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Windows 7: Help a fellow technician figure out what to do with his life ;)

09 Oct 2011   #1

Help a fellow technician figure out what to do with his life ;)

A little about me:
I'm an aspiring computer technician lost in the IT field. Information Technology is where my heart is and I know that, that is what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I started doing something with this passion and began schooling, but quickly found out that an associates degree in computer systems engineering is not really something worth getting unless i plan to snag at least a bachelors degree with it.
I'm starting to believe that certifications is probably the way to go. But the thing is ... I think want to start up my own local computer repair shop / café. Or so that's how I feel. There are a bunch of questions that I have so please bare with me ... For those who are still reading !
So, I've been looking into what I want to do in the IT field. I know that CompTIAs A+ certification is probably the way to start followed by my Net+ then off to my MCSE and on to learning server side OS. I did two semesters at a community college ... Had to leave state so I would look into transferring credits if I plan on continuing my education. While in school, I interned at a local computer repair shop. Not only did I gain hands on experience with troubleshooting household PCs, but I also gained the owners trust and ran the whole operation at times by myself. I learned how to exceed customers expectations, charge appropriately and correctly correct any situations a user was expecting.
Right now I'm working retail at Starbucks. I'm the opening shift supervisor for the time being. On my spare time im constantly studying ... Whether it's for A+ or MCSE.
Im basically looking for someone to guide me in the right direction... Ask me questions and figure me out. I need your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

I'm not sure whether I can offer the right advice, but I think you should go with what your heart tells you.

If you are passionate about computers and information technology (and it seems that you are) you could start out by running your own computer repair business. You said yourself you knew what to charge and you have the trust of customers, which counts for a lot in any walk of life.

Even if it was done on a part-time basis, any money you earn from this business would help pay for your further education, as qualifications are going to be important.

However you wish to do it I'd like to offer my congratulations on trying to achieve something in life and having the courage to ask for help - I'm sure you'll get plenty on WSF.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #3

multiple operating systems xp pro 32bit win7 64 bit pro and ultimate

nano3 , quester12 here. I have the same passion as you do. I have a computer business on the side. have been making a extra buck doing it . if you wish to go that way , it will help you hone your skills. company's want to see a balance between education and practical knowledge. their are websites that have career advise on achieving your goal. one is dice TV ; career-builder . speak to a career counselor . do a general search on the it field. check the job market on what to expect in the field and what kind of competition you would be up against.

I am still working on my goal. make a list of what you need to reach your goal. complete each task to reach your goal and pickup a variety of skills in the process.
if you wish to pm me ask a moderator help you.
the best of luck to you

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1


Getting experience with repairing computers and installing networking components is a good start. But, the people who make the most money in IT are those with the ability to look at and figure out the big picture. ie.. network and systems analysts

Not that everyone who repairs computers is not as valuable but they do make on the average much less money than people who are systems people. You can only make so much money repairing boxes and selling boxes. Unless your Michael Dell.

Getting your certifications is important to many jobs but I have seen people with more letters after their names that can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time. They are book smart but not thinking smart.

My best suggestion is to look at the IT area and figure out where the most demand is there and whether you think you would like it.

No one can know everything but those who know what they don't know, work out better.

I have met people who repair computers and they are good at it. But many of them are not business people and/or customer relations people. Some are scratching for work or overextending themselves ending up with bad reputations and not supporting their customers.

Good luck and remember, computers are exciting..

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

Along with certifications, try to do a BS in computers and slowly progress towards a masters... Then you can become something solid in your career.

Come out of having a small computer shop, get your degrees and you can have a very good life.

An example is my son who is now 24 years old has completed his BS in computer science in India, got his masters from University of Georgia, Athens, GA and right now working as a programmer in a software company in Ohio and making good amount of money in just about six months.

There is a tremendous growth prospects for a qualified computer professional. So get your degrees right..... Good Luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #6

multiple operating systems xp pro 32bit win7 64 bit pro and ultimate

rich; quester12 ; aren't their on-line courses and e-books on honing your skills?

what do think of doing computer forensics?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #7


Thank you all for the prompt advice. I've reached the point in my life where a big decision needs to be made. I have a couple of things lined up for me and I'm just afraid to take that first step (which is decide) on what my next move is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2011   #8

multiple operating systems xp pro 32bit win7 64 bit pro and ultimate

nano3 . take your time . do what ever feels right to you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2011   #9

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

I'll give you about the last fifteen years of my life boiled down to what I hope are a few brief paragraphs; there might be some hint of advice in there for you.

I started doing computer repair in the mid-1990s for a small family-owned shop. Computers cost thousands in those days and the repair side of things was good. The custom built computer sales end of the business was tough going. It seemed that we were either out of the "hot" parts people were asking for or had a surplus of stuff that wasn't moving. When you've got ten (original) Pentium CPUs sitting on the shelf that cost you $400 each and nobody is buying them you lose a lot of money in depreciation very quickly.

I moved on to another shop, but by then computer prices had fallen to the point that people were starting to go for replacement rather than repair. Why fix an old K62-300 machine when you could buy an Athlon 1200 system for not much more than the price of a repair job?

I struck out on my own and made a good bit of money doing small service contract type jobs. My specialty was the smaller office with 6-20 computers. Not enough to warrant a full-time IT guy but big enough to be willing to pay for someone to come by for a day or half-day once every week or two and keep things running smoothly. I also did a lot of small-office network jobs where they usually wanted easy things like simply having all the computers able to securely sharing a folder or two, (a lot of them had managed to figure out how to share the whole hard drive, then a virus hit and wiped them all out), or even just getting everyone able to share one or two printers. As people got more computer savvy, there would usually be at least one local "computer expert" in the office who managed to keep things going well enough that they didn't need me so much. Improvements in network setup - mainly by buying a cheap router and turning on NAT - made that almost foolproof, too. My income started to really suffer.

After struggling for a while I bit the bullet and went back to school for a degree in Information Systems. I hope to become one of those "people who make the most money in IT...those with the ability to look at and figure out the big picture. ie.. network and systems analysts..." that richinrockville mentioned. My forum title, "A Senior Junior" refers to my being in my Junior year at the (by college standards) Senior age of 52.

Starting pay for people with the degree I hope to attain is between 60-80 thousand dollars a year depending on where you live. If I live long enough and can still work full-time I can expect to hit six-figures not too far down the road. It'll come in handy for things like walkers, dentures, and hearing aids, I suppose.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

There is always a need for people who understand business and can apply that knowledge to IT. I came at it from a different side, programming, but that is where I ended up for the last 15 years before I retired. It is a very worthwhile career.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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