Computer Applications Specialist: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for computer applications specialists. Get the facts about education requirements, salary and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Mobile Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Computer Applications Specialist?

Computer applications specialists provide technical support in computer programming, data management and website maintenance. This may involve communicating with users to determine what their problem is. Once a problem is identified, computer applications specialist may help users complete the steps needed to solve the problem. They also install software needed to use various hardware, repair computer equipment and train users. Oftentimes, these specialists are responsible for maintaining computer systems and creating backups. See the table below for a quick look at the career facts for computer application specialist.

Degree Required Associate's
Education Field of Study Computer applications
Key responsibilities Create reports, presentations, spreadsheets, websites and know about operating systems and software applications
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 12% for computer support specialists
Median Salary (2017)** $41,823 for computer support specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Type of Computer Applications Specialist Programs are Available?

Certificate and associate's degree programs in computer applications are available for both aspiring technical support specialists and end-users. If you'd like to hone your professional skills, some computer applications programs include courses in business math and communications.

It's helpful if you have typing skills and a basic knowledge of computers and word processing prior to enrollment. Training programs generally include courses in database management, desktop presentation, local area networks, spreadsheets, operating systems and computer graphics editing. You can choose elective courses in different areas of interest, such as programming languages or advanced office applications.

What Are My Job Duties?

As a graduate of a computer applications specialist program, you're eligible for various jobs, including information technology specialist, technical support analyst, computer office technician and computer support consultant. Some positions involve office support responsibilities, including the creation of reports, presentations, spreadsheets and websites. Other technical support positions may require in-depth knowledge of operating systems and software applications or basic computer programming skills.

Will I Be Able to Find a Job?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), your chances of obtaining employment as a computer support specialist are good (www.bls.gov). The BLS expected this position to grow at a faster than average rate of 12% between the years of 2014 and 2024. Many computer support specialists work in the computer systems design, data processing and software publishing industries; numerous jobs were also expected in healthcare. However, the BLS reported an increase in recent years in the outsourcing of such positions as technology has improved.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

According to PayScale.com, the median salary of computer support specialist in January 2017 was estimated at $41,823. The same report noted that the salary range between the tenth percentile and ninetieth percentile went from $30,220 - $59,508.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

With a bachelor's degree, job-seekers might look into becoming computer and information systems managers. These managers are responsible for organizing computer-related activities in an effort to meet a company's technology goals. They need to have an understanding of the technology used by the company in order to set these goals and allocate resources.

Computer network architects create the communication networks used by companies and organizations, including local area networks and wide area networks (LANs and WANs). These professionals also need to know about the hardware and software available to them, which they may learn about in a bachelor's degree program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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