Career Options for Computer Support Technicians
Keeping computers secure, up-to-date and running smoothly is crucial in the 21st century as many individuals, businesses and organizations rely on optimally-running computers to keep them functioning. For this reason, career options and opportunities for computer support technicians are certain to look pretty good, especially as computer technology improves in the coming years.
Computer Support Degree Options
If you’re interested in fixing and repairing computer systems, networking and other similar subjects, the computer or computer service technician degree may be just for you. There are many different computer support technician programs all over the country, many in traditional colleges, universities and technical schools. Online-only colleges, such as Kaplan College, CHI Institute and Lincoln College of Technology (formerly Southwestern College), also offer these programs through distance learning programs.
Many universities and colleges offer computer support technician programs in one year or less, which usually lead to some sort of certificate or short-term degree. You can also find associate’s or bachelor degree programs. With any of these programs, you’ll learn all about Windows operating systems and how to install, repair and troubleshoot issues with them. You’ll also learn networking principles and how to set up local area networks. In addition, repairing the hardware of a computer is another major focus.
Working for an Employer
Once you graduate from a computer support technician program, you’ll be able to gain employment in a variety of fields for a variety of different employers. For example, you could be hired on by an organization’s IT department to repair their network’s computer system. You may even find a job in a call center, working as a computer help desk technician and taking inbound tech support calls from customers. Your hourly wage in a job such as this varies by employer, but generally will range anywhere from $9 to $20 per hour, on average, depending on the type of employer and your exact role in working with computer systems.
Another excellent opportunity lies in computer sales. Since you have the knowledge about the type of hardware that makes for a quality computer system, you can more easily communicate this to individuals and organizations looking to purchase computers. Though this kind of opportunity may be commission-based, a computer sales job means you can essentially set your own salary according to your employer’s compensation plan. Working as a computer sales person for a major manufacturer or computer reseller means you could earn anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 or more annually, in some cases.
Opening Your Own Business
A computer support technician degree also gives you a sufficient amount of knowledge to be able to work your own hours and provide your own service with a business you own and operate. Self-employment in the computer support and repair industry will involve diagnosing clients’ computer problems, repairing operating systems and removing computer viruses as well as making upgrades and hardware repairs.
Becoming self-employed after you graduate from a computer support technician program gives you enormous flexibility to build your own business around what you love doing. Your degree gives you the confidence, background and credentials to compete with others in the industry. You could set up your own computer repair shop or even create a mobile-repair business, making house calls and repairing computers on-site.
If computer science, networking, technology management is what tickles your fancy then you can even think about getting an online degree. There are many accredited colleges now offering online computer science degrees. You can work on the degree while continuing your day job and taking care of other responsibilities you might have.
Overall, a computer support or computer repair degree option is certainly versatile in that you can use it to mold your career into whatever shape you want it to take in the industry. For earning your degree, you have the option of learning in a traditional classroom setting or even in a distance-learning scenario with an online college. After you graduate, you can and use your degree to find a job with an employer or to start your own business.