Computer Repair Training to me is a hobby not a career. Yes, some people make a living out of repairing computers but it's not a career. These people don't tend to climb a career ladder and move on to more challenging and rewarding aspects of IT.
Yes, you've probably seen the person at the computer repair shop in town, who fixes computers or seen the ads for computer repair people. But have you seen well paid computer repair jobs advertised on the job boards?
If you want to set up a business repairing computers then the relevant training in repairing computers would be suitable, but for those who want a career without the hassles of running a business then other options in IT should be considered.
Not only every man and his dog can repair computers these days, you've also got to deal with prisoners. As some prisons are providing computer repair training as part of their rehabilitation programmes.
One of the projects I worked on involved me having to visit a prison, as part of understanding how the project affected prisoners and prison guards.
Whilst initially a daunting prospect having to come face to face with murderers, rapists, robbers and violent attackers, I quickly got to grips with the situation at hand.
I was taken by the governor to a large facility where prisoners were taught how to repair computers and refurbish them. It was a gigantic facility processing thousands of computers per week and the prisoners were quickly brought up to speed on how to repair the computers.
The prison guards at the facility were very proud of the prisoners and encouraged them to excel. So in terms of giving these prisoners skills for the real world, this scheme was excellent.
Whilst many would disagree with the aims of such schemes, pointing to incarceration being more about taking liberties away and being locked up for long periods than being rewarded with free training at the expense of the state.
Many others would say, such schemes rehabilitate the offender, decreasing the chances of them re offending and ending back in prison. Statistics show many prisoners are career criminals who keep re offending, so by offering them alternatives to re offending, the chances of them returning to prison are reduced.
The prison I went to visit, had many prisoners were repeat offenders, who would have been destined to spend their lives in and out of prison at the expense of the tax payer.
Such prison schemes are being extended to many other prisons and coupled with criminal checks for jobs not showing spent convictions, many prisoners will easily find work repairing computers when they leave prison.
On my first visit to the prison, there weren't many prisoners around in the central areas as many were in classes not just for computer repair training but also for degrees, GCSE's and A-levels.
The prisoners who were repairing computers, were also primed for A+ certification, with some also doing MCSE certification.
The prison I visited on numerous occasions had nearly forty prisoners with or on their way to MCSE certification. Unlike the rest of us, they had plenty of time to learn, had professional tuition and could repeat exams over and over again until they passed. In fact it seemed such a relaxed way of learning, that it could actually increase the first time pass rates.
So what, these prisoners have learned computer repair skills, they won't get a job without work experience and who's going to employ someone with a criminal background anyway?
This seems like a good question, as lack of relevant IT work experience hinders those on the outside. However, many prisoners once they've served their sentences go onto additional rehabilitation programmes, some provided by the state and some by charities. These programmes allow the now ex-prisoners to build up their work experience, through work placements.
The previous criminal activity doesn't necessarily come up in criminal checks as spent convictions don't generally count. So if the prisoner has done the time for the crime, then the system may just ignore their previous history.
For some jobs requiring more detailed checks, spent convictions may be assessed for relevancy but these are generally confined to government jobs only.
As a business opportunity, computer repair training can provide the necessary skills to repairs computers for a living. As I've said, many people have set up shops and/or mobile repair businesses but as a career, the chances seem somewhat limited to earn well.