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How would I become a computer tech?

This is a discussion on How would I become a computer tech? within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I am wanting to become a computer tech, How would i go about doing this? Do I need bachelor degrees,


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Old 04-25-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
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I am wanting to become a computer tech, How would i go about doing this?
Do I need bachelor degrees, or just the A+ certifications?
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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What is your end-goal?

You want to get a degree as well as Certifications
I cant take wild guesses as to your experience level, Age, Grade in school now, but, how about you help out with some info about yourself
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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A degree is not needed to be a computer tech but it can help aswell as having certifications like the A+,Network + and a windows client exam such as 70-680.

But what really helps the most is experience. Fix peoples computers, volunteer your services or apply for jobs where you will be trained up such as entry level jobs which by definition mean you dont need any experience just a basic knowledge.

If you have proven experience in a working environment and no qualifications you would beat someone who had a degree and no experience.

But both experience and qualifications would come up trumps.

Start studying for your A+ and start looking for jobs.

Learning how to fix problems can be as simple as using google to find out what to do or it can be done properly by trial and error and doing it for yourself.

To get the A+ or just about any other certification you do not need to go to a training centre or school unless you want to. All you need is some books and the tools needed to practice such as a computer you can mess about with. The best book for the A+ is compTIA A+ all in one exam guide by Mike Meyers which I believe now is the 8th edition.

You book the two exams through pearsonvue.com and you will find your nearest exam centres on that site. If you are in the UK or US/Canada you can buy discount vouchers from www.gractechsolutions.com which in the UK takes of the VAT and a few quid of the cost of the exams and you use the voucher codes on the pearsonvue site instead of your credit card to pay for the exams.

You do not have to take both exams on the same day. It is also wise to use some practice exams to gauge how well your studies are coming along. You get one with the Mike Meyers book but you will need a good comprehensive exam engine and for that I would recommend Cisco Network Simulator | IT Practice Exams | IT Training | Boson.com
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim161 View Post
I am wanting to become a computer tech, How would i go about doing this?
Do I need bachelor degrees, or just the A+ certifications?
No substitute for hands-on experience. If you can demonstrate proficiency at computer repair and/or malware removal, someone will hire you. One local business hires all of their Techs as Contractors who can pretty much come & go as they please. They get paid for every computer they fix. As long as the gear gets turned around and the owner gets his, he doesn't care about anything else. He has 4 locations in this city.

In my opinion, you need several qualities all at the same time. First, I think, most importantly, you have to WANT to help someone. There are times during the course of computer repair where things get difficult, and if you don't WANT to help, you might just give up and declare a motherboard bad when in fact it's just a SATA cable. If you don't care about helping your client, this is going to happen. Then they walk that computer with a bad motherboard to someone else who replaces the SATA cable ($2.00) and that client spends the rest of their life bad-mouthing you, telling everyone what an uncaring idiot and crook you are. And they would be right.

But you can't fix a computer if you don't know anything, even if you want to. So the second thing is basic troubleshooting skills. If you know the problem is either the hard drive, the CD/DVD drive or the printer, you've got to have the troubleshooting skill (and common sense) to remove the CD/DVD and printer from the system in order to rule-in or rule-out the hard drive. If logic is not your strong suit, if you are incapable of reducing most of life into right or wrong, good or bad, yes or no, 1's or 0's, but instead see nothing but shades of grey, and each shade of grey has right to it's own perception of what truth is, and that perception should be treated with the same respect as anyone or anything else, then troubleshooting is not for you. Computers are either right or wrong, good or bad, the part is either working or not, and the proposed solution is either correct or not correct. If someone else comes along and says that what you know to be wrong is right, you need to be able to stay on the right side of the issue, and remain focused on the fact that it's wrong, no matter what other non-related intellectual chaff may be thrown in your direction.

"But I just bought that hard drive last week."
"My brother-in-law says that's the best power supply money can buy."
"The video card CAN'T be bad. It works just fine in my other computer."

Hard drives can come from the factory bad, the brother-in-law's opinion came from the 19yo that started working at Best Buy 3 weeks ago, and the video card was broken when the User removed it from the old computer with a pliers. If you can't ignore all the external (and internal) noise going on, and stay focused and keep track of what you know and what you don't know, you are going to spend a lot of time spinning your wheels.

Finally, I think you need to be a self-starter. You need to have a strong internal desire to DO something, and not wait around for someone else to come around and help, hold your hand, tell you what to do or do the work for you. This applies to repairing computer equipment, as well as self-education, and continuing education. IMO the industry "flips" about every 2 years, meaning that the knowledge that I knew 2 years ago is about obsolete. You are either moving forward or moving backwards.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomshawk View Post
What is your end-goal?

You want to get a degree as well as Certifications
I cant take wild guesses as to your experience level, Age, Grade in school now, but, how about you help out with some info about yourself
I am a senior in high school trying to get my high school diploma, I'm 18
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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You don't need a degree to become a tech. However, a degree will help you get jobs later in your career that would otherwise be unavailable to you. It can certainly make you look more attractive to employers.

Nor do you need certifications to become a tech. Still, like degrees, they can make you look more attractive to employers.

What I would recommend you do is to pursue the A+ and get an entry-level tech job. While working in your first tech job, pursue a degree if it interests you. That way, you will be pursuing a degree that some employers desire while simultaneously acquiring experience that ALL employers desire.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:19 PM   #7
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thank you all for the answers
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim161 View Post
I am a senior in high school trying to get my high school diploma, I'm 18
Thank you for clarifying, I would start on the degree, it will be worth it down the road.

