Career Information for a Degree or Certification in Computer and Information Support Services
Individuals who hold a degree or certification in computer and information support services can initially find work providing support to both a business's customers as well as its employees. With time and experience, these workers can advance into more challenging management and technical roles.
Help Desk Technician
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), help desk technicians assist a company's customers with problems they are having with the computer hardware or software (www.bls.gov). This assistance is typically provided over the phone or via e-mail. The BLS also notes that many people begin their careers in computer support by working as a help desk technician.
Technical Support Specialist
Technical support specialists provide computer support services within a business or organization, according to the BLS. A technical support specialist responds to reports of employee problems with computer hardware and software, trains employees in the use of office technology and may even compose manuals and other training materials for the organization.
Salary and Job Prospects
The BLS classifies both help desk technicians and technical support specialists as computer support specialists. The median annual salary for computer support specialists as of May 2010 was $46,260. The BLS also projected good job prospects for those wishing to enter the field between 2008 and 2018, noting that employment should increase by 14% during this time.
The BLS states that employees of computer companies or within IT departments can advance rapidly into positions that offer more responsibility and higher pay. Individuals who excel in support positions may eventually become computer programmers. According to the BLS, programmers translate the directions provided by software and systems engineers into instructions that can be understood by a computer. A programmer may also maintain existing programs by making appropriate repairs and updates.
Salary and Job Prospects
The BLS expected the employment of computer programmers to decline by three percent between 2008 and 2018, due to the ability of many computer users to create their own programs as well as international outsourcing. It also notes that there will still be a demand for well-trained programmers to replace workers that leave the profession. The median salary for computer programmers as of May 2010 was $71,380.
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