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Become A Data Specialist

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Working As A Data Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $71,558

    Average Salary

What Does A Data Specialist Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Duties

Computer network support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the routine maintenance of their organization’s networks such as performing file backups on the network. Maintenance can be performed daily, weekly, or monthly and is important to an organization’s disaster recovery efforts. Solving an IT problem promptly is important because organizations depend on their network systems. Network support specialists may assist the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks.

Computer user support specialists typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers, word-processing software, and email
  • Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have

Computer user support specialists, also called help-desk technicians, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. They can usually help users remotely, but they also may make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies or for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use business-specific programs such as an electronic health records program used in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Sometimes they work with other technicians to resolve problems.

Other help-desk technicians work in call centers, answering simpler questions from non-business customers. They may walk customers through basic steps in re-establishing an Internet connection or troubleshooting household IT products such as a Wi-Fi router.

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How To Become A Data Specialist

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.

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Data Specialist Career Paths

Data Specialist
Project Coordinator Project Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Patient Access Representative Information Specialist Information Manager
Director Of Information
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Engineer Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Analyst Systems Analyst Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Operations Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Sales Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Human Resources Coordinator Technical Recruiter
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Administrator Senior Software Engineer
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Specialist 3.7 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Data Manager 3.0 years
Data Administrator 2.9 years
Data Technician 2.7 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Data Analyst 2.2 years
Data Assistant 2.0 years
Data Specialist 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Data Specialist
Internship 7.8%
Cashier 4.9%
Teller 3.8%
Specialist 3.5%
Manager 2.6%
Secretary 2.5%
Consultant 2.4%
Volunteer 2.3%
Top Careers After Data Specialist
Data Analyst 11.0%
Internship 3.6%
Manager 3.3%
Consultant 3.3%
Cashier 3.3%
Specialist 3.3%
Analyst 3.3%

Do you work as a Data Specialist?

Data Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

57.8%

Male

39.4%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.7%

French

8.7%

Portuguese

4.2%

German

4.2%

Mandarin

3.8%

Japanese

3.8%

Chinese

3.2%

Vietnamese

2.9%

Hindi

2.6%

Russian

2.2%

Cantonese

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Italian

1.9%

Dutch

1.6%

Carrier

1.6%

Korean

1.3%

Tagalog

1.0%

Amharic

1.0%

Czech

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%
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Data Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.6%

University of Washington

10.7%

Strayer University

5.4%

Central Washington University

4.6%

Liberty University

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.2%

Capella University

4.0%

Kaplan University

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

American InterContinental University

3.8%

Bellevue College

3.6%

Art Institute of Seattle

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

Temple University

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

Western Washington University

3.0%

Walden University

3.0%

Drexel University

3.0%

Ashford University

3.0%

Northeastern University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

29.7%

Computer Science

7.2%

Accounting

6.2%

Health Care Administration

6.1%

Computer Information Systems

5.8%

Psychology

4.7%

Information Technology

4.1%

Communication

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Management

3.5%

Finance

3.5%

Marketing

2.9%

Geography

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.6%

General Studies

2.4%

English

2.4%

Education

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Political Science

2.1%

Information Systems

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

Other

22.1%

Masters

15.9%

Associate

12.3%

Certificate

4.8%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.2%
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Data Specialist Videos

Work from Home Medical Billing, Advice, and More!

A day in the life of IT security

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Real Data Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
China Data & Insight Specialist Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Short Hills, NJ Aug 28, 2015 $155,251
Data Analytics Specialist Airbnb, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 30, 2015 $150,000
Data Specialist Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $140,000
China Data & Insight Specialist (Senior Product Director) Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Short Hills, NJ Jan 05, 2016 $139,992
China Data & Insight Specialist (Senior Product Director) Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 05, 2016 $139,992
Data Analytics Specialist Airbnb, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 25, 2016 $135,000
Data Analytics Specialist Airbnb, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 23, 2016 $135,000
Data Analytics Specialist Airbnb, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 01, 2015 $135,000
Data Specialist Compugain LLC McLean, VA Nov 21, 2016 $134,000
Data Specialist-Database/Etl Developer Jefferies LLC Jersey City, NJ Nov 17, 2016 $132,000 -
$135,000
Tick Data Specialist AQR Capital Management, LLC Greenwich, CT May 11, 2015 $130,000 -
$150,000
Data Analytics Specialist Airbnb, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 08, 2016 $130,000
Medical Data Specialist Integrated Resources, Inc. Woodcliff Lake, NJ Apr 28, 2016 $125,220
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Raritan, NJ Jul 15, 2015 $80,895
Technical Data Specialist Otis Elevator Company Florence, SC Mar 29, 2016 $80,642 -
$85,000
Data Mining Specialist Interactive Brokers LLC Chicago, IL Sep 01, 2015 $80,000 -
$100,000
Data Analytics Specialist Willis of New York, Inc. New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $80,000
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Florham Park, NJ Feb 02, 2015 $79,737 -
$81,819
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Roseland, NJ Apr 03, 2016 $79,736 -
$86,807
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Agoura Hills, CA Sep 01, 2015 $79,576
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Aug 13, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jul 13, 2016 $70,304 -
$70,985
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Chesterbrook, PA Jun 07, 2016 $70,304
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jun 18, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jun 04, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jun 03, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544

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Top Skills for A Data Specialist

  1. Database
  2. Data Entry
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design a database to collect information from clinicians to make national programmatic decisions regarding prescribing practices.
  • Reconciled data entry of maintenance work requests and re-trained data entry personnel when repetitive errors were observed.
  • Attended nationwide jurisdictional seminars regarding policy, procedures, laws, regulations and reporting changes.
  • Solidified brand loyalty and customer confidence in a competitive market by ensuring excellent customer service to dissatisfied customers.
  • Managed and edited SQL programming for Case Management System ensuring accurate information was pulled and delivered to appropriate team members.

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Top 10 Best States for Data Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Delaware
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Alaska
  5. Colorado
  6. Connecticut
  7. California
  8. Ohio
  9. New Jersey
  10. New York
  • (689 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (173 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (858 jobs)
  • (436 jobs)
  • (3,987 jobs)
  • (1,336 jobs)
  • (1,154 jobs)
  • (1,933 jobs)

Top Data Specialist Employers

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