Computer maintenance has become an important aspect of many businesses that rely on computing systems. These companies require a knowledgeable information technology (IT) staff able to do routine maintenance and perform troubleshooting tasks on hardware and software. Many people interested in this career field or already employed in the industry choose to take computer maintenance courses to either qualify them for such work or expand their existing knowledge base. Prospective students should look for accredited programs that either qualify a student to take a certificate exam or confer a degree. In the United States, many of these courses are available from vocational colleges or technical training centers.
When considering computer maintenance courses, keep in mind that most prospective students begin their IT career with an A+ certification. The requirements for this certification are governed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CTIA), and students should make sure their school or training center is offering courses that will prepare them for the certification examinations offered by this association. The A+ certificate will qualify a person to install and repair common computer hardware parts, such as hard drives, printers and power supplies, along with essential software elements such as operating systems. Once the student has completed an A+ certificate, he or she may choose to seek employment as a computer technician or continue professional development by pursuing other IT certifications in security, networking or server technology.
Computer maintenance courses are available from several sources in the U.S. One common path is to pursue some kind of computer certification program offered by a vocational college. These programs are usually designed as two- or three-year programs that will confer a bachelor’s or associate's degree and qualify a student to sit for multiple IT certification exams. Courses generally focus on computer architecture, troubleshooting, networking and essential software. Students considering these colleges should carefully research their programs, graduation rates and employment rate after graduation before committing to a program.
Other types of computer maintenance courses focus solely on preparing the student for CTIA testing and certification. These courses are popular for current employees seeking up-to-date career training and students who don’t have time to complete a two- or three-year program. Training can be done live in the classroom, online via videoconferencing or as private on-site instruction within a company. Some students also may wish to pursue a course of self-study programs on their own or in conjunction with traditional IT coursework. Many books and online resources are available for students interested in independent study.