Internet Quality Assurance Specialists
Education and Training Requirements
You should take high school classes that will give you a well-rounded education, but also concentrate on computer science courses, especially those that allow you to work with computer graphics, on the Web, or with programming. It will be important for you to develop your analytical and problem-solving skills, so take math classes such as algebra and geometry. Business and marketing classes will help prepare you for work in the corporate world. Don't forget to take English classes, which will help you develop essential research, writing, speaking, and presentation skills. Science classes, such as physics and chemistry, will round out your education.
Most companies today prefer to hire candidates with four-year degrees and as the job market becomes more competitive, those with college degrees will have the best opportunities for securing work and gaining advanced positions. While you may prepare for this work by getting a computer-related degree, you are not limited to this choice. Interestingly, many people also enter this field with a broad-based liberal arts background and have majors in fields such as economics, history, or even languages, along with computer knowledge. Many IT programs now offer at least one course in quality assurance, and some industry associations also offer courses in QA.
Some colleges and universities offer certificates in quality assurance or digital quality assurance. For example, California State University at Dominguez Hills offers a master of quality assurance service certificate to students who complete the following courses: Quality Function Management & Total Quality Management, Statistical Quality for Service Professionals, Customer Satisfaction & Quality Assurance, and QA for the Service Delivery Process. Contact schools in your area to learn more about available programs.
Other Education or Training
The QAI Global Institute offers a variety of continuing education courses to individuals and organizations. Visit http://www.qaiusa.com for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There are numerous certifications available in programming languages, software, and network administration. The certification process often involves passing a written test and fulfilling certain experience requirements. Organizations, such as the American Society for Quality and the QAI Global Institute, also offer certifications in quality assurance and testing. Some employers may require certain certifications. For those whose employers do not require it, however, certification is still recommended. Those with certification show a commitment to the field and may have an advantage when seeking jobs or promotions. The certification also indicates to employers that you've reached a certain level of expertise in the field.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
It can be difficult to get even an entry-level position as a QA specialist without a few years of on-the-job experience. Most companies are looking for workers who have already worked in this capacity for one to two years. You may be able to get past this requirement by working as a QA specialist intern during the summer, or even during the school year. For more advanced QA positions, you will need to have at least three to five years of experience.
If you are interested in becoming a QA specialist, you should enjoy learning because you will have to spend your career keeping up on new technology, testing tools, software, and hardware. You must also have good analytical skills and strong verbal and writing skills so that you can explain your testing results to others in the company. Because you may deal with many different people throughout a project, you must have good interpersonal skills. As you reach higher positions of responsibility, you must be able to plan activities as well as delegate tasks. You should be able to focus on an assignment, be self-motivated, and have the ability to work alone as well as with groups.