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Become A Systems Specialist

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Working As A Systems Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $84,299

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 A 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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Systems Specialist jobs

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Systems Specialist Career Paths

Systems Specialist
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Analyst Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Manager Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Product Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Network Administrator Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Senior Technologist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Technician Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
System Technician 4.4 years
Systems Supervisor 4.3 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Systems Specialist 4.0 years
Systems Operator 3.8 years
Technology Officer 3.7 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Integrator 3.2 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Computer Engineer 3.0 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
On-Site Technician 2.4 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Computer Assistant 2.2 years
Server Technician 2.1 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.9%
Technician 4.2%
Manager 4.0%
Internship 3.8%
Specialist 3.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.6%
Manager 4.5%
Technician 4.3%
Owner 4.0%

Systems Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

72.8%

Female

25.5%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

79.0%

Hispanic or Latino

10.5%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.0%

German

7.9%

French

5.4%

Carrier

4.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Japanese

3.5%

Korean

3.0%

Mandarin

2.5%

Italian

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Russian

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Swahili

1.0%

Bengali

1.0%

Chinese

1.0%

Persian

1.0%

Romanian

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%

Cheyenne

0.5%
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Systems Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.1%

Community College of the Air Force

18.9%

Strayer University

6.0%

University of Maryland - University College

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

Capella University

3.6%

Troy University

3.1%

Liberty University

3.1%

George Mason University

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

University of Houston

2.9%

Kaplan University

2.9%

Northeastern University

2.9%

George Washington University

2.8%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

2.8%

Colorado Technical University

2.5%

Western Governors University

2.5%

Oklahoma State University

2.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.4%

Park University

2.4%
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Majors

Business

24.0%

Computer Science

11.6%

Electrical Engineering

9.1%

Computer Information Systems

7.8%

Information Technology

7.8%

Management

3.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.8%

Accounting

3.6%

Computer Networking

3.0%

Information Systems

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Project Management

2.3%

Psychology

2.3%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Finance

2.2%

Marketing

2.1%

Automotive Technology

2.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.9%

Other

23.2%

Masters

17.3%

Associate

14.2%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.2%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Systems Specialist Salaries

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 Mphasis Corporation Houston, TX Jul 07, 2015 $95,000
Systems Specialist Salesforce.Com Inc. Austin, TX Nov 11, 2016 $94,765
Systems Specialist Fidessa Corporation San Francisco, CA Jul 31, 2016 $94,450
Systems Specialist, Finance Systems Salesforce.Com Inc. Indianapolis, IN Apr 04, 2016 $94,328
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation San Francisco, CA Aug 20, 2015 $94,162 -
$94,163
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Lone Tree, CO Sep 13, 2016 $86,133
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 Dallas, TX Jul 25, 2016 $85,197
BI System Specialist Visual Bi Solutions Inc. Plano, TX Sep 14, 2016 $85,000
Embedded Systems Specialist KPIT Infosystems Incorporated Novi, MI Sep 06, 2016 $85,000
BI System Specialist Visual Bi Solutions Inc. Plano, TX Aug 26, 2016 $85,000
Embedded Systems Specialist KPIT Infosystems Incorporated Edison, NJ Jun 23, 2016 $85,000

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Top Skills for A Systems Specialist

RemovalProceduresComputerHardwareDataEntryCustomerServiceTroubleshootPCSafetyRemoteTechnicalSupportDesktopSupportSQLServerSetupActiveDirectoryFinancialControlSystemsWebFacilityUnixComputerSystemsManagementSystem

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Top Systems Specialist Skills

  1. Removal Procedures
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared field artillery tactical data systems for operation to include cabling, installation, and removal procedures.
  • Evaluated and tested all Accounting mainframe and personal computer hardware and software, working with vendors as needed.
  • Hired as a temporary employee to perform Data Entry for the Purchasing Department.
  • Developed excellent customer service skills by focusing on the resolution rather than the problem at hand.
  • Worked with a laptop to link into unit panels to download or upload the database to provide for installation and troubleshooting.

Top Systems Specialist Employers

Systems Specialist Videos

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