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:
Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.
On the job, you would:
Back up network data.
Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals.
Analyze and report computer network security breaches or attempted breaches.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
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
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
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:
Network monitoring software
Operating system software
Transaction security and virus protection software
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
You might like a career in one of these industries: