Get certified. Even if you earn a computer science-focused certification at the most basic level, some training is better than none at all. The credential is not required as experience trumps all (even age), Hasson says. But earning certification can still help.
Enhance troubleshooting prowess. Hasson says viruses aren't the only dangers that threaten computer system productivity. Internet connectivity hiccups and other factors play a role, too, and technicians should know the difference.
Cultivate customer-service skills. Some might not realize it, but personality is a major component in the information technology (IT) field. "Most people think of IT as people sitting in a corner," Hasson says. "Don't be afraid or so shy to use those customer-service skills. To explain to other people what's going on in layman's terms helps as well."
Embrace the challenge. Finally, breaking ground quickly can provide tech workers with a sense of satisfaction and excitement. This is certainly the case for Stephanie M. Cockerl, a computer programmer and Web developer for 15 years, and the founder and principal of Web consultation company nextSTEPH. "The exciting thing about what I do is how relatively quickly everything is built," she says. "I studied architecture in college. However, my work-study job was in a computer lab. It's relatively faster to build a website than a building. That explains it all."