Computer Operator Career Information
What a Computer Operator does
Computer operators are no wonder, the functional life buoys of the whole computer-processing unit. Akin to the role of a life buoy, these genius elves save any PC from crashing. With the help of their expert operative skills, they are literally the life-saviours of the varied computer programmes – resolving the breakdown of any computer part, removing faulty running or error messages, ensuring non-attack by viruses and if so, then devising ways of eradicating them. Thus, possessing an extensive knowledge about the assorted activities of the computer, these professionals are truly the software guardians.
Computer operators oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, ensuring that these machines are used as efficiently as possible. Computer operators may work with mainframes, minicomputers, or networks of personal computers.
Computer operators must anticipate problems and take preventive action, as well as solve problems that occur during operations. The duties of computer operators vary with the size of the installation, the type of equipment used, and the policies of the employer.
Generally, Computer operators control the console of either a mainframe digital computer or a group of minicomputers. Working from operating instructions prepared by programmers, users, or operations managers, computer operators set controls on the computer and on peripheral devices required to run a particular job.
Computer operators load equipment with tapes, disks, and paper, as needed. While the computer is running—which may be 24 hours a day for large computers—computer operators monitor the control console and respond to operating and computer messages. Messages indicate the individual specifications of each job being run.
If an error message occurs, operators must locate and solve the problem or terminate the program. Operators also maintain logbooks or operating records, listing each job that is run and events, such as machine malfunctions, that occur during their shift. In addition, computer operators may help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs. A computer programmer prepares a computer program for obtaining the required data output.
Computer Operators also process the operations of computer hardware systems, including minicomputers, networks of personal computers (PCs) and mainframes, ensuring efficient use. Others may be retrained to perform different job duties, such as supervising an operations center, maintaining automation packages, or analyzing computer operations to recommend ways to increase productivity. Checking system performances and recording of problems are also inclusive within their varied fundamental duties.
Tasks and Duties of a Computer Operator:
• Loading and downloading programs
• Mounting tapes
• Rerouting messages
• Running periodic reports
• Monitoring batch processes
Areas of Speciallisation of a Computer Operator:
In the future, operators who wish to work in the computer field will need to speciallise in:
• Automation software
• Graphics interface
• Client/server environments
• Open system
• Office automation
Most jobs are found in organizations such as wholesale trade establishments, manufacturing companies, business services firms, financial institutions, and government agencies that have data processing needs requiring large computer installations. Service firms in the computer and data-processing services industry employ a large number of computer operators.
Some may be promoted to high levels of technical responsibility, including promotion to supervisor. As the trend toward networking computers accelerates, a growing number of computer operators are working on personal computers (PCs) and minicomputers. As technology advances, the computer operators are shifting their areas of focus and procuring jobs in Network operations, User support and Database maintenance
Those who go into government work can become computer security consultants, encryption specialists, or federal agents specializing in computer science. A few who enter the business world become Management Information Systems Specialists (MISSs), who analyze, improve and maintain corporate information systems for (usually) large, multinational corporations.
Computer operators usually receive on-the-job training in order to become acquainted with their employer's equipment and routines. The length of training varies with the job and the experience of the worker. However, previous work experience is the key to obtaining an operator job in many large establishments.
The computer operators may advance to most management positions within data processing or computer-operations centers. Through on-the-job experience and additional formal education, they may also find jobs in areas such as network administration or technical support.
As they gain experience in programming, some of them take up jobs as programmers or analysts. A number of them also take on additional duties to become systems architects, software producers, or technical writers. Others take their computer operations expertise to a related profession, such as graphic designer or animator.
Abilities & Traits Required
Computer Operators must possess the following attributes:
• Adaptable and willing to learn
• Technical expertise needed particularly, for work in automated data center
• Deal with unique or high-level problems, that a computer is not programmed to handle
• Able to communicate well
• Work effectively with programmers, users, and other operators
• And finally, they must also be able to work independently since they may have little or no direct supervision
To follow directions, meet deadlines and have effective written and oral communication skills, are some of the other qualities that should be possessed by them in fair degrees. Employers generally look for specific, hands-on experience with the type of equipment and related operating systems they use.
Formal computer-related training, perhaps through a community college or technical school, is recommended.
A bachelor's degree in a computer-related field can be helpful when one is seeking employment as a computer operator.
Median annual earnings of computer operators usually range from Rs 200000- 250000. The average monthly income of the computer operators varies between Rs 16000- 20000.
The lowest income group earns within the limits of Rs 15000. Salaries generally are higher in large organizations than in small ones.
The average monthly salary for computer operators employed by the Federal Government generally falls within the variation of Rs 20000-25000.
And the average starting salaries for computer operators commences at Rs 10000- 15000 (in monthly figures).