The field of information technology and computer support is rapidly growing. As high-tech systems become more advanced and widespread, there's a growing user base attempting to successfully navigate the complex products available to them. Computer user support specialists fill a very important need in this area. They help users understand their software and hardware, diagnose problems, find smart solutions, and make better use of technology.
If you have a knack for problem solving and enjoy working with technical systems, this career may be the perfect fit for you. With an in-depth understanding of computer systems and the ability to communicate clearly with others, you can easily fill the role of the computer user support specialist.
A computer user support specialist offers important advice, assistance, and diagnostic information to individuals and organizations who are having difficulties with their computer systems. These professionals work directly with the system user. This requires both an in-depth knowledge of technical systems and a knack for explaining these topics in layman's terms. The average computer user isn't always familiar with the precise terminology that applies to a computer problem, so it's important for support specialists to know how to decode the information they're getting and deduce the problem.
As a computer user support specialist, you'll have to use insightful questions to get to the bottom of the user's problem. You will typically walk the user through a series of problem solving steps and stay with them to determine whether these have adequately solved the issue. Computer user support specialists also provide helpful user education, equipping customers with the skills and knowledge they need to avoid future problems and solve similar issues on their own going forward.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for computer user support specialists is very favorable. Job opportunities are expected to increase 11 percent over the 2016 to 2026 decade. This indicates above average job growth, as the national outlook for all occupations indicates only a 7 percent increase in job opportunities over the same decade.
The job outlook is slightly better for computer user support specialists than for those in similar occupations. Computer network support specialists can expect job growth of just 8 percent over the 2016 to 2026 decade. As the everyday user upgrades to increasingly complex systems, a growing number of support specialists will be needed to help them understand and acclimate to these products.
California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania have the highest employment levels for computer user support specialists. However, the highest concentration of jobs per thousand workers is found in the District of Columbia, Utah, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Colorado. This diverse picture indicates that computer user support specialists can find a place in many areas throughout the country.
Computer user support specialists can work in a variety of environments. Some provide support to employees in an office setting, working only with those within their company. Others assist remote customers via phone or an online chat interface, connecting with users across the country or even around the world. Some support specialists are even able to work from home. In some cases, computer user support specialists will assist customers in person in a retail location or at the customer's home.
Computer support services are often needed 24/7. Work hours can vary greatly in this field, depending on the company you work for and the scope of their support services.
To become a computer user support specialist, the most important qualification is a solid understanding of computer systems and information technology. A diploma is adequate for some job opportunities in this area. The Information Technology Assistant diploma program from Bryant & Stratton College offers a solid background in computer systems and software to help you land a job in this field.
This diploma program includes 30 credit hours that cover topics such as software and operating systems, wireless networks, routing and switching, and more. It may also help to pursue certifications in specific computer systems or software solutions. Choose those most relevant to the jobs that you're applying for. Keep up-to-date with the latest software releases to demonstrate your dedication to maintaining current in this ever-changing industry.
An information technology assistant diploma will prepare you for a variety of positions in IT and computers. In addition to a career as a computer user support specialist, you would also be prepared for a variety of similar jobs such as a computer network support specialist. These types of positions can go by many names. As you're conducting your job search, look for the following titles:
With this diploma, you can explore a vast range of compelling job opportunities.
Please note that data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is intended for statistical purposes only. It is not a guarantee of job opportunities, but may give you an idea of the general outlook in this area. For more insights into the information technology career field, visit the technology and design section of our blog.