MyStemKIts STEM job of the week: Computer Support Specialist
Behind the scenes of any network there is always someone charged with the task of making sure that the system is properly equipped to handle anything that may threaten its functionality. When it comes to computer networks, those individuals would be considered computer support specialists.
Computer support specialists or technical support specialists as they are often called, usually work in an organization’s IT department. They assist the staff with analyzing, troubleshooting, and evaluating computer network problems. When it comes to the maintenance of their organization’s networks, they play a significant role. Computer support specialists perform such tasks as creating file backups for the network or setting up computer systems sent to customers through installation of operating systems and software. Outside of setting up and maintain networks, support specialists also train internal staff members to properly utilize their computer’s capabilities and learn new systems.
Computer support specialists must possess a high level of critical thinking and troubleshooting. They also must be able to communicate with users with various levels of computer experience. Specialists prepare technical reports about issues and their resolutions. The repots the prepare allow software engineers and programmers to use the write-ups to enhance products or prevent future issues with new software.
Below are other duties of a computer support specialists.
- Test and evaluate existing network systems
- Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
- Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems
- Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
- Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
- Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
- Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
- Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have
As software, hardware, and network equipment become outdated, organizations will require more experienced, knowledgeable professionals to respond to assist users with resolutions to their computer needs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12 percent employment growth for the field between 2014 and 2024. This growth, which is faster than the average of all occupations, will produce 88,000 new jobs during the previously mentioned time frame. That kind of growth will ensure that computer support specialists will continue to be a major contributor to the advancement of technology and its effectiveness.
Computer support specialist ranks #23 on the US News top 25 STEM jobs list.