While you are studying for your degree, you can simultaneously work on your A+, Net+ as well as other certs.

The biggest factor in getting a good job down the road will be experience though.
Once you get into a college, try to see if your instructors and or College IT need assistance, even if it is just running cable or simple PC repairs with their eyes over your shoulder.

Also, while doing those things, find a local computer users group and volunteer to assist.

You are not going to make money with all of this volunteering but the experience will be invaluable
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosonMichael View Post
You don't need a degree to become a tech. However, a degree will help you get jobs later in your career that would otherwise be unavailable to you. It can certainly make you look more attractive to employers.

Nor do you need certifications to become a tech. Still, like degrees, they can make you look more attractive to employers.

What I would recommend you do is to pursue the A+ and get an entry-level tech job. While working in your first tech job, pursue a degree if it interests you. That way, you will be pursuing a degree that some employers desire while simultaneously acquiring experience that ALL employers desire.
I'm going to do the A+ certification and then further my certifications after i get a tech job.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:36 AM   #10
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you don't need to wait until you have the A+ start looking for entry level/trainee jobs now.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:38 AM   #11
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you don't need to wait until you have the A+ start looking for entry level/trainee jobs now.
One computer guy I know hired his teenage daughter to do a DoD wipe on all the corporate hard drives, all summer long, for $10.00 an hour. Some computer guys don't have a teenager, and would need to hire one.

Education is currently in a revolution, and physical universities are becoming prohibitively and uselessly expensive. Under no circumstances would I, as a young person, mortgage my future to a student loan in order to acquire a useless and obsolete degree from a brick & mortar university, with an exorbitant interest rate that cannot be made to go away, not even via bankruptcy.

Watch this:
The College Conspiracy Full Documentary - YouTube

Note the story for a woman that is currently in default of her student loan, and due to this status employers that have contracts with the Federal Government are prohibited by law from hiring her.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:07 AM   #12
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Default: the Student Loan Documentary (Broadcast Version) - YouTube

Note the part where a private lending corporation sent a letter to their shareholders, informing them that they expected the default rate on their student loans to be about 58%. They can charge whatever interest rates, penalties and fees that they like, so they think a high default rate is a GOOD THING. They WANT students to default.

OP, I'm going to sum this up in as few words as possible, and I'll leave it up to you to figure it out, make your decisions and absorb the consequences of your decisions.

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that love freedom, and those that love slavery. Debt is slavery, and there is no education/indoctrination that is worth becoming enslaved to a class of slaves that advocate slavery for others.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #13
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When I talked to the college they were trying to get me to get a loan but watching my whole family struggle with debt I told them that I would not get a loan, So I'm probably going to save the money up and then pay for it myself.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #14
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I know this, I am still paying off my student loan. If I could go back in time I would get my A+ whilst working and when I had more experience and more money do my degree part time.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:12 PM   #15
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Thank you guys.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:02 PM   #16
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One thing to be aware of is many jobs are outsourced to overseas where the labour market is cheaper and while they cant outsource all the jobs it leaves a smaller pool of jobs for the people left.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:10 PM   #17
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So is becoming a Computer tech a good idea or should I shoot for another career? I don't want to spend 2000 dollars on each certification if I cant get a job.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:32 PM   #18
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So is becoming a Computer tech a good idea or should I shoot for another career? I don't want to spend 2000 dollars on each certification if I cant get a job.
There is no certification in the world that will give you what it takes to be a Tech. You either want it or you don't. You either have it or you don't. It appears to me that you think that all that's required is to pass a few tests and someone is going to hand you money because you've got a piece of paper that says you've passed some tests.

You should watch the videos I posted. There's a special section in their that talks about how wrong that kind of thinking is. That's the kind of indoctrination the video is describing. If you've been told that acquiring an education is the "secret to success" then you've been lied to and are at a serious competitive disadvantage to any young person that either has not been given this indoctrination or did not believe it. No employer is going to reward someone only because they passed a few tests at some point in their past.

I think you need to seriously think about what "getting a job" means. Most employers have a "training period", where they reserve the right to terminate your employment for any reason. But what this really means is that they will terminate you if you do not produce more money than what you cost them. An education is not a substitute for being productive, and an unproductive person with an education is called "unemployed". FWIW I think the last thing you should be doing is spending money on an education. I think you should go find a job and understand your purpose to your employer and why they pay you. IMO that's the "education" that you are needing right now.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:16 AM   #19
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why would you spend 2000 dollars on a certification? you dont need to go to a school or do a training course to get them. I got my certifications by studying on my own then paying for the exams.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:40 AM   #20
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Tim it is hard to advise you. I'm a retired tradesman and throughout my life there has been booms and busts though I have been lucky to always have a job but here in Australia in recent times we have been through a mining boom and tradesmen have been able to make a fortune on mining sites. It is levelling out at the moment. The best thing you can do is ask around, look at job adds in your country and try to gauge what skills are in demand, what your aptitudes are and if you would be happy to do that sort of job. In the scheme of things if you have $2000 to spend on training that is a small price to pay for learning a skill that might set you up in your life. Here in Australia I would advise a young fella to get a trade. I don't know what things are like in your country.
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