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 Systems Support
Top Careers After Systems Support
Hispanic or Latino10.2%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix25.3%
University of Maryland - University College5.9%
Community College of the Air Force4.8%
University of Houston4.8%
Western Governors University4.8%
New Jersey Institute of Technology4.0%
Northern Virginia Community College4.0%
George Washington University3.7%
Michigan State University3.3%
Carnegie Mellon University3.3%
American InterContinental University3.3%
Colorado Technical University3.3%
Pennsylvania State University2.9%
University of Massachusetts - Lowell2.9%
George Mason University2.9%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Tech & UX Developer||Pappas Group LLC||Arlington, VA||Sep 26, 2016||$184,000|
|Software Engineer III, Ecommerce Systems Support||Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Oct 24, 2016||$145,350|
|Associate, Systems Support||Nomura America Services, LLC||New York, NY||Mar 05, 2016||$131,000|
|IT Systems Support||The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America||Bethlehem, PA||Jan 02, 2016||$127,504 -
|Systems Support Expert||CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc.||Fairfax, VA||Feb 05, 2016||$127,379|
|Systems Support Expert||CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc.||Fairfax, VA||Mar 16, 2016||$127,379|
|Consultant Support Systems||HSBC Bank USA, N.A.||Depew, NY||Mar 11, 2015||$123,739|
|Manager 1, IM Systems & Support||Sears Holdings Management Corporation||Hoffman Estates, IL||May 19, 2015||$121,000|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Dublin, CA||Aug 05, 2014||$118,500|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Developme||Accenture LLP||San Jose, CA||Aug 30, 2013||$117,200|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Arlington, VA||Nov 12, 2013||$113,500|
|Developer, Decision Support Systems||The Men's Wearhouse, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 26, 2015||$113,000|
|Software Engineer III-Ecommerce Systems Support||Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.||Brisbane, CA||Sep 29, 2014||$112,000|
|Senior Associate-Systems Support||Zoetis Inc.||Florham Park, NJ||Oct 17, 2016||$111,488|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development Administ||Accenture LLP||San Diego, CA||Aug 28, 2015||$76,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Developme||Accenture LLP||Tampa, FL||Aug 18, 2013||$76,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Collegeville, PA||Aug 04, 2014||$76,600|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||New Providence, NJ||Sep 12, 2014||$76,600|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Bloomington, IL||Oct 02, 2013||$76,600|
|Systems Support Expert||CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc.||Sterling, VA||Jul 09, 2016||$76,502 -
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Bethesda, MD||Aug 11, 2014||$76,500|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Developme||Accenture LLP||Princeton, NJ||Aug 18, 2013||$76,500|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Braintree Town, MA||Aug 21, 2014||$69,800|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Voorhees, NJ||Sep 02, 2014||$69,800|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Long Beach, CA||Aug 08, 2013||$69,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Norwalk, CA||Jun 26, 2014||$69,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Developme||Accenture LLP||Burbank, CA||Jul 14, 2014||$69,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Los Angeles, CA||Jul 14, 2014||$69,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Development||Accenture LLP||Norwalk, CA||Aug 16, 2013||$69,700|
|Computer Specialist/System Support and Developme||Accenture LLP||El Segundo, CA||Aug 03, 2014||$69,700|
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