Computer support specialists are experts who provide support and assistance to organisations regarding their computer systems, hardware, software and network settings. Since the dawn of digital transformation, computer support specialist jobs have surged. According to the employment projections recorded by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US alone will see the demand for more than 88,800 computer support specialists by 2024. This is a significant growth projection of about 12%, which is higher than the projected growth of most other professions and job roles.

Every business today has a digital presence. In today’s digital age, it is impossible for new brands to stand out in a crowded market without an organised virtual presence. This means computers and systems need to be working perfectly at all times, which requires a computer support specialist.

The demand for IT support, especially for email systems and cybersecurity functions, has seen a sharp rise. With more people and devices being connected remotely to a main server 24/7 even during holidays and over weekends, computer network support specialists make sure everything runs smoothly at all times. There is also a growing culture of employees using their own devices at work and simply logging in and connecting to the main company server. This raises a number of security concerns that are addressed by computer support specialists.

 

Duties of a Computer Support Specialist:

Support specialist jobs branch out into multiple job roles such as computer network support specialist, user support specialist, senior systems administrator, IT manager, and systems engineer.

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, play a crucial role in the routine maintenance of the organisation’s networks. An enterprise today depends entirely on its IT network system for daily functioning and special operations. The main tasks of a technical support specialist are:

  • Testing and evaluating existing network systems
  • Carrying out regular maintenance to ensure systems are working properly
  • Troubleshooting LANs (local area networks), WANs (wide area networks) and Internet systems


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Computer user support specialists, also known as help desk technicians, typically provide technical support to non-IT computer users. They usually provide help remotely, connecting with users via phone or email, but they also make site visits when the need arises. The main tasks they carry out are:

  • Paying attention to customer descriptions of computer problems.
  • Being able to walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Setting up and repairing computer equipment and related devices
  • Training users to work on new computer hardware and software like printers, email platforms, and word-processing software.
  • Providing correct information to other team members and managers within the organisation.

 

Industries Hiring Computer Support Specialists:

Every business needs computer support specialists in varying capacities. It is a job role that is vital to every industry today, so you get to choose from a wide array of options. Even then, there are some industries where the demand for IT support specialists is higher than in others.

According to Truity, there were almost 1,91,300 computer network support specialists in 2018. Their major employers were companies offering computer systems design and related services, and telecom companies. Other hiring organisations included finance and insurance companies, management services and data processing and hosting service organisations.

Computer user support specialists had more than 3x the jobs, with 6,71,800 jobs in 2018. Computer systems design and related services companies were their largest employers, followed by educational services, software publishers and temporary help services companies.


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How to Become a Computer Support Specialist:

 

Gone are the days when you needed to have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering/ IT in order to become a computer support specialist. You can simply apply for certification, train and take the support specialist exam. If you have worked in the IT industry for a significant amount of time, you almost certainly have all the skills you will need. However, a certification validates your claims as a user or technical IT support specialist.

To start your certification journey, there are a few prerequisites you must meet.

  • Basic knowledge of computers
  • Support centre overview
  • A strategic framework
  • Support processes and operations
  • Continual service improvement process
  • Support delivery methods and technology
  • Communication skills
  • Customer management skills
  • Problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Teamwork, time management and stress management

 

Organisations that use specialised software might require you to be certified in the usage and troubleshooting of that particular software. The important thing to remember is that technology is constantly evolving. Even existing technologies get updated from time to time. It is important to continue to learn and update your skills throughout the course of your career at regular intervals. This will help you stay ahead in the race and be informed of the latest trends and best practices.

Some certifications have more value than others. Explore each of these certifications and see which one adds more value and helps you achieve your career goals. Popular examples are CompTIA CertificationNetwork Fundamentals Certification and PMI/ HDI Technical Support Professional Certification.

 

Salary of a Computer Support Specialist:

Your payoff largely depends on your experience in the field and the location and organisation you work in. According to PayScale, the average salary of an entry level computer technical support specialist with 1 - 4 years of experience earns an average of ₹2,87,563 per annum. A mid-career specialist with 5 - 9 years of experience earns an average compensation of ₹5,89,932 per annum.

The hiring organization also plays a role in determining your pay. According to Glassdoor, technical support specialists in Infosys are paid between ₹3,40,000 - ₹5,58,000, while Dell pays about ₹6,33,888 per year. At the same time, IT giants like IBM pay ₹11,30,915 per annum.

 

What the Future Holds:

Becoming a computer support specialist opens up new avenues in your career path towards other big positions like system administrator and software developer. Some organisations also help IT support specialists to advance in their field and specialise in different functions and applications. To know more, explore the wide range of certification courses that will help propel your career forward.

Armin Vans
Aarav Goel has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.

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