Career Advice on How to Become a Computer Support Specialist

General Career Information

Your average computer support specialist spends most of his or her day rebuilding car engines. If you think we are kidding, you are right, we are. In actuality, a computer support specialist spends his or her day working with computers and computer systems…what else?
 The computer support specialist is the person that people run to when they have serious computer problems or have done something incredibly stupid that is computer related. Computer systems specialist work with consumers to help them iron out the problems that they are having, usually with poorly constructed hardware or software. But consumer stupidity is also a consistent and reliable factor as well. 
Much of their time is spent on the phone trying to explain away poorly functioning software and hardware as “most definitely not the fault of the manufacture.” If one is lucky, you will actually have a native English speaker on the other end of the phone when you call a computer support specialist.

Career Facts:

Most computer support specialists need to have a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or information science in order to get their “foot in the door.” This fact borders on the extremely ridiculous when one considered the pay level. The average computer support specialist can expect to earn about $41,000, with the highest ten percent earning about $68,000 per year. 
Of course, this adds up to make the computer support specialist job one that most people should probably avoid. Starting salaries can be as low as $27,000. To be blunt, the pay is a joke considering the degree that one must have to get the job. However, it should be noted that some employers will hire those with an Associate’s Degree, or even a certification in a given related field for certain jobs. For those job seekers, the job of computer support specialist is a more attractive option.
The somewhat related career of network and computer systems administrator probably makes much more sense for those who are in the middle of career planning or a job search and are interested in this field. A network and computer systems administrator is required to have the same educational background, but averages about $62,000 per year and the top ten percent earn about $97,000 annually. 

Further, network and computer systems administrators are expecting a far stronger job growth between now and 2016. The network and computer systems administrator career is expecting a twenty-seven percent rate of job growth, as compared to just thirteen percent for computer support specialist. Those considering this work should definitely take these facts into serious consideration.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Good:

The rate of job growth for the computer support specialist is about thirteen percent. By 2016, there will be approximately 624,000-computer support specialist in the United States; this number is up from its current rate of 552,000.
Job Outlook is Good

A Day in The Life:

As a computer support specialist, your days will often be spent fielding questions from two types of people. The first will be the consumer who has been screwed by a hardware manufacturer or software developer who has released an inferior product. The second type of phone call will be from a consumer that is nearly brain dead and may have poured soda into their computer. Part of your job as a computer support specialist is to know which type of person you are dealing with.

Average Salary:

The mysteriously low salary of the computer support specialist can somewhat be “explained” away when one considers the issue of education. Not all jobs require computer support specialists to hold computer science or Bachelor’s Degrees. Some employers will hire those with Associate’s Degrees and even those who simply hold certificates in a given computer related area. 
This is bad news for those who have computer science degrees and are looking for a job in the field. However, it is good news for those who do not want to spend a great deal of time in college or training. The pay rate that the position of computer support specialist offers the latter group is actually quite good from this perspective. The average computer support specialist earns about $41,000 per year.

$40k -$45k


Career Training and Qualifications:

The educational requirements vary greatly depending on the employer and the position.
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