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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
  • $83,371

    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 jobs

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Data Specialist Career Paths

Data Specialist
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Operations Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Network Administrator Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Analyst Systems Analyst Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Data Manager Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Operations Specialist Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Data Manager 3.0 years
Data Operator 2.9 years
Data Administrator 2.9 years
Data Technician 2.7 years
Project Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Data Analyst 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Data Specialist 2.0 years
Data Assistant 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.3%
Cashier 4.5%
Specialist 3.1%
Manager 2.7%
Secretary 2.6%
Consultant 2.2%
Top Employers After
Data Analyst 10.9%
Internship 3.3%
Manager 3.2%
Analyst 3.1%
Specialist 3.0%
Consultant 3.0%
Cashier 2.7%

Data Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

58.6%

Male

38.6%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

77.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.8%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

9.2%

Portuguese

4.3%

German

4.3%

Mandarin

3.7%

Chinese

3.7%

Japanese

3.7%

Vietnamese

2.8%

Hindi

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Russian

2.1%

Arabic

1.8%

Dutch

1.5%

Korean

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Tagalog

0.9%

Czech

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Gujarati

0.6%
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Data Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.1%

University of Washington

10.4%

Strayer University

5.2%

Liberty University

4.8%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.8%

Central Washington University

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.4%

American InterContinental University

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Art Institute of Seattle

3.5%

George Mason University

3.5%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

Capella University

3.5%

University of South Florida

3.3%

Temple University

3.1%

Bellevue College

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.9%

Colorado State University

2.9%

Walden University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

29.8%

Computer Science

6.8%

Health Care Administration

6.6%

Accounting

6.3%

Computer Information Systems

6.1%

Psychology

4.7%

Information Technology

3.9%

Management

3.8%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

Communication

3.4%

Finance

3.2%

Marketing

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

General Studies

2.5%

Geography

2.5%

Education

2.4%

English

2.3%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Political Science

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.1%

Other

22.3%

Masters

16.0%

Associate

12.7%

Certificate

4.9%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Jul 15, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jul 13, 2016 $70,304 -
$70,985
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Aug 27, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Aug 26, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Aug 18, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544
Data Specialist IBM India Private Limited Chesterbrook, PA Jun 07, 2016 $70,304
Data Specialist AB Initio IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Aug 13, 2015 $70,304 -
$76,544

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Top Skills for A Data Specialist

AccessDatabaseDataEntryProceduresCustomerServiceSQLServerFinancialInternetWebDataAnalysisDataManagementAuditERPDataIntegrityTechnicalSupportPhoneCallsTroubleshootDataCollectionSetupSpecialProjectsDataQuality

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Top Data Specialist Skills

  1. Access Database
  2. Data Entry
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Enter Schedule A data into an Access database maintained by the company.
  • Contract Duties: Data entry.
  • Developed test cases, test procedures and unit test strategy.
  • Work closely with the COR (retail stores) and customer service to facilitate good customer relations and increase sales.
  • Developed and programmed user interfaces to meet client needs using Visual Basic, Excel, Access and SQL Server.

Top Data Specialist Employers

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