Becoming an Information Technician
So you think you might like to become an information technician? Information technicians are a type of computer support specialist. They perform multiple technical duties to support the operation of information technology systems. These systems include microcomputers, Internet protocol, teleprocessing networks, local area networks, and automated office systems. Additionally, information technicians will supervise others in the performance of tasks, like installing, operating, and maintaining these systems.
Information technicians may work full-time or part-time schedules, although shifts may include overnight hours. Many computer support specialists are employed by independent computer service companies. These professionals work on a contract basis that may be seasonal or demand-based. There is little physical activity associated with being an information technician and some are able to work from home.
So what are the career requirements for an information technician?
|Degree Level||Associate's degree for lower-level positions; bachelor's degree is preferred by some employers|
|Degree Field||Computer science, information science, or a related field|
|Experience||1-5 years of related IT experience|
|Licensure/Certification||Voluntary certification is available and may improve job prospects|
|Key Skills||Good verbal and written communication, customer service skills, knowledge of various Windows and other operating systems and programs|
|Salary||$47,610 per year (Median Salary for Computer User Support Specialists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2014)
Step 1: Earn a Degree
An associate's degree in information science and technology is a baseline prerequisite for entry into the field. This 2-year program covers the design of information systems, multimedia systems, and the structure of database systems. Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science would be of even greater value to an aspiring information technician, since some positions may require one.
- Develop skills in database creation and management. Knowledge of how databases work can be useful; being proficient with common software programs can also be helpful.
- Complete an internship. Some colleges will help students obtain internships in the computer science industry, which could assist in finding a job. Internships allow students to work full-time and gain practical experience under the supervision of experienced professionals.
Step 2: Gain Entry to the Field
Many employers require a minimum of one year of experience for information technician positions, according to job postings in December 2012. Jobs in data management, technical writing, or systems programming and analysis are common precursors to IT positions. A proven mathematical aptitude may be desired, since the work of an information technician is primarily based on problem solving and analysis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that many newly hired information technicians complete an on-the-job training program that lasts several months.
Step 3: Advance Your Career
Some organizations, like CompTIA, offer professional certifications that may help an aspiring information technology professional gain employment or advance their career. From IT fundamentals to specialty certifications in social media security, IT for sales, IT for healthcare, or advanced server certifications, each level has its own prerequisites and requirements. These usually include a certain amount of experience and a passing score on a certification exam.
Obtain a degree, gain entry into the field, and advance your career with certifications, are great steps to use to make the most of a career as an information technician.