I am currently working as a Test Engineer for one of the reputed firms and have experience in both manual testing and automation using dot net. I would like to know the feasibility of making a career shift from a Test Role to a System Analyst role. I have no prior system analyst experience. Are there firms out there which take a candidate as a system analyst(many company's call them PMs as well)? How feasible is the move and is it a good career choice considering I have 3 years of industry experience and can still do a 2 year developer role before pursuing a PM role? Also, I am looking for applying for jobs in UK. It would be easier for me to shift from a Test role to a Dev role, but what is the feasibility of moving from test role to a program management role in the UK with just 3 years of work experience.
Just so people don't confuse when I say System Analyst or Program Management role I mean job profile involving business requirement gathering, client interaction, FS documentation and guiding the overall project to completion etc.
Kapil's Advice on Monday, June 20, 2011 :
Role of System analyst and Program Management is totally different.
System analyst role is more of technical role whereas Program management is a management role.
System Analsyst role invloves designing the system by analysing various aspects of the system. It is usually a gradual role from small module to large module and then the entire system.
This desinging starts from requirment gathering from clients and making Functional specicifcation. i.e the as matures you move from SDLC cycle in reverse.
Reqt gathering --> Architecture-->Design -> Development -> Delivery
roles Architect/Domain Specialist<--System Analyst<--Developer
You can definately move from Test Role to System Analyst role if you can learn desinging module ; You must be familiar with the designing fundamentals, Object Oriented Analysis and desing, Designing classes ...
Every project/program is a larger term. Program Manager manages the entire program of development of a project end-2-end. this involves management of resources, clients, people for devleoping project in its time frame in scheduled budget. It involves people management skills and resource management skill liks eestimation, project tracking and schduling and budgeting etc.
As for your "Job profile involving business requirement gathering, client interaction, FS documentation and guiding the overall project to completion etc." is something which will come gradually with maturity.
No company will entrust any developer to such client facing responsbility in one go unless proven becuase lot is on stakes for a company.
For overseas, only long-term local employees are usually entrusted with program management roles. Starting with developer jobs , once you have earned respect and trust of company by giving results then may be you can be offered program management roles.