Look over this article to learn about what to consider when selecting an online computer repair program. Here we cover information about various certifications, career goals, required skills and available programs.
How to Select an Online Computer Repair School
Students considering online computer repair schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Computer repair is only a small part of becoming a systems administrator, with many online programs geared toward technicians with experience. Online programs are generally short, offering preparation for industry certification exams to their students. Complete computer repair curricula are generally only available through for-profit institutions. Students must then weigh their particular career goals.
While many schools can provide practical lessons in computer repair, entering the career field can require one or more industry credentials. When choosing a school, students should look for online programs that offer preparation for industry examinations. The industry standard for computer repair professionals is the CompTIA A+ certification (www.comptia.org). Other credentials are vendor-specific, such as the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) designation.
Many schools offer computer repair training as part of continuing education and other programs. Students in many fields, such as graphic design or business, can derive a large benefit from single courses in computer repair. These courses give students basic computer skills, such as hardware and operating system installation, without involving a full PC repair curriculum.
Rarely do schools provide full degree programs focused on individual PC repair. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the computer repair field broadly under the category of computer systems administrators. Those looking to enter the field should seek a program that offers additional skills in basic computer networking, mathematics and business. Students may also learn the skills necessary to enter fields related to computer repair, such as electronics repair or network administration.
List of Online Computer Repair Programs
Certificate in Computer Repair
Those without PC experience are encouraged to take hands-on classes, but online study can be a convenient option for those with prior computer repair experience. These courses are often self-paced and require the equivalent of 3-15 credits of instruction, covering the basics of:
- Network protocols and topology
- Operating systems
- PC hardware
Schools with Online Programs in Computer Repair
Penn Foster Career School offers students an online PC Maintenance and Repair Career Diploma. This diploma was designed to teach students the skills needed to be a computer repair technician at either a private practice or with a company. This online program uses LabSim for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Students may earn their diploma in five months, but may need to complete further work to earn state licensure.
SUNY Genesee Community College offers a Computer Repair program that may be partially completed online. Using the 360 Learning Option model, students in this program may access lessons and interact with instructors using any of their own internet ready device. Graduates from this program may apply their credit to an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Systems and Network Technology at SUNY GCC, or transfer into one of several four year institutes.
Iowa Central Community College has a computer networking technology program that students may complete online. Graduates of this 68 credit hour program are awarded with an Associate of Applied Sciences in Computer Networking technology. With this degree students may pursue careers installing, troubleshooting and debug communication hardware and software including computer hardware and software.
It may be difficult finding an online computer repair program, but a few do exist; it may be easier to find online programs for computer networking. Some of the programs may use virtual labs so it's important to make sure you have an operating system that will work with their software.