What is the market demand for manual testers compared to automation testers?

It is difficult to answer this question for a number of reasons.

First, each country's job market is different.

There are trends that apply to all countries but there are significant differences as well.

Second, no one has the complete information on all jobs available on a market.

Not even the IT recruiters.

Everyone has access to a piece or a few pieces of the job market puzzle.

The whole puzzle is impossible to see.

Instead of an answer, I have for you a few hints, hopefully useful.

1. Many Test Automation Positions Available, Few Suitable Candidates

Every time I talk to recruiters about market demand, I hear that companies need badly manual testers with good automation skills.

These testers should know manual testing, have technical skills, know good programming and good test automation.

The programming and test automation skills are required by companies that already do automation but also by companies that dont have automation yet.

Because if a company does not have automation yet, it is either getting ready for starting it or thinking about doing automation in the near future.

So recruiters have these days many open opportunities for testers that have programming and test automation skills.

And in many cases, they cannot find suitable candidates for them.

Because not many manual testers have good programming skills.

On the other hand, there are just a handful of "pure" manual testing positions available, from time to time.

2. Job Trends: more automation jobs, less functional testing jobs

The indeed.com site can display the job trends for a specific keyword during a time interval.

Let's see how the indeed.com trends for functional testing and quality assurance look like.

The functional testing trend between 2012 - 2016 is descending.

The similar trend for quality assurance is descending as well.

Finally, lets look at the trend for a popular automation tool like Selenium.

3. Testing Trends: developer and tester roles will merge, more test automation needed

Take for example this survey:

It says that

The increasing adoption of DevOps principle is expected to break the silos of roles divided in terms of activities between developers, QA/testers, business analysts and production manager. 
We know, with changing times, the developers and operation managers have started adopting testing activity as a part of their day-to-day job.  
In fact, they love to test to ensure the defects do not get carried forward in the production lifecycle.  
Thus, keeping this trend in mind, the experts predict that, the roles of developers and testers will merge in the years to come.

and also that

... chances are that there would be more collaboration among developers, IT professionals and operation engineers leading to increasing adoption of DevOps.  
With more and more enterprises merging the roles of testers with developers and operational engineers due to overlapping competencies and the need to fit in the continuous agile cycles, 
DevOps methodology will be the most In-Thing in the year 2016. 
As per Google Trends, 67% enterprises engage in DevOps principle to tap the benefits of cross-functional skills and speed up the test project deliveries.

Similar predictions are being made by Gallop:

Test automation in the age of DevOps 
The level of Test Automation is one of the key indicators of a testing organization’s efficiency.  
Test automation adoption is going to grow at a rapid pace this year as organizations looks at delivering bug-free, high-quality software.

4. Google Search: more test automation searches 

Google trends provide details regarding how many searches for a specific topic happen in a time interval.

They show similar patterns with the indeed.com trends.

The trend for functional testing searches is descending.

The trend for quality assurance searches is descending as well.

The trend for Selenium searches is ascending.

So what do all these mean? Is the market demand higher for manual testing or automation?

Instead of a conclusion, how about another question?

Which one do you think is higher?

The market demand for manual testers?

The market demand for automation testers?

Or the market demand for manual testers that know automation?

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6 Responses to "What is the market demand for manual testers compared to automation testers?"

  1. Very useful. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Very interesting article! Sad, but interesting. :( I've been a QA Engineer since 1996. My skills? Obsolete. Everyone wants coders, not manual QA. I managed to get a new job last year... hopefully I can learn enough to keep me marketable!

  3. I am a manual tester, how can i change my career to automation testing field, can you please give me a idea for this change.

    Selenium Training in Chennai

    1. you can start here: