My friend Dagmar works as a Computer Technician at a college in Michigan. I know a lot of kids are interested in the computer field, so check out what she is doing! She also has a background in finance, which it sounds like she loves!!
Q: What is the title of your profession?
A: My title is Computer Technician.
Q: What do you do?
A: I oversee the Business Learning Lab at Monroe County Community College at the Whitman Center location. I am responsible for all the computers, printers, audio visual equipment in the building. I wear many hats in my job. While in the lab not only am I responsible for all the computers and printer, I also serve as a tutor. I help students not only with their computer classes but they also ask me for help with their English classes, Math classes and any other classes that they need help with. Many times students need help using the software such as formatting their paper in MLA. “How do I insert page numbers?” “How do I make a header?” and so on. I also assist students in doing research online and help them access our databases to find information. Many times I help students with how to just use the computer. We have many adult students that have come back to school after losing their job in a factory and have never used a computer. Those students need a lot of help just learning how to use the computer and software. I’ve helped them fill out electronic applications, write cover letters and resumes.
I also make computer repairs in the building. Whenever a computer or piece of equipment is not working, I am the person responsible for repairs. I also assist the instructors in any of their technological needs. Many times an instructor is in class and wants to show an audio visual piece but the volume isn’t working or they are having computer problems. I go into the classroom and must troubleshoot the problem quickly so the instructor may go on with class. I also help students with their school e-mail accounts, webpal accounts and blackboard accounts.
Q: Have you always worked in this field?
A: No, I worked in Hospital Finance before. I switched careers because I wanted to work part time while I raised my family. Since my finance job was very demanding and I was not able to work part time at the hospital, I found a job at my kid’s elementary school in the computer lab. The hours were the same as my kid’s school schedule. I worked there until I had my third child. I then stayed home with her for 5 ½ years and I just fell into the job at MCCC.
Q: Why did you choose this career?
A: I chose this profession because of the prior experience I had with computers and software while working at the elementary school.
Q: How would you define your profession?
A: I define this profession as technical but also very people oriented.
Q: Did you go to school for this profession?
A: I actually went to school for another profession. I went to school for 6 years at the University of Toledo. I have a bachelor’s degree in Finance and an MBA with a specialty in Hospital Administration.
Q: Do you use your degree in your job?
A: I don’t use my degree directly in my job. However, if I was not college educated I would not be able to help students with their classes such as English, Math, Economics, Accounting and so on.
Q: Can your degree be used in other professions?
A: My degree can be used to get me back into the financial world, most specifically healthcare finance.
Q: Is there any continuing education required?
A: It is not required, but my job requires that I stay abreast of new software and operating systems.
Q: Do you need any certifications?
A: No certification is required to do my job.
Q: What is a day in the life of your job?
A: My job can change from day to day depending on what types of students I have visit the lab. It also depends on what technical problems arise. Some days it is smooth sailing and other days all the professors are having technical difficulties and need assistance.
Q: What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
A: In order to be successful in this job, you need to be very people oriented as well as having technical skills.
Q: Is there any travel required?
A: Travel is very limited in my position. There is limited travel between the main campus in Monroe and the Whitman Center, where I am at.
Q: What is the typical schedule?
A: I work 2 semesters (16 weeks) full time from 7:45 to 4:15 Monday through Thursday. Spring Semester (6 weeks) I work part time (25 hours) and I am off for the summer.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your career?
A: The most rewarding part of my job is making a difference in a student’s life. We have many students who have returned to college after years of working and have never used a computer. Working with these students and building their confidence and helping them achieve their goal is the best.
Q: Is there anything you do not like about your career?
A: I don’t dislike anything about this job however, it is not what I want to do long term. I would like to return for finance once my youngest is a little older.
Q: What advice would you give to a student that is considering this job as a career?
A: If a student is considering this profession, I would advise them to get a degree in computers.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you?
A: I really didn’t choose this profession I just happen to fall into it. I probably wouldn’t have picked this because I really enjoyed what I did in my previous profession and I would like to return to that.
Q: Are you having fun?
A: Yes, this is a fun job because I get to meet so many interesting people.
Q: Do you receive a pension or 401K?
A: We are part of the state retirement system.