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.
What they do:
Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, or via telephone or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems.
On the job, you would:
Answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve problems.
Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.
Read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
order or arrange things
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Operating system software
Hewlett Packard HP-UX
Web platform development software
Data base user interface and query software
bachelor's degree or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
Help Desk Technician
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.