Career Definition for a Computer Information Technician
Support specialist, customer service technician and internet professional are just two of the roles a computer information technician may fill. Responsibilities of a computer information technician might include diagnosing problems with hardware or software, installing and maintaining computer networks and upgrading computer equipment for the home or office. A computer information technician may work in a computer retail store, be employed full-time for a company that relies heavily on computer technology, or work in the field to troubleshoot and solve technical difficulties in remote locations.
|Education||Field experience is helpful, associate and bachelor's degrees also available|
|Job Skills||Interest in technology, patience, positive attitude, customer service|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$51,470 for computer support specialists|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||12% for computer support specialists|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Experience is often considered the most important qualification for a computer information technician, and this experience can be gained through short courses, vocational or community college programs or self-study. For those preferring academic experience, associate and bachelor's programs are widely available. No matter how you satisfy the need for experience, vendor-specific and/or vendor-neutral certification exams will also be required.
An interest in computer technology and a willingness to continuously learn about new and evolving systems are imperative qualities for a successful career in computer information technologies. Patience and a positive attitude are also valuable assets, since a computer information technician must often work with customers or company employees who are confused and frustrated by the problems they're experiencing with their computers.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), growth in the computer support specialist industry, which includes computer information technicians, is expected to be faster than average at 12% from 2014-2024. The BLS reports that the median annual salary of computer support specialists was $51,470 in 2015.
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Although some network maintenance duties are similar to what a computer information technician does, network administrators also run performance tests, create new user accounts and security passwords, recommend the modification or replacement of equipment and provide hardware and software training to end users. Working in this profession requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering or a related field. However, some employers may allow a substitution of work experience and a technical certificate.
According to BLS predictions, network and computer systems administrators should see a 8% increase in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024. In May of 2015, these computer professionals received a median annual wage of $77,810.
Computer Systems Analyst
For those who desire a position evaluating the efficiency of information systems at a company, becoming a computer systems analyst may be the right career move. Systems analysts discuss goals and needs with management, examine existing equipment and setups, plan and design the configuration of new equipment, explore costs versus benefits, supervise the installation process and write user manuals.
Earning a bachelor's degree in computer studies or business is how most individuals enter this field, but some employers might require an MBA in Computer Science or Information Systems. Based on 2015 estimates from the BLS, computer systems analysts earned a median salary of $85,800. The BLS also predicted employment growth of 21% during the 2014-2024 decade, with 118,600 new jobs created in this field.