Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Support Specialists in Columbia, South Carolina
Computer systems support specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Columbia, South Carolina. There are currently 1,360 working computer systems support specialists in South Carolina; this should shrink 26% to about 1,000 working computer systems support specialists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer systems support specialists are expected to shrink by about 18.6%. 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.
Computer systems support specialists earn approximately $15 hourly or $32,500 per year on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $35,600 per year. Earnings for computer systems support specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Computer Operation in South Carolina and better than general Computer Operation category earnings nationally.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a computer systems support specialist, among twenty schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. 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
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 Columbia include:
- Computer Clerk. Operate data entry device.
- 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
Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC
Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen and thirteen students respectively in 2008.
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated eleven and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.
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: Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.
The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.