Working as a Computer Support Specialist
By Eric Hammer
Even though many computer support specialist jobs have been
outsourced to India, there is still a tremendous demand for them
right here in the United States as well. That's because the Indian
support staff that some companies tried to work with often had
thick accents which were difficult for Americans to understand
and so many such companies have shifted their operations back
to this country.
Beyond that, there was and still is a need for people who
can come and work physically on people's computers on site meaning
that there are plenty of jobs available. In fact, US News and
World Report ranks computer support specialist as one of the
best careers to go into for 2011.
The job is well suited for people who like to learn new things
since you'll need to constantly keep up with the latest technology
in order to be able to continue to do your job well. Also, because
this job involves working with people in a wide variety of fields,
you'll need to have good people skills.
How Much Can You Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer support
specialists earned an average of $46,370 in 2008. The numbers
should be somewhat higher now, however keep in mind that some
computer support specialists also earn less if they work in low
paying fields such as in store technicians.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Be prepared for a wide variety of computer problems to be
thrown your way. Everything from a simple problem of too much
material having been downloaded to assorted viruses on the computer
and dead hard drives that people are trying to have restored
can come your way in a typical day.
You should also be ready to work in a variety of settings
as a computer support specialist can work in the field, fixing
computers in people's homes, at a call center when you will be
answering technical support questions and even in a technology
store such as Best Buy where you'll work installing software
and hardware into computers that customers purchase in the shop.
Qualifications / Requirements
While there are no formal requirements to become a computer
support specialist, you should consider going to school and getting
a BA in computer science. Alternatively, there are a number of
courses available that provide certification for computer support
specialists where you won't need to earn a formal bachelor's
Start by reading up on computers. Consider trying to build
your own computer from scratch and installing the hardware and
software yourself. This will be good training for when you need
to do the job for a customer. Then, go to school to earn your
degree or certification and look for a job in the field of your
choice, either as a telephone technician, working in people's
homes or working in a store.
About.com: Computer Support Specialist - Another
introduction to the concept with a bit more depth than the BLS
web page mentioned above.