What is this career about?
A career in a computer store is about two things. The first is retail oriented. Your job is to sell product and create satisfied customers so that they will be likely to return. This means directing them to the right equipment or software to fulfill their needs, and doing so in a pleasant, friendly way. The second role of a computer store employee is to be knowledgeable. Computer shop employees are expected to not only know how to solve computer issues, but teach others some of the simpler things that can be done to prevent problems from happening. A blending of these responsibilities makes for a great career in this field.
What growth is likely?
According to recent estimates, over 3.2 million jobs currently exist in the computer and technology industry. Not all of these are computer store positions, but a good many of them are. At the very least, this statistic underlies just how big this industry is. And with computers becoming more and more important parts of our lives on a daily basis, there is a huge demand for more positions. Industry experts agree that the need for technical jobs in this field far outweigh the current supply of those employed, and even those currently in school studying some sort of computer science. In other words, this industry is expected to be one of the fastest growing parts of the U.S. economy over the next 10 to 15 years. The quicker you begin a career path here, the faster you can get started in this fast moving, quickly expanding job field. Growth rate estimates for the number of jobs that will be created over the next few years range from 8 to 22 percent.
Computer shop employee pay can vary a lot, depending upon the store and the employee’s role within the store. For example, a cashier can start out expecting to make between minimum wage and $9 per hour, while a more technical role, like a software repairman, can make more than $20 an hour starting out. Roles in management will vary as well. The general manager of a large chain store may make between $55,000 and $65,000, while a boutique shop manager is pretty much capped at how much business he or she can bring into the store. Having a successful career in this field, then, is dependent upon the type of store you work in, and how much responsibility you are willing to take on.
If you stay in this field for an extended period of time, growth in pay is inevitable. Again, this career is in high demand, and experience counts for a lot in any industry, especially one like this where there is frequent change in the technology being sold. Staying up to date is a must if you want to succeed.
How to succeed?
Again, if you want to succeed in a career in a computer store, you need to be able to stay up to date with the current trends in the world of technology. Computers are always evolving, and the best employees are current with the industry. Furthermore, they are able to anticipate future trends, and help direct their customers in order to keep up with these changes. You need to have a good rapport with people, as this is not just a retail job, but also a service one.
You need to be willing to learn constantly in this career path. This is a must if you want to advance in this field. Almost anyone can work as a cashier in a large chain store, but if you are working in a tech or computer store, odds are you have a previously existing interest in computers and want to learn more about them. In order to move upward in this field, staying up with current trends is a must, and being a good salesperson with this knowledge is even better.
You don’t need a computer science degree to learn how to fix software issues, but this can be helpful. More importantly is the will and drive to learn these things. Your store may offer training, or you might need to do some work on your own to get to this point. Either is fine, especially in an industry that is so new like this one. Individual stores may have different requirements, though, so pay attention to what the company that you are applying to work for mandates.
Who should apply?
This is an industry for those that have an affinity for technology and a willingness to keep up with the latest trends. You don’t need a formal education to work in a computer store, although having a background in computer science or development is a big plus. Companies do prefer candidates aged 18 or older with a high school diploma or GED, but these rule vary from location to location. If you want a more technical job, such as working in the repair department, many companies do require at least a two-year college degree in a computer or technology related field.
Also, this is a job that revolves around retail and customer service. Your customers are coming to you with a need, and your job is to help them fulfill that need by recommending and selling them the appropriate solutions. This means that you should at least have a true love for helping others, even if you do not have the retail experience to show a successful past of doing so for your resume.