Computer Support Technician

Program Outline

Create new career possibilities and prepare to take the first step towards working as part of a computer tech support team. With Penn Foster Career School's Computer Support Technician Career Diploma, you can put your technical skills to work and receive training on how to work in your own business or for a company in the computer support profession. Courses in this program cover everything from PC repair and troubleshooting to network protocols.

At Penn Foster Career School, you can study from the comfort of your own home and create a study schedule that works for you. Plus, you can complete this online career diploma program in as little as seven months!

Entrance Requirements
A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later, Microsoft® Office 365, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

Here is an overview of what you’ll learn and the order in which you’ll receive your courses:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal
To prepare students for an entry-level position as a computer support technician.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate the ability to set up, maintain, or repair computer equipment and related devices.
  • Examine the role of technology in business and society, including trends and their implications for the future.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist users in installing software.
  • Develop and ask questions to customers to properly diagnose the computer problems.
  • Describe the methods available for you to remain current with new developments in technology.
  • Describe to new users how to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers and word-processing software.
  • Identify and explain common computer related problems (i.e. viruses) and troubleshooting techniques for such issues.
  • Identify the needs of customers when they describe their computer problems.
  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Identify maintenance needs to be addressed to ensure that networks operate correctly.
  • Determine the best way to guide customers through the recommended problem-solving steps.
  • Describe how to troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems.
  • Test and evaluate existing network systems.
  • Describe the features of Cisco’s IOS, and apply the concepts to all standard data communication networks.



Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

The Information Age
This course is a brief introduction to the constantly changing world of computer technology in the Information Age.


  • Describe the social and professional impact and importance of technology.
  • Recognize some basics of the language technology.
  • Identify career opportunities related to technology.

Introduction to PC Repair
This course provides the student with a broad view of PC Maintenance and Repair, focusing on the essential elements of hardware and software, as well as the importance of safety.


  • Describe the physical parts (hardware) and the programs that run the computer (software).
  • Understand how hardware and software work together.
  • Identify the essential knowledge and skills to be a successful computer support technician.

Microsoft® Office


  • Learn the main features of Microsoft® Word,™ Excel,® PowerPoint,® and Access.®
  • Create and edit documents using Word.™
  • Create and modify worksheets in Excel.®
  • Craft interesting presentations in PowerPoint® to capture the attention of your audience.
  • Manage your personal, educational, and professional data with Access.®

PC Operating Systems
Discover how operating systems communicate with each computer hardware device, display data on the monitor, and retrieve and store information on the disk drive.


  • Perform standard operating and maintenance procedures.
  • Learn about computer viruses and how to avoid them.
  • Examine how Windows® and Apple® operating systems work.
  • Configure Windows® 7 with simulation software.

Additional Course Material
Software: Lab Sim Configuring Windows® 7

Customer Service
In this lesson, you’ll learn what customer service encompasses and why it is essential to meet customer needs.


  • Read about the many different kinds of customers you’ll serve.
  • Discover what to expect on the job.

Additional Course Material
Textbook: Customer Service: Career Success through Customer Loyalty

Business English
In this course you’ll learn the skills you need to become more confident in your writing.


  • Know the parts of speech.
  • Use pronouns and modifiers properly and effectively.
  • Explain subject-verb agreement.
  • Use end marks, commas, and other common punctuation marks.
  • Use capitalization correctly.
  • Explain common spelling rules and use them in your writing.
  • Cite research sources.
  • Compose a variety of sentence structures.
  • Construct unified, coherent paragraphs.
  • Connect paragraphs to build a well-organized, logical document.
  • Identify your audience, medium, and purpose.
  • Focus and organize your ideas.
  • Plan both informal and formal writing projects.
  • Revise, edit, and proofread to make your final copy accurate and professional.
  • Write well-structured, professional letters.
  • Format business letters, memos, and e-mails.



  • Learn how to diagnose and then repair a PC that’s not functioning properly.
  • Discover how to solve computer problems and maintain a computer to avoid problems.
  • Understand how to use the diagnostic software included in the course.

PC Hardware 1
Learn the parts of the computer that are considered the hardware.


  • Identify and describe the system board, central processing unit, read-only and random access memory, disk drives, hard drive, and CD and DVD drives.

Prerequisite: Introduction to PC Repair

PC Hardware 2
This course provides the student with more sophisticated techniques in PC repair.


  • Support mobile computing devices such as laptops, netbooks, smart phones, tablets, and iPads.
  • Purchase and build PCs.
  • Troubleshoot, support, protect, and recover PCs.

Prerequisite: PC Hardware 1

Network Protocols and Internetworking
In this course, you’ll learn how computers communicate with each other and how to form networks.


  • Learn network fundamentals.
  • Discover how local area networks and wide area networks work.
  • Understand how to maintain, troubleshoot, and secure a network.
  • Become familiar with the devices used for connecting networks.

Additional Course Material
Textbook: Cisco Networking Essentials


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.