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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Support Specialists in Pasadena, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for computer systems support specialists in the Pasadena, California area. Currently, 12,600 people work as computer systems support specialists in California. This is expected to shrink 24% to 9,600 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for computer systems support specialists, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 18.6% over the next eight years. In general, computer systems support specialists monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, and other data according to operating instructions.

Income for computer systems support specialists is about $18 hourly or $37,990 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $35,600 yearly. Computer systems support specialists earn more than people working in the category of Computer Operation generally in California and more than people in the Computer Operation category nationally.

The Pasadena area is home to 210 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pasadena where you can get a degree as a computer systems support specialist. Computer systems support specialists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a computer systems support specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Systems Support Specialist

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

In general, computer systems support specialists monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, and other data according to operating instructions. They also may enter commands at a computer terminal and set controls on computer and peripheral devices.

Computer systems support specialists monitor systems for equipment failure or errors in performance. They also operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports. Equally important, computer systems support specialists have to respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program. They are often called upon to notify supervisor or computer maintenance technicians of equipment malfunctions. They are expected to enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment. Finally, computer systems support specialists answer telephone calls to help computer users encountering problems.

Every day, computer systems support specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they focus attention on specific tasks without being distracted.

It is important for computer systems support specialists to retrieve, separate and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users. They are often called upon to read job set-up instructions to establish apparatus to be used, order of use, material such as disks and paper to be loaded, and control settings. They also record data such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken. They are sometimes expected to oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to insure efficient use. Somewhat less frequently, computer systems support specialists are also expected to type command on keyboard to transfer encoded data from memory unit to magnetic tape and help in labeling, classifying, cataloging and maintaining tapes.

They also have to be able to clear equipment at end of operating run and review schedule to establish next assignment And finally, they sometimes have to respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pasadena include:

  • Computer Clerk. Operate data entry device.
  • Online Publisher. Format typescript and graphic elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.
  • Telephone Operator. Provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories. Assist customers with special billing requests.
  • Typist. Type letters, reports, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. May perform other clerical duties as assigned.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Systems Support Specialist Training

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.


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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pasadena, California

Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California photo by Morgoth666

Pasadena is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,080, which has grown by 6.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pasadena, 167, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pasadena are priced at $298,000 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Pasadena, down from one hundred thirty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Pasadena are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 41.3% of Pasadena residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pasadena is 9.7%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Pasadena residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Pasadena Church of God, All Saints Episcopal Church and Grace United Methodist Church are among the churches located in Pasadena. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Pasadena is home to the Annandale Golf Course and the Hill Avenue Branch Pasadena Public Library as well as Victory Park and Lower Arroyo Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hastings Ranch Plaza Shopping Center, Hastings Ranch Shopping Center and Plaza Pasadena Shopping Center. Visitors to Pasadena can choose from Best Western Pasadena Inn, Best Western Colorado Inn Pasa and Astro Motel Pasadena for temporary stays in the area.