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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 Systems Specialist
Top Careers After Systems Specialist
Hispanic or Latino10.5%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix23.1%
Community College of the Air Force18.9%
University of Maryland - University College5.0%
Pennsylvania State University4.4%
George Mason University3.1%
American InterContinental University3.1%
University of Houston2.9%
George Washington University2.8%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale2.8%
Colorado Technical University2.5%
Western Governors University2.5%
Oklahoma State University2.4%
Northern Virginia Community College2.4%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Risk Systems Specialist IV||Citizens Financial Group, Inc.||Cranston, RI||Nov 19, 2015||$147,243|
|Trading Systems Specialist||Worldquant, LLC||Old Greenwich, CT||Dec 02, 2015||$145,000|
|Systems Specialist||Osram Sylvania, Inc.||Wilmington, MA||Apr 20, 2016||$145,000|
|Manager, Systems Specialist||Salesforce.Com||San Francisco, CA||Oct 25, 2016||$142,463|
|Banking Systems Specialist||DTS America Corporation||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2015||$142,173|
|Trading Systems Specialist||Worldquant, LLC||Old Greenwich, CT||Jun 26, 2015||$136,500|
|Trading Systems Specialist||Worldquant, LLC||Old Greenwich, CT||Sep 01, 2015||$136,000|
|Systems Specialist-Peoplesoft||Osram Sylvania, Inc.||Wilmington, MA||Dec 10, 2015||$134,449|
|Specialist, Global FP&A Systems & Reporting||Sabic Innovative Plastics Us LLC||Houston, TX||Jan 08, 2016||$134,070|
|Middleware Systems Specialist||MUFG Union Bank, N.A.||Jersey City, NJ||Feb 09, 2015||$130,000|
|Trading Systems Specialist||Worldquant, LLC||Old Greenwich, CT||Sep 01, 2015||$130,000|
|Middleware and Database Systems Specialist||Tata Technologies, Inc.||Novi, MI||Jul 22, 2016||$96,637|
|Programmer, Systems Specialist||Antimicrobial Therapy, Inc.||Sperryville, VA||Mar 23, 2015||$96,000|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Detroit, MI||Jul 13, 2015||$95,959|
|Systems Specialist-Architecture Applications||Berkley Technology Services, LLC||Urbandale, IA||Jan 04, 2016||$95,848|
|Software Systems Specialist III||University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston||Galveston, TX||Sep 01, 2015||$95,000|
|Software Systems Specialist IV||University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston||Galveston, TX||Jun 07, 2016||$95,000|
|Software Systems Specialist IV||University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston||Galveston, TX||Feb 05, 2016||$95,000|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Houston, TX||Jul 07, 2015||$95,000|
|Systems Specialist (PA Applications)||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company||Springfield, MA||Oct 01, 2015||$86,800|
|Systems Specialist (PA Applications)||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company||Springfield, MA||Jan 10, 2015||$86,800|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Tulsa, OK||Jan 28, 2015||$86,499|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Wilmington, DE||Aug 26, 2015||$86,486|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Newark, DE||Apr 23, 2015||$86,486|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Lone Tree, CO||Sep 10, 2015||$86,133|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Lone Tree, CO||Nov 05, 2016||$86,133|
|Systems Specialist||Mphasis Corporation||Lone Tree, CO||Sep 13, 2016||$86,133|
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