The information technology field is one of the fastest growing careers in the nation and computer technology analysts stand a good chance at solid earnings potential. Following are some resources to help you decide if the computer technology analysis may be right for you.
As computer systems and digital office equipment advance, employers seek people who can analyze, operate, repair and install computer components. You have several options when choosing a career in computer technology analysis. Job opportunities in the support category include computer support specialist, computer repair technician and computer operator. Analysis or mid-level career opportunities include computer systems analyst and information systems specialist.
The requirements for computer technology analysis positions vary; however, they share certain characteristics. Most opportunities require current knowledge of hardware, software and operating systems, at minimum. Depending on the position, you may need specialized skills and knowledge, such as networking, programming, database technology or specific software programs.
Computer technology analysts provide a range of support services. Computer support specialists receive calls from computer users related to hardware or software malfunctions, usage and installation. Computer operators process information using software applications, such as spreadsheets, word processors and databases. Repair technicians test, replace or repair and ensure the proper functioning of computer parts. Information systems specialists collect and analyze information related to data management, networking and operating systems.
People who pursue a career in computer technology analysis enjoy working with the latest technology. If you possess solid interpersonal skills and like working in a team environment, computer technology analysis may suit you. You should also possess solid communication, mathematics, analytical and organization skills.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the information technology field offers some of the fastest growing job opportunities (www.bls.gov). For example, computer support specialist positions are expected to grow approximately 14 percent between 2008 and 2018. As of May of 2012, computer support specialists earned a median salary of $46,260 in 2010, according to the BLS, while computer systems analysts earned $77,740. PC maintenance technicians could expect to earn a median salary of $40,682 according to Salary.com in February of 2012.
Employers typically prefer candidates with some post-secondary education or formal training. You could pursue an associate's degree in computer information systems, computer programming or computer science for entry-level computer support opportunities. You could also complete a certification program in information technology analysis, or its equivalent, at a community college. Most employers require a bachelor's degree for computer analyst jobs.
During the course of your studies, you can expect to complete coursework in keyboarding, data communications, networking, programming, applications and graphics. You can also pursue certification, which validates your knowledge and skills in a specific area, such as database management. Many colleges and universities offer preparatory courses for industry-related certification. For example, the CompTIA A+ certification validates your skills and knowledge of networking, troubleshooting and security issues.