Such is our dependence on computers to perform all tasks – from the most mundane to the most crucial – that it's nothing short of a catastrophe when your so far reliable machine suddenly stops responding. At this time, who's that one person who can not only resuscitate your computer, but also pump your failing heart back to life? Yes, you guess it right. It's none other than your good old computer technician.
Computer technicians are the warriors, who save the day when a hard disk crashes, or a software program gets corrupted or worse still, a computer gets infected by a malicious virus.
If you also want to be the super hero of the cyber world, here's a complete guide to becoming a computer technician. We have broken down the process of becoming a computer tech into three different stages.
High school is the time you start building a foundation for a computer technician career. Take classes in math, physics, computers, and any other course that you think might be helpful in developing the skills necessary to become a computer technician.
In addition to working on building your technical prowess, you should also look to develop your interpersonal, communication and problem-solving skills.
Interviewing professionals from the industry or shadowing them at work is an excellent way to learn the demands of the profession as well as figure out if this is what you really want to do with your life. Only if you have the right information will you be able to make the right decision or at least avoid making an expensive mistake.
The second stage begins when you start school for a computer technician course. Educational requirements for this job greatly vary and mostly depend on the role you're after. For some roles, employers may prefer hiring candidates with a college degree, while some positions may have postsecondary vocational training as the minimum required credential.
Whether you want to go to college or complete a vocational computer technician course from a career school is a decision you have to make based on your personal situation, financial circumstances and career aspirations.
But one thing that's certainly going to be the most powerful weapon in your arsenal is the A+ certification from the Computing Technology Industry Association or CompTIA. CompTIA A+ is an entry-level certification that validates the foundational knowledge and skills of individuals preparing for IT support roles.
The certification is granted to individuals who obtain passing scores on two required exams. Although your computer technician course will likely prepare you for this certification exam, you may also want to explore the option of taking CompTIA A training at a learning center. Other tools you can use for comprehensive exam preparation are study materials and e-learning courses.
Real World Experience
Going to school and getting certification are important if you want to become a computer technician, but nothing will provide you a stronger taste of things to come as some real world, hands-on industry experience.
There are two ways of gaining some work experience while you complete your training. You can apply for unpaid intern positions, if available, at small sized companies and start-ups. Your other alternative is to become a one-man (or woman) computer-fix shop for your friends, family, neighbors, et al. The more real problems you solve for real people, the more you will learn.
Don't forget, the job market for computer technicians can be pretty competitive and you need to do everything in your power to stand out from the crowd rather than get lost in it.