Computer support specialists help professionals and organizations use computer software and hardware in the course of their work. These IT professionals might respond to requests for help from users, help them resolve malfunctions, or train them on how to use necessary programs.
Computer support specialists might work in a call center to support a particular type of software or hardware, or they might work for a particular (larger) company or organization to support the particular hardware, software and networks they use. CSS jobs are growing at a faster rate than average; in fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing fields right now.
Some computer support specialists may work a 9-5 weekday daytime schedule, while others may work nights and weekends so that all hours are covered for a call center or organization that uses system resources around the clock. Salaries for CSS positions can vary from about $50,000 for an entry level position to upwards of $90,000 for a team leader or supervisor position.
A typical day in the life of a computer support specialist who works for a large company might look something like this.
The day starts with checking on some scans run the night before to make sure there are no viruses or malfunctions in the network and server. Everything looks good, so you move on to the next task.
A team meeting briefs your entire team on a new software program that will be installed next week. You get a large packet of information to study and learn so that you know all the ins and outs of how the program works as well as a maintenance schedule for updates and checks.
A possible security breach attempt is detected. You assist the team in checking it out, but the attempt was unsuccessful and the server and network are fine. You spend some more time trying to trace the attempt but it was disguised and run through multiple IP addresses overseas.
You grab a quick lunch at your desk, check your email, and make small talk with your cubicle-mate for a few minutes.
You train a group of new hires on how to use the company’s email, interoffice communications systems, and relevant software programs needed for their jobs. You tell them to contact your team if they have questions or need help using the system.
You participate in a video interview session to hire new staff in your department and write up an evaluation giving your thoughts on the candidates interviewed. The hiring team has launched an initiative to get input from members of the department to improve hiring decisions, which you think is a good idea, even though it’s hard to take time from your work when your department is short-staffed.
The day ends with preparation for an update that will take place at 2 a.m. when no one is using the system. The CSS team that works the second shift will be working some overtime to run the update, but asked for some help getting ready and running tests that needed redundancy to be effective.
You get a last-minute request for help from a member of your company’s upper management. Even though you know it will prevent you from leaving at 5 p.m., you answer the request because you know it’s important and you want to help.
It’s about 5:30 p.m. when you finally leave, but you know that tomorrow it might be 6:30, or even longer if a problem with the network or server happens right at the end of the day.
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