Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are projected to add about 667,600 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.
The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
- Computer Network Architects
- Computer Programmers
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Database Administrators and Architects
- Information Security Analysts
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators
- Web Developers and Digital Designers
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Occupations listed above requires an entry-level education of Bachelor’s degree. Another occupation is Computer Support Specialist where education level may vary.
How to Become a Computer Support Specialist:
Entry requirements vary for computer support specialists. Network support specialists typically need an associate’s degree, and user support specialists typically need to complete some college courses. However, candidates for either type of position may qualify with a high school diploma plus relevant information technology (IT) certifications. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge but not necessarily a college degree. Applicants who have taken courses in areas such as networking, server administration, and information security may qualify for these jobs. For computer network support specialists, employers may accept applicants who have an associate’s degree, although some prefer that applicants have a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer and information technology or engineering. For others, the applicant’s field of degree is less important.
Certification programs are generally offered by vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists. Companies may require their computer support specialists to hold certifications in the products the companies use. Other types of certifications, such as CompTIA A+, may be a helpful starting point for workers seeking entry into the occupation.
Many computer support specialists advance to other information technology positions, such as information security analysts, network and computer systems administrators and software developers. Some become managers in the computer support services department. Some organizations provide paths for support specialists to move into other parts of the organization, such as sales.
Communication skills. Computer support specialists must clearly convey information, both orally and in writing. They must describe solutions to computer problems in way that nontechnical users can understand.
Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic. They often help people who are frustrated trying to use software or hardware.
Listening skills. Support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions for clarification.
Problem-solving skills. Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems and then analyze and solve them.