What Are the Roles of a Computer Support Specialist?

A row of computer support specialists taking phone calls to offer IT support.
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A career in the tech industry is lucrative. From manufacturing and finance to education and management, almost every industry depends on computer support specialists in their IT departments to provide support and assistance to users.

They are responsible for ensuring that everything IT-related is running smoothly by listening and responding to users’ issues with the right and viable solutions. Apart from having all the necessary skills, educational requirements, and qualifications, you must also understand your roles and responsibilities -that’s what makes a successful computer support specialist.  

The roles of a computer support specialist are expansive. One can easily get confused, especially if they’re working in a large organization or demanding environment. No matter how good you are, it isn’t easy to fulfill your duties if you don’t know what an organization expects from you. 

In this article, we look at what you are supposed to do as a computer support specialist in a company or organization.   

Roles of a Computer Support Specialist 

Computer support specialists maintain networks and provide technical assistance to computer users, especially those with limited or no technical computer knowledge. They troubleshoot problems, answer questions in the simplest ways for users to understand, and optimize hardware, software, and operating systems. But, their jobs might vary depending on whether they also provide computer network support. As a computer support specialist, you might also expect to train users to use new software and hardware. 

Also referred to as help desk technicians, IT specialists, tech support specialists, or network specialists, computer support specialists typically provide answers to whatever users ask. They run diagnostic programs and tools to determine the root of the issues. Then, help sort problems and respond through telephone, email, live chat, or physically. You must listen to users’ problems and find the solution. 


Whether working on a full-time or part-time basis, a computer support specialist does the following: 

  • Preside over daily computer operations to ensure everything proceeds with minimum glitches. 
  • Installs and performs hardware, software, and peripheral equipment repairs based on design and installation specifications. Further, the computer support specialist liaises with specialized third-party technicians or vendors for major repairs. 
  • Supervises and coordinates technicians, vendors, or other workers taking part in installations, maintenance, monitoring, repairs, and/or replacements. 
  • Sets up computers, installs hardware and software, diagnoses computers, and offers computer-related technical assistance to users. 
  • Analyzes systems to determine the best, most effective, and compatible computer hardware and software for various users and departments. 
  • Provides training on new hardware and software. 
  • Keeps and maintains records of daily problems and solutions they give, data communication transactions, and installation activities, if any. 
  • Helps companies maintain efficient computer and network operations by preventing downtimes and optimizing hardware, software, peripheral equipment, and operating systems. 
  • Works with management, staff, and other users to determine the need for replacing or modifying existing systems. 
  • Prepare for and evaluate software, hardware, and other peripherals. Then, identify problems and recommend appropriate repairs or upgrades. 
  • Carries out office automation feasibility studies to enhance performance and delivery. One might also conduct workflow analysis, space design, and cost comparison analysis besides offering technical support and maintaining networks. 
  • Modifies and customizes commercial software and applications to match the organization’s internal or specific needs. 
  • The computer support specialist is the company’s systems administrator. They allow or deny access to ensure security while providing assistance. 
  • Trains other operators and employees on how to install, repair, and maintain hardware and software. You can achieve this by developing training materials and procedures or offering small internal courses for those willing to learn. 

How to Become a Computer Support Specialist

Education and Qualifications 

Computer support specialists must have a wide range of skills to fit different jobs and industries. For this reason, you might need a bachelor’s, an associate’s, or a postsecondary degree. You must also have some computer knowledge as a beginner. More technical computer support positions in fields like engineering and large software companies might require a degree and years of experience. 

Certifications, Licenses, and Registrations 

You can get certification programs from vendors or vendor-neutral certification providers like the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to validate your knowledge and best practices for a qualified computer support specialist. These certifications also show that you’re proficient in hardware, software, networks, OS configurations, and other IT support roles. 

What Skills Do I Need to Be a Successful Computer Support Specialist?  

A computer support specialist reporting in to the IT manager of a company in the server room.
Having a bachelor’s or postsecondary degree, the experience, and technical skills isn’t enough to distinguish you. You also need some soft skills: 

  • Customer service skills: Remember that your work entails dealing with people who are already frustrated with issues most of the time. You need to be patient, sympathetic, and able to listen. 
  • Analytical skills: You must be able to collect information and analyze it to come up with viable solutions. 
  • Communication skills: Listening and articulating your solutions to users’ problems or inquiries are key skills of an exemplary computer support specialist. 
  • Writing skills: You can’t prepare instructions, training manuals, and guides and respond to emails without exemplary writing skills. 
  • Problemsolving skills: Your primary role as an IT support specialist is to assist those with little IT knowledge. It’s, indeed, upon you to come up with workable solutions. 

The Bottom Line 

Computer support specialists have various roles, from installing hardware, software, and peripherals to maintaining them and providing support to users. If you’re interested in becoming a computer support specialist in Texas, Southern Careers Institute (SCI) can help train you on the skills you need to pursue a successful career through our online programs for computer support specialist programs or SCI campuses.  

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about our training program. 

This article was published on: 05/23/22 8:22 AM

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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