For this career, by
Browse All Degrees and Schools
Computer Programming Degrees
Computer Science Degrees
Electrical Engineering Degrees
Environmental Science Degrees
Microsoft Office Training
Network Administration Schools
Project Management Certificates
Software Engineering Degrees
Software Testing Courses
Web Design Schools
"Trial And Error Solidifies Your Knowledge...
I was surprised by how often I would use the information that I learned about early on in my bachelor's program in my everyday operations such as the basics of troubleshooting computer hardware and providing that information to people who aren't as technically sound. As a PC tech I get numerous questions about how something work and I have to deliver that information effectively." (PC Technician; 2013)
I was surprised to discover that being a trainer requires a lot of communication and flexibility with my schedule. I am responsible for training adult learners within the company. I work outside of the office 60% of the time." (Trainer; 2013)
"Take Business Courses...
I was surprised with the amount of politics that exist in a software company. I was also surprised with how complicated it can be to go from an idea from the client all the way to it getting developed and released." (Software Implementation Coordinator; 2013)
"Satisfaction Outweighs Effort...
In college I hated computers and even switched some homework with another person but after falling into an IT position I decided it was kind of fun, like doing a puzzle and I enjoyed that. Also, I got to deal with the business more than just behind the computer constantly and also liked this human interaction part." (IT Business Consultant; 2013)
"Real World Advice...
I was surprised about how little supervision I was given. I was surprised how much driving to different location was required." (Tech Support; 2013)
I was surprised the my occupation requires so much interaction with the general public, and the ability to troubleshoot with non-tech people." (Remote Services Network Technician; 2013)
"Outside Work Helps...
I was surprised that what I used most were skills I had learned outside of classwork. Much of my classroom learning was unused." (Computer Support; 2013)
"Never Limit Your IT Knowledgebase And Keep Learning About New And Old Technology Both Inside And Outside Of The Office...
I was surprised to know that IT support professionals, in this market, need to have backgrounds in all different Operating Systems and hardware. Since technology is unique and constantly changing, employees are looking for people with UNIX, Windows, and Mac skills. After I started, I realized that I will need more training to perform my job." (IT Systems Analyst; 2013)
"Network, Network, Network...
I was surprised how completely incapable people are at Googling very basic information, or applying some common sense at how a keyboard might plug into the computer. Honestly, I thought that people would apply themselves more. A great deal of my work is correcting the simplest of user errors." (IT Helpdesk; 2013)
"Listen And Understand...
I was surprised to find how much of the job requires good people skills. Working directly with extremely upset customers requires excellent people skills as well as excellent computer skills in order to be effective and happy." (IT Support; 2013)
I was surprised to find out about all the different opportunities available in the field. There is truly a niche for everything. I had a passion for nonprofits and found a good match to follow my passion while using my skills." (Technical Consultant; 2013)
I have been surprised at how my job has evolved over the years. I have worked in many areas of IT." (IT Analyst; 2013)
"Have A Learners Attitude...
I was surprised how much people rely on IT personnel. I realized people do not want to learn for themselves and just have the 'specialist' do things for them and figure it out for them. When I was growing up I was taught to investigate and work out any puzzles or problems I had by researching. Google is your best friend, use it." (IT Computer Support Specialist; 2013)
"Get The Fundamentals Down Cold...
I am surprised at how there was a complete lack of jobs in my city for IT. After I had gotten out of college, I was surprised to find that the IT job I was going to rely on for post-college employment had completely dried up. Then again, I live in a city mostly geared towards manufacturing and construction. So the lesson here is be sure that there will be a market for your profession before or during your time in college, no matter what your major." (IT Technician; 2013)
"Don't Turn Down Technology Learning Opportunities...
It surprises me how much personal training is helpful and relevant to me as opposed to official college training. In this profession one has to take the initiative and have an open mind to push themselves to learn new hardware, software, and other modalities when it comes to technology and not get stuck with what they know and work with on a regular basis." (Microcomputer Technology Specialist; 2013)
"Do Not Go Into Support!...
What really surprised me was the people that I would be supporting. They have trouble with the computer and the software. I ask questions, as what were you doing when the situation occurred? What did you do after getting that error message? They cannot or will not tell me. I explain to them you will not be in trouble, it will be faster if you can get me this information. They can't tell me what they did." (Database Administrator; 2013)
"Diversifying Your IT Awareness...
I was surprised that communication was a key attribute required of Support Engineers. The need to translate business logic into IT jargon is necessary and as a Support Engineer, you're essentially the translator between the two different languages. Another thing that surprised me is the tight deadlines that you often face with projects that the goal is not clear. This might explain why a large percentage of projects fail." (Support Engineer; 2013)
"Computer Skills Not Enough To Succeed...
One of the most surprising things about my job is how much communication is an important factor. I frequently work with the customers as well as other people in the company, so I must be able to communicate myself properly, clearly and in ways that they will understand. So that I cannot always talk tech with just anyone, they will become frustrated with the task I am having them do. Sometimes they are already angry, so you must know how to deal with it. Previously I always thought I could just speak the terms of what I knew and people would be able to handle it." (Tier 2 Technician; 2013)
"Communication Is Key...
I was surprised at how easily I could transition from one technology position to anther. How eager folks in this field are to help you learn more." (Technology Analyst; 2013)
"Certification Importance In The IT Field...
I was surprised to learn that being an IT consultant requires so much customer service. Customer service skills are extremely important in dealing with coworkers and/or customers." (IT Coordinator; 2013)
"I am surprised to see the amount of change flexibility a technical analyst needs. As a technical analyst, I need to be flexible by understanding both hardware and software issues to effectively troubleshoot issues. Many people in this field seem to specialize mostly on hardware or on software instead." (Technical Analyst (IT); 2013)
"I was surprised to find that being an IT Tech involved more than just hardware/software skills. My customer service and trouble-shooting skills are extremely important as well." (IT Tech/Consultant; 2013)
"The technical field has evolved by leaps and bounds. Most of the older technicians are being left behind by the younger generation due to computer literacy and programming skills. For me, I was ahead of the curve due to my very early interest in computing and programming. I was also ahead of the curve in more respects when it came to computing. I have skills in the use of such a wide range of software due to my interest and self teaching that I gain a higher degree of desirability and longevity. I am the proverbial "Golden Boy" due to the amount of skills that I either had to learn or wanted to learn. It really sounded like I was "tooting my own horn" there, but there was no ego involved. I just want to impress the value of knowledge in general and, more to the point, new technologies. No matter what field a person chooses any more computer savvy and tech knowledge is a prerequisite. So, to answer the original question, my surprise was how far technology knowledge has taken me in my career. Because I could; program, draw cad, draw 3-d, produce graphics, use SQL, utilize excel, assembly presentations, work with files of all types, write VBA... This is the lecture I give my sons. This is what sent me all over the world and into a high paying job in China. So yeah, I was very surprised that my basic hobby turned into a career adventure and turned my mushy head into a knowledge sponge. I would have missed out on college if it weren't for tech." (Technician; 2013)
"I was surprised at how much I didn't know when I started my job. My first day I heard my colleagues speaking about advanced things that I hadn't even covered in school. It turned out ok, they were very helpful and in short order I was up to speed." (Helpdesk Specialist; 2013)
"I was surprised to find out that in this field you have to deal with different technical issue on daily basis. You get new challenge everyday and you have to translate computer language to everyday people so they can understand what you mean. I need to effectively work with manufacturer to get computer repair and parts replaced which gets challenging." (Desktop Support Specialist; 2013)
"I was very surprised at how much my job requires interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate technical information in an easy to understand way. Throughout my life I'd mainly associated with people who had an understanding of Information Technology at a fairly high level. When I got my job I was all of a sudden working with a clientele that was not technically savvy at all. I had to retrain myself to communicate at a more basic level so that my clientele would understand what I was saying." (Computer Repair Specialist; 2013)
"Was surprised how well networking paid compared to other jobs like support or pc repair/building. Getting a job at a hospital opened a lot of doors for promotion, and benefits are super." (Webmaster, Admin, Hardware Support; 2013)
"I'm surprised at the amount of little things that I have to take care of on a daily basis. For every thing that has actually challenged my knowledge or skills with computers there are 100 that don't require anything but simple Google skills" (Information Technology Specialist; 2013)
"I'm surprised at how quickly hardware in the computer field changes yet, the core theory I learned in college is still applicable." (Computer Repair Technician; 2012)
Desktop Support Technician: "One of the things I enjoy the most about my career is the freedom I have compared to a typical job. I work alone and am expected to be responsible and self sufficient in getting my duties done. My superiors are willing to answer questions regarding what type of equipment we support and what our policies are, but I am expected to know how to do my job as far as the actual maintenance goes. I would say my least favorite part of the job is the level of stress I have to endure." (2011)
Computer Repair Technician: "Probably the best part of my career is the feeling I get when I've very obviously helped someone out. Getting told that I've just "saved" someone's life because I was able to retrieve their crucial customer data for their small business is really an incredible feeling. On the other hand, there are customers who will literally yell at me for not being able fix their computers, even though it may just be something that's impossible to fix. Most people who come seeking the help of a computer repair technician aren't very technically literate and think that I can perform miracles. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and the customer may wind up feeling very disappointed and unfairly lash out at me." (2011)
Technical Support Analyst: "The people I work with are the best part of the job, and this includes both customers and fellow team members. People in my career field are generally jovial and good natured and are willing to help with issues. The thanks received after helping a user get back to work is something to cherish. The downside of this role is the stress involved with it. If a computer problem occurs that is beyond your control, you may get blamed even though you were not involved. Also, customers may have high expectations of your skills, which can be problematic if an issue occurs with a piece of technology that you've never worked with." (2011)
Software Installation/Training Manager: "The two best parts of my job are being able to travel around the world and the feeling I get when those I am teaching have the ah-ha moment and their faces light up. It's a great feeling to have some come to me at the beginning of class saying they won't be able to use the software and realize at the end they are completely comfortable with it. The worst part is being on technical support every 3 weeks since it does take over your nights and weekends. Hotels and hospitals never shut down, no matter the time or the day." (2011)
Tech Support: "If you enjoy working with the public and being around computers, then this would be the job for you. There is always a new challenge that come up, be it a new virus that has disrupted the software or a new product that's coming out. You are always learning and being challenged. If you are uneasy about working with difficult people, then this may not be the job for you. The other downside is that although the pay is not terrible, it's not great either. However, most companies typically promote from within, and there are many chances to move up. One other thing worth mentioning is that there are a lot of home call center jobs available. So if you like to work independently, that might be an avenue to check out." (2011)
CEO Of Small Business: "I'm very happy with my career, as my job gives me an outlet for my passion for computers and helping people. I like having the powerful feeling that comes from owning my own business, and I don't need too many other employees around in order to do the work, so it is nice and quiet, but never lonely. The worst part is that I'll never get a million dollars out of my job, but at least I can be at home for much of the time with my family." (2011)
Information Technology Specialist - U.S. Army: "The best part about being an IT Specialist is the fact that it's an ever changing field. As new technology is introduced you will be exposed to it and it keeps your job experience fresh and fun. The worst part about being an IT Specialist is the time it takes to get trained. Although it's rewarding in the end, it takes away from a lot of your free time and you need to put forth a lot of effort to become proficient at this job. Having an interest in computers is a must." (2011)
Instructional Support Technician: "The worst part of my job is my inability to prevent users from causing their own problems. We can only be so proactive, short of locking down everyone's desktop. Users cause themselves needless frustration because they will not practice a very few basic best practices. The best part of the job is solving a seemingly impossible problem, or amazing people with your computer skills. There is no man behind the curtain but they think there is." (2010)
Technical Support Engineer: "The best part of my job is constantly learning new software and doing detective work when things go wrong in the software. Once the problem is isolated, it's very rewarding to come up with a fix and provide customer satisfaction. Providing technical software support requires good customer skills and the ability to explain very complex situations in terms everyone can understand. The worst part of my job is the amount of time I have to spend analyzing data to find a solution. Customers can become very impatient waiting for a fix to their problem." (2010)
Principal Product Supportability Engineer: "The best part of my job is that I get to do a little bit of everything and I get to work with all the organizations in my company, from Support to Development to Quality Assurance. I get to do a little bit of project work, a little bit of testing, a little bit of development, etc. The worst part of my job is that sometimes I work alone for long stretches of time and the work that I am researching is not always useful to the company when I'm done." (2010)
Technology Assistant: "The best part of the job is that it's a continuous learning process. Technology is constantly changing. The best way of keeping up with technology is to use new tools and be open to upgrades and improvements. Lack of time is the enemy. The worst part of the job is being asked to set up the equipment for a meeting and finding you can't get it started, or having the tape run out while you are taping a school event. The technical difficulties you face are the most disappointing part of the job." (2010)
Senior Principal Support Engineer: "The worst part of the job is having to depend on people to get my job done, especially when those people are busy or not dependable. The best is my very flexible schedule and the fact that each day is different." (2010)
