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 Support Associate
Top Careers After Support Associate
Hispanic or Latino11.5%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix19.2%
Michigan State University8.4%
Southern New Hampshire University6.8%
The Community College of Baltimore County4.5%
University of Kentucky4.1%
Grand Canyon University4.1%
West Virginia University4.1%
Lansing Community College3.4%
Community College of Philadelphia3.2%
Virginia Commonwealth University2.9%
University of North Dakota2.9%
Florida International University2.9%
Florida State University2.9%
Essex County College2.9%
American InterContinental University2.9%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Associate Dirirector, Decision Support||Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation||New Haven, CT||Oct 01, 2013||$159,827|
|Business Support Associate||Merrill Lynch||New York, NY||Feb 12, 2015||$125,000|
|Associate, Application Support||Jpmorgan Chase & Co.||Iselin, NJ||Dec 20, 2014||$110,000|
|Production Support Associate||Merrill Lynch||Jersey City, NJ||Apr 15, 2011||$108,000 -
|Production Support Associate||Bank of America N.A.||Concord, CA||Jun 09, 2011||$105,477 -
|Associate, DAC Support||Jpmorgan Chase &Amp; Co.||Houston, TX||Jan 06, 2016||$102,000|
|Production Support Associate||Bank of America N.A.||Charlotte, NC||May 15, 2011||$100,755 -
|Application Support Associate II||The Bank of New York Mellon||Westport, CT||Nov 28, 2011||$100,000|
|Application Support Associate||Bridgewater Associates, LP||Westport, CT||Oct 11, 2010||$98,446 -
|Application Support Associate||Bridgewater Associates, LP||Westport, CT||Dec 21, 2011||$98,000 -
|Associate-Applications Support||Hegdeserv Corporation||New York, NY||Aug 31, 2009||$95,000|
|Associate FX Support||Nomura America Services, LLC||New York, NY||Oct 24, 2011||$95,000|
|Web Support Associate||Moody's Analytics, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 23, 2012||$85,500|
|Product Support Associate||Blackrock Capital Management, Inc.||Wilmington, DE||Jul 09, 2012||$84,781 -
|Associate, Application Support||Jpmorgan Chase & Co.||Houston, TX||Jan 10, 2016||$82,000|
|Network Support Associate||Bridgewater Associates, LP||Norwalk, CT||Aug 15, 2016||$81,598 -
|Client Support Associate||Axioma, Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 20, 2016||$80,000 -
|Associate, FX Option & Exotics Trade Support||Jpmorgan Chase & Co.||New York, NY||Oct 02, 2014||$78,500|
|Laboratory Support Associate||Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||Jan 08, 2016||$58,644|
|Support Associate||Sap America, Inc.||Lake Mary, FL||Jan 09, 2016||$57,000|
|Observatory Support Associate||The University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ||Jan 13, 2015||$56,513|
|Product Support Associate II||Gen-Probe Incorporated||San Diego, CA||Sep 06, 2014||$56,000|
|Product Support Associate II||Gen-Probe Incorporated||San Diego, CA||Jun 09, 2014||$56,000|
|Laboratory Support Associate||Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||Aug 01, 2013||$55,254|
|Product Support Associate II||Alere San Diego Inc.||San Diego, CA||Jan 07, 2016||$55,000 -
|Observatory Support Associate||The University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ||Jan 02, 2014||$54,263|
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