Technological advancements and the complexity of IT infrastructure has led to an increased demand for computer systems technicians. From the physical peripheral model to a single touch screen and now to the cloud, computer systems have seen a massive shift.
Computer systems technician also referred to as computer support specialists, oversee the operations of an organization’s IT network, operating systems, hardware and software.
What are the key responsibilities of a Computer Systems Technician?
Apart from being well-versed in computer systems and network functions, an ideal candidate will possess effective communication and problem-solving skills. Technical responsibilities include:
- Setup hardware, install software and configure software and drivers.
- Install and configure well-functioning LAN/WAN and other networks and manage servers.
- Perform regular updates and ensure systems are working smoothly.
- Manage network and computer security to maintain privacy and potential threats.
- Troubleshoot system errors and failures for smooth functioning
- Regular upgrades to ensure systems remain updated.
- Arrange maintenance sessions and keep records of fixes for future reference.
- Provide consistent access and services to users and clients, educate as needed.
The education requirements for computer systems technician may vary, but post-secondary education is required by most employers. Certifications related to the field are must and gives you an edge during the recruitment process.
- Post-secondary credentials: Technology is a passion for many; however, formal training in computer systems technology is required. Diploma programs cover basics such as operating systems, hardware, software and administration. Advance and complex concepts such as networking, routing, wireless and cloud are also taught.
- Industry certifications: Consider obtaining valid certifications by hardware and software vendors, such as Cisco and Microsoft. These certifications are highly valued and ensure that candidate has required skills to manage computer systems.
- Experience: Employers prefer applicants with work experience in a similar profile, however, as a recent graduate, it can pose a difficulty. Most institutes offer co-op or placement assistance to gain on-job experience. Gain experience through projects and internships.
- Advance your career: It is advised to keep updating your skills and education as per the changing trends and employer requirements. Many organizations offer internal training and development programs which will help you advance your career as a computer systems technician.
Technical skills are essential for information technology positions, however, as a computer systems technician, you will be working closely with end-users and clients. Thus, professionals must possess required soft skills such as:
- Communication: Both effective oral and writing skills are a must. One should be able to explain technical terms and process to end-users who are not technically on the same level. As a technical professional, you might have to make proposals, design documents and present to management; thus, presentation skills play an essential role in career advancement.
- Flexibility: Unexpected changes are part and parcel of IT positions. Accepting changes and rectifying last-minute issues is part of the job. Openness to suggestions and feedback and providing creative solutions is highly appreciated by employers.
- Leadership: Even if you are not in a management position, you may be regularly involved in client and vendor management. You must understand business needs and take initiatives to meet set goals.
A post-secondary diploma in computer systems technology can open up varied career options for you. Some of the critical roles computer system technician can explore are:
- Technical system analyst
- Computer support specialist
- Network systems administrator
- Technology infrastructure analyst
According to PayScale, computer systems technician/ specialist with less than a year experience can expect to earn an average of C$47,000 annually.
How to get started?
Computer systems technology is an exciting career path to start your IT career. You gain knowledge of operating systems, software and hardware, networking, servers and security. Which, in fact, opens up pathways to pursue specializations in any of the domains mentioned above.
BizTech College offers 44 weeks Computer Systems Technology diploma that focuses on in-depth knowledge of all computer systems aspects. Hands-on training and project-based learning give students much-required experience, which is preferred by employers. The program also incorporates preparation for industry certifications such as – Linux, ITIL Foundation and CompTIA.