Information technology has become vital to just about every business and organization today and many businesses could not survive without it. As technology becomes more advanced and entrenched, businesses are increasingly allocating larger budgets to IT positions and those who not only know computer systems, but have the problem solving skills to provide technical support, should have excellent career prospects in this field.
Computer systems and networks require a significant amount of problem solving and support skills in order to configure, install, and troubleshoot systems, hardware, and software. Technical support positions may have additional responsibilities, such as:
- Collecting, entering, and processing information using computers
- Providing administrative support services, such as managing email and other network accounts and conducting user training
- Developing and administering security and virus protection protocols and practices
- Analyzing computer system and end user requirements and developing solutions to fulfill requirements
- Providing system analysis and maintenance
- Developing, testing, and debugging computer programs
Since technology support positions often appeal to those who are detail-oriented, methodical, and disciplined problem solvers, service members often find that the training, attitudes, and skills acquired from being in a military environment make them excellent candidates for these positions. In addition to those traits, an ability to communicate effectively, an interest in work requiring accuracy, and the ability to understand and apply math concepts are also valuable attributes.
Education and Training
Some technology support positions will provide on-the-job training in specific computer systems and languages. However, if you’re interested in a career in computer systems support, you should consider supplementing your skill set by taking courses in computer science or math. Courses covering the following topics are also helpful:
- Hardware configuration, maintenance, and management
- Database administration
- Computer systems and network concepts and management
- System design and testing
- Program structuring, coding, and debugging
- Computer security issues
You may also consider pursuing a Bachelors of Computer Information Systems degree and many colleges and universities offer such degrees online.
Professional certifications will also improve your employment prospects. Microsoft offers several valuable certifications, including Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), and Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST). Other certifications are granted by various industry boards and trade groups and each has its own individual set of requirements and qualifications.
List of Potential Work Places
Technical support specialists can find work virtually anywhere. From large corporations to smaller local businesses, any company or organization that uses computer systems has a need for technical support. Positions might include hardware or software support, database administration, and network support. Those who specialize in programming may find work in computer programming or software development.
A career in computer information systems can be ideal for service members who want to leverage their problem-solving and support skills gained from military training and experience. The skills developed in the military are significant assets for those looking for a career in this fast-growing field.