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The 10 Best Schools For Becoming a Computer Support Specialist: Degree and Job Info

computer support technician

What would we do without a Computer Support Specialist to help us solve computer-related issues? We all have used the computer support services department at some point, whether while working on a school project or at our jobs. Keeping computer networks in good working order is essential to everyday business and our personal lives and requires computer skills like computer hardware, computer software, and other direct computer related activities and knowledge.

Computer Support Specialists are invaluable. If you would like to be a part of a specially trained team to help others in this field, check out our guide to see what your next step should be! Computer Support Specialists vary in their job duties, depending on the application. With minimum educational requirements (and computer experience), you can begin your career as a Computer Support Specialist today! 

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Quick Summarization:
Computer Support Specialists add great value to many types of industries. For proper training in this field, earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field is suggested. Computer Support Specialists are tasks with a wide array of job opportunities, such as keeping computer networks up and running by testing and evaluating their efficiency. They must know how to troubleshoot systems and perform regular maintenance.


10 BEST SCHOOLS FOR A COMPUTER SUPPORT SPECIALIST DEGREE

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

A broad range of industries and research areas become the field of expertise of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduates from MIT. Pursuing a degree in this field opens opportunities and secures well-paying positions.

Computers and communications networks become more stable and secure, and solar panels become more efficient thanks to graduates of this program. They can analyze financial markets and design robots that behave like humans by creating unique algorithms. The program seeks to continually develop breakthroughs that make people’s lives easier, more comfortable, and communicate more easily.

Through project-based learning, internships, and research, MIT students are exposed to an in-depth education in engineering principles based on mathematics, computation, and physical and life sciences. It isn’t uncommon for MIT graduates of this program to take on leadership roles in electrical engineering and computer science fields.

MIT’s prestigious Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, which serves over 30% of MIT’s undergraduate students, boasts some of the most outstanding programs in the world. 

Programs offered:

  • Introductory Programming
  • Entrepreneurship

To have a career in the computer sector, prepare for an education for a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to be taken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  


University of Florida

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) BS in Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Information-processing technology and systems are included in the scope of the University of Florida’s CISE program.

This program educates students on the fundamental concepts of computing and the wider campus community, creates and shares computing knowledge and technologies, and utilizes expertise in computing to solve societal problems.

As you become part of this program, you’ll be tackling research areas such as Machine Learning, Algorithms, Cloud Computing, Computational Geometry, and Embedded Systems. 

In computer engineering (CPE), a person designs, builds, implements, and maintains software and hardware components of computers and equipment that uses computers.

With a core computer hardware and software competency, the University of Florida Computer Engineering offers a unique combination of integrated knowledge among computer systems, hardware, and software and engineering analysis, design, and implementation skills. A balance can be reached between theory and application. Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Science (CS) are two closely related subjects in computer engineering.

Programs offered:

  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer and Information Science

If you want to jumpstart your career as a computer support specialist and work your way through an advanced job position, later on, having a BS degree in Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida is a sound decision.


University of the People

computer support specialist
(Online) Associate of Science in Computer Science

The University of the People’s online Associate of Science in Computer Science degree program provides students with a technical foundation while exploring the field from various angles. You can expect to hone your skills and gain insights on principles of mathematics and science underlying computer science and information technology, tools and methods for analyzing technical issues, and thinking critically about computer ethics.

Students who complete the online computer science associate program learn about the IT industry, gain skills in computing and prepare for further studies towards a Bachelor of Science degree.

All students will be assigned a personal program advisor when they begin their studies, and they will remain connected with them until their graduation. Student program advisors serve as a support system throughout the student’s course of study.  

With the continuing evolution of technology and its impact on the job market, students with degrees in Computer Science are increasingly in demand. You can pursue your Associate Degree in Computer Science if you love technology and computers, as it will provide you with a new set of skills and qualify you for a wide range of jobs, including computer programmers, database administrators, software engineers, information technology specialists, network system administrators, and many others.

During your two-year degree program, you will learn how to program, design databases, and understand networks, giving you a wide range of entry-level employment opportunities. It presents an excellent pathway toward becoming a computer support specialist. 

Programs offered:

  • Health Science
  • Business Administration

Prepare for your career in the computer and technology industry with this online Associate degree in Computer Science offered by the University of the People.


Northeast WI Technical College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) Associate Degree in IT System Administrator

System Administrators maintain network infrastructure, software, and desktops and troubleshoot technical problems. An IT System Administrator may work as a network support specialist, a network administrator, or a business technology consultant.

You will be responsible for administering the network and its users, configuring and supporting the network infrastructure, and designing security solutions – all as part of the process of developing an active network. An associate degree will allow you to become well-versed with all computer-related concerns. 

After finishing this associate degree program, expect to learn how to implement client systems and network security components, troubleshoot network concerns, and manage computer networks.

Programs offered:

  • Customer Service
  • Cybersecurity

Suppose you want to be well-equipped with all the skills and knowledge to be used as a computer support specialist. In that case, this associate degree in IT System Administrator offered by Northeast WI Technical College is helpful as your stepping stone.


