Computer Support Specialists usually work in an organization’s Information Technology (IT) department. They assist the staff and customers with analyzing, troubleshooting, and evaluating computer and network problems.
There are two main pathways within this field: Computer Network Support Specialists, or Technical Support Specialists, and Computer User Support Specialists, or Help-desk Technicians. Both roles are vital to the success of organizations.
Computer Network Support Specialists ensure the organization’s network is properly equipped, create file backups for the network, and remedy any disruption of network functionality. Outside of setting up and maintaining networks, these support specialists also train internal staff members to properly utilize their computer’s capabilities and learn new systems.
Computer User Support Specialists play a key role in being the face of the company when it comes to user satisfaction and retention. These technicians typically provide technical assistance to both internal staff and external users of an organization’s product. They must be able to communicate with users of various levels of computer experience to identify and remedy a variety of product-specific issues. Throughout all of this, Computer User Support Specialists must maintain the confidence of the user and be prepared to calm individuals who are frustrated and upset.
Both types of Computer Support Specialists must be able to tackle problems a step at a time and work through sometimes tedious troubleshooting steps to eliminate potential issues and find solutions. In addition, they must be good communicators, as they interact with individuals regularly and prepare technical reports about issues and their resolutions. These reports allow software engineers and programmers to enhance products or prevent future issues with new software.
As technology becomes ever-more ubiquitous, organizations will require more experienced and knowledgeable professionals to assist users with resolutions to their computer and technology needs.
21st Century Skills required for this profession:
- Analyze details of issue
- Evaluate possible solutions
- Troubleshoot strategically
- Test different potential solutions
- Utilize the skills and knowledge of the team to efficiently solve problems
- Clearly communicate with users of different technical abilities
- Provide step-by-step instruction
- Utilize multiple methods of communication effectively
- Empathize with users
- Maintain user confidence
- Explain significance of each step of troubleshooting step
- Evaluate what external factors could be influencing the current issue
- Consider alternate solutions
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