Systems Setup Specialists
Many top computer companies are located throughout the United States, and with them come a number of employment opportunities. Some computer hardware powerhouses include Apple, Dell, and HP Inc. Many mid- to small-sized companies may not have the need for a specific department devoted to computer setup. In such situations, other computer professionals may be assigned setup duties besides their regular job descriptions.
A number of jobs may also be found with smaller companies that contract their services to retail stores or offer them directly to the public. Services may include hardware and software installation, upgrading, and repair.
Most positions in systems setup are considered entry level. Those new to the field with little experience may get their start through networking with working computer professionals for potential employment opportunities. Companies advertise job openings for systems setup professionals in the careers section of their Web sites. Job listings are also found through online employment sites such as Monster, Indeed, and SimplyHired, as well as through school career services offices.
Systems setup specialists may advance by working on increasingly complex systems installations and by having supervisory or managerial responsibility for the setup department. Other specialists choose to pursue promotion in different functional areas, such as technical support, computer engineering, or systems analysis.
Setup specialists who demonstrate strong ability and drive are often assigned to larger and more complex installations. Instead of installing commercial software, for example, the specialist might now be responsible for constructing flow charts or other drawings as part of the overall installation plan. Also, a specialist who at first works on relatively small departmental networks might be asked to work on company-wide networks.
Computer professionals who use systems setup as a springboard to other positions usually have formal education in a certain field, such as software or hardware engineering. They seek promotion by keeping an eye on job openings within their respective fields.
If specialists show leadership ability, they might be promoted to supervisory and then managerial positions. These positions require more administrative duties and less hands-on work. For example, supervisors are usually in charge of scheduling installation jobs and assigning different jobs to various individuals, taking into account their level of expertise and experience. With more formal education, managers might be involved with the strategic planning of a computer company, deciding what level of service the company is willing to offer to clients.
Specialists may also decide to start their own computer business. Many office supply and electronic stores contract with area computer companies to provide customers with services such as setup and installation, upgrading, and technical support. Those who follow this career path should be familiar with the basics of operating a small business, such as doing accounting, marketing, and inventory.
Tips for Entry
Join professional associations such as the Association of Support Professionals and the Association for Computing Machinery to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Read the Reports and Studies section of ACM's Web site, https://www.acm.org/education/reports, to keep up to date on research and career trends in the computer services industry.