how to become a computer support specialist

What does a Computer Support Specialist do?

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A computer support specialist provides technical support for a company, organization’s customers, or their employer’s staff. They use computer software and equipment to assist them in providing advice and help to their employer and their employee’s. They carry a variety of titles such as technical support specialist, information technology specialist (IT specialists), computer technician, and several others. Watch a vide to learn what a computer support specialist does:

How to Become a Computer Support Specialist

To become a computer support specialist, some companies may require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field. However, there are alternative routes for entry. A recognized apprenticeship program, for instance, can serve as a valuable stepping stone to provide hands-on experience and mentorship. Vocational schools are also an option if you are looking to become a support specialist. Often, these programs are tailored to the demands of the profession and provide you with hands-on experience.

Job Description of a Computer Support Specialist

how to become a computer support specialist

These professionals watch over computer systems everyday in a company or organization and give minor repairs, when needed, to software, hardware or other equipment in this job. They would follow any specifications in installation or design of operating systems cables or other software and be sure the system operates correctly when issuing commands.

If a major problem occurs, they connect with appropriate technicians or vendors for repair and service to any hardware or software or other product. Also, they would be expected to stay up-to-date on technology and trends. Often, the end user needs an explanation as to why an issue is happening. Because of this, these professionals should be good listeners and have excellent communication skills.

Computer Support Specialist Career Video Transcript

A combination of technical know-how, persistence, and customer service skills are needed to be a computer support specialist. They provide essential help and advice to users of computer software and related equipment in virtually every type of organization in the country. There are two types of specialists. Network Support Specialists keep computer networks running efficiently for their organization. They work within the IT department to test systems, perform maintenance, and troubleshoot local and wide area networks and Internet systems. Typically, their customers are other IT professionals.

Computer User Support Specialists (or Help Desk Technicians) help individual employees work through computer problems. Talking with workers who do not have an IT background, specialists avoid jargon as they ask questions to diagnose a computer problem, and then walk users through steps to resolve the issue. They also set up and repair computer equipment and train users on new hardware and software.

Computer support specialists are employed in a variety of industries, including IT, education, finance, healthcare, and telecommunication. Many help desk technicians work for call centers and firms that contract with businesses, some work from home-based offices. Most computer support specialists work full time, and many work nights and weekends. There are many paths into this field; a bachelor’s degree is required for some positions, but an associate’s degree or related computer classes may be enough for other jobs.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Support Specialists.

National Center for O*NET Development. 15-1151.00. O*NET OnLine.

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