such as Software QA Specialist/Software Tester.
Q: And in simpler words?
A: A Software Tester is a specialist who evaluates software products to determine that they satisfy specified requirements, to demonstrate that they are fit the purpose and to detect defects.
Q: Many times I have heard that this profession does not require specific education; it is possible to master it at home, just by reading a book. Can you comment on this?
A: There are two myths about the profession of “Software Tester”. The first one: testing is a kind of semi-mechanical process, it does not require knowledge. A tester is a type of “clicker”, driving the program, until it “crashes”. The second one: testing is an extremely complicated process, comparable to the work of a programmer, especially when it concerns automatic testing, requiring a special mentality and, at least, a Computer Science Degree.
In truth, there are many different forms of testing, which require different qualifications. After a 6-month intensive course in our school, and 3 months of practice, one is eligible for a position called Junior or Intermediate Software Tester. This specialist engages in simple enough types of testing. Acquiring experience and education, the person is ready for more technical work, where higher qualification is needed. One thing I can say for sure: It is impossible to become a specialist in this area only by reading a book.
Q: What do you think caused the rise in popularity of this trade during recent years?
A: The possibility to quickly receive a well-paid, qualified and interesting job with the possibility of growth.
Q: Now, about the high salary and possibility of growth in more detail, please…
A: The salaries of testers vary from 50K to 120K annually for permanent positions and $25-$65/hour for contracts. Testers are in great demand (by the official sources, the profession of a tester lies in the list of quickly growing trades – the demand grows at the rate of 5-10 % per year).
The profession of Software Tester is ideal niche for:
- People who are trying to change their career path due to economic meltdown and economy restructuring
- New immigrants looking for a qualified job in a new country
- Recent school/college graduates who are struggling to find their first job
There are numerous benefits of career path in Software QA:
- Everyone can do it – open for people with different education backgrounds and industry domains
- Short learning curve (up to 6 months), while salaries are similar to Software Developers who spent 5 years to earn their degree
- High Demand
- Great compensation rates ($25 – $65/hour)
- Age tolerant
Q: So, let’s discuss a case of a person without technical education. What are her chances of mastering this field?
A: I have been working in the IT industry for more than 10 years, and have seen many people move into testing from various other trades. I see testers, who were previously engaged in art, psychology, business, information technologies, etc.
Among the graduates of our school, who now successfully work as testers, there are former musicians, economists, fashion designers, elementary school teachers, mechanics, and bank employees. A real specialist (it doesn’t matter from which industry) brings with him/her life experience, capability of analysis, skills in problem solving and decision making, and, most importantly, the desire to learn. All these things determine the success of a tester’s career.
Q: So, are there any prerequisites to become a tester? I mean – is prior knowledge of computers, programming, etc. required?
A: A person who wishes to begin studies at our school must have computer experience and should possess a user level of knowledge of Windows Operation System, MS Office and Internet. A Computer Science Degree is not a requirement, but mentioned above minimum is necessary.
Q: One more important question concerns one’s age. It is no secret that it may become a barrier.
A: The specifics of the work as a tester is such, that with age the increased sensibility, a balance in decision making, and tolerance to routine, and repetitive work (and it is a fair share of it in the work of a tester) are rather an advantage than a weakness. And companies perfectly understand this when hiring for work. A great bulk of our graduates is between 30 to 50 years of age. All of them found work without a problem.
Q: Well, what is the actual demand for the profession of Software Tester in Philadelphia?
A: In Philadelphia and state monthly demand for this profession is anywhere from 150 to 200 positions.
Q: About the process of teaching. Your school teaches this profession on-line. How realistic is it to become an expert being taught on-line?
A: Learning on-line has caused a true revolution in the education system. Between 2003-2010, the amount of on-line courses in USA grew at the average speed of 10 to 30 % annually, while the traditional classroom learning grew only at the rate of 1.5 %. Today, 20 % of american students take courses online. On-line education gives students the following advantages:
- Flexible schedule of learning – every student has the opportunity to independently decide which particular days, and exactly how many hours he can devote to studying.
- High quality of studying – independent studies of material using a special system of tests and assignments for self checking allow the students to acquire better knowledge of lecture material.
- Saving time and costs of transportation to school.
- Access to the system of learning from any location in the world – a possibility to continue learning from anywhere, where there is internet access.
The development of online education has progressed dramatically over the last years. Our school uses a special program which allows students to not only to simply read lectures, but also to listen to them online, to take exams and be able to view scores right away, to communicate online with instructors and other students, etc…
Q: Assuming a person takes your course, has paid money, has begun lessons, but after some time has realized the online course is not for him… Could he get his money back?
A: If the online student is not satisfied for whatever reason, during the first 4 weeks of the course, or the first 4 lessons (whichever comes first), we will reimburse 100 % of Tuition Fee – No Questions Asked.
Q: Let’s talk about your school. Why should a potential student come specifically to you?
A: I would emphasize 3 reasons.
1. A practical approach to education.
Testing of Software belongs to a type of profession that can only be mastered through actual performance of the work. For this reason, we have developed special training software containing plenty of errors. The student is to find the errors and point them out – the same problems arise in actual work. Each new lesson introduces new kinds of tests for the student to pass. The course makes the student pass through all stages of the actual work as a tester to acquire practical knowledge and self-confidence.
After completing the course, we direct students to an internship. Hitek School collaborates with 5 software developing companies. The internship is 1 to 6 months long and allows the student to get American experience, reflect it onto a resume, and receive a reference confirming the experience. Depending on the company, the internship could be without pay, or with a low salary ($12 – $15/hr). Quite often, the companies offer our graduates a permanent job.
3. Legal Status
Hitek Computer School is a registered educational institution operating according to the rules of PCTIA (Private Career Training Institutions Agency) of BC. This guarantees a high quality of education and protection of the rights of our clients.
Either to enrol or specify any details, please call 1-800-604-0254 (toll free).