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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Support Specialists in Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for computer systems support specialists. About 8,460 people are currently employed as computer systems support specialists in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 19% to about 6,840 people employed. 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%. Computer systems support specialists generally 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 $16 hourly or $33,900 annually on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $35,600 yearly. Earnings for computer systems support specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Computer Operation in Texas and better than general Computer Operation category earnings nationally.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Plano where you can study to be a computer systems support specialist, among seventy-nine schools of higher education total in the Plano area. Given that the most common education level for computer systems support specialists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be 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 Plano 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

Brookhaven College - Farmers Branch, TX

Brookhaven College, 3939 Valley View Ln, Farmers Branch, TX 75244-4997. Brookhaven College is a large college located in Farmers Branch, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,173 students. Brookhaven College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

El Centro College - Dallas, TX

El Centro College, 801 Main, Dallas, TX 75202-3604. El Centro College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,114 students. El Centro College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

Mountain View College - Dallas, TX

Mountain View College, 4849 W Illinois, Dallas, TX 75211-6599. Mountain View College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,126 students. Mountain View College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Richland College - Dallas, TX

Richland College, 12800 Abrams Rd, Dallas, TX 75243-2199. Richland College is a large college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,917 students. Richland College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated eight and two students respectively in 2008.

North Lake College - Irving, TX

North Lake College, 5001 N MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75038-3899. North Lake College is a large college located in Irving, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,174 students. North Lake College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Eastfield College - Mesquite, TX

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150-2099. Eastfield College is a large college located in Mesquite, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,501 students. Eastfield College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated five and four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas photo by Jmcstrav

Plano is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 267,480, which has grown by 20.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Plano, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Plano are valued at $229,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Plano, down from five hundred forty-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Plano are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 53.3% of Plano residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.6%, is higher than the state average.

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

The percentage of Plano residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Potters House Assembly of God Church, Central Baptist Church and Preston Meadow Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Plano. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Plano is home to the Heritage Farmstead Museum and the The Shops at Willow Bend as well as Enfield Park and Buckhorn Park. Shopping malls in the area include Preston Shepard Place Shopping Center, Preston Towne Crossing Shopping Center and Collin Creek Shopping Center. Visitors to Plano can choose from Amerisuites Dallas Plano North, Best Western Park Suites Hotel and AmeriSuites Plano for temporary stays in the area.