Where do you want to work?
Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.Education
Education requirements for computer support specialists vary. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge, but not necessarily a postsecondary degree. Applicants who have taken some computer-related classes are often qualified. For computer network support specialists, many employers accept applicants with an associate’s degree, although some prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.
Large software companies that provide support to business users who buy their products or services often require a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer science, engineering, or information science, but for others, the applicant’s field of study is less important.
To keep up with changes in technology, many computer support specialists continue their education throughout their careers.Certification
Certification programs are generally offered by vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists. Companies may require their computer support specialists to hold certifications in the products the companies use.Advancement
Many computer support specialists advance to other information technology positions, such as network and computer systems administrators and software developers. Some become managers in the computer support services department. Some organizations provide paths for support specialists to move into other parts of the organization, such as sales. For more information, see the profiles on network and computer systems administrators and software developers.Important Qualities
Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic. They must often help people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they are trying to use.
Listening skills. Support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation.
Problem-solving skills. Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them.
Speaking skills. Support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand.
Writing skills. Strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as real-time web chat interactions.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Computer Technician
Top Careers After Computer Technician
Hispanic or Latino12.9%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix26.0%
University of Maryland - University College5.7%
Northern Virginia Community College4.9%
Western Governors University4.7%
American InterContinental University4.5%
University of Houston4.0%
Colorado Technical University3.6%
More Tech Institute3.3%
Community College of the Air Force3.2%
Southern New Hampshire University3.2%
Houston Community College2.9%
George Mason University2.7%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro2.7%
University of Central Florida2.6%
Pennsylvania State University2.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Execution Desktop IT||Citadel LLC||Chicago, IL||Sep 30, 2012||$190,000|
|Compute DEV Tech Engineer||Nvidia Corporation||Bedford, MA||Oct 31, 2011||$125,000|
|Computer DEV Tech Engineer||Nvidia Corporation||Santa Clara, CA||Sep 01, 2015||$114,802 -
|Project PC (Project Controls) Specialist||Arcadis U.S., Inc.||Irvine, CA||Oct 01, 2013||$105,019|
|Desktop Technologies Engineer||Deluxe Corporation||Shoreview, MN||Jul 05, 2010||$100,000|
|Manager, Anti-Money Laundering Comp.-Technology||American Express Travel Related Services Company||Phoenix, AZ||Jul 28, 2014||$100,000|
|Computer Hardware Engrs||Microsoft Corporation||Mountain View, CA||Mar 15, 2011||$93,892|
|Business Consultant/Computer Technology & Data Man||Consultant Solutions, Inc.||Erlanger, KY||Aug 01, 2014||$79,306|
|Research Scientist II, Computational Technologies||Genomatica, Inc.||San Diego, CA||Sep 10, 2011||$79,248 -
|Manager In Computer Technology Accounting||Peace ECO Green Research & Educational Institute C||Miami Beach, FL||Jan 15, 2010||$75,654 -
|Application Deployment Technical Marketing Special||The Mathworks, Inc.||Natick, MA||Mar 18, 2013||$75,000|
|Comp. Tech. Support Consutl 4-Senior ETL Dev.(Ucp 10)||University of Connecticut||Storrs, CT||Jan 23, 2015||$69,262 -
|Computer Technical Specialitst||Brillio, LLC||Tampa, FL||Sep 02, 2015||$63,086|
|Research Computing Technologist||Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, OH||Mar 19, 2016||$60,273|
|Computer Hardware Engiener||Reliable Software Resources Inc.||Farmington Hills, MI||Mar 24, 2009||$60,100|
|Computer Technician||Universal Processing LLC||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2013||$59,751|
|Computer Technician||Universal Processing LLC||New York, NY||Sep 28, 2013||$58,728|
|End User Services/Client Computing Technician||Bridgestone Americas, Inc.||Normal, IL||Aug 23, 2010||$58,200|
|Computer Technician||Bat Blue Corporation||Clifton, NJ||Jan 22, 2010||$56,307|
|Business Consultant/Computer Technology & Data Man||Consultant Solutions, Inc.||Erlanger, KY||Aug 18, 2014||$56,245 -
|Computer Information Technologist II||Central Technology Services, Inc.||Jefferson City, MO||May 02, 2016||$55,557 -
|Computer Technician||University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT||Feb 01, 2015||$43,848|
|Computer Technician||Ingenics Corp||Greenville, SC||May 23, 2016||$43,410|
|Computer Technician||Hill Line, Inc.||Oklahoma City, OK||Jul 24, 2015||$41,662|
|Computer Technician||Hill Line, Inc.||Oklahoma City, OK||Oct 16, 2015||$41,662|
|Solution Deployment Tech||Turnberry Solutions Inc.||Malvern, PA||Oct 01, 2012||$41,600|
|Computer Technician||Sooner Technology LLC||Weatherford, OK||Apr 01, 2015||$40,000|
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