What is a Computer Support Specialist?

A computer support specialist is responsible for helping business improve and maintain their computer systems. Working under network and computer systems administrators, computer network support specialists test, troubleshoot, and maintain current network systems. Also referred to as help-desk technicians, computer user support specialists are the ones who perform the necessary adjustments and repairs to customers’ computers. They may repair and/or set up devices and train users in the operation of new hardware or software.

What Are Computer Support Specialists?

Computer support specialists are essentially help-desk technicians and technical support specialists. These professionals are responsible for ensuring that a company’s information technology (IT) is stable, mainly the computer systems used within the organization. Computer support specialists may be called on to resolve problems with wireless networks, hardware and software malfunctions, and Internet connectivity issues. They may also be tasked with training employees to use a company’s software programs and computers.

A help-desk technician is technically trained to provide customer service. They are responsible for answering phone calls from customers who are experiencing IT problems. A support specialist determines the source of the issue and works with the customer to resolve the problem by giving careful instructions that the customer can easily understand and follow. For instance, a support technician may walk a customer through the process of using hardware such as printers, setting up firewalls, configuring modems or routers, and removing or installing software programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer support specialists earned an annual median pay of $52,160, or $25.08 per hour, in 2016.

What Education is Needed?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that computer support specialists come from various educational backgrounds. This may include solely technical experience, or it may include associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in computer-related majors. You may wish to pursue an associate’s degree in computer science, which is a two-year program that covers topics of study such as programming, troubleshooting, data storage, computer architecture, and software and hardware. Students may also take lab courses that allow them to explore software programs, operating systems, hardware, and computer architecture.

Bachelor’s degrees in computer science consists of courses in network security, programming languages, software design, operating systems, and mathematics. In computer labs, students learn to apply computer science principles to troubleshoot problems and design software systems. During the final year, you may obtain an internship where you will gain hands-on, real-world experience in the field of IT support.

Related Careers

If you are interested in information technology, but aren’t sure if a career in customer service is right for you, consider becoming a web developer. These website creators and designers are responsible for how a website looks and functions as well as the content displayed on the site. This is all done by working and consulting with the client in order to determine how he or she wants the site to appear and how the site will be used, whether it be to drive sales or provide information. Alternatively, information security analysts are responsible for developing and implementing security measures to ensure that a company’s computer networks are protected against cyber attacks and security breaches.

Related Resource: How Do You Become a Database Administrator?

Regardless of the specific career, nearly any position in the field of IT is in demand. With technology constantly changing and evolving, the need for a computer support specialist continues to grow as more people require help to understand, use, and troubleshoot these often-complex systems.