Hosted Systems Engineer: "The best part of work like this is being able to keep up with current trends in the IT field. It's good if your company has money to spend to purchase state of the art technology. The worst part of this job is the schedule I have to keep. A lot of work has to be done during off hours to keep from inconveniencing the customers. Another function of pretty much all jobs in this field is maintenance. All computers or servers require periodic maintenance. Some can be done during business hours but most is the off-hours work I mentioned. It can be tedious at times but is necessary to keep up with current operating system levels." (2010)
IT Technician: "Always know the basics of your profession and be ready for surprises. You don't want to embarrass yourself at a job interview by not being able to identify all the parts of a laser printer." (2013)
Technical Consultant: "It is very important to stay up to date on the latest IT trends and skills. Don't think that when school is over you stop learning. The most successful people in this industry consider education to be lifelong." (2013)
IT Business Consultant: "sometimes the hours and stress can be hard but usually the achievement of a successful project makes it worth it" (2013)
Tier 2 Technician: "Learning just computer skills will not help you advance in this career, I have found that you need a variety, such as communication, verbal, written and even math skills that I use every day in helping with my customers and fellow employees. Being able to keep a calm, cool head at anytime, explaining and understanding who you are working with, knowing how they are feeling and reading them, will help you so much in the long run." (2013)
IT Tech/Consultant: "Specializing in one area can be valuable at first but you need to consider branching out. It is important to have knowledge in other areas, as they sometimes blend or are dependent on the other areas of expertise." (2013)
Helpdesk Specialist: "Never stop learning. You should always be looking for new skills and improving the ones you have. if you can develop a skill that few or none in your work environment have, it can only better you. Also, jump at chances for project work, that will definitely get the managements attention. Be proactive, not complacent in your job." (2013)
Desktop Support Specialist: "Take as many certification as you can while you are still in college. Try to get your A+ certification since most employers want an employee who has basic knowledge of hardware and software. A+ certification is a proof that you have what it takes to be a good computer support specialist." (2013)
Computer Repair Specialist: "I would really recommend that you get a well-grounded general education to go along with your computer-related courses. Yes, English/History/Psychology/etc. courses may seem really boring to you, but the lessons you learn from those courses will really help your inter-personal skills and aid you immeasurably in your career." (2013)
Webmaster, Admin, Hardware Support: "Get network certified and work on the medical business, they have the budgets to pay well. Even an entry level job will open doors for advancement if you're good." (2013)
Information Technology Specialist: "Communication skills are something you can't take for granted, work on them and expand them. Everything gets easier when people are all on the same page as you, it minimizes problems." (2013)
Computer Support: "Be sure to personal work with computers on a day to day basis. Don't just rely on classwork to teach you all the skills needed." (2013)
Tech Support: "No one will hold your hand. Be prepared to do more than what is required." (2013)
PC Technician: "Repetition is the best way to become successful in your IT career. Reading is one thing but going through experiences of trial and error enable you to work through tough situations in your career." (2013)
Remote Services Network Technician: "Take some time and experience retail sales, as this would better prepare you for tech support in a company." (2013)
Trainer: "I would suggest that you maintain updated computer training skills. It is helpful to join training workshops and organizations." (2013)
IT Systems Analyst: "Do not limit yourself to just focusing on hardware or software. Make sure to study all different operating environments and learn scripting. Networking is also a very versatile part of IT that would make you more marketable when looking for a job in the IT field." (2013)
IT Analyst: "Always keep learning. Want to keep learning" (2013)
IT Helpdesk: "Network and find a decent position, because that's the only way you'll find one." (2013)
Software Implementation Coordinator: "Take courses in business even if you are a computer science major. You will still deal with people and some business knowledge will help you make these interactions easier." (2013)
IT Support: "A good technician will also know how to relate to people. Take some basic courses in communication or psychology to be most effective Practice listening and understanding!" (2013)
Technology Analyst: "Don't assume your boss can read your mind. Let your boss know your long-term goals and ask for suggestions and how to make them a reality." (2013)
Database Administrator: "I would not work in support. The pay is not worth some of the working conditions and the employees that you have to support. They want to blame you, or the computers. It's never something they did." (2013)
Support Engineer: "I would highly suggest taking courses in all sections of IT including database, web development, networking etc. Because the field is so large, you can find yourself working in multiple different areas throughout your career and your interests change." (2013)
IT Computer Support Specialist: "Always ask questions. Get involved on forums. You are never the first person to experience the problem you are facing." (2013)
Microcomputer Technology Specialist: "Have an open and curious mind when it comes to technology. Never turn down an opportunity to learn a new strategy or skill." (2013)
IT Coordinator: "I would suggest getting your A+ and Microsoft certifications as an IT worker." (2013)
