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How Do I Become a Test Specialist?

By D. Nelson
Updated May 17, 2024
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People who work as test specialists might either work in the software industry or in the field of education. When testing specialists work in the software industry, they are responsible for using computer programs and locating areas where programs do not work as they should and may also contribute to the development process by suggesting ways in which software can be improved. Test specialists who work in education, on the other hand, are responsible for developing, administering, and scoring assessments and often are employed by offices or departments of education.

To become a test specialist in the software industry, it almost always is essential to have an academic background in a field such as computer science, where you can learn the basics of computer programming. Hands-on experience using software in specific contexts, such as in finance, healthcare, or in recreational contexts, is also important. A person who wants to become a test specialist in the field of education should have training as an educator and also should have experience as a teacher, professional tutor, or counselor in an educational environment.

A person who wants to become a test specialist in the software industry needs to develop a strong understanding of the way software is programmed and also how it is used in real world contexts. While it is important that this kind of person has an insight into how programs are developed, it might just as important that he or she is able to understand which features users find most helpful and which issues might make software less user friendly. Likewise, a person who would like to become a test specialist should be able to use highly technical language to describe issues to software developers and regular language to communicate with clients about the ways in which software can be used.

Software test specialists either work full time for software development companies or as independent contractors. Regardless of which career path you choose, it is essential that you have real world experience using software. For example, if you are interested in becoming a tester for healthcare software, you should understand the basics of using programs for medical coding, medical research, insurance claims processing, and other related functions.

An individual who would like to become a test specialist in the education field should earn an undergraduate degree in education. He or she also should get experience working closely with students in one-on-one and in group situations. In most cases, a person who wants to become a test specialist in education should be familiar with material on assessments, as well as with scoring procedure and issues related to test coordination. For example, a test specialist should understand which tests students need to take to enter certain degree programs or to earn certain certificates.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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