Computer repair programs prepare students for careers installing and fixing personal computers, networks and their related equipment (such as printers or scanners) and are most commonly found at the certificate and associate's degree levels. Certificate programs generally take 1 to 2 semesters to finish. Applicants to both programs need only a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll. Online programs are available for both certificate and associate's degree.
While both certificate and associate's degree programs in computer repair cover many of the same computer repair topics, associate's programs delve deeper into the topics. Typically, associate's degrees take two years to complete. Advanced programs are available at the bachelor's, master's, graduate certificate and doctoral levels.
Certificate in Computer Repair
Certificates in computer repair can be offered under a variety of titles. Students study various subjects, including small business management and how to remotely solve problems when a client calls a help desk for support. Other courses may include:
- Data communications
- Networking fundamentals
- Operating systems
- Programming concepts
- Technical mathematics
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Repair
Students in associate's programs learn to set up servers, administrate networks and troubleshoot various problems as they arise. Programs typically require students take general education courses. Applicants are required to have completed high school, and some programs require the completion of certain math classes before admission. Core coursework includes:
- Networking technology
- Operating systems
- Project management
- Technical writing
Popular Career Options
Graduates of certificate programs are eligible for employment in a variety of industries in which the installation, maintenance and repair of computer software and hardware is necessary. Possible jobs include computer repair professional, field service technician, and help desk support technician.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 10% increase in job opportunities for computer support specialists from 2018-2018 (www.bls.gov). According to the May 2018 BLS reports, these professionals earned a median salary of $50,980 .
Continuing Education Information
Vendor-neutral certifications are also available to entry-level computer support professionals through independent organizations. For example, the A+ credential--offered through CompTIA--was created for support personnel, IT administrators and field service technicians with at least 500 hours of lab or field experience. Applicants must pass two technical, 100-question exams on topics like networking and security. The credential remains valid for three years and continuing education credits are required for recertification.
In two years or less, students can complete a certificate or associate's degree program in computer repair, giving them access to a job market projected to grow faster than the national average over the next decade. Students can enhance their career opportunities even more by obtaining professional certifications through CompTIA.