Jobs that provide you with the opportunity to solve problems can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment and contentment. This would be why Payscale rates Computer Network Support Specialists as having high satisfaction in their job, as the vast majority of the responsibility in these positions relates to solving problems in computer networks.
While Computer User Support Technicians deal with the end-users of IT systems (such as employees and the public), Computer Network Support Specialists provide support for IT staff both in their own, and external, organizations.
It’s hard to find an industry that doesn’t rely on technology. This is why Computer Network Support Technicians need to be able to solve issues promptly because without these systems many organizations would come to a complete halt.
You’ll need to have varied knowledge and according to Payscale you’ll need a certificate in networking to deal with the local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), and cloud-based systems that will be your responsibility to maintain.
What do Computer Network Support Specialists do?
Also known as technical support specialists, people in these positions spend their time helping other IT staff to analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate network issues. You also need to help organizations undertake routine maintenance of their networks, including ensuring back up procedures and security is in place. You will be responsible for ensuring these systems are maintained to a regular daily, weekly, or monthly schedule, so back ups are on hand if disaster strikes.
You’ll need to be able to assist IT users in-person, on the phone, via email or on chat networks, but most people you work with will have a solid technical understanding. If you find it difficult to simplify complex procedures, Network Support positions would be more suited to you than Computer User Support – as this involves users with a more limited understanding of IT. Need to create logs of issues, including detailed descriptions and solutions.
What is the job outlook for Computer Network Support Specialists?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 188,740 Network Support Technicians in the U.S., with 17,730 in Texas. While they represent 1.51 job in every 1000 in Texas, the rate of employment is higher in the Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division with 2.6 positions for every 1000 jobs. It is expected that there will be an 8% growth in Network Support positions, with a further 13,600 extra jobs by 2024. While automation and technological advancements can reduce employment numbers in this field, the ever-increasing reliance on computer networks, especially in healthcare, will ensure plenty of job opportunities continue to arise for those who keep their knowledge up-to-date.
What technical skills are required for Computer Network Support Specialists?
The quality of the support you can provide is dependent on the breadth of your knowledge. To be successful in these positions you need a wide ranging knowledge of all networking options available and certifications are the best way to show that you have mastery in your field. According to Payscale, people in these positions must hold, at a minimum, a certificate in networking and the most desirable technical skills include:
- Microsoft Active Directory & Windows Servers (Training for the Microsoft MCSA 70-410 Certification)
- Help Desk and Desktop Support experience
- Network Management / Administration (Microsoft 98-366-MTA: Networking Fundamentals Certification)
- Cisco Networking (CompTIA Network+ Certification)
An understanding of the design and installation of home and office networks and hardware, as well as ways to troubleshoot problems with hardware and software configurations, is also vital, including CompTIA A+ 900 certification. Increasingly, knowledge of how to prevent, identify, troubleshoot, and solve IT security issues is in demand as is an understanding of cloud technology, including CompTIA Cloud Essentials CLO-001 certification.
What career path options are available to me if I become a Computer Network Support Specialists?
Most Network Support Technicians are hired by larger companies, either as part of an in-house IT department or as a member of a dedicated IT service provider, so there are usually clear lines of advancement possible with your existing employer. New jobs are created all the time, and as you develop specialization in certain areas of IT, the possible career paths can change. However, these positions often lead to Network and Systems Administrator, management, and software programming roles. The more certificates you achieve, the higher your chances of advancement.
Where can I find job opportunities for Computer Network Support Specialists?
Both Indeed and Glassdoor had over 2000 Network Support Technician positions posted in the past month, while Career Builder currently advertisers almost 500 jobs. When searching for these roles, look out for the following job titles.
- Network Technician
- Network Specialist
- Network Technical Analyst
- Network Engineer
- Computer Network Specialist
- IT Consultant
- Network Specialist
- Network Support Specialist
- Personal Computer Network Analyst
- Senior IT Assistant
- Systems Specialist
CCI Training Center can prepare you to undertake all of the certifications you need to become a Computer Network Support Specialist. Visit the IT program page and fill in the form to get all your questions answered.