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How to Get an Entry-Level Computer Support Job Without a College Degree

Updated on June 7, 2015

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. It is not uncommon for computer support professionals to be referred to by many different titles in different organizations.

Their title ranges from Help Desk Technician and Tier 1 Technical Support Representative to Computer Support Specialist and Computer User Specialist

No matter what their title may be, they are all involved in providing computer support to either non I.T. employees in their organization, or their organizations customer base. If you are interested in obtaining an entry-level tech job, computer support is a great stepping stone.

The Work Environment

Most computer support specialists have full-time work schedules; however, many do not work a typical 9-to-5 schedule. Because computer support is important for businesses at all times of the day and night, many support specialists must be available 24 hours a day.

What You Need to Get an "IN" to this Career

In the world of Information Technology (I.T.), certifications are hot. Certifications are attractive because having them tells potential employers you actually know how to do the job, as opposed to merely gaining skills from books and class lectures.

There are many specialized Information Technology Certifications by large corporations like, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle. However, when it comes to entry-level tech jobs, the number one and most trusted authority is CompTIA, and the certification to get is the A+ Certification(s).

The Certification consists of two exams, 220-801 and 220-802. The 220-801 is hardware focused, and the 220-802 focuses on software. Both are comprehensive, and require a great deal of study time to pass.

How to Get Free & Low-Cost Training for A+ Certification

One of the awesome things about the CompTIA A+ certificate is there are no pre-requisites required to take the exams.

Many people have taken the exam and passed by using industry favorite tech manuals, like the ones by I.T. Professionals Mike Meyers and Scott Jernigan.

Although a great many people pass by studying manuals alone, this is not an easy task and you must be well disciplined in order to succeed.

Take advantage of the included practice exams available for download and do not attempt to take the actual A+ Certification exams until you are constantly scorring high on the practice exams and you feel completely confident you will pass.

The following manuals to the right of this paragraph are some of the tried and tested resources many people rave about.

If you want to utilize this method, be sure to read the reviews for each manual and see what others have to say.

Do You Think You Can Pass the A+ Certifications with Only a Training Manual?

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Online Video Training

An even better option would be to utilize a video training course like Professor Messor or Mike Meyers' video courses.

Professor Messer's video series is particularly attractive, because it is a free resource, you would only need to pay for it if you want physical DVDs or full downloadable videos - otherwise, you can watch all of his thorough videos online for free.

Don't be fooled by the price tage, many people have passed their A+ exams by using Professor Messer's free videos - this is evidenced by the many people thanking him on his forums.

Professor Messer's Free A+ Video Training Series

The best choice overall would be to use one of the traning manuals in conjunction with the Professor Messer's free video series.

No matter which method you choose to obtain your A+ Certification, make sure to download the course objectives from CompTIA in order for you to know exactly what will be on the exam directly from the source.

Depending on your skill set and previous history, give yourself a timeline to finish. Once you've settled on a timeline, contact a Pearson Vue Testing Center and schedule yourself for the exams. Then, decide on a study schedule, commit and then just do it!

This sounds a whole lot easier than it really is, but if you are determined you can flesh out the beginning of a decent career when you pass the A+ Certification Exams.


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    • johny-parker profile image

      johny-parker 2 months ago

      useful information. great work

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Great article with a lot of useful information

    • Rachelle Williams profile image

      Rachelle Williams 2 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      Good Observation

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I wish more people took this kind of information seriously. Almost anyone can get these kinds of jobs. Some computer support jobs can even be legitimate work from home jobs. I think a lot of unemployed people could be helped if they would take advantage of the free training that exists all over the internet.