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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Support Specialists in Lancaster, California

Computer support specialists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Lancaster, California area. There are currently 61,100 working computer support specialists in California; this should grow by 17% to about 71,600 working computer support specialists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer support specialists are expected to grow by about 13.8%. In general, computer support specialists provide technical assistance to computer system users.

Income for computer support specialists is about $23 hourly or $48,160 per year on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $20 hourly or $43,450 yearly. Earnings for computer support specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Computer in California and not quite as good as general Computer category earnings nationally. People working as computer support specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: computer system technician, office systems coordinator, and help desk representative.

There are 210 schools of higher education in the Lancaster area, including three within twenty-five miles of Lancaster where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer support specialist. Given that the most common education level for computer support specialists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a computer support specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Support Specialist

Computer Support Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer support specialists provide technical assistance to computer system users. They also answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location.

Computer support specialists answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to deal with problems. They also read technical manuals, talk with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to furnish technical assistance and support. Equally important, computer support specialists have to refer major hardware or software problems or faulty products to vendors or technicians for service. They are often called upon to enter commands and observe system functioning to confirm correct operations and detect errors. They are expected to oversee the daily performance of computer systems. Finally, computer support specialists read trade magazines and technical manuals, or attend conferences and seminars to maintain knowledge of hardware and software.

Every day, computer support specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for computer support specialists to talk with staff and management to determine requirements for new systems or modifications. They are often called upon to maintain records of daily data communication transactions, problems and remedial actions taken, or installation efforts. They also modify and customize commercial programs for internal needs. Somewhat less frequently, computer support specialists are also expected to inspect equipment and read order sheets to ready for delivery to users.

Computer support specialists sometimes are asked to conduct office automation feasibility studies, including workflow analysis or cost comparison analysis. and ready evaluations of software or hardware, and recommend improvements or upgrades. And finally, they sometimes have to hire and direct staff working on special project work and installing data communication equipment and software.

Like many other jobs, computer support specialists must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lancaster include:

  • Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
  • Computer Scientist. Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
  • Computer Security Specialist. Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.
  • Computer Systems Analyst. Analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Computer Systems Engineer. Research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
  • Data Base Design Analyst. Coordinate changes to computer databases, test and implement the database applying knowledge of database management systems. May plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.
  • Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Support Specialist Training

Intercoast Colleges - Carson, CA

Intercoast Colleges, One Civic Plaza-Ste 110, Carson, CA 90745. Intercoast Colleges is a small college located in Carson, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 143 students. Intercoast Colleges has a one to two year program in Accounting and Computer Science which graduated two students in 2008.

American Intercontinental University - Los Angeles, CA

American Intercontinental University, 12655 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066. American Intercontinental University is a small university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 377 students. American Intercontinental University has a master's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician.

National Polytechnic College - Commerce, CA

National Polytechnic College, 6630 Telegraph Road, Commerce, CA 90040. National Polytechnic College is a small college located in Commerce, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 108 students. National Polytechnic College has a less than one year program in Accounting and Computer Science which graduated four students in 2008.


CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

Certified Wireless Network Administrator: The CWNA certification is the foundation level enterprise Wi-Fi certification for the CWNP Program, and CWNA is required for your CWSP and CWNE certifications.

For more information, see the Certified Wireless Network Professional website.

Internet and Computing Core Certification: IC is the ideal starting point for anyone interested in learning computer and Internet basics.

For more information, see the Certiport, Inc website.

A+ Certification: CompTIA A+ certification validates the knowledge and skills of entry-level computer service technicians.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Server+ Certification: For individuals who wish to demonstrate expertise with advanced PC hardware issues such as RAID, SCSI, multiple CPUs, SANs, and more.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Certified Technical Trainer: CompTIA CTT+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers core instructor skills, including preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation in both a classroom and virtual classroom environment.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Storage Technologist: You will learn to capture and analyze business requirements, design solutions, and implement plans in a process-oriented workshop using real-world case studies.

For more information, see the EMC Corporation website.

Certified Network Systems Technician: Certified Network Systems Technician is a network professional who is expected to obtain knowledge of computer.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Customer Service Specialist: An individual who successfully passes ETA's World Class CSS Certification exam is professionally recognized as having the ability to uphold the interpersonal and business standards necessary in today's workplace.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Student Electronics Technician (High School Level): Training electronics workers as entry level, apprenticed, installer personnel should include the following 19 Categories: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering and Tools, Block Diagrams, Schematics-Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, Test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics and Formulas, Electronic Circuits: Series and Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts and Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, and Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Ethics in IT: All IT professionals including: Systems administrators, auditors, information security officers, programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, Information service providers, contractors, consultants.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Customer Support Analyst: Support center analysts provide front line support and act as the primary contact for customers.

For more information, see the Help Desk Institute website.

Desktop Support Technician: The HDI Desktop Support Technician certification is designed specifically for IT support professionals who spend much of their day visiting customers at their workstations or home office.

For more information, see the Help Desk Institute website.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lancaster, California

Lancaster, California
Lancaster, California photo by File Upload Bot

Lancaster is situated in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 145,469, which has grown by 22.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lancaster, 130, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Lancaster cost $144,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Lancaster, down from eight hundred six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Lancaster are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 15.8% of Lancaster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lancaster is 17.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Lancaster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Lancaster is home to the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter Number 5 and the Lancaster City Hall as well as Mays Field and Mariposa Park. Shopping centers in the area include Antelope Valley Center Shopping Center, Antelope Valley Plaza Shopping Center and West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Lancaster can choose from Best Western Antelope Valley I, Aloha Motel and Bonaire Motel for temporary stays in the area.