Desktop Support Technician: "The best advice I can give to people pursuing a career in IT is to get certifications. There are too many different IT certifications available to count, but each one gives you a specific area of expertise. A desktop technician will benefit from having a general certification for basic desktop support, but being specialized in something like Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 administration looks better on your resume and makes you a greater asset to a company. It also helps to be very versatile. The more you can know about your job the more likely you are to succeed." (2011)
Computer Repair Technician: "Learn by doing. Take apart computers and put them together. You have to learn to love building computers. See if you can "break" computer software and then fix it. Much of your knowledge is going to come from doing things on your computer. Playing a game, for example, may require you to learn something about installing software drivers. Learn to deal with people; it's not always about your technical knowledge. People skills are going to be just as important." (2011)
Technical Support Analyst: "Remember that it's okay that you don't know everything, but do your best to keep learning. Try not to take it personally when a user is angry or when an issue can't be resolved. Work in a direct customer service job for a few years before starting in this career field. People skills make this work much easier. Be prepared to get dirty sometimes. Computers accumulate a lot of dust!" (2011)
Software Installation/Training Manager: "If you want to become a teacher in the software world, look for companies that either use a lot of different software (financial or manufacturing companies) or a software company that offers training to their clients. Usually you'll start out doing technical support, but as long as you demonstrate you want to teach, the company will be happy to steer your career that way. Techs who can fix the software are easy to find; techs who can teach the software successfully aren't." (2011)
Tech Support: "Have a good knowledge of windows-based computers systems and hardware. All companies provide training, but having computer knowledge is of paramount importance, because you need to understand the inner workings of a computer and because of the new challenges that come up all the time. Probably the most important thing is to have good verbal skills and listening skills. You must be a people person, and most of all, have a good sense of humor. You may spend as much as four hours walking someone through a software install." (2011)
CEO Of Small Business: "Firstly, don't be afraid to move slowly. You may want to make quick money, but you make the most by exercising patience. My business took two years to grow, but now it has flourished. Secondly, don't ever be too bossy or annoyed; the people who are asking for your help need it because they are frustrated themselves, and it can get tempting sometimes to get irritated when they don't do something right. Thirdly, remember that you are performing a service and that the customer is your best ally if you treat them right." (2011)
Information Technology Specialist - U.S. Army: "Interest in computers in general is a must. Joining the army and picking this job is a way to get into the field and get and opportunity to get certified in many areas. Going for a degree (i.e. computer science) is crucial. Choosing wisely which part of the IT field you will go into is also important. Network administration, programming, information security, or just general troubleshooting from a help desk all require different types of training. Do your research before hand and choose wisely so you wont get bogged down due to a lack of interest later on down the line." (2011)
Instructional Support Technician: "Do not be afraid to break things. You will never be able to diagnose a problem and solve it without making it worse first. Always have a back-up of the thing you are about to break. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to cover your butt if you are going to burn someone's computer either intentionally or by accident. Have a back-up plan. Keep looking at things as though no one had ever seen them before, and take notes. It's a terrible thing not to learn from your successes or mistakes." (2010)
Technical Support Engineer: "Have a passion for learning new skills whether they're technical or professional. Be open to learning new software skills as the software industry is constantly evolving. Learn multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac and Linux. Flexibility will open doors for you. Be able to explain very technical situations to people who may not understand them. Always be on the lookout for any additional education opportunities." (2010)
Principal Product Supportability Engineer: "If you're interested in working with computer software, focus on learning a computer language such as Java or C++. It may be tough to learn at first, but once you've learned one it's very easy to learn others. Programming languages are always changing and improving, so working with them is very exciting. Also, learn about how businesses work. Take marketing, finance and economics courses. These are useful things to have a grasp of when you're creating applications to make it easier to run a business." (2010)
Technology Assistant: "In this position my job is to respond to the needs of students and teachers. Basically, you need to listen to them and find a way to help them with the task. Keep trying, there is always a solution. If you don't know, ask questions until you find answers." (2010)
Senior Principal Support Engineer: "Find an area of software that you really like and become very good at it. Strive to be the best at understanding how it works. Always treat others the way that you would like to be treated. Don't be afraid to try new software. If there is one thing that never changes in IT it is the fact that it always changes." (2010)
Hosted Systems Engineer: "If you choose to pursue a career in IT it is imperative that you start with a good basic understanding of computers and networking. Once you have that you will understand how they work and communicate and allow such things as "Facebook" or "Google" to exist. Stay current with emerging technologies. Things are always changing and what is cutting edge today may be obsolete after a year or two." (2010)