Author: Steph

What Does It Take to be a Computer Technician?

You may be interested in becoming a computer technician. It’s a growing field, after all, and you probably use a computer regularly. Keeping computers running may just sound like the perfect job for you, with respectable pay and growth. Now just how can you get to be a computer technician? That’s the part you have to investigate.

The first thing to do is to look at what computer technicians do. The job title gives a general idea, but there’s always more to it. Here are just some of the job duties a computer technician can expect to perform:

Install hardware and software
Computer maintenance
Manage computer security systems
Handle computer problems
Set up and configure networks
Provide technical support

How Can You Qualify as a Computer Technician?

In general, the more comfortable you are with computers, the better off you’ll be. If you’re the person handling all the computer problems for your family, or even if you just handle all your own computer problems, you’ll probably take well to computer technician training. This isn’t a job for people who are completely intimidated by computers.

Knowing the basics won’t make you a computer technician, however. You need to get deeper into the computer and how it works, so that you can get in there and troubleshoot individual parts. You need to be comfortable with the computer’s BIOS, not just the interface you see everyday.

This is where training comes in. You can attend classes online or in person to learn how to become a computer technician. You want a course that will prepare you for the CompTIA A+ certification, which is valuable in finding work. Certification isn’t an absolute requirement, but many jobs require it, making it an advantage when you start looking for work.

Make sure that your school doesn’t just prepare you for the exam, of course. You really want that practical knowledge in general, not just stuff to help you pass the test. More important in the long run, after all, is that you can hold down a job in your chosen profession, not just that you got certified. That certificate is a step in the road, not your ultimate goal.

How’s the Job Market?

Like most other positions, the job market for computer technicians is pretty competitive, especially when you’re first starting out and don’t have years of experience in the job behind you. However, it’s a growing industry, so you should have a fair shot at landing a job. I can’t say guaranteed; that’s not something anyone can say, other than the person hiring you at that moment. But growing industries means companies are looking to hire people for that sort of work.

Get Your Education Started

If you’re ready to get your education started, check out Career Step. They offer computer technician training online. Their course should help you prepare for the CompTIA A+ certification test as well as for your career.

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Why Get a Medical Administrative Assistant Education?

There are many careers to pick from, and it’s hard to choose the right one. But if working in the medical field interests you, getting an education to be a medical administrative assistant may be of interest to you.

Like many medical careers, there are expected to be increasing jobs available to medical administrative assistants. That’s great when you’re worried about finding a job after you get your education. While that’s no guarantee that you’ll get the exact job you want after you graduate, entering a growing field helps to improve your chances.

Medical administrative assistant jobs are available in most communities. Doesn’t matter where you live, after all; people still need to go to the doctor, and the doctor needs support staff. That’s a help if you may have to move later on. You don’t have to worry that you’re in the wrong area for your particular career.

A medical administrative assistant manages much of the day to day office work for a doctor. You may deal with medical records, schedule appointments, verify patient insurance, and more. Your exact duties may vary by office.

The advantage to getting an education specific to this job comes when you start applying for jobs. You look far more prepared to start work than applicants who just want to get into the job, and that matters a lot to many employers. It doesn’t usually require a license, although a good education will help you prepare for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant test if you like. This can be a help in your job hunt.

The education isn’t too hard to get. You can even get training online through Career Step. Their program is very good quality, and they have a lot of support for students. The course takes about 200 hours, so the duration depends on how many hours a week you spend on it. They also offer tips for your job hunt after graduation.

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Information About Pharmacy Technician Training

Becoming a pharmacy technician may sound like a good way to get into the medical field, but you need to figure out how to get trained first. Do you hunt for jobs that will train you from scratch, or do you go through a training course and use that advantage to find work? These are things you have to consider.

A training course through a good pharmacy training school may be a very good idea. It can’t hurt to have an advantage over the completely untrained applicants. From there, you have to make sure you’re choosing a good course. Here are some factors to consider.

Online or Local?

There are a variety of online schools that offer pharmacy technician training, as well as local schools. There are advantages to each.

Online programs have the advantage of flexibility. You can usually work more or less at your own speed, all though there may be time limits. You don’t want to work too fast, or you might not really get the material down. You also don’t want to go so slowly that you forget the early stuff by the time you’re done.

Still, it’s great not having to worry about time off work or care for any children you may have. Online courses fit around your schedule for the most part.

Local courses are better if you aren’t so good at studying on your own. Some people really need the classroom interaction. If that’s you, skip the online course and see what’s offered in your area.

Program Length

Most pharmacy technician courses aren’t all that long, maybe a few months to a year. Length only matters in terms of how soon you’d like to work and whether or not the program is really complete enough for you to find work after graduation. You’re probably not getting enough information if the course says it only takes two weeks for most students to finish.


