Seattle Ranks #1 in IT IQ

Chantilly, Virginia-based Brainbench, an online skills certification company, today released the results of a survey that ranks Seattle as the U.S. city with the highest “IT IQ.” San Francisco, CA came in second.

Cities known for rising IT populations, such as Raleigh-Durham, NC and Austin, TX, were among the top ten, and cities not as well known for IT presence also made the list, including Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and St. Louis, MO.

Brainbench obtained these survey results by compiling the mean exam scores of approximately a quarter million test takers from across the country in nine popular Brainbench IT exams.

These nine exams were: Windows NT Administration, Windows 98, Unix System Administration, HTML 4.0, RDBMS Concepts, C, Java 1.2, Visual Basic 6.0 and “Computer Technician”(similar to the A+ exam).

In an exclusive interview with, Brainbench CEO Mike Russiello says that his company conducts about 12,000 tests a day and he expects to release the next survey in about six months. “We are collecting a lot of data and expect the rankings to change,” says Russiello.

According to Russiello, his company is also currently compiling information for a survey that will rank countries. “We have been offering tests online for the past 18 months and have tested some 2 million people worldwide,” says Russiello. caught up with Eric Turnbull who is one of Seattle’s top performers on the Brainbench exams.

Currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois majoring in Computer Science, Turnbull took the Microsoft Windows NT Administration exam last year and received a score that ranked him in the 99 percentile.

Turnbull, who received his MCSE at the age of 17, says that he plans on coming back to Seattle after he graduates to pursue a career in the Software/Internet industry. And why is he so persistent at taking all these tests? “It’s all about getting my foot in the door,” says Turnbull.

By the way, here is the complete list of the top ten U.S. metropolitan areas:

1. Seattle, WA
2. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
3. Raleigh-Durham, NC
4. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
5. Milwaukee-Racine, WI
6. St. Louis, MO
7. Dayton-Springfield, OH
8. Austin, TX
9. Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Pt., NC
10. Las Vegas, NV

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