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Information Technology

Computers and Information Technology Career Training Frequently Asked Questions
How difficult is it to enter the Information Technology (IT) career field?
The IT industry is like most others, in that it offers a range of positions that vary in requirements, duties, and compensation. To get started, some advanced positions will require a college degree while other entry-level positions require industry-recognized certifications. Starting a career in the IT industry at entry-level is very easy. Many people entering the industry are surprised at how quickly they can train, earn certification, and secure employment. Because IT touches almost all career areas in some fashion, many people gain exposure to and become interested in IT while on-the-job in a different career field. Short-term training is all that is necessary to gain marketable skills that lead to a new career path or enhance career opportunities in an established career. Many students have started a career in only 80 hours of training by taking MTTC’s “A+ Computer Repair” course.

What skills do I need in order to consider an IT career?
If you have skills in fundamental reading, writing, and basic math, and you can:
  • Manage your time and resources well
  • Work and communicate well with others
  • Retain and interpret information
  • Enjoy using computers
  • Demonstrate some mechanical skill
  • Like the idea of continual learning
then you should seriously consider an IT career.

What exactly is "A+ Certification"?
A+ Certification is an internationally recognized validation of vendor-neutral technical skills and computer troubleshooting and repair capabilities. Awarded under auspices of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA™), A+ certification serves as the professional credential for practicing computer service technicians.

What level of experience should I have before registering for MTTC’s “A+ Computer Repair” course?
A candidate for this course should have experience using a computer and be familiar with the Windows Operating System. Anyone considering this course should also consider MTTC’s “Hands-On Introduction to Computer Repair” course, a 40-hour course designed to introduce students to PC architecture. In the “Hands-On Introduction to Computer Repair” course, students learn foundational skills that prove beneficial for advancement to the “A+ Computer Repair” course. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the MTTC Training Coordinator to schedule a facility tour, (502) 638-4433. During such a visit, prospective students tour classrooms, meet instructors, and often have the opportunity to speak with current students. Also during this visit, the MTTC Training Coordinator will discuss with each student, his or her educational goals and current skill set.

Do I need a strong background in electronics to get into computer repair or does the computer repair training include a depth of electronics theory?
Most students and successful computer support technicians have had no previous electronics training. While such prior training is a definite advantage, it is by no means necessary. Computer repair does not require component level knowledge of electronics or an extensive knowledge of electronic concepts.

What if I do not have any previous computer experience but I still want to start a new career in the IT industry?
As the saying goes, “One must learn to walk before being able to run.” You can get the necessary basic computer skills training, and take home your own computer, by attending MTTC's “PC Essentials” course. This $295 training course for novice PC users lasts 4 hours; a complete computer system is included with the cost of the tuition. The reconditioned PC is yours to keep and, in addition to free Internet and e-mail access, it includes the following:
  • Intel Pentium III or IV processor*
  • 256 - 512 MB RAM memory
  • 10 - 40 GB hard disk drive
  • 48x - 56x CD-ROM
  • Free Internet Access & E-mail
  • 1.44 MB floppy disk drive
  • 16-bit stereo sound card
  • Stereo speakers
  • 56K v.92 high-speed modem
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • 17" SVGA color monitor
  • Licensed Microsoft Windows Operating System

    *based on equipment availability
This course is part of our Basic Computer Skills Training program designed to take students "From First Use to Self Reliance".

Once experienced using a PC, if you decide that you have a genuine aptitude and fondness for computing, you should consider career-development technical training. MTTC’s 40-hour, low-cost ($350) “Hands-On Introduction to Computer Repair” course is the next step. This practical course is an excellent introduction to the “technical side” of computing and a foundational preparation for the “A+ Computer Repair” course.

