While few schools offer an Associate of Computer Technical Support degree program, those who aspire for entry-level careers in technical support would benefit by enrolling in an Associate of Science degree program. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma and some programs may require the submission of official transcripts of any coursework completed.
Students are trained in the provision of technical assistance and support to users and customers in a business organization. They can hone their written and verbal communication skills and get adept at working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. They are trained in using the Internet in a proper way to ensure the effective conduct of research and the ability to cite Internet resources properly. They become adept at solving hardware and computer issues and at working with both networked and stand-alone systems. They are trained to work with the windows operating system and Microsoft office suite.
Once they graduate from the program, individuals will be prepared to take the A+, HDI-Desktop Support Technician (HDI-DST), HDI Customer Support Representative (HDI-CSR), Computer Technical Industry Association (CompTIA), and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exams.
Graduates complete 63-69 credits, while taking about two years to complete the program. An introduction is given to software applications and computers in coursework that includes classes in psychology, science and math, and includes topic areas such as:
•Help desk concepts
•IT project management
Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree program can seek entry-level jobs in any firm that uses networked and computer technology, such as government agencies, schools, hospitals and financial institutions. They gain proficiency in using various types of computer hardware and software and software applications. Basic support functions are performed by these professionals for computer users and customers. Multimedia presentations, databases and websites may b designed by support specialists who can aspire for job titles such as:
•Technical support specialist
•Network diagnostic support specialist
•Help desk analyst
•Network support technician
Continuing Education Choices
Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree program may opt for continued education, and enhance their chances of career advancement by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Entry-level computer support specialists experience quick career advancement (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). They are also highly employable in other fields such as software engineering and computer programming, wherein higher education would boost their chances of success. Their career advancement chances would depend on job performance but would surely be boosted by formal education and certification.