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Testing, testing…

How do you know if you have the aptitude for an IT career? Try an online testing site. Testing, testing How do you know if you have the aptitude for an IT career? Try an online testing site.

Dear Molly: Are there any resources I can use to find out if I am suited for any particular type of IT job? I know you’ve talked about internships and volunteer jobs as a way to discover your computer-related interests, but I want to find out about my computer aptitude. How can I do that without investing a lot of time or money?

Molly says: I’ve got some ideas and some Web sites for you to try out to see if you’ve got what it (IT) takes–and learn more about whatever raw IT talent you might possess. I like your idea of checking out your brain ahead of time. It’s always easier to sail a boat with the wind than against it.

Make a list of the kinds of tasks you like to do and have done with some success in the past. Don’t worry about what kind of jobs are linked to the tasks while you’re making the list. Just write down the kinds of things you have done that you like to do.

Then, get online and start checking programmer user groups and other sites where IT workers congregate. Ask the folks you encounter on these sites what their top 10 favorite tasks are. Then, after you’ve done this with a few different kinds of IT jobs, compare your list to the ones contributed by the IT workers you’ve met online. The jobs with the most crossover are ones you should check out in greater detail.

Now, to the testing phase of your self-evaluation process. Here’s a Web site that offers free and low-cost IT aptitude tests: itSkills. Also, check with companies that offer IT aptitude tests to employers. Walden Testing is one such company.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at

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