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      Computer Support Specialist—Job Description

       

       

      Computer support specialists render help and guidance to people or organizations that are using computer software or equipment. These are new-age professionals are also called computer network support specialists. Their job is to support information technology employees working in their organization. The other professionals who assist non-IT users who are having some problems related to computers are known as Computer User Support Specialists.

       

      Primary Duties

       

      There are various responsibilities of a computer support specialist.They test and execute existing network systems to ensure that networks operate accurately, they also perform regular maintenance.Computer support specialists provide useful and necessary information technical assistance,support and advice to individuals as well as the organizations.Few of them may be referred to as technical support specialists,while others are known as help desk technicians.

       

      The job of technical support specialists is answering inquiries from computer users. They may conduct diagnostic programs to verify the causes of the issues and help resolve problems.Moreover they perform duties which may include writing training manuals,training various users, as well as inspecting computer information systems.

       

      Work Environment

       

      They enroll themselves to various industries, including information technology (IT), education, finance, healthcare and telecommunication. Numerous help-desk technicians work on a contract basis as outsourced service providers and provide help and support for quite of a lot of businesses and consumers.

       

      Faster computer networks are enabling a huge number of support specialists, especially help desk technicians, to do their work from home, rather than going to the office. Nevertheless, few of the specialized computer professionals do visit their clients place to resolve problems of critical nature.

       

      Work Schedules

      Generally, the schedules of most of the computer specialists are full time. However, several technicians do not work for full day. As we all know that computer support is very essential for businesses, services of support specialists could be of critical need at any point of time. Thus they should remain available accessible 24 hours a day.

       

      Education and Training

       

      Due to a wide range of IT skills demanded in various jobs, there is quite a lot of ways to enter into this profession. There are various educational requirements for these computer professionals as well. The computer user support specialist must be knowledgeable about the functioning of a computer system. Some of the employers appoint the technicians on the basis of an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes, while others prefer the applicants to have a bachelor degree.

       

      The renowned software companies that enable business users to buy their products and services often require a bachelor’s degree. In this age of new media, where technology is developing rapidly, computer specialists need to constantly upgrade their skills and education to cope up with the changes.

       

      As beginners, the computer professionals work on uncomplicated, easy problems. Gradually with time, they acquire the skills which enable them to work on arduous projects.

       

      A large number of these specialists advance to take up different information technology positions, like network and computer systems administrators and software developers.

       

      With regard to their technical skills, a computer support specialist must possess certain soft skills as well. Moreover they must have excellent listening skills. Verbal communication skills enable the professional to communicate and convey the desired information to the audience he or she is trying to help. Critical thinking and problem solving abilities are some qualities which would put them in good stead.

       

      Salary

       

      The median annual salary for the computer support specialists is $62,670.

       

      In May 2012, median annual wages for some computer professionals in various industries were:-

       

       

      Wholesale trade     $49,150
      Information    $47,950
      Computer systems design and related services     $46,690
      Educational services; state, local, and private     $43,620

       

      Job Outlook

       

      Employment of computer specialists is on a verge of growth by 17% from 2012 to 2022, at a much faster rate than all other professions. Computer support staff would be required for the installation and repair of a number of complicated software equipments.

       

      Healthcare industries will also start appointing these technicians are a larger rate. This domain is expected to increase its usage of information technology to a much higher level.

       

      Some lower level tech support jobs, commonly prevalent in call centers, may be shifted to countries that have lower wage rates. However, a recent trend to move jobs to lower cost regions of the United States may offset some loss of jobs to other countries.

       

      Job Prospects

       

      Job prospects are expected to be favorable. There are clear indications of professional growth for computer support specialists and creation of new job openings. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree and a strong technical background should have the best job opportunities.

      Author: Baishali Mukherjee

      Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.

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