Computer hardware support specialists are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations internationally during the time period beginning in 2004 and carrying forth through 2012.
In the past twenty years, computers have become an integral part of everyday life, used for a variety of reasons at home, in the workplace, and at schools. And almost every user encounters a computer hardware problem from time to time. The explosion of computer use has created a high demand for compuyer hardware specialists to provide advice to users, as well as day-to-day administration, maintenance, and support.
Computer hardware support specialists provide technical assistance, support, and advice to customers and other users. This occupational group includes technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. These troubleshooters interpret problems and provide technical support for hardware, software, and systems. They answer telephone calls, analyze problems using automated diagnostic programs, and resolve recurrent difficulties. Support specialists may work either within a company that uses computer systems or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor. Increasingly, these specialists work for help-desk or support services firms, where they provide computer support to clients on a contract basis.
Computer hardware specialists are troubleshooters, providing valuable assistance to their organization’s computer users. Because many non-technical employees are not computer experts, they often run into computer problems that they cannot resolve on their own. Technical support specialists install, modify, clean, and repair computer hardware and software. They also may work on monitors, keyboards, printers, and mice.
Computer hardware help-desk technicians assist computer users with the inevitable hardware and software questions not addressed in a product’s instruction manual. Computer hardware help-desk technicians field telephone calls and e-mail messages from customers seeking guidance on technical problems. In responding to these requests for guidance, help-desk technicians must listen carefully to the customer, ask questions to diagnose the nature of the problem, and then patiently walk the customer through the problem-solving steps.
Computer hardware help-desk technicians deal directly with customer issues, and companies value them as a source of feedback on their products. These technicians are consulted for information about what gives customers the most trouble, as well as other customer concerns. Most computer support specialists start out at the help desk but advance in the field tends to be fairly rapid.
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