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Thread: Computer Repair Experience

  1. #1

    Default Computer Repair Experience

    Right now I'm currently studying for my A+ Certification Exam. I'll probably get it within the next month as soon as I can get the vouchers to take the two tests for free. Anyway, I have no experience whatsoever in computer repair and would like to get a job in the computer repair field to get some experience under my belt. But all that I can come up with is the Geek Squad at Best Buy, and by word of mouth I've heard that, that is the worst place to work for in terms of computer repair. Does anyone have any ideas of where I could apply?

  2. #2

    Default

    Many of the computer repair people I know work in very small companies or do it by themselves. They ask friends to spread the word, and get called on to fix a few computers at a time. Eventually, if they're lucky, they start being able to fix lots of them. So, hmm, maybe you could try going into business for yourself?

    Other ways would be to look in a local business directory and ask places if they're hiring, or go to a resume-posting site. There are many big corporations which need to hire repair people, they can pay really well.

  3. #3
    angelabauer

    Default

    I know many IT, computer repair and security experts. Every one of them had finished technical school courses, as well as high school computer-electronics repair classes. Over half also have a 4-year degree from a college or university.

    With respect, why do you think anyone would hire you to fix computers when you admit having "no experience whatsoever in computer repair."

    If you are going to get discouraged even applying with such a huge IT employer as Geek Squad because somebody said "it is the worst place to work for in terms of computer repair" why would you honestly believe any other computer repair job would be better?

    Clients with a crashed, corrupted or physically damaged computers seldom are happy campers. You not only must learn to actuall repair computers, to earn money doing that you must learn to get along with and calm distraught clients.

    Did your sources bad-mouth Geek Squad because they expect an honest day of work in exchange for a pay check. My sources tell me here in Southern California there are so many qualified tech school graduates that Geek Squad here has a 2 year supply of candidates for the rare opening, because those working for Geek Squad are happy with their jobs.

    Why not go to the HR department of a local Best Buys and fill out an application? Talking to them might just be better than listening to rumors.

  4. #4

    Default

    You probably won't have a good chance of getting a job with an A+, i think its useless and im not going anywhere near it. Im 17 and i recently got MCP qualified and its almost impossible even with that and if you want a job in computer repair the best thing is to do it yourself.
    Last edited by BabyNaruto; 29-Dec-2010 at 09:44.

  5. #5

    Default

    Just a few things of note:

    The vast majority fail the A+ exam at least once because there is always a handful of questions about ancient outdated and unused technology. The exam will be different the second time you take it because the questions are from a pool and you only have to answer so many of them.

    Also on anything computer related I wouldn't trust the geek squad anywhere near a PC. Those bone heads don't even know how to increase the size of the virtual memory on a computer. Don't believe me ask one. Tell them you are having a little popup by the clock that says windows is low on virtual memory, and how do you fix it? They will feed you some BS line about viruses and spyware.

    But yes, with out experience or an actual degree, a A+ Cert is only going to look pretty, it means you can build a PC and you could have built a PC 10-15 years ago, and that you know the name of the parts and not much more. I know this because I took A+ for my Network Admin/Analysis degree 2 semesters ago, Aced the class, and frankly didn't learn a thing in the class was all stuff I picked up 10 years ago...

    Your best bet though for a job would be too look for smaller PC component stores in your area and see if they are looking to hire, as most of them also assemble and troubleshoot PC's.

    Good Luck

  6. #6

    Default

    In my experience, having been in many interviews for IT jobs and having interviewed candidates for a couple of different positions myself, actual hand-on experience counts for far more than any qualifications in an employer's eyes.

    I'd suggest your best bet is to get a job in a small to mid-sized IT firm, preferably one specialising in the area of IT you want to work in. You'll have to start off at the bottom of the ladder, as an apprentice, office junior or such, then get stuck in as much as you can with as many varied things as possible. The pay will likely be very low, but smaller companies by their very nature offer you many opportunities to gain lots of experience very quickly (after all, there's fewer people to do the work so everyone ends up doing everything!).

    Overall, I'd say you should expect to be in low paying jobs like this for at least 5 or 6 years before you have enough experience to break though to the better paying jobs.

