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Become An Information Systems Specialist

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Working As An Information Systems Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $59,955

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Systems 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 An Information Systems 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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Information Systems Specialist jobs

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Information Systems Specialist Career Paths

Information Systems Specialist
Network Technician Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Analyst Systems Analyst Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Business Development Manager Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Systems Operator 3.8 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Computer Assistant 2.2 years
Server Technician 2.1 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.3%
Manager 3.7%
Programmer 3.3%
Internship 2.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.5%

Information Systems Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

67.4%

Female

30.6%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

78.4%

Hispanic or Latino

10.4%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

2.2%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

7.6%

Arabic

6.1%

Russian

4.5%

German

4.5%

Tamil

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

Chinese

3.0%

Telugu

1.5%

Turkish

1.5%

Dutch

1.5%

Hindi

1.5%

Somali

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Korean

1.5%

Khmer

1.5%

Ukrainian

1.5%

Dari

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%
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Information Systems Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.4%

Strayer University

9.1%

University of Maryland - University College

8.7%

Kaplan University

6.1%

Marshall University

5.7%

George Washington University

4.2%

Central Texas College

4.2%

Community College of the Air Force

3.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.4%

West Virginia University

3.0%

George Mason University

3.0%

University of Connecticut

3.0%

University of Houston

3.0%

Central Connecticut State University

3.0%

Colorado Technical University

3.0%

Capella University

3.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.0%

Troy University

2.7%

Middle Tennessee State University

2.7%

Pennsylvania State University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

19.5%

Computer Science

17.0%

Computer Information Systems

12.9%

Information Technology

11.1%

Management Information Systems

4.4%

Information Systems

4.3%

Computer Networking

4.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Geography

2.6%

Computer Systems Security

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Accounting

2.1%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Human Resources Management

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%

Education

1.8%

Computer Engineering

1.6%

Computer Programming

1.5%

Communication

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.3%

Masters

20.3%

Other

18.2%

Associate

13.6%

Certificate

4.9%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Information Systems Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Information Systems Specialist The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. Stanford, CA Feb 03, 2014 $175,000
Computer and Information Systems Specialist Sunstar Enterprises Co., Inc. Rosemead, CA Feb 16, 2016 $173,826
Geographic Information Systems Specialist Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2014 $150,000
Geographic Information Systems Specialist Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 21, 2014 $150,000
Geographic Information Systems Specialist Twitter, Inc. New York, NY Apr 01, 2013 $150,000
Information Systems Specialist The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Stanford, CA Jun 01, 2015 $145,000
Senior Health Information Systems Specialist JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. Arlington, VA Oct 31, 2011 $125,496
Computer and Information Systems Specialist Maxman, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Mar 13, 2015 $121,296
Computer and Information Systems Specialist Sunstar Enterprises Co., Inc. Rosemead, CA Mar 13, 2015 $121,000
Computer and Information Systems Specialist Maxman, Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 05, 2016 $120,453
Information System Specialist Mansour Fine Rugs Los Angeles, CA Feb 26, 2016 $114,837
Human Resources Information Systems Specialist Swire Pacific Holdings, Inc. Draper, UT Jun 13, 2016 $110,000
Information System Specialist Mansour Fine Rugs West Hollywood, CA Apr 08, 2015 $109,970
Lab Information Systems Specialist III Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. D/B/A Florida Orlando, FL Nov 04, 2016 $105,800
Information Systems Specialist International Paper Memphis, TN Jun 05, 2010 $71,262
Information Systems Specialist Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation Salt Lake City, UT Sep 22, 2008 $70,090
Information System Specialist Hagerty Consulting, Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2015 $70,000
Information System Specialist Hagerty Consulting, Inc. New York, NY Sep 12, 2015 $70,000
Financial Information Systems Specialist Latham & Watkins LLP Los Angeles, CA May 05, 2008 $70,000
Geographic Information Systems Specialist Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Bakersfield, CA Aug 25, 2014 $68,598
Geographic Information Systems Specialist Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Jul 19, 2015 $67,246
Geographic Information Systems Specialist Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Bakersfield, CA Jul 08, 2014 $67,038
Accounting Information System Specialist Cs of Sc, Inc. San Carlos, CA Aug 20, 2012 $55,370
Management Information Systems Specialist Vizio, Inc. Irvine, CA Jul 10, 2009 $55,000
Human Resources Information Systems Specialist Sequenom, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 01, 2010 $55,000
Information Systems Specialist U-Combination Technology (USA) Inc. Wayne, PA Dec 06, 2010 $54,683
Management Information Systems Specialist Flex Wires Inc. Pomona, CA Dec 08, 2016 $54,283
Information Systems Specialist Teamliquid Enterprises LLC Edison, NJ Sep 21, 2010 $54,262
Information Systems Specialist Teamliquid Enterprises LLC Edison, NJ Sep 01, 2010 $54,262
Management Information System Specialist Metroreal, Inc. Saratoga, CA Feb 18, 2013 $54,262

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Top Skills for An Information Systems Specialist

ComputerHardwareInformationSystemsCustomerServiceDataEntryPCDeskSupportActiveDirectoryRemoteTechnicalSupportWebTroubleshootWindowsNewTechnologiesSQLServerLan/WanSetupComputerSystemsInternetWindowsXPDisasterRecoveryUserAccounts

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Top Information Systems Specialist Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Information Systems
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Installed, repaired and maintained computer hardware and peripheral equipment.
  • Designed and implemented integrated hardware and software computer and information systems to meet organizational requirements.
  • Supported the General Manager in training and developing sales associates, creating marketing strategies, and customer service leadership.
  • Updated parcel database using coordinate geometry and data entry from surveyor records.
  • General PC technician responsibilities with additional project management tasks including new technology evaluation, implementation, integration and licensing/procurement.

Top Information Systems Specialist Employers

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