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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Technical Advisor||Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP||Chicago, IL||Jul 27, 2015||$175,000|
|Technical Advisor-Mechanical||KBR, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 10, 2015||$172,256|
|Technical Advisor-Mechanical||KBR, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 08, 2016||$172,256|
|Technical Advisor||Paul Hastings LLP||Washington, DC||May 14, 2015||$170,000|
|Technical Advisor||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jun 07, 2016||$164,000|
|Technical Advisor-Mechanical||KBR Technical Services, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 01, 2015||$162,383|
|Technical Advisor||Rock Solid Images, Inc.||Houston, TX||Mar 13, 2015||$160,000|
|Technical Advisor||Ropes & Gray LLP||East Palo Alto, CA||Aug 15, 2016||$160,000|
|Technical Advisor||Ropes & Gray LLP||Chicago, IL||Jun 02, 2015||$154,521|
|Technical Advisor-Process||KBR Technical Services, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jun 13, 2016||$152,000|
|Technical Advisor||KBR, Inc.||Houston, TX||Feb 06, 2016||$150,651|
|Electromagnetic (EM) Technology Advisor||Rock Solid Images, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 05, 2016||$150,000 -
|Technical Patent Advisor (Software Systems)||Perkins COIE LLP||Palo Alto, CA||May 28, 2015||$150,000 -
|Virtualization Labs Technical Advisor||Altera Corporation||San Jose, CA||Feb 11, 2015||$150,000|
|Technical Global Advisor||Netapp, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Jun 29, 2016||$120,000 -
|Technical Advisor-Mechanical||KBR Technical Services, Inc.||Birmingham, AL||Apr 14, 2015||$116,812|
|Technical Advisor-Mechanical||KBR, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 10, 2016||$116,616|
|Principal Technical Advisor, PSL-Sales||Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.||Denver, CO||Sep 02, 2015||$115,020|
|Technical Advisor||Ropes & Gray LLP||Washington, DC||Sep 01, 2015||$115,000|
|Technical Advisor||Caremark, L.L.C.||Buffalo Grove, IL||Feb 09, 2015||$115,000|
|Technical Advisor||Ropes & Gray LLP||New York, NY||Sep 02, 2015||$115,000|
|Technical Advisor||Ropes & Gray, LLP||New York, NY||Aug 31, 2016||$115,000|
|Technical Advisor, Monitoring and Evaluation||Family Health International||Washington, DC||Feb 23, 2015||$100,000 -
|Thermal & Fluid Science Engineer-Technical Advisor||Cummins Inc.||Columbus, IN||Apr 24, 2015||$100,000 -
|Technical Advisor||Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.||Alexandria, VA||Dec 22, 2015||$100,000 -
|Technical Advisor||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Sep 29, 2015||$99,956|
|Technical Advisor (Pharmacy Advisor ACE)||Caremark, L.L.C.||Buffalo Grove, IL||Oct 12, 2015||$99,668|
|Technical Advisor||Microsoft Corporation||Charlotte, NC||Oct 26, 2015||$99,440|
|Technical Advisor (As/400 Rxclaim)||Caremark, L.L.C.||Richardson, TX||Sep 11, 2016||$98,883 -
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