Computer technicians are typically responsible for maintaining information technology (IT) systems, installing software,and for making minor repairs to computers and other IT hardware. While computer technician qualifications vary from employer to employer, many people employed in this field have college degrees. Some technicians obtain vocational college degrees while others undergo extensive on-the-job training.
Colleges in many countries offer degree courses in computer science, IT and other related topics. Many firms recruit college graduates to take on technician roles. Some firms use complex operating systems in which case the computer technician qualifications listed in job postings may include an advanced degree with a focus on a particular strand of computer science or technology.
Major companies often employ non-graduates in technician jobs but many firms require these individuals to have completed non-degree level IT training courses at community colleges or other learning establishments. People who attend these classes are normally taught how to resolve issues that are commonly encountered by people using certain types of software. Attendees may also be given some basic instruction about computer programming so that they can fix minor problems without having to refer issues to the manufacturer.
Many firms employ high school graduates in entry-level computer technician jobs. These individuals receive on-the-job training during which they are taught how to repair mechanical problems related to drivers, wiring and computer terminals. In many instances, these technicians are responsible for diagnosing problems rather than carrying out repairs. Technicians should have sufficient training to determine which issues should be referred to the manufacturer and which can be resolved by more skilled in-house technicians.
Some hardware and software manufacturers offer tutorials that are either classroom based or available online. Technicians who complete these courses receive a certificate of completion. Many employers list specific certificates of completion among the computer technician qualifications that prospective employees must possess. In some instances, manufacturers update training classes every time software packages are changed in which case technicians may have to re-attend these classes to keep their qualifications up to date.
Major companies in some western nations outsource IT work to partner firms that are based in other parts of the world. People employed by these firms must undergo the same kind of training as their western counterparts and many of these technicians have undegraduate or postgraduate degrees. Additionally, computer technician qualifications for outsourced jobs normally include second language skills. These technicians must have sufficiently strong language skills to interact with foreign clients via email, instant messenger or over the phone.