Recently we discussed what you can do with a degree in information technology, including which jobs you can get, and why it’s worth getting your degree in the field.

Here, we’ll review how you can use a degree in IT to help you get a great job in the IT industry, which is the role of computer support specialist.

In this post, we’ll explain why you should consider becoming a computer support specialist, what you’d do each day on the job, which skills you’ll need to develop before attempting to get hired, and how you can increase your chances of launching a successful career in the industry.

After you’ve learned everything you need to know about starting your career in IT, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.

What do Computer Support Specialists Actually Do?

Computer support specialists are responsible for a variety of technical tasks, but we can think of those tasks as falling into three different categories:

  • Installation and configuration tasks. This includes installing new software and hardware, as well as configuring computers and computer-driven devices.
  • Maintenance and support tasks. This encompasses keeping computers and computer-based systems running smoothly by troubleshooting problems and addressing user issues.
  • Training and education tasks. Computer user support specialists may be asked to provide training to staff on using the organization’s technology, as well as navigating new or updated systems.

There are many other tasks that computer support specialists may be responsible for, and other common job duties may include things like:

  • Answering questions about software and hardware issues from users via phone, email, or chat.
  • Researching problems to identify possible solutions by consulting with others in the IT field, as well as with vendors who specialize in specific products or services.
  • Writing reports for management to document IT and computer-related problems and solutions. 
  • Installing new hardware and software systems, including operating system upgrades, patches, and service packs.
  • Configuring printers or other peripherals attached to workstations.
  • Troubleshooting network connectivity issues.
  • Performing minor repairs on laptops/desktop computers (e.g., replacing hard drives), etc.        

The above list is not exhaustive, but it provides a general overview of the typical responsibilities that you can expect to face as a computer support specialist. 

Keep in mind that your specific job duties may vary depending on the size of the organization, the industry it operates in, and your specific role on the IT support team.

Is Becoming a Computer Support Specialist a Good Career Option?

There are many reasons why you might want to consider becoming a professional computer support specialist, but three of the most compelling reasons to choose this career include:

  • The field is growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that employment for this role will rise 9% between 2020 and 2030.
  • Computer support specialists get to play an important role in almost any modern business or organization, as they are responsible for ensuring that the organization’s employees are able to remain productive while at work.
  • Computer user support specialists tend to earn a solid salary, with the BLS reporting their median salary was $57,910 as of May 2021.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this is a competitive industry, so if you’re serious about getting a job in this space, you’ll certainly need to develop a wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to convince an organization to hire you for this challenging role.

What Skills & Abilities are Needed to Become a Successful Computer Support Specialist?

In order to be successful in this field, you’ll need to develop a mix of both hard skills and soft skills. 

Hard skills are those that can be easily quantified and learned in a classroom or workshop setting, and which tend to apply directly to the job and job-related responsibilities. 

For a computer support specialist, these sorts of hard skills would be skills related to dealing with computers, software, hardware, networking, troubleshooting, testing, and other technical topics. 

Some specific hard skills that you should work on developing include:

  • Hardware Skills: Developing a comprehensive understanding of computer hardware, including the parts that make up desktop computers, laptops, peripherals (e.g., monitors, printers), etc. will be critical to achieving successful results as a computer support specialist.
  • Software Skills: Knowing how to troubleshoot, upgrade, test, and resolve problems with computer software, including operating systems like Windows and Linux, as well as productivity software like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace is one of the most important skills that you can develop for this field.
  • Networking Skills: While a computer support specialist may not touch networking issues (it’s possible you’ll have networking specialists focused on those tasks), you should also maintain a solid understanding of routers, switches, topology concepts (e.g., LAN vs. WAN), etc. so you can provide support in these areas.

Soft skills are more difficult to quantify and are typically not related to any particular job or task, but they may be every bit as important as hard skills, especially for the role of computer support specialist.

The most important soft skills for a computer support specialist include things like:

  • Excellent customer service skills so that you’re able to work well with the users who you’re tasked with supporting.
  • The ability to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical staff members throughout your organization’s hierarchy (ranging from senior management to entry-level employees). 
  • Strong problem-solving abilities that allow you to quickly and accurately diagnose issues that arise when users encounter technical problems so you can then either fix them yourself or escalate them to other specialists who can help.

