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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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Information Retrieval Specialist||VOBA Solutions, LLC||Revere, MA||Dec 07, 2011||$260,875|
|Information Retrieval Specialist||VOBA Solutions LLC||Revere, MA||Feb 02, 2013||$260,875|
|Information Retrieval Specialist||VOBA Solutions, LLC||Revere, MA||Feb 01, 2011||$260,875|
|Information Retrieval Specialist||VOBA Solutions LLC||Revere, MA||Feb 02, 2016||$260,875|
|Business Information Specialist||ZS Associates, Inc.||Princeton, NJ||Feb 27, 2011||$170,000|
|Business Information Specialist||ZS Associates, Inc.||Princeton, NJ||Jan 16, 2012||$127,000|
|Business Information Specialist||Teksystems, Inc.||Bloomington, IL||Dec 10, 2016||$111,968|
|Lead Study Information Specialist||Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||NJ||Sep 22, 2016||$107,359|
|Business Information Specialist Consultant||ZS Associates, Inc.||Boston, MA||Dec 13, 2011||$102,500|
|Data Analyst/Business Information Specialist||Apropos Solutions, Inc.||Columbia, MD||Oct 01, 2011||$102,000|
|Data Analyst/Business Information Specialist||Apropos Solutions, Inc.||San Mateo, CA||Oct 26, 2012||$102,000|
|Business Information Specialist||ZS Associates, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Sep 27, 2011||$83,000|
|Medical Information Specialist||Parexel International||Billerica, MA||Dec 02, 2013||$83,000|
|Systems Information Specialist||Cassel Health Services Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 28, 2011||$81,643|
|Building Information Specialist||We Work Management LLC||New York, NY||Jan 29, 2016||$80,000|
|Building Information Specialist||We Work Management LLC||New York, NY||Jan 18, 2016||$80,000|
|Marketing Information Specialist||Bank of America N.A.||Wilmington, DE||May 16, 2011||$79,206 -
|Poison Information Specialist||Children's Hospital Corporation||Boston, MA||Jan 07, 2016||$66,560|
|Computer Information Specialist||Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS||May 03, 2014||$66,310|
|Computer Information Specialist||Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS||May 03, 2014||$64,229|
|Service Information Specialist||Navistar, Inc.||Lisle, IL||Jul 01, 2014||$63,503 -
|Poison Information Specialist-Associate||University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio||San Antonio, TX||Jan 04, 2016||$63,000|
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