Who usually attends an MTTC "A+ Computer Repair" course?
MTTC’s “A+ Computer Repair” course appeals to a wide variety of computer users with various motivations. Following is a general listing of our student profiles:
  • “Career Changers”, displaced workers, or young adults who want to begin an IT career by preparing for an industry-recognized, foundation-level credential - A+ Certification,
  • “Career Enhancers” who are already working in the IT field and would like to advance their knowledge, skills, and career opportunities by gaining more hardware experience and earning an industry-recognized certification,
  • "Career Starters” who have completed high school or received a GED and have never seriously pursued previous career training or a career path with a real future,
  • Anyone seeking a general foundation relating to computer hardware and operating systems before pursuing vendor-specific certifications, such as Microsoft, Cisco or Novell certifications,
  • Office personnel and small business owners who want to provide in-house technical support for the desktop computers in their work environment,
  • “Computer Enthusiasts” who want to learn how to troubleshoot, repair, and upgrade their personal computer systems or that of their family, friends, church, civic groups or social organizations.

Once I complete MTTC’s “A+ Computer Repair” course and become A+ Certified, what kind of jobs would I qualify for if entering the (IT) field for the first time?
Just a few job titles for entry-level A+ certified technicians might include the following:
  • Field Service Technician
  • Help Desk Technician
  • PC Support Specialist
  • Customer Support Representative
  • PC Maintenance Technician
  • Technical Support Representative/Specialist
Many MTTC students have found that the experience they gain at these entry-level positions lead to more advanced IT-related positions. Realistically speaking, anyone who is considering an IT career should expect a continuous cycle of training, gaining on-the-job experience, and earning related certifications. Students should not limit their job search to just computer/technical companies. Most companies, regardless of size or industry type, have a need for in-house computer support. In fact, 70% of all IT jobs are in non-IT firms. Health care and banking/financial industries are two of the biggest growth areas for IT jobs.

Do I have to be A+ Certified to get one of these jobs?
Not always, but in general, MTTC students have found that many employers desire A+ certification as a hiring condition or expect a new employee to earn the certification within the first three months of employment. MTTC students have found that being A+ certified definitely helps them in their job search by enhancing their credibility. Earning certifications indicates a professional level of interest and determination to grow and develop within the career field.

What range of salary should an entry-level, A+ certified technician expect to earn?
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA™) cites that “starting salaries for computer technicians range from approximately $18,000 to $31,000, and have the potential for rapid advancement.” In the Greater Louisville area, MTTC has found that an A+ certified technician entering the field for the first time can expect to earn wages in the $10 - $12 per hour range. However, rapid advancement is typical and continued training and additional certifications can accelerate this advancement. For people already working in the IT field, A+ certification enhances their careers and pay to varying degrees.

How many students are usually in an offering of the "A+ Computer Repair" course?
Class size is limited to twelve students in any offering of MTTC’s “A+ Computer Repair” course. Attendance is limited to ensure that each student receives personalized attention from the instructor and has many opportunities to participate in the hands-on exercises.

Am I automatically A+ Certified at the end of the "A+ Computer Repair" course?
No, certification is the result of an independent testing process administered by one of two testing services: Prometric Authorized Testing Centers™ or VUE Testing Services™. MTTC provides students a significant discount for the cost of exam vouchers that are used to pay for the certification test. MTTC also provides students with practice test materials. The practice tests reflect the most current CompTIA™ certification testing requirements.

Once I complete MTTC’s A+ Computer Repair course, will I be ready to take the A+ certification exam immediately?
The short answer is that it depends. The staff at MTTC is very committed to their students by providing an outstanding training experience. Students in the “A+ Computer Repair” course can expect a low student/teacher ratio, opportunities for hands-on participation, experienced instructors, and a curriculum that addresses all of the A+ certification test objectives. Once students have completed the course, their readiness to take the A+ certification exam becomes “person specific.” As with any training followed by an exam, exam readiness relates to more than class attendance. The MTTC staff suggests that A+ certification exam readiness is a function of the following factors:
  • A student’s fundamental skills (see 2nd FAQ)
  • A student’s readiness to enter the course, which in this case is based on their experience as a PC user (see 3rd FAQ)
  • Any related experience or knowledge a student may have prior to attending the course
  • A student’s natural curiosity, interest in the course topic, and motivation
  • A student’s attendance and level of class participation
  • Whether or not the student also attends MTTC’s “Hands-on Introduction to Computer Repair” course to gain 40 hours of practical, hardware orientation experience (highly recommended)
  • A student’s level of commitment and discipline to study outside of class for the exam and to take practice tests
It is also important to note that A+ certification is a foundation-level certification targeted for someone with an equivalence of six months on-the-job experience.

