Rather than trying to bluff your way into a job based solely on your enthusiasm for tinkering with a PC at home, you can improve your chances of being interviewed, and hired, if you apply for a job with a certificate on your resume.
The CompTIA A+ certification is a good starting point for a career in IT. The exams cover maintenance of PCs, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems and printers. There are two exams to gain certification:
- CompTIA A+ 220-1001 covers the fundamentals of computer technology, installation and configuration of PCs, laptops and related hardware, and basic networking.
- CompTIA A+ 220-1002 covers the skills required to install and configure PC operating systems, as well as configuring common features (e.g. network connectivity and email) for mobile operating systems Android and Apple iOS.
Normally, when you attend a course to learn about CompTia A+, there is an examination at the end. If you pass the exam, you are awarded the certification.
These are some of the jobs that benefit from the holder having CompTIA A+ Certification.
IT support technician
The main requirement for being a good support technician is to understand the technology in use in the company you work for. Having CompTIA A+ is a good start. Once you start work, you will begin to learn the specifics of the way the company operates and how the PCs, etc, are used – operating systems, office software, networking, types of printers and other peripherals, etc. This will help with fixing problems.
Most companies operate a help desk, which users can phone or email to request help with PC problems. The help desk is normally manned by what is referred to as “level one” support staff, who can fix simple issues but have to pass more complicated ones to “level two” support. A support technician is involved in resolving these problems. This might be done remotely (connecting to the user’s PC over the network and fixing the issue) or by visiting the user in person.
The help desk will use a system for recording user problems and their solutions, so a technician needs to keep this system updated. This will allow you to check for solutions to problems if they reoccur. This can save a lot of time!
IT support administrator
A step up from the technician, an administrator supervises the Help Desk or IT support function. An administrator needs to be competent at resolving PC problems, as well as work planning.
IT support specialist
In large companies, there may be a wide range of IT equipment, PCs Apple Macs, tablets, mobile phones, printers, and so on. If a technician specialist in something, such as Apple OSX computers or mobile device support, this might be reflected in the job title. A specialist will be given time to learn about their particular subject in more detail, so that he or she becomes very proficient at working with this technology, and can quickly and easily come up with solutions to issues that arise.
Field service technician
Some companies have several branch offices. A field service technician might be sent out to help fix PC problems at a branch office if there is no resident support technician, or if the local technician needs specialist assistance. This type of job appeals to some types of people as the work is so varied and there is a lot of human contacts.
Also, some IT businesses specialise in providing this sort of service to companies that do not have their own field service staff.