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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Support Specialists in Killeen, Texas

Computer support specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Killeen, Texas. Currently, 42,960 people work as computer support specialists in Texas. This is expected to grow by 20% to 51,620 people 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.

Computer support specialists earn about $19 per hour or $41,580 per year on average in Texas and about $20 hourly or $43,450 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for computer support specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Computer in Texas and not quite as good as general Computer category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: desktop analyst, printer technician, and network support specialist.

There are six schools of higher education in the Killeen area, including two within twenty-five miles of Killeen where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer support specialist. The most common level of education for computer support specialists is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn 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 Killeen 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 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Support Specialist Training

Central Texas College - Killeen, TX

Central Texas College, 6200 West Central Texas Expressway, Killeen, TX 76540-1800. Central Texas College is a large college located in Killeen, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,736 students. Central Texas College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Support Specialist. They are:

  • Agricultural Business Technology, less than one year.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

Temple College - Temple, TX

Temple College, 2600 S 1st St, Temple, TX 76504-7435. Temple College is a medium sized college located in Temple, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,182 students. Temple College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural Business Technology.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Killeen, Texas

Killeen, Texas
Killeen, Texas photo by Ed Schipul

Killeen is situated in Bell County, Texas. It has a population of over 116,934, which has grown by 34.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Killeen, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Killeen are valued at $121,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight hundred fifty-five new homes were built in Killeen, down from 1,278 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Killeen are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 15.7% of Killeen residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Killeen is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Killeen residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Power House Church of God in Christ and Primera Iglesia Bautista Church are all churches located in Killeen. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Killeen is home to Long Branch Park and Long Branch Park. Visitors to Killeen can choose from Best Western Killeen, Comfort Inn and Best Value Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.