Where do you want to work?
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 Staff Specialist
Top Careers After Staff Specialist
Hispanic or Latino8.7%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix17.8%
George Washington University6.2%
University of Maryland - University College6.2%
Southern New Hampshire University6.2%
Colorado Technical University5.4%
Northern Virginia Community College5.4%
Michigan State University4.7%
Pennsylvania State University4.7%
American InterContinental University4.7%
State University of New York Buffalo3.9%
George Mason University3.9%
North Carolina Central University3.9%
University of Northern Iowa3.1%
West Virginia University3.1%
University of Iowa3.1%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Staff Specialist||J.P. Kenny, Inc.||Houston, TX||Nov 21, 2012||$153,421|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 03, 2015||$147,784|
|Staff Specialist (Topside & Fixed Platform)||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 14, 2014||$145,600|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 17, 2011||$141,000|
|Staff Specialist-Flow Assurance||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 06, 2015||$131,040|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jul 02, 2015||$130,990|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Mar 11, 2013||$130,988|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Dec 16, 2013||$130,000|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Nov 07, 2011||$127,000|
|Senior Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 24, 2011||$126,000|
|Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 06, 2013||$126,000|
|Software Systems Staff Specialist||University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston||Webster, TX||Feb 18, 2014||$103,000|
|Staff Specialist Healthcare||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||Jun 10, 2013||$101,000|
|Staff Specialist (Risers)||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 08, 2012||$100,157|
|Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 25, 2014||$100,000|
|Senior Staff Specialist (Risers)||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 01, 2012||$98,800|
|Staff Specialist (Floating Structures)||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Apr 09, 2015||$98,020|
|Staff Maximo Specialist||Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation||Bakersfield, CA||Jul 19, 2011||$89,600|
|Staff Specialist||Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company||Baltimore, MD||Jan 23, 2011||$88,795|
|Staff Specialist (Analysis)||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 19, 2011||$88,000|
|Staff Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Apr 08, 2013||$87,500|
|Applications Programming Staff Specialist||Vitera Healthcare Solutions||Tampa, FL||Oct 31, 2012||$86,216 -
|Database Analyst/Programmer Staff Specialist||Emdeon Business Services LLC||Nashville, TN||Oct 10, 2012||$85,696 -
|Applications Programming Staff Specialist||Emdeon Business Services LLC||Nashville, TN||May 15, 2012||$85,000 -
|Senior Staff Specialist||Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company||Amherst, NY||Mar 30, 2015||$84,635 -
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