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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree for Computer Support Specialists

Majors Overview January 6, 2014

Receive information about Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree for computer support specialists and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs for Computer Support Specialists

Students enrolled in an Associate of Science – Computer Support Specialist Degree Program can expect to be trained in providing technical assistance and support to users and customers in a business firm. They will also be able to hone their written and verbal communication skills and become adept at working with people from different cultural backgrounds. They will receive training in how to use the Internet properly so as to be able to conduct research efficiently and cite Internet resources in a proper manner.

They are taught how to resolve computer hardware and software issues and to work with networked computers and stand-alone machines with equal efficiency. The training will also cover the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office suite. Once they complete the program successfully, students will become eligible to take the certification exams related to the A+, HDI-Desktop Support Technician (HDI-DST), HDI Customer Support Representative (HDI-CSR), Computer Technical Industry Association (CompTIA), and the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications.

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. They may also be required to submit transcripts of all courses completed by them at some schools.

Coursework

It takes about two years to complete programs that comprise 63-69 credits wherein students are introduced to software and computer applications and are taught psychology, science and math. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Database applications
•Service skills
•Customer service
•Help desk concepts
•Operating systems
•Computer hardware
•Network communications
•Software applications
•Website design
•IT project management

Career Choices

Those who graduate successfully from an associate’s degree program can seek entry level jobs in any firm or company that employs networked technology and computers, such as government agencies, schools, hospitals, financial institutions and banks.

They can expect to become proficient with several kinds of computer hardware and software and software applications and provide support to computer users and customers. The work of support specialists involves designing multimedia presentations, databases and websites. These professionals can seek job titles such as:

•Help desk analyst
•Technical support specialist
•Network support technician
•Network technician
•Network diagnostic support specialist

Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree program may seek continued education to boost their employability by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS)).

Many entry-level computer support specialists seek work in other specialty areas such as software engineering and computer programming. With continued education, they can expect to gain skills and knowledge needed to attain success in these occupations. While job performance leads to career advancements in the field, formal education and certification can hasten the process.

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