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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Software Specialist
Top Careers After Software Specialist
Hispanic or Latino10.1%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix21.1%
University of North Texas5.7%
Michigan State University5.7%
University of Southern California4.9%
University of South Florida4.1%
George Washington University4.1%
University of Maryland - University College4.1%
Ohio State University4.1%
Florida International University4.1%
Southern New Hampshire University4.1%
University of New Hampshire3.3%
Illinois Institute of Technology3.3%
Ferris State University3.3%
University of Cincinnati3.3%
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis3.3%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Geoscience HPC Software Specialist||Total E&P USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jun 29, 2016||$113,000|
|Settlement Software Specialist (Operations Engineering)||Two Sigma Solutions, LLC||Houston, TX||Aug 23, 2016||$113,000|
|Image Processing Software Specialist||Graphics Microsystems, Inc.||Rockwall, TX||Jun 24, 2015||$112,500|
|International Money Transmitter Software Specialist||Bancomer Transfer Services, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 11, 2015||$110,926|
|International Money Transmitter Software Specialist||Bancomer Transfer Services, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 02, 2016||$110,926|
|Software Specialist Lead||American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.||New York, NY||Jul 18, 2016||$105,000|
|Specialist-Digital Controls and Embedded Software||Eaton Corporation||Raleigh, NC||Jan 07, 2015||$102,627 -
|Specialist-Digital Controls and Embedded Software||Eaton Corporation||Raleigh, NC||Jan 12, 2015||$102,627 -
|Specialist-Instrument Qualification & Software Validation||Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Berkeley, CA||Jul 12, 2015||$100,000|
|Software Specialist||Majesco||Morristown, NJ||Mar 31, 2016||$100,000|
|Software Specialist||American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.||Saint Petersburg, FL||May 11, 2015||$100,000|
|Hybrid Telematics Software Specialist||Efficient Drivetrains, Inc.||Milpitas, CA||Jan 09, 2016||$98,342|
|Software Specialist Developer (Middleware)||Bob Evans Farms, LLC||New Albany, OH||Aug 28, 2015||$97,718|
|Functional Software Specialist||Trax USA Corp.||Miramar, FL||Jun 19, 2015||$96,325|
|Software Specialist||Digility Inc.||Bridgewater, NJ||Sep 17, 2016||$86,070|
|Specialist Software (Software Developer))||Synechron, Inc.||Nashville, TN||Sep 20, 2015||$85,516|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||McMinnville, OR||Jun 04, 2016||$85,000|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Springfield, NJ||Dec 09, 2016||$85,000|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Morristown, NJ||Sep 19, 2016||$83,173|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Baltimore, MD||Jan 18, 2016||$83,000|
|Software Specialist||Majesco||Maple Grove, MN||Feb 06, 2016||$82,866|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Morristown, NJ||Sep 14, 2016||$82,769|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Edison, NJ||Mar 02, 2015||$79,102|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Edison, NJ||Sep 02, 2015||$79,102|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 16, 2015||$78,828|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Morristown, NJ||Sep 07, 2015||$78,811|
|Software Specialist||Cover-All Systems, Inc.||Morristown, NJ||Sep 09, 2016||$78,811|
|Software Specialist||Majesco||Morristown, NJ||Oct 09, 2016||$78,811|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Morristown, NJ||Dec 10, 2015||$78,811|
|Software Specialist||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Morristown, NJ||Oct 09, 2016||$78,811|
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A Day in The Life - Applications Engineer