Online Computer Support Technician Training

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Create new career possibilities and prepare to work as a valuable member of a computer tech support team. With Penn Foster's Computer Support Technician Career Diploma, you can put your technical skills to work and receive training to work in your own business or for a company in the computer support profession. Designed with your career as a computer support specialist in mind, courses in this program cover everything from PC repair and troubleshooting to network protocols.

At Penn Foster, 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 two months!

Curriculum Details

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:

  • List the basic steps for unpacking, setting up, using, and troubleshooting a computer system
  • Identify the tools and test equipment associated with PC repair and explain their purpose
  • Examine the role of technology in business and society, including trends and their implications for the future
  • Describe the major components contained in a PC and explain the purpose of each
  • Discuss the three types of software required for a PC to operate and explain the purpose of each
  • Discuss the relationship between hardware and software
  • Identify the work-related characteristics that are important for a successful PC technician
  • Describe the methods available for you to remain current with new developments in technology
  • Create new Word documents, edit and format Word documents, add graphics and tables to Word documents
  • Create and use simple formulas and functions, incorporate useful charts and graphs, add, delete, sort, and lay out table using the Excel application
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation, work with PowerPoint tools, tables, and charts, apply Slide Master, shapes, add animation, illustration objects, and media clips
  • Create a home inventory database using MS Access application
  • Identify the various operating systems along with their characteristics, features, and capabilities
  • List and explain operating maintenance procedures used to keep a computer running at peak efficiency
  • List and explain hardware maintenance procedures used in the physical upkeep of the PC and its attached devices
  • Describe preventive measures and methods you can use to protect data and identify ways to recover lost or corrupted data
  • Identify and explain how to use tools available for troubleshooting and support of computers running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7/8
  • Discuss the basics of troubleshooting software, hardware, and the OS on a Macintosh computer
  • Discuss why customer service is important and identify behaviors that engage customers
  • Determine how to provide customers with value and meet/exceed expectations
  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Recognize numerous steps that can be used to troubleshoot basic problems that impact the function of a PC
  • Describe techniques that will assist you with PC maintenance in a business setting
  • Describe each step of the troubleshooting process, its importance, and how that step is practiced in the field
  • Explain the user’s role in the troubleshooting process and how to integrate this aspect into the technician’s work
  • Cite various strategies used in the troubleshooting process, such as “divide and conquer”
  • Describe components of the system board, the role of the system board, and ways to upgrade an existing system
  • Differentiate between RAM and ROM
  • Identify the type of memory a system board requires and describe how to properly install system RAM
  • Describe how to repair, replace, and install many of the most common types of drives that support removable media
  • Determine how to optimize a hard drive and troubleshoot common hard drive problems
  • Explain how to install various types of multimedia devices such as sound cards, video cards, CD, and DVD drives
  • Discuss how to measure and test the output of different power supplies
  • Recognize different power supply failures and describe how to replace a typical power supply
  • Describe basic maintenance and upgrades, power options, and Internet connection options for notebook computers
  • Describe basic maintenance and upgrades, power options, and network connection options for mobile devices
  • Determine how to install different types of modems, set them up for communication over the Internet, and troubleshoot problems modems have
  • Recognize how to configure PCs to enable a Remote Desktop connection
  • Describe communication systems used by computers to form networks
  • Explain the various types of networking protocols
  • Differentiate between network topologies
  • Describe the function of IP addressing schemes
  • Identify different networking implementation strategies and technologies available
  • Describe the features of Cisco’s IOS, and apply the concepts to all standard data communication networks
  • Describe the process of configuring routers and switches

Course 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
PCM101 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.

Course 2

PCM103 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.

Course 3

CSC112 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.®

Course 4

PCM107 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

Course 5

BUS105 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

Course 6

ENG010 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.

Course 7

PCM108 Troubleshooting


  • 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.

Course 8

PCM105 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

Course 9

PCM106 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

Course 10

INT128 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

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP 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.

Computer Technician Training Courses Online

Computer support technicians maintain network, hardware, and software systems, and they assist customers with diagnosing and fixing problems. Here are a few qualities that skilled computer support technicians have in common:

  • Analytical: You use logic and careful analysis to solve a problem.
  • Problem solving: Finding the missing piece can be challenging and rewarding.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Persistent: Obstacles are part of the job and not a reason to become frustrated.

Penn Foster is affordable and allows me to work my schedule so that I can devote time to my studies and still work to provide for my family. I am working on my Computer Support Technician diploma and will continue after that at Penn Foster for the degrees that follow. Thanks for all your help.

- Jeff R., Computer Support Technician student

Penn Foster is a great place to learn. The instructors are only a phone call away if you need any help. They are friendly and eager to assist. It is a truly great way to get an education. I even met a few new friends online who were taking the same program that I was. We were able to help each other when needed. I plan on taking another program from Penn Foster.

- Karen M., Penn Foster graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Computer Support Technician academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What is the difference between the Computer Support Technician Career Diploma program and the CIS Associate Degree program at Penn Foster?

The Computer Information Systems (CIS) Degree is more focused on programming and system analysis than the Computer Support Technician Career Diploma program, which focuses on troubleshooting and support. For more information go to the CIS Associate Degree program.

Can I transfer previously earned credits to the Penn Foster Computer Support Technician Career Diploma program?

Yes, you can receive advanced academic credit for some courses within the program, which means you can move through your curriculum faster and earn your certificate or diploma sooner. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

More FAQs >

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook," 2014-15 Edition, Computer Support Specialists, on the Internet here.

Find us on Google+