What jobs are available in the computer industry?

Notice: Computer Hope is not hiring for any of these positions. When jobs are made available they will be posted on our hiring page.

Computer job The following list was created for users who enjoy computers but are uncertain about which field to enter. Each section contains a description of a job, the requirements, and recommendations on how to proceed if you're interested.

This document does not contain salary information because they vary greatly depending on the company and its location. However, it's safe to assume that with the increased difficulty and experience requirements comes higher pay. If you are looking for a pay range, refer to your local listings (newspaper) or online salary sites for a general overview.

Whether you are looking for your first job in the computer industry or just want to get your foot in the door, we suggest looking at Data Entry, Freelancer, Sales, Quality Assurance (QA), or Technical Support jobs. The qualifications and requirements for these jobs vary, but many of them have entry level positions.

Job quick links

3D Animation or Graphic design
Customer service
Data Entry
Database
Electronics technician or engineer
Engineer
Freelancer
Hardware
Networking or System Administrator
Programmer or Software developer
Quality Assurance (QA), System analyst or Tester
Repair and fix
Sales
Technical Support (Technician or Help Desk)
Technical Writing
Security expert
Webmaster or Web Designer

3D Animation or Graphic design

Description: A position where you design and create either a graphic or 3D animations for software programs, games, movies, and web pages; usually in with a team of other designers. The position may also require that you work on existing graphics, animations, and movies, created by other people.

Requirements: An individual applying for this job would need to be talented in design and creating visuals, for most people this is not something you could learn in training. In addition to being talented in design and art you must have a good understanding of the software programs being used to create the visual designs or 3D animations.

Recommendations: If you want to get into graphic design or arts, it is a must that you learn major graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. In addition to Photoshop, there are numerous programs used to create your own pictures or edit photos. See the animation definition for additional information about this term as well as a listing of some of the more popular animation programs. If you are applying for any type of design or animation company it is also a good idea to have a portfolio of your work.

Difficulty: (MEDIUM - HIGH) Many of the programs used to create a graphic, edit a photo, or create a 3D render are complex and often require prior experience gained through training or schooling.

Customer service

Description: Helping customers with general questions relating to the company, ordering, status on orders, account information or status, etc.

Requirements: Good communication skills and a general understanding of the company and its products.

Recommendations: Great starting position for anyone who is looking to get their foot in the door at the company and who are not yet that familiar with computers.

Difficulty: (LOW) Customer service jobs generally only require basic computer proficiency and the ability to navigate through the company's system, but solemnly require the employee to be skilled in more technical areas.

Data Entry

Description: A job that commonly requires the employee to take information from a hard copy or other source and enter it into an electronic format. Position may also be taking electronic data and entering it into a database for easy sorting and locating.

Requirements: Requires someone capable of typing 40-50 or more WPM, basic computer proficiency, and familiarity with word processors.

Recommendations: Practice your typing and take online typing tests to determine your overall speed.

Difficulty: (LOW) Most data entry jobs are beginner level jobs and don't require much or any prior experience or formal education.

Database

Description: A job that requires creating, testing, and maintaining one or more databases.

Requirements: Requires a familiarity with or extensive knowledge of databases at the place of employment. For example, Access, FoxPro, MySQL, SQL, and Sybase.

Recommendations: Become familiar with the database being used at the business. If the job is for the continued development of a database, you need to have a great understanding of the its corresponding programming language. Often, this knowledge requires past experience or formal education.

Difficulty: (MEDIUM - HIGH) Developing or maintaining a database can be a difficult and complex job. As mentioned above, you need to have past experience or formal education to be considered by most companies.

Electronics technician or engineer

Description: Assembling, testing, and repairing electronic equipment.

Requirements: A strong understanding of basic and advanced electronics.

Recommendations: Get formal education in electronics and electro-mechanical, or self-teach yourself by building your own electronic systems.

Difficulty: (HIGH) Having a strong understanding of electronics often takes several years of formal education or on-the-job experience.

Engineer

Description: An engineer designs and implements mechanical and electronic equipment. A broad and difficult field, engineering almost always requires a college degree or at very least several certifications. Although used broadly in this document, the engineer is usually specified in the job requirement. For example, a software development engineer may be a highly skilled computer programmer.

Requirements: The requirements for this job change depending on the engineering field you plan on working in. However, as mentioned above, any engineering job requires vast knowledge of the subject matter; usually from school, certifications, training, or years of past experience.

Recommendations: Get training and education in the subject of interest from books, college, the Internet, and other sources. Often before you can qualify for many engineer positions you need past experience; therefore, it's a good idea to get an entry-level job in the same field. For example, if you want to be a software engineer, get a job in programming or create your own software programs. If you want to become a network engineer, get a job that requires you to setup, maintain, or otherwise work with professional networks. You can start learning by setting up your home network.

Difficulty: (HIGH) At the median level, this is a job and position requires past experience or a degree.

Freelancer

Description: Thanks to the Internet its possible for anyone to become a freelancer and apply for one of the millions of positions available around the Internet. See our how to make money on the Internet page for a listing of online services that list work available for freelancers.

Requirements: Computer and a high-speed Internet connection.

Recommendations: There is a wide array of freelance jobs available online, so it is difficult to give any specific recommendation. However, keep in mind that if you have never worked from home that it is not as easy as you may think. There are more distractions and it is easy to put work off until later. Set a strict work schedule and always make sure you work for what you feel your time is worth.

Difficulty: (LOW - HIGH) This all depends on the type of job you apply for, there are plenty of low difficulty freelance jobs such as customer service and high difficulty jobs like freelance programming.

Hardware

Description: A position as a hardware designer, circuit design, embedded systems, firmware, etc. is a job that requires you to design and create a complete hardware package or portions of a hardware device.

Requirements: Jobs that design or create hardware devices require that you have a good understanding of electronics, circuits, firmware, or design. For this position you need to have several years of prior experience or a degree in the field.

Recommendations: If you are interested in this field we suggest you get a degree in the field.

Difficulty: (HIGH) Hardware design is a difficult position to learn and understand unless you get training or a degree.

Networking or System Administrator

Description: Computer networking jobs involve designing, setting up, and maintaining a network.

Requirements: Although most users today have their own home networks, setting up, troubleshooting, and maintaining a corporate network can be a much more complicated task. Often, networking jobs also require a good understanding of how a network works, and in some cases how all the underlying protocols and structure of how networks work.

Recommendations: There are numerous network and network related certifications available today, such as the CCNA, MCSE, etc. Often depending on the level of certification and the job you are applying for, the certifications will be more than enough to quality you for most network jobs. Some of the higher networking positions, especially in the development of network hardware or programming side, may also require past experience in networking or a degree.

Difficulty: (MEDIUM - HIGH) Depending upon the job specifications and the complexity of the network usually determines the difficulty of this job.

Programmer or Software developer

Description: A job that requires the development or continued development and maintenance of a software program.

Requirements: A basic to extensive understanding of a programming language. Because most job positions require the ability to help develop a program, they require several years of past experience or a degree.

Recommendations: Learn one or more programming languages. Depending on what programs or scripts you want to create may change the language you want to learn. See the dictionary programming languages definition for a listing of popular programming languages and programs they create. If you need experience, creating your own software programs is a great way to learn a language and demonstrate your abilities at a job interview.

Difficulty: (HIGH) Learning a programming language can be as difficult as learning a second language and takes lots of experience and practice to become a skilled programmer.

Quality Assurance (QA), System analyst or Tester

Description: This job requires that the employee test out all features of a product for any problems or usability issues.

Requirements: Requires that you have a good understanding of computer software, hardware, and the product being tested.

Recommendations: Become familiar with computers, software, hardware, and the products the company makes.

Difficulty: (LOW - MEDIUM) Depending on what is being tested and how much needs to be tested usually determines the difficulty of this job. However, for users familiar with the product or similar products, you should not have much difficulty locating and reporting issues.

Repair and fix

Description: A job that requires you to fix and repair computer and computer equipment. Often this involves removing a component from within the computer and replacing it with a good component.

Requirements:Requirements: A good understanding of computer hardware, computer disassembly, proper tools, and good troubleshooting skills.

Recommendations: Build your own computer or disassemble and re-assemble a computer. Become familiar with computers, software, hardware, and the products the company makes.

Difficulty: (MEDIUM - HIGH) Because this job requires a good understanding of disassembling a computer, knowing what components to repair, and how to fix components when needed this job can have a high difficulty level.

Sales

Description: Selling a product or service to another person or company.

Requirements: Good communication skills and a general understanding of computers and the product that is being sold.

Recommendations: If you are selling computers, computer hardware, or computer software, become familiar with all aspects of the product. Sites like Computer Hope are a great resource to learn about computers. If you are selling a specialized product developed by the company, visit their web page and become as familiar with the product as possible.

Difficulty: (LOW) Sales for computer software, hardware, electronics, or related products is a good first job and can be a good way to learn more about computers.

Technical Support (Technician or Help Desk)

Description: Helping an end-user or company employee with their computers, software program, and hardware device. A technical support position is a great first step for people interested in working in the computer industry.

Requirements: A basic understanding of computers, computer's software, and hardware.

Recommendations: Become as familiar as possible with computers, computer software, and computer hardware.. Almost all technical support centers that help end-users with their computers, computer software, or computer hardware products have training that all employees go through before you start work, but will still often require that the user be familiar with computers.

Help desks for corporations do not usually have any training; these positions require that you have a good understanding of computers and troubleshooting computer problems.

Difficulty: (LOW - MEDIUM) The difficulty of this job is really depending on the training you get. However, someone who is familiar with computers or works with computers often has an easy time with these positions after a few days.

Technical Writing

Description: This position often involves creating or editing technical papers or manuals.

Requirements: This position often requires that the individual has a basic understanding about the subject being written about and have good writing skills.

Recommendations: Many of these positions require that you have a degree and often test a user before hiring them. In addition to having good writing skills, you should also be familiar with a major word processor.

Difficulty: (LOW - MEDIUM) For someone who has good writing skills and familiarity with the subject, this job can be an easy job.

Security expert

Description: Test and find vulnerabilities in a system, hardware device, or software program.

Requirements: This position is for someone who has a strong familiarity with how software, hardware, and networks work and how to exploit them. Often, you need to have a good understanding of how the overall system works as well as good programming skills.

Recommendations: Keep up-to-date with all security news, advisories, and other related news. The majority of security vulnerabilities are through software, and in order to understand these vulnerabilities or find new security vulnerabilities, you'll need to understand how to program and have a good understand of how software works and interacts with computers.

Difficulty: (MEDIUM - HIGH) The difficulty of this job depends on what you are testing or trying to find any vulnerabilities in.

Webmaster or Web Designer

Description: Create, maintain, or completely designs a web page.

Requirements: For basic web designing positions you should have a good understanding of HTML, the Internet, and web servers. More advanced positions may also require that you be familiar with such things as CGI, CSS, Flash, FTP, jQuery, Linux, Perl, PHP, RSS, SSI, Unix, or XHTML.

In addition to having a good understanding of the technologies and code used to create a web page, you are also often required to know the software programs they are created in.

Recommendations: One of the best learning experiences for people who are interested in this job is to create your own web page. Keep in mind that designing and posting a web page using WYSIWYG editor without some basic understanding of HTML may not be enough for most jobs.

Difficulty: (MEDIUM - HIGH) The complexity of this job is really dependent on how difficult of a project you are working on. Creating and posting a simple website with no interaction is not that hard. However, creating an interactive site with forms, databases, and overall more interaction with the user and the server can increase the difficulty of the job significantly.

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