Computers play a vital role in our personal and professional lives. For businesses, having well-functioning computers, hardware, software, and networks is very important for both the organization and its employees. Computer support professionals, or CSPs for short, provide support to non-information technology staff on all aspects of an organization’s technological resources.
Computer support professionals provide support to their colleagues via in-person service, the telephone, or via computers through email or chat. As such, it is important that computer support professionals enjoy working with and troubleshooting all areas of technology. It is also important that they enjoy working with people. Computer support professionals ensure that computers, hardware and networks are working for users at all times. Because CSPs are often troubleshooting complicated issues and working with people who are technology novices, it is important that they have patience and strong customer service skills. A helpful and caring attitude goes a long way for CSPs when it comes to their success.
What tasks do computer support professionals perform?
Computer support professionals complete a number of tasks related to information technology and customer service. While CSPs do troubleshoot issues, they also provide service and support in computer and network set up, as well as installations. They also setup and install other system hardware and software and provide network maintenance. For example, when a new computer or printer is being added to a business, a computer support professional completes all tasks from accepting delivery of the hardware, configuring it for setup, and customizing it at the end-user’s desk.
Computer support professionals regularly check network reports and watch for new software upgrade releases. They schedule these updates and upgrades around the business needs as well, so as to not interfere with day-to-day operations. As such, these upgrades are often performed after hours and on the weekends.
When users errors are reported, the computer support professional assists the user with troubleshooting and determining the cause, and then provides the appropriate fix as soon as possible. A computer support professional assists both individuals and larger groups in the case of network-wide issues.
Computer support professionals may be an independent employee or may work within a large team of information technology professionals, depending on the type and size of the organization.
Where do computer support professionals work?
As computers are everywhere, so are computer support professionals. CSPs are needed in all industries and all sizes of organizations. Sometimes called information technology professionals or help desk support associates, computer support professionals work in a variety of settings for private and public institutions. Additionally, for companies that provide hardware, software, and technology services to other organizations, computer support professionals are needed to provide specialized troubleshooting and support to their business customers.
While many will work onsite, some computer support professionals may even work remotely, depending on the type of organization they are supporting. For those seeking entrepreneurial opportunities, some CSPs start businesses that provide technology services and support to other companies.
How do I become a computer support professional?
With the extensive number of software packages, hardware options, programming languages, and systems used today, it can be overwhelming to figure out what you need to learn to be a successful computer support professional. Luckily, there are programs that narrow this down based on industry recommendations. Enrolling in such a certificate program will give you a solid foundation to become a computer support professional.
What is it like to be a computer support professional?
Each day as a CSP is filled with problem solving and providing great customer service. Between installations, maintenance, and troubleshooting errors, no two days will likely be the same. This is perhaps why being a CSP can be exciting and rewarding.
Computer support professionals work throughout the country, with some even working remotely. While many organizations have computer support professionals working standard shifts, a large number of organizations needs CSPs available around-the-clock to support employees across different time zones and to ensure their networks remain reliable 24/7. Employment opportunities are available at many companies in both part-time and full-time schedules. Additionally, some offer overtime hours for additional pay, as well.
For people who enjoy hands-on work, information technology, problem solving, and working with people, a computer support professional role is an excellent choice. Careers are flexible by location, schedules, and shift availability, which makes it an excellent field for parents, tech savvy people, and those that appreciate flexibility in their career.