Many individuals look into computer programming as a potential career because they are interested in working with computers. However, computer programming is not the only option that is available to those who want to work with computers; there is actually a wide range of careers spread across a number of different industries that will allow interested individuals to put their computer skills to good use. Computer support is just one example of a career that requires an individual to work with computers on a regular basis. Computer support specialists are individuals who help people identify and fix the problems that they have with their computer systems. These individuals typically help the members of a specific organization fix their problems or help customers fix their problems. Computer support specialists who help the members of a specific organization are known as technical support specialists, and computer support specialists who help customers are known as help-desk technicians. Some of the problems that computer support specialists are typically required to address include computer crashes, damaged hardware, malfunctioning hardware, slow Internet or intranet connections, software issues, and a variety of similar issues.
Computer support specialists are in demand, and the number of computer support specialist jobs is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade as the number of computer users increases. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than 75,000 new jobs for computer support specialists in the United States over the next 10 years, and employers will pay from $25,000 to $71,000 a year to attract these specialists.
There are a few things that you may want to keep in mind, however, if you’re considering this career.
- First, you won’t need a graduate degree to work as a computer support specialist, but you may still need a degree. Most employers will require you to have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another computer-related field. (Although some computer support specialist positions only require a technical support certification and/or some experience in a computer-related industry, these positions are uncommon.)
- Second, you might want to consider a different career if you do not like working with people, or if you find it aggravating when people have issues that they could have solved on their own (or by reading a manual). Computer support specialists are regularly required to work with people to identify the cause of a computer problem and explain how a problem may be solved or avoided. Individuals often have different levels of computer knowledge, which can make computer support an extremely frustrating field for individuals who do not have the patience to deal with people with limited knowledge.
- Third, computer support specialists will receive some of the employment benefits that other individuals within the computer science field receive, but they do not typically receive as many benefits as other computer professionals. This is because it is easier for an individual to obtain a position as a computer support specialist than it is for an individual to obtain most of the other computer-related positions that are available.
- Finally, it is important to remember that a computer support specialist may not have as much job security as an individual in another computer-related position would have. This is because a large number of computer support specialist positions are being outsourced to firms overseas as more and more employers seek to obtain the services that computer support specialists offer at a lower cost.