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Summer IT job for a high school student?

Last response: in Work & Education
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May 21, 2009 3:52:14 AM

I'm planning to get a job this summer, but it will be my first job, well, ever. I consider myself a computer enthusiast, since I've built 2 computers and plan on a 3rd. Not to brag, but I am smart, and I can figure out most computer problems, software or hardware. The problem is, I don't think building 2 computers and claiming intelligence is a 'qualification'. I'm planning on getting my A+ Certification in the beginning of summer as a 'foot in the door' thing, but... I have no idea how to obtain one.

I'd like to work with Data Doctors or Geek Squad, but it seems like Geek Squad has a negative aura surrounding it. Also, I'm doing this job mainly for the experience, so pay isn't terribly important (but hey, if I can get a better paycheck for the same work, I'm all in).

Basically, other than personal experience with computers and a large chunk of intelligence, I have nothing. I'm not old enough to drive yet, but there are a few businesses within 5 miles of my house that are possibilities.

Question time.

1) How do I get an A+ Certification?
1.5 ) I've looked at a few practice tests of A+ Certs, and they look really easy, but how is the actual test?
2) Are there any recommended businesses other than Data Doctors or Geek Squad you guys would suggest working for?
3) What can I expect working for a business like Geek Squad? Just basic "My computer is slow, fix it." type of stuff, or "I overclocked my FSB and overvolted my memory, but now the system won't boot. I've reset the CMOS and tried each memory stick by itself, but nothing works. What's wrong?"
May 21, 2009 3:20:28 PM

I'm with zipzoomflyhigh on this, you won't get a job there, especially if you're not old enough to drive.

I started out in a small pc shop stacking shelves and learning little bits here and there (and teaching the boss a thing or 2 too, haha) until I had enough cash together to move to the city and get a reference to work in a larger PC store.

Anyway... 3 years later and I'm running my own place building high-end rigs and doing the general repair/maintenance thing.

Most common problems I've encountered basically points to 3 kinds of people:

1) The misinformed know-it-alls: People who have been told by 'experts' what's wrong, and in fact there's something completely different wrong. Also includes people who think they know everything, and that everything they know is right. They're very annoying...
One person came in 2 days ago with a Dell saying that their technicians said he had a fault hard drive and would have to pay a fair bit of cash to send it off, get it replaced, and get the pc back. I fixed it for a total cost of €5... it needed a new SATA cable, the supplied one was loose.

2) The annoyingly curious: These people want to know EXACTLY what's wrong with their PC, and will stand there for about an hour getting information out of you about how every little piece of a PC works.
Had one of those about a month ago, PSU died and somehow he twisted the conversation and it resulted in me explaining the 1:1 ratio that's so very nice between a core 2's FSB and ram clock... it still confuses me as to how he did it.

3) The enthusiast: Gotta love these people, they know exactly what they want, don't need anything explained, and are willing to pay a little more just to get a specific stepping of CPU ordered in, or a specific brand of graphics card. Also nice when they avail of the overclocking service I provide... it's like free cash since I let Prime95 run for 4 hours when finding rough speeds, and 24 hours to test final stability.
May 21, 2009 9:34:41 PM

Quote:
You've built 2 computers and you think you can figure out MOST computer problems. LOL.

You're basing all of your information about me on 2 sentences.

Thanks for the help, though.
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May 21, 2009 10:36:28 PM

im building my 7th computer next week and studying for an a+ exam right now. even with building 6 computer already i still think i cant pass the exam right now. i would recommend getting a a+ exam book and a review book and read those then take the test. anyways you can get a lot of info from those books that will help you down the road.

just go into a computer shop and just see if they need a kid to do anything even just pushing a broom would be a good way to start and work your way up from that.

im in high school too and that my plan for right now
May 21, 2009 11:02:23 PM

Quote:
Worked my way up from a lowly shipper to purchasing/shipping dept. manager. When business was slow I would help the techs by pre-assembling the pc's that were in line to be built.

Woah, wait. I'm not going to be a purchasing and shipping department manager. I want to be working in IT.
May 22, 2009 9:52:16 PM

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You have to start somewhere dude. I'm just saying you need to learn more about hardware before you get anywhere near IT.
You'll never go from high school to IT. Trust me. Theres a million IT guys looking for work right now, because companies are cutting costs and using the people who do other jobs, but have computer skills, to do the IT work.
You need to study for the A+, its not about diagnosing a computer problem, its a bunch of technical jibberish and specifications.

Alright, thank you.
September 27, 2009 4:51:45 PM

Quote:
You've built 2 computers and you think you can figure out MOST computer problems. LOL.

LOL. And I'v built 100+ PCs (including custom WCing ones). I make a pretty good profit. (Usual charge is $100 for build, and $50-60 for OCing,RAID, optimizations,etc., $75-100 for WCing install, depending on the complexity of fitting it to the case)

My advice: Get A+, Network+, and maybe Cisco Network Admin certified. I currently have A+ (IT Tech) and Network+ certs by CompTia, working on Cisco via my school right now. Currently a Senior at Westfield (FCPS schools). Also read the forums and find solutions to unusual and usual problems.

And yes, I know this thread is very old.
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