The above list represents some of the more common skills that you will need to succeed in this career field, but remember that these aren’t exhaustive and that any given role in the industry may require very different sets of knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Fortunately, while you may not already have all of these skills and abilities, you can develop them by completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from CSU Global.

Do I Really Need a Degree to Become a Computer Support Specialist?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education requirements for this role vary, but some organizations are likely to require a bachelor’s degree for the role.

The level of education required for any given position will depend on the specific company you’re applying to work for, as different organizations have different requirements, but to increase the chances that you satisfy eligibility conditions for the most competitive jobs in the field, we definitely suggest earning a relevant degree.

CSU Global’s online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology is the perfect program for anyone looking to break into this industry, as it offers students the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they need to launch a successful career as a computer support specialist.

Remember that this role serves a critical function for most modern organizations, since companies in nearly every industry rely on computers for nearly everything that they do, so making sure that you’ve attained the right education credentials could play a very important role in allowing you to land your first job in the field.

What Will I Learn When Studying Information Technology?

Obtaining your Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology will give you the chance to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become a computer support specialist, including: 

  • Analyzing problems and identifying and defining the computing requirements needed to solve them.
  • Creating, implementing, and testing a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet specific requirements.
  • Examining the impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and societies on a local and global scale.
  • Using current technical concepts and best practices in human-computer interaction, information management, programming, networking, and web systems and technologies.
  • Identifying and analyzing user requirements in order to select, create, evaluate, and administer computer-based systems.

This program is the ideal way to prepare for a successful, lifelong career as a computer support specialist, whether you’re just getting started in the space, or looking to advance your existing knowledge and expertise.

What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?

In addition to completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, there are other things you can do to increase your chances of achieving success as a computer support specialist. 

First, it’s important to have strong communication and problem-solving skills. As a computer support specialist, you will be responsible for resolving issues that users may experience with their computers, so make sure to prioritize your capabilities in this area, as being able to effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical individuals is going to be an essential part of your daily responsibilities. 

Second, you may want to consider completing an IT certification program to add value to your resume. 

According to, seven of the best certifications for people who want to become computer support specialists include:

  • Certified Network Computer Technician (CNCT)
  • Security 5 Certification
  • Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
  • Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Instrumentation Specialist (CIS)

Finally, having strong time management and organizational skills can also be beneficial for this job, since the role requires staying on task, completing projects within deadlines, and managing an often busy workload.

While none of these additional pursuits are necessarily required to get a job as a computer support specialist, combining them with a respected degree program in information technology is the best way to maximize your potential for launching a successful career in this competitive field.

Should I Get My Degree Online? 

Regardless of which higher education path you choose to pursue, we certainly suggest getting your degree and credentials online rather than in person.

Studying online offers many benefits compared to in-person learning, but the most important advantage is that it allows you to learn in your own time and from the comfort of your own home. 

You’ll never have to miss a class or alter your personal schedule to make it to courses at set times since you can access your course materials 24/7 from any device with an internet connection. 

Choosing to study online with us at CSU Global will allow you to take advantage of several other great benefits provided by our fully online programs, including: 

  • No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
  • Monthly class starts.
  • Accelerated courses. 

If you’re a busy person with existing family and work responsibilities that you’ll need to continue delivering on while you pursue your higher education credential, then you should seriously consider studying online with us.

Why Should I Choose to Study at CSU Global?

CSU Global’s online Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology degree will prepare you to meet the challenges you’ll face as you attempt to build a lifelong career as a professional computer support specialist. 

Our B.S. in IT program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and was designed to provide you with industry-relevant skills, ensuring you’re ready to provide value to any organization from day one.

The program holds several top rankings, including:

  • A #1 ranking for Top Low-Cost Online Bachelor’s in Computer and IT Programs from Great Value Colleges.
  • A #2 ranking for Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Information Technology from Cyber Degrees.
  • A #3 ranking for The Best Information Technology Degree Programs of 2021 from Best Value Schools.

CSU Global itself is also widely regarded as an industry leader in higher education, and currently holds several impressive rankings of its own, including:

  • A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.

Finally, we offer competitive tuition rates and a tuition guarantee to ensure your rate won’t increase for as long as you remain enrolled with us.

To get additional details about our fully-accredited online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form