What if I take the certification test and I do not pass?
For up to 12 months following course completion, MTTC students may audit another offering of a previously attended course to enhance their knowledge before re-taking the exam. The latest version of the courseware is available in class if auditing is undertaken. MTTC offers auditing on a "seating available" basis; students must register in advance for any course they wish to audit. Students may re-take the certification exam when they feel they are better prepared and perhaps have more experience.

How do I know that the A+ certification training at MTTC is not obsolete or outdated?
MTTC uses CompTIA approved training materials. This courseware always meets the very latest CompTIA™ exam requirements. Additionally, MTTC replaces the classroom computer systems periodically with state–of–the-art equipment.

Does MTTC provide job placement services for their students?
MTTC students receive e-mail notification of employment opportunities after employers contact MTTC or after the MTTC Staff learn of specific opportunities. MTTC also provide students with links to various job banks, employment sites, recruiters, and employment agencies. It is the responsibility of each student to pursue these contacts. Upont request, MTTC will direct students to local resources for developing a resume', brushing up on interview skills, cover letter writing, etc.

Does MTTC provide financing?
MTTC does not provide direct financing. We accept all major credit cards. In addition, we may be able to help qualified students acquire special agency funding or grants that may be in effect through certain government or employer programs. MTTC also refers students to Beacon Federal Credit Union for short-term, signature loans.

What kind of course tuition discounts are available?
Course tuition discounts are available when a student registers for two or more IT Skills Development courses. A list of discount course packages is available on the MTTC website,, and upon request. MTTC also offers a $250 "Bring a Buddy" discount to any registrant who brings a "buddy" who also registers for IT Skill Development courses at that same time. MTTC offers a 10% discount off the cost of any Complete Course or Complete Course Discount Package when three or more people register as a group for the same course offerings. Graduate students earn $50 for every student they refer who registers and completes an IT Skills Development course.

When do evening classes meet?
Evening classes meet Monday through Friday, 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM. This allows travel time for students who work during the day. Given this schedule, any 20-hour course will last for one week, any 40- hour course will last for two weeks, and any 80-hour course will last for four weeks. See our training schedule for details on both day and evening course availability.

What kind of students should take MTTC's "Network+ Enhanced" course?
The Network+ Enhanced course consists of two learning modules: "Network Fundamentals" and "Network+ Preparation". The purpose of this course is to advance the knowledge and skills of IT professionals and technicians in the design, setup, and troubleshooting of modern Local & Wide Area Networks and advanced Internet communications. This course is especially designed to prepare students for the CompTIA sponsored Network+ exam and certification. Network+ certification is the logical/sequential certification to obtain after earning the A+ certification. Many students seeking Microsoft, Cisco or Novell certification start with A+ and Network+ certification as a firm foundation on which to build their credentials. Microsoft gives a specific nod to the significance of an A+ / Network+ foundation by recognizing them as an elective for the popular Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification exam.

What level of experience should a person have before registering for MTTC’s “Network+ Preparation” module?
Candidates for this module include anyone who has completed the "Network Fundamentals" module and has some experience with network design, support, or troubleshooting. This includes network administrators, A+ certified technicians, help desk personnel, web developers, technicians hoping to advance their careers, and computer professionals wanting to advance their knowledge of networking and the internet. It is important to note that CompTIA recommends that Network+ certification candidates have 18 months of on-the-job experience. However, many students have successfully become Network+ certified after completing A+ certification with less than 18 months of experience.

How far in advance should I register for a course at MTTC?
Because MTTC limits class sizes, serious, prospective students should register for a course as soon as they are able. Early registrations ensure that each student will be able to attend the course offering of their choice.
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