    Also, to build on what Angela said, soft skills are vital in IT inspite of being perhaps the most overlooked aspect of the work. In any customer/end user facing IT repair/support type role your likely to spend most of your time dealing with unhappy, upset or angry people. You'll need to learn how to handle people in these states, so being able to communicate complex technical concepts in a varaity of ways and in different levels of detail is key. Negotiation is also important as a means of diffusing tense situations.
    Overall, make sure you can cope with being alone in a room with a bunch of displeased people who are all directing their angry toward their computers at you!
    On the same topic, you'll often find yourself working under a lot of pressure. For instance you may have only a limited amount of time to complete a task, or (more often) you'll have an office full of customers breathing down you neck, waiting for you to get their computers up and running again! In these situations learning to maintain your focus and concentration is vital.
    In other words, learn to keep your head when all around you are losing theirs!

    As to degrees, they definitely help get your foot in the door, so to speak, but are by no means essential. Personally I don't have a degree (couldn't afford university ) but this hasn't held me back career-wise so far. It just means I took a different path to get to where I am now then the people I work with who do have degrees did. In fact I've found that the differing experiences of those with and without degrees are often complementary in a team.

    An alternative, and sometimes a good way to get expensive training cheaply, is to find an employer who's willing to develop you professionally. You'll likely find you'll have to work for them for a year or two before they'll shell out a lot of money on training for you, and they'll almost certainly expect you to sign some sort of retaining contract (something like "I'll stay with the company for at least the next x years or I'll repay x% of the cost of training"), but in my experience it's usually worth it.

    Hope this helps

  7. #7

    Default

    I've had this certification since 2007 along with a Network+ certification. I passed both of them and haven't failed any of the tests. I can't find a job anywhere when I had the A+ certification alone, thing I did was just work on computers myself. Times are tough in Michigan (and basically the entire country, but Michigan has the worst of it) so it is hard for anyone to get a job here right now. I'm hoping that my Network+ certification will help me some, but I have looked on CompTIA's job listing thing and the most close job they had was ONE job in indiana...go figure.

    So anyway, yeah, what I would recommend is trying to get a job at maybe a more locally owned computer shop instead of best buy or fix computers yourself. Which cert are you going for by the way? IT Technician, Remote Technician, or Depot Technician?

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by DusTochNiet View Post
    I've had this certification since 2007 along with a Network+ certification. I passed both of them and haven't failed any of the tests. I can't find a job anywhere when I had the A+ certification alone, thing I did was just work on computers myself. Times are tough in Michigan (and basically the entire country, but Michigan has the worst of it) so it is hard for anyone to get a job here right now. I'm hoping that my Network+ certification will help me some, but I have looked on CompTIA's job listing thing and the most close job they had was ONE job in indiana...go figure.

    So anyway, yeah, what I would recommend is trying to get a job at maybe a more locally owned computer shop instead of best buy or fix computers yourself. Which cert are you going for by the way? IT Technician, Remote Technician, or Depot Technician?
    CompTIA actually redid their A+ tests again. The 2009 Version consists of only two exams: the A+ Essentials and the A+ Practical Applications. I'm taking the Essentials test on Monday. I have a question for you though. Since I have absolutely no computer repair experience, should I volunteer at a local computer repair shop to get experience or actually apply for a job there? I mean, from an employer's point of view, why would somebody hire someone with no computer repair experience to fix computers (even if he's A+ certified)? By the way, thanks for your helpful information.

  9. #9

    Default

    Glad I helped you some, well anyways I had no idea they redid the tests. Yes, an internship would be a great idea to get started, I didn't think of that (because I am quite stupid sometimes) and it COULD maybe lead to a job if you do a good job at where ever you work. It would also look good on a resume so why not?

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by DusTochNiet View Post
    Glad I helped you some, well anyways I had no idea they redid the tests. Yes, an internship would be a great idea to get started, I didn't think of that (because I am quite stupid sometimes) and it COULD maybe lead to a job if you do a good job at where ever you work. It would also look good on a resume so why not?
    Sounds like a plan then. Quick question: when you took the A+ test, how long did you have to wait to find out if you passed or not?

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