Austin Community College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) Associate Degree in Computer Information Technology

It’s no surprise that computer and information technology occupations are one of the fastest-growing jobs almost everywhere in the world. You can pursue a high-paying career in nearly any industry segment by studying computer science and information technology at Austin Community College. You can deal with securing networks, handling computer services, or developing games. 

Professionals in the field of CIT are well compensated because they are essential to setting up and maintaining networks, supporting computer applications, and implementing information security systems. At Austin Community College, you will learn these skills and more. Choose from degrees and certificates based on your goals. 

Computer and information technology professionals will continue to demand as technology’s influence expands. You can have various career opportunities such as database architect, information security analyst, computer support specialist, and software developer.  

Programs offered:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Development

Highlight and nurture your computer skills by enrolling in this associate degree in Computer Information Technology designed by Austin Community College.


Check this out: The 38 Best Bachelor’s in Computers and Technology Online Schools and Career Guide


Henry Ford College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems

With this program, you’ll acquire knowledge and skill in many IT subjects, including database development, programming, computer repair, troubleshooting, networking, operating systems, web development, and cybersecurity. In addition to excellent baseline skills and knowledge in all major IT specializations, you will also be able to work independently and collaboratively. You will possess the skills for pursuing a bachelor’s degree at any university.

The CIS program offers small class sizes, a dedicated and caring faculty, and a curriculum designed with critical input from industry partners in mind to provide hands-on experience with the latest technologies. You’ll learn in different mediums such as hands-on training and laboratory learning, where you can be exposed to handling software like Oracle, Java, PHP, MySQL, and more. 

Programs offered:

  • Web Development
  • Cybersecurity

Enroll in this associate degree in Computer Information Systems offered at Henry Ford College so you can start paving your career in the computer and technology industry. Many other job opportunities await you.


Snow College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) Associate Degree in Computer Science

Systematically analyzing, designing, implementing, and understanding algorithmic processes that describe and enhance information is the methodological basis for computer science.

Computer Science majors study programming languages at both the high-level and low-level. It includes studying computer architecture and organization that you can apply in real-life situations. The computer science major studies software engineering and methodology and artificial intelligence and robotics. Additionally, students learn about databases, information retrieval, and numerical and symbolic computation. 

Both hard- and software-based computing systems are analyzed and designed by programmers. At Snow College, students who complete the Computer Science curriculum must demonstrate their knowledge of anything computer and network-related. 

Programs offered:

  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Engineering

Get your computer skills honed by enrolling in an associate degree in Computer Science at Snow College. Kickstart your computer support specialist career with the right educational background!


Sullivan County Community College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) AAS in Computer Programming

The background provided on this track will prepare you for immediate employment or transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree program. The program covers courses in programming, hardware and specialized software, logic, database management, problem-solving and application, systems analysis, and web design. For career advancement, students need a foundation of liberal arts classes to communicate and think critically.

Computer programming students are taught how to create and deconstruct algorithms and codes. After graduating, they will also solve real-world issues and write algorithms.

They are capable of working in goal-oriented development teams. They can produce written, oral, and visual communication that demonstrates and documents their ideas. They may be able to develop systems using object-oriented programming methods.

Programs offered:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering

You can choose which track to pursue by enrolling yourself in this AAS degree in Computer Programming offered at Sullivan County Community College.


Wallace State Community College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) AAS in Computer Science

The Computer Science Program emphasizes the small business computing environment, preparing students to work in industry or business. Cyber Security/Computer Forensics Technology, Programing, Software Support (Help Desk), and Internet/Networking Technology are the four options available in the program.

A computer security specialist is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing a company’s information security. The workers may be tasked with educating users about computer security, installing security software, monitoring and responding to cyberattacks, and in some cases, collecting evidence to be used in cybercrime prosecutions. Recent years have seen increased computer security specialists’ responsibilities due to the rising cyberattacks on data and networks.

Those who program computers create, test, and maintain the detailed programs that computers must follow to carry out their functions. They also design and test logical structures for computers to solve problems. Programmers usually fix, expand, and modify existing programs.

Computer support specialists and help-desk technicians offer customers and other users technical support, advice, and assistance. 

They troubleshoot hardware, software, and systems problems and provide technical support. Local-area networks (LANs), wide-area networks (WANs), network segments, the Internet, and intranet systems can be designed, installed, and maintained by network administrators. Software users in different work environments can get day-to-day onsite administration support from these professionals. The network administrators maintain the network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor the network for system availability.

The AAS degree in computer science allows you to learn these four significant points that will enable you to land any job in the industry.

Programs offered:

  • Art/ Graphic Art Design
  • Engineering Technology

Having an AAS in Computer Science at Wallace State Community College is a surefire way to prepare for your career in the computer and technology industry.


Valencia College

computer support specialist
(On-Campus) AAS in Network Engineering Technology

Valencia College’s Associate in Science (AS) in Network Engineering Technology class prepares you for a career in computer networks after just two years. 

