For someone who dreams of getting a job as a computer repair technician or specialist, signing up for computer training is a step in the right direction. Although computer repair courses will train you on all aspects of a computer's hardware and software, it is just as important to get Microsoft-certified to start yourself in a career in which you will make money and enjoy having a job you love. You may be able to pick up a job with limited experience, but big-name computer companies like Intuit and IBM will not hire you if you do not have training and certification. The more skills you have, the more valuable you are as an employee, so it pays to get as much education as you can.
Take a course in computer repair and maintenance. Your local community college has degree programs that will lead you to an Associates or Bachelor's Degree in Computer Sciences. This is what you need to become an IT professional. If you just want to fix computers on the side and keep your present job, then a simple course in PC repair will suffice. On the other hand, if you want a new career and change your life, then getting a degree will help you do that. Once you have the knowledge and the skills and can demonstrate what you know, you will be in competition for better jobs and bigger salaries.
Study and practice. Your training course will take you through hardware and software programs. Part of your training will be on the different operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista and 7, as well as some older versions and OS for Mac and Linux. You also will learn how to troubleshoot problems with the hard drive and components of the computer. It is very important that you study hard and pay attention because this information is vital to your career as a technician. Your instructor may give you practice lessons on getting rid of viruses or another challenging task. This is practice for real-life situations you will run into as a PC repair technician.
Get certified. Once you have the training, you need to get certified. Obtain CompTIA A+ certification, an entry-level certification recognized by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Novell. The A+ certification is a basic certification and proves that you are capable of installing OS and software programs, performing routine maintenance, computer networking, Internet security and troubleshooting. Other certifications are available such as MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) and CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). Visit the Microsoft website for specific information on these certifications.
Apply for an entry-level job at a local repair shop. Once you have at least two to five years of experience, you will be able to command a higher salary. You also can check the classified ads and apply with a few local temporary employment agencies. A temp agency can get you short-term work until you find a permanent position.
Submit your résumé to major job boards like Monster, Dice, Linked In, Simply Hired and CareerBuilder. Network on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Technoratti as much as possible. It is a great way to connect with other people in the IT business. Join IT groups and participate in forums in which you can offer advice or offer your services.
Tips & Warnings
- Get an old computer to practice on at home. You can pick up a used computer from a computer store or pawn shop; it does not even have to work to be your practice dummy. Use it to practice installing and un-installing programs, upgrading memory and electrical power supply features.
- You will need a tool kit for working on computers. Your tools should include assorted screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, a soldering iron, and an electrostatic wrist wrap for protection against electrocution.
- Never attempt to practice on a computer that is plugged in. Always unplug the unit and let it sit for about an hour to discharge electricity before opening.
- Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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