Help! I Need Technical Support!
Computer support specialists provide technical assistance to users over the phone or via email. Using diagnostic programs, they help customers or fellow employees troubleshoot and repair their hardware or software. Support specialists also help users install hardware and software.
Support specialists must often help people who do not know much about computers. They must also typically answer questions that the product manuals often do not. Thus, specialists must communicate carefully with users to diagnose problems and walk the users through solutions.
At different types of companies, support specialists get different types of questions. Workers at a hardware sales company may get questions about how to manually configure computer components. Workers at an e-commerce site may get questions about how to access personal information through the company's web site.
Specialists also need to understand the various stresses that each business will offer. For instance, specialists at a financial web site may get many frantic phone calls from customers worried about their money. Meanwhile, specialists at a medical company may have less stressful calls, but they must be very careful since they are dealing with people's health matters or records.
Support specialists may also train computer users, write training manuals, and monitor system performance. These workers must have problem solving, analytical, and communication skills. With successful performance comes upward mobility. Support specialists may eventually become software applications engineers, helping to design the next generation of products.
The future looks good for support specialists. They are projected to be the second fastest growing occupation in America through 2010.
Computer support specialists may also be referred to as technical support specialists or help-desk technicians.