Education doesn’t come all that cheap, but it’s not all that expensive either. You’ll probably pay something in the $1000-2000 range, give or take a few hundred. If you get a career out of it, that’s not bad at all. Some programs will cost more, and there may be added costs for books and such.


You want your training course to be complete. A pharmacy technician should know medical terminology, pharmacology, relevant law, the business side of working in a pharmacy, and more.

It’s also helpful if you can get an externship to gain experience. Classroom or online work is great, but hands on does so much more and looks great on your resume.


Not all states require that pharmacy technicians be certified, but some do. It’s important that any training class you take prepare you for that. Even if your state doesn’t require it, certification is a nice addition to any resume.

Get free information from Career Step about how to train for a career as a pharmacy technician.

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5 Myths About Online Education

Online education may sound really good to you, but you’re probably concerned about it too. Is it really worthwhile? Let’s take a look at some of the myths you may be concerned about.

1. Online schools are scams.

Scams abound on the internet. There are scams in education, yes, but there are also scams when you try to shop and many other places online.

That doesn’t mean all online schools are scams. There are some excellent schools online, and even some free courses offered by major colleges such as MIT.

You should absolutely check out any school you’re considering for online courses, especially if you’re trying to learn a new job skill. Make sure the school is well regarded by potential employers. Don’t stress too much about accreditation unless you really know how to spot the right sort of accreditation for the kind of program you’re interested in.

A potential sign of a scam is when the school offers a “life experience” degree. Life experience is vital, absolutely, but a school shouldn’t offer a degree based on it. Earning a degree requires work through the school offering the degree. Your life experience should simply help you in relevant courses, not substitute for them.

2. There’s no personal interaction at online schools.

This one depends on how you define personal interaction. Certainly you aren’t going to be physically together with your instructor or classmates, but many online programs offer interaction through chats and webcams. It’s not the same as being in person, absolutely, but it’s still a chance to hear your instructor, ask questions directly and hear the questions your classmates have.

3. Employers don’t like online schools.

What your potential future employers think of your online school matters quite a bit. If they regard all graduates of that program as poorly trained, you aren’t going to have a good shot at a job. A poor quality education can effectively shut you out of a job, even if you worked hard and really did learn the necessary skills.

But employers don’t dislike all online schools. They do become aware of quality, and as more good quality schools go online, there’s more acceptance. Pay attention to the quality of the schools you consider, and particularly the quality of the exact program you want to go through, and you should be fine.

4. Online programs are easier.

There are some parts of attending an online school that are easier than attending school in person. You have more flexibility in many programs, for example, and so you don’t have to worry about your work schedule. That’s also what many find harder, as being self motivated is a lot of work.

The coursework of a good quality program won’t be easier either. If the school is emphasizing how easy their classes are, that’s not a good sign. Any good online school will have coursework that is about as hard as what you’d get if you attended classes in person.

5. Online schools are expensive.

Possibly. Some online schools are expensive. Others aren’t, especially when you consider what you won’t have to do.

No parking fees. No daycare if you have kids. Probably no stress about working your school schedule around your work schedule. Often no defined semesters – many online schools allow you to work at your own pace. If you want to finish faster, you can. Some online programs even include the cost of books in your tuition rather than requiring that you buy them separately.

Online certificate program costs vary, but assume about $2000. That’s a nice chunk of money, but less than the average one year cost of a two year college at $2963, according to In that light, the expense is not that bad.

Take a look at the certificate programs Career Step offers and see if one is for you.

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Can You Get Good Pharmacy Technician Training Online?

Online education is appealing to people to people who can’t fit attending school in person into their schedule or who would just rather study at home for one reason or another. But can that really work if you want to learn to be a pharmacy technician? Is it possible to get good training for such a hands on job online?

It’s possible, although there are disadvantages. You have to decide how much you need hands on practice before you sign up for any training online.

Much of the training a pharmacy technician needs can be done online. You don’t absolutely have to have any training at all in order to become a pharmacy technician in many states, but it’s always an advantage when looking for a job. This means that even if you haven’t handled a lot of prescriptions, the knowledge you gained while studying online is a major advantage.

Another advantage of an online program is that it may be recognized by potential employers nationally. Local programs will usually just be known in their area, but an online program has more of a chance to have graduates work for employers all over the place, and this builds their reputation with potential employers if the program is any good.

One concern with any online training program is whether or not you’ll have any interaction with your instructor. It’s important that you have someone you can talk to from the school when you have problems. May sure any online school you choose offers that much to you at least.

The ability to go on your own time is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It’s wonderful that you don’t have to wait for a new semester to start with most online programs. It’s wonderful that you can decide when you can study. That’s also the problem.

Not everyone is motivated enough as a student to do well in a self paced program, as most online pharmacy technician training is. It takes drive. On the plus side, if you’ve got that drive, that’s something potential employers will like to see. No employer likes having employees who can’t get themselves going. If you aren’t self motivated, you will probably be better of getting trained elsewhere. But if you have that drive, you may love the flexibility.

Get free information from Career Step about how to train for a career as a pharmacy technician.

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Is Online Schooling Really Worth It?

Online schooling is still a pretty new thing, although distance learning has been around a long time in the form of correspondence courses. It sounds nice, being able to learn at home, on your own time, but there’s always that question lurking. Is online schooling actually worth it or is it a waste of time and money?

That depends on three factors. You, the teachers, and the school.

Problems with Online Schools

The problem with online schools is that not all of them do a very good job of teaching whatever it is they claim to teach. They send a bit of information your way, expect you to learn it, but it’s maybe not enough for whatever reason. Not enough for you to work in whatever field you wanted to get the education for, perhaps.

The reason for this, in part, is that it’s so easy to set up an online school. Set up a website, call it a school, provide some learning material, and start charging for it. It can look good on the surface without really benefiting students all that much.

Some have dismal rates of completion. Just imagine paying thousands of dollars toward your education and then not finishing it. It’s not that uncommon for some online schools. Not that uncommon for regular colleges either, of course.

The Students

If you decide to be a student at an online school, you have to motivate yourself much more so than you would at a school you have to attend physically. Many are self paced, and so you decide when you study. It’s rather like having nothing but homework, although there may be scheduled chats or lectures you can choose to attend.

That’s a problem if you don’t do well with setting your own deadlines and due dates. It’s all too easy to procrastinate.

Some students don’t take online schooling seriously. They figure it’s somehow going to be easier than a school they have to attend physically. This isn’t necessarily true, and it’s a poor thought to have for any education you want to get. Online schools can be just as challenging and sometimes even more challenging than the options you have locally for the particular type of education. Take a look and compare what the particular schools you’re considering expect of you as a student in order to graduate.

The Teachers

Any good online schooling will give you access to a teacher if you need it. This may be through email, chat or online forums, possibly even by phone. You want teachers who are highly knowledgeable about whatever they’re teaching. If you’re learning a job skill, for example, you want teachers involved who have actually worked in that job.

Online schools may or may not supply that kind of teacher. Check with them to see if they have what you’re after.

Take a look at the certificate programs Career Step offers and see if one is for you.

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How to Choose Medical Billing and Coding Classes

Many people look to jobs in the medical industry when they want to find work. With an aging population, it’s one of those areas that has good promise of growth. Medical billing and coding is one of the popular choices when you look at this type of work but don’t necessarily want to deal directly with patients all day.

The challenge to becoming a medical biller or coder is to get good training so that you can find a job. There’s no point in training that doesn’t really prepare you to work, after all. How do you choose classes that will train you well for this kind of work?

Types of Classes to Consider

You have a few types of classes you can consider for your training. The usual routine is to check out local vocational schools or community colleges to see what kind of programs they offer for medical billing. It’s not a bad way to go for many people, as having to physically be in class is a sort of motivation.

However, it does have its disadvantages. You have to find a program that works with your schedule, whatever that may be. This is not always easy, as not every job has a regular schedule or can guarantee your hours won’t change while you train to do something else. You have to get to your classes on time, and if you have kids, you have to have someone available to watch them. Attending classes in person doesn’t fit into every lifestyle.

Online classes are often much more flexible. Most are self paced, which means that you can attend classes when you have the time, and progress as fast as you choose. You don’t have to wait for slower classmates to catch up or feel as though you’ve learned all the material before the semester is over. On the flip side, you can take extra time when you’re struggling with a concept, and be more certain that you’re ready for tests when you take them.

The disadvantage is that this takes much more self motivation, which not everyone has. If you need that extra push of having to go to school physically, online learning may not be for you.

What Makes a Good Online Medical Billing and Coding Class?

A good class will of course prepare you to work in medical billing and coding. They won’t certify you, although you may receive a certificate of completion. The two are entirely different, although the school may leave you prepared to take the certification test for medical billing through AAPC or AHIMA. There is no requirement to become certified, but it may be an advantage in your job search.

A course should give you the practical knowledge you need, such as medical terminology, healthcare structure, medical record types, codes and so forth. Some of these things change regularly, and you need the course to be up to date.

You also want the course to give you realistic practice. Studying from a book is great, but you don’t really know it until you do it. A good class will give you practice on real patient records so that you can learn to apply what you’ve learned.

A good course doesn’t have to take too many months, although it shouldn’t promise you that you’ll be done too quickly either. The school should be able to tell you how long it takes the average student to complete the course, as well as how long they’ll allow you to work on it, in case you can’t complete it more quickly.

A good class will also prepare you to become certified, even though it isn’t required for work. Certification may be requested by some employers, and may be an advantage in negotiating your salary.

Be very careful in choosing your courses. Not every school will train you well enough for this career. Look carefully at what’s offered to make sure you have the best chance of working in medical billing and coding.

Get free information from Career Step about how to train for a career as a medical coder or biller.

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