With cyberattacks currently on the rise, not to mention the vulnerability of confidential information, networking specialists and information security analysts are in greater demand now than ever before!

During Valencia’s program, you will be trained in designing, administering, maintaining, and supporting local and wide-area networks. The program will prepare graduates for exciting technological roles in network installation and design, cybersecurity, infrastructure, security and maintenance, and network monitoring and administration.

You can partake and choose from three specializations as Cyber Forensics, Cyber Security, and Cloud Infrastructure Security.

Use this Associate degree in Network Engineering Technology from Valencia College to start your career as a computer support specialist or use it to leverage your education as you proceed to a bachelor’s degree later on.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does a Computer Support Specialist do?

Primarily, a Computer Support Specialist’s job will focus on the lines provided that allow customers to utilize wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN). They test and maintain the networks.

Also, Computer Support Specialists provide the consumer with the help they need when it comes to computer use, technical issues, or other product-related questions. 

Computer Support Specialists often work remotely, such as at a call center, and assist others through phone calls or e-mail inquiries. 

What are the differences between a Computer Network Support Specialist and a Computer User Support Specialist?

Here are the differences:

Computer Network Support Specialists focus on network systems:

  • Checks and analyzes network systems,
  • Performs maintenance,
  • Performs file backups,
  • Troubleshoot all types of networks and repair accordingly,
  • Assists customers with technical issues by phone, e-mail, or personal visits.

Computer User Support Specialists focus on the client’s computer-related issues:

  • Works closely with the consumer, solving technical problems,
  • Trains users with new computers on how to work with equipment or printers,
  • Keeps records of client computer-related issues.

How do I become a Computer Support Specialist?

There are several paths to becoming a Computer Support Specialist that you can choose from. Options include certificate programs, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees. Knowledge of computer applications and the like is required to do most jobs as Computer Support Specialists. The educational requirements will depend on the scope of work and your employer’s mandates.

Careers requiring a bachelor’s degree include Computer Engineering and Computer and Information Technology. 

What will I learn in a Computer Support Specialist certificate or associate degree program?

Programs to become a Computer Support Specialist, depending on the level, will touch on coursework, such as:

  • Information Systems
  • Software Applications
  • Computer Hardware
  • Internet services
  • Computer Concepts
  • Network Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Customer Service
  • And, much more! 

Are there opportunities for career advancement in the field for Computer Support Specialists?

As a Computer Support Specialist, you may want to advance into an administrative management position in this field. If so, you most likely will need a bachelor’s degree. Careers include Computer and Information Systems managers, Computer Network Architects, Computer Programmers, Information Security Analysts, and Network and Computer Systems Administrators, to name a few.

Do I need extensive computer experience to be a Computer Support Specialist?

Naturally, becoming a Computer Support Specialist will require knowledge of computers. If you intend to pursue a career in this field, any high school classes taken will help you excel in your post-secondary education, whichever path you choose. Computer experience is a must!

How much money does a Computer Support Specialist earn per year?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, the Computer Network Specialists earned $62,760 annually. The highest 10% made upwards of $102,410 per year.

Computer User Support Specialists made $49,770 annually. The upper 10% earned upwards of $91,060 annually. 

Is there a demand for Computer Support Specialists?

Job growth is expected to rise by 9% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Change can be attributed to the expected increase in services needed by organizations as they upgrade and add to their computer systems. 

What qualities will make me a good Computer Support Specialist?

Besides the obvious good computer skills, many other qualities will make you an excellent Computer Support Specialist, such as: 

  • Customer service skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Work well with others
  • Communication skills, written and oral
  • Listening skills
  • Attention to detail

Where do Computer Support Specialists find jobs?

Computer Support Specialists in this field have many options when it comes to employers. Computer system design and related services are the most popular employers, which offer the highest number of job openings. 

Other options for Computer Support Specialists include telecommunications, followed by educational services, data management companies, and finally, finance and insurance companies. 

For Computer Support Specialists, most jobs are considered full-time; however, the business requires 24-hour/7 days a week service. You may be expected to work nights and weekends. Most Computer Support Specialists work in an office setting. They often open their own Computer Support Specialist businesses.


Key Takeaways

  • Aspiring Computer Support Specialists should begin their career by earning their Associate’s degree in Computer Support Specialist. To gain career advancement, you should then earn your Bachelor of Computer and Information Science or related degree.
  • Most Computer Support Specialists work in an office setting; however, some must be on-site “where the issue is,” offering local and remote support.
  • Computer Support Specialists repair computer equipment, work on existing network systems, and provide technical support or technical assistance as they assist computer users. They solve complex computer problems.
  • A Computer Support Specialist can take advantage of a lucrative salary, employment benefits, and flexible work schedules.
  • Prospective students earning a Computer Support Specialist degree can choose to become Computer Systems Administrators, Support Specialists, Computer Systems Analysts, Software Developers, and many other computer support specialist positions.
  • Computer Support Specialists continue working with the now increasingly complex computer equipment that matches the sophisticated systems of today and will require ongoing education in this field.

Additional Information: The 20 Most Lucrative Computer Science Careers

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Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor