Inside Computer Support Specialist Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Ever Changing Difficult But Challenging Work...
Surprised on how many different opportunities there are in this field. Helping customers with their issues is both challenging and rewarding." (Computer Technical Support; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Computers at Kaplan in Iowa in 2008

"Analytical Business Training Can Led To Computer Sales Success...
I was trained in computer programming, and business financial areas. I was surprised that I ended in sales of computer equipment." (Sales; 2014)

Career: , currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Business at Towson University in Maryland; completed Bachelor degree in 1980

"The Basics Pave The Way For Your Career...
I was surprised by how often I would use the information that I learned about early on in my bachelor's program in my everyday operations such as the basics of troubleshooting computer hardware and providing that information to people who aren't as technically sound. As a PC tech I get numerous questions about how something work and I have to deliver that information effectively." (PC Technician; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, male
School: Studied Information Technology at NC A&T SU in North Carolina; completed Master degree in 2012

"I Was Disappointed To Discover That Adults Don't Know How To Use The Computers...
I was surprised to discover that being a trainer requires a lot of communication and flexibility with my schedule. I am responsible for training adult learners within the company. I work outside of the office 60% of the time." (Trainer; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Maryland, male
School: Studied Computer Science at University Of Maryland At College Park in Maryland; completed Bachelor degree in 1998

"You Need To Learn To Earn.....
technology moves so fast you must keep up with current technology in order to stay on top. I think other would be surprised how much they would need to learn in order to work there. You must learn multiple hardware items, multiple software packages, you must learn cameras, printers, database management, wiring of equipments, computers in general." (Senior Technical Support; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania; completed Associate degree in 2010

"User's Abilities...
I am surprised to find out how little most users know about their computers. Most are working on them all day long and so few can do any basic troubleshooting. Some don't even restart them before I ask them too." (Network Analyst; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied IT at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

"I was very surprised at how much my job requires interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate technical information in an easy to understand way. Throughout my life I'd mainly associated with people who had an understanding of Information Technology at a fairly high level. When I got my job I was all of a sudden working with a clientele that was not technically savvy at all. I had to retrain myself to communicate at a more basic level so that my clientele would understand what I was saying." (Computer Repair Specialist; 2013)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in New Hampshire, male
School: Studied Information Systems at University Of Phoenix in Arizona; completed Bachelor degree in 2001

"Technology Work Flow...
I was surprised with the amount of politics that exist in a software company. I was also surprised with how complicated it can be to go from an idea from the client all the way to it getting developed and released." (Software Implementation Coordinator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, male
School: Studied Management In Information Systems at University Of Wisconsin - River Falls in Wisconsin; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"In college I hated computers and even switched some homework with another person but after falling into an IT position I decided it was kind of fun, like doing a puzzle and I enjoyed that. Also, I got to deal with the business more than just behind the computer constantly and also liked this human interaction part." (IT Business Consultant; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in Rhode Island, female
School: Studied Organizational Management And Industrial Behavior at University Of Rhode Island in Rhode Island; completed Bachelor degree in 1978

"Self-Reliance In Tech Field...
I was surprised about how little supervision I was given. I was surprised how much driving to different location was required." (Tech Support; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Nevada, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Csn in Nevada; completed Associate degree in 2012

"Customer Skills As Important As Tech Skills...
I was surprised the my occupation requires so much interaction with the general public, and the ability to troubleshoot with non-tech people." (Remote Services Network Technician; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Computer Information Systems at Chaffey College in California; completed Associate degree in 2012

"Skills Learned Outside Of Class Most Useful...
I was surprised that what I used most were skills I had learned outside of classwork. Much of my classroom learning was unused." (Computer Support; 2013)

Career: 27 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, female
School: Studied Computer Science at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee; completed Bachelor degree in 1986

"To Remain And Effective Worker, I Had To Increase My Knowledge In Unix And Mac Software And Hardware Support...
I was surprised to know that IT support professionals, in this market, need to have backgrounds in all different Operating Systems and hardware. Since technology is unique and constantly changing, employees are looking for people with UNIX, Windows, and Mac skills. After I started, I realized that I will need more training to perform my job." (IT Systems Analyst; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Computer Information System at Henry Ford Community College in Michigan; completed Associate degree in 2008

"User Competency...
I was surprised how completely incapable people are at Googling very basic information, or applying some common sense at how a keyboard might plug into the computer. Honestly, I thought that people would apply themselves more. A great deal of my work is correcting the simplest of user errors." (IT Helpdesk; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Northeastern Illinois University in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Simple Fixes For Most Problems...
The most surprising thing about being a computer support specialist is the banality of the job. Over the years, there is very rarely a job that will challenge you. The tasks you are required to perform are mundane and repetitive, yet very simple. Our clients always come in with very similar problems that are easily remedied by going over a small checklist of solutions." (Computer Support Specialist Is The Title Of My Position In My Career.; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Computer Science Was My Major Area Of Concentration. at Moorpark College in California; completed Associate degree in 2009

"What I Didn't Know...
I was surprised at how much I didn't know when I started my job. My first day I heard my colleagues speaking about advanced things that I hadn't even covered in school. It turned out ok, they were very helpful and in short order I was up to speed." (Helpdesk Specialist; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, male
School: Studied Computer Networking And Information Security at ITT Technical Institute in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"People Skills Too...
I was surprised to find how much of the job requires good people skills. Working directly with extremely upset customers requires excellent people skills as well as excellent computer skills in order to be effective and happy." (IT Support; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, female
School: Studied Psychology at Berry College in Georgia; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"I was surprised to find out about all the different opportunities available in the field. There is truly a niche for everything. I had a passion for nonprofits and found a good match to follow my passion while using my skills." (Technical Consultant; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in South Carolina, female
School: Studied Computer Science at College Of Charleston in South Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2003

"IT Field Can Lead To Experience In Many Areas...
I have been surprised at how my job has evolved over the years. I have worked in many areas of IT." (IT Analyst; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Information Systems at Strayer University in Virginia; completed Bachelor degree in 2002

"Most IT Pros Have Non-IT College Degrees...
A high percentage of the workforce have degrees from outside the computer field." (IT Support Specialist; 2014)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Wayne State University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"Finding A Job In IT Requires Showing Capability Not Education...
Many people with IT careers are surprised at just how extremely specialized jobs can be. Often your education and experience are secondary to the hiring process, they only show that you are capable of learning what is needed." (Technical Support IT; 2014)

Career: 11 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, male
School: Studied Business Administration at Heriot-Watt University in Oregon; completed Master degree in 2000

"People Want To Be Coddled...
I was surprised how much people rely on IT personnel. I realized people do not want to learn for themselves and just have the 'specialist' do things for them and figure it out for them. When I was growing up I was taught to investigate and work out any puzzles or problems I had by researching. Google is your best friend, use it." (IT Computer Support Specialist; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Technology Services at Self Study in California; completed Certificate degree in 2012

"Difficult To Enter IT Field...
Most people do not know that IT is not a very good profession to enter unless you can get a LOT of 'hands-on' training either working for yourself or interning BEFORE trying to get a decent-paying job with any company. A BBA in IT (esp. an online degree) and a bunch of industry certificates are practically worthless alone unless you have the hands-on experience to go with it." (; 2013)

12 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied IT at Lasalle Computer Learning Center in Florida; completed Certificate degree in 2012

"Few IT Jobs In My City...
I am surprised at how there was a complete lack of jobs in my city for IT. After I had gotten out of college, I was surprised to find that the IT job I was going to rely on for post-college employment had completely dried up. Then again, I live in a city mostly geared towards manufacturing and construction. So the lesson here is be sure that there will be a market for your profession before or during your time in college, no matter what your major." (IT Technician; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Mountain View High School in Texas; completed Certificate degree in 2005

"People Skills More Important Than Technical Skills...
I was surprised by how little my hard technical knowledge really matters in my profession. At the end of the day, corporate America wants a guy they can talk to and can stay cool under pressure more than they want a guy who knows all of the answers. Anyone can look up an answer, but not everyone remains composed while doing it." (IT Support Analyst; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Political Science at Valdosta State University in Georgia; completed Bachelor degree in 2007

"Social Skills As Important As Technical Skills...
Most people are surprised at the level of social skills that are required to move up in an IT career. There is a general stereotype that computer literate folks are not social savvy at all. However, you must get around this in order to succeed. The technical skills are important but you must be equally good at handling people because you will also be working with non-technical people all day and you must be able to navigate social situations well. Some professional certifications like the A+ place a strong emphasis on having these social skills." (Senior Support Analyst For Time And Labor Management Applications; 2013)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Concordia University - River Forest in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2001

"Technology Changes Very Quickly...
Most people would be surprised at the vast number of industries that you can work in, examples banking, government, law enforcement, entertainment, health care." (IT Service Analyst/Coordinator; 2014)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Engineering at University Of Detroit in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 1990

"Technology-Always Keep Learning...
It surprises me how much personal training is helpful and relevant to me as opposed to official college training. In this profession one has to take the initiative and have an open mind to push themselves to learn new hardware, software, and other modalities when it comes to technology and not get stuck with what they know and work with on a regular basis." (Microcomputer Technology Specialist; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Information Technology at University Of Phoenix in Arizona; completed Associate degree in 2006

"Workers At Computers...
What really surprised me was the people that I would be supporting. They have trouble with the computer and the software. I ask questions, as what were you doing when the situation occurred? What did you do after getting that error message? They cannot or will not tell me. I explain to them you will not be in trouble, it will be faster if you can get me this information. They can't tell me what they did." (Database Administrator; 2013)

Career: 18 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Telecommunications at Glendale College in California; completed Associate degree in 1995

"Communication Is The Key To IT...
I was surprised that communication was a key attribute required of Support Engineers. The need to translate business logic into IT jargon is necessary and as a Support Engineer, you're essentially the translator between the two different languages. Another thing that surprised me is the tight deadlines that you often face with projects that the goal is not clear. This might explain why a large percentage of projects fail." (Support Engineer; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Computer Information Systems at Baruch College in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Users Adapt And Change To Technology Slow Than Technology Advance...
Most are surprised the knowledge the general user has and the common misconceptions that a reboot will fix everything. Other are surprised that everything that they do on the work pc and is usually will be tracked." (PC Consultant; 2014)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, male
School: Studied Computers at Fox Valley Tech in Wisconsin; completed Certificate degree in 1991

"Was surprised how well networking paid compared to other jobs like support or pc repair/building. Getting a job at a hospital opened a lot of doors for promotion, and benefits are super." (Webmaster, Admin, Hardware Support; 2013)

Career: 16 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Dutchess Community in New York; completed Associate degree in 1991

"One of the most surprising things about my job is how much communication is an important factor. I frequently work with the customers as well as other people in the company, so I must be able to communicate myself properly, clearly and in ways that they will understand. So that I cannot always talk tech with just anyone, they will become frustrated with the task I am having them do. Sometimes they are already angry, so you must know how to deal with it. Previously I always thought I could just speak the terms of what I knew and people would be able to handle it." (Tier 2 Technician; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Computer Network Engineer at Westwood College in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

"Teamwork At Work...
I was surprised at how easily I could transition from one technology position to anther. How eager folks in this field are to help you learn more." (Technology Analyst; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Computer Information Systems at Penn Foster in Pennsylvania; completed Associate degree in 2012

"I'm surprised at the amount of little things that I have to take care of on a daily basis. For every thing that has actually challenged my knowledge or skills with computers there are 100 that don't require anything but simple Google skills" (Information Technology Specialist; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Computer Science at College Of Sequoias in California; completed Certificate degree in 2011

"Customer Service Skills In IT...
I was surprised to learn that being an IT consultant requires so much customer service. Customer service skills are extremely important in dealing with coworkers and/or customers." (IT Coordinator; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, female
School: Studied Information Technology at Baker College in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"I was surprised to find that being an IT Tech involved more than just hardware/software skills. My customer service and trouble-shooting skills are extremely important as well." (IT Tech/Consultant; 2013)

Career: , currently based in Missouri, female
School: Studied Computer Networking at ITT Technical Institute in Missouri; completed Associate degree in 2012

"Hardware And Software...
I am surprised to see the amount of change flexibility a technical analyst needs. As a technical analyst, I need to be flexible by understanding both hardware and software issues to effectively troubleshoot issues. Many people in this field seem to specialize mostly on hardware or on software instead." (Technical Analyst (IT); 2013)

Career: 16 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, male
School: Studied Video Production at University Of Arizona in Arizona; completed Bachelor degree in 1992

"The technical field has evolved by leaps and bounds. Most of the older technicians are being left behind by the younger generation due to computer literacy and programming skills. For me, I was ahead of the curve due to my very early interest in computing and programming. I was also ahead of the curve in more respects when it came to computing. I have skills in the use of such a wide range of software due to my interest and self teaching that I gain a higher degree of desirability and longevity. I am the proverbial "Golden Boy" due to the amount of skills that I either had to learn or wanted to learn. It really sounded like I was "tooting my own horn" there, but there was no ego involved. I just want to impress the value of knowledge in general and, more to the point, new technologies. No matter what field a person chooses any more computer savvy and tech knowledge is a prerequisite. So, to answer the original question, my surprise was how far technology knowledge has taken me in my career. Because I could; program, draw cad, draw 3-d, produce graphics, use SQL, utilize excel, assembly presentations, work with files of all types, write VBA... This is the lecture I give my sons. This is what sent me all over the world and into a high paying job in China. So yeah, I was very surprised that my basic hobby turned into a career adventure and turned my mushy head into a knowledge sponge. I would have missed out on college if it weren't for tech." (Technician; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in Nevada, male
School: Studied PLC Programming Certification at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada in 2012

"I'm surprised at how quickly hardware in the computer field changes yet, the core theory I learned in college is still applicable." (Computer Repair Technician; 2012)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, male
School: Studied Electrical Engineering at Lorain County Community College in Ohio; completed Associate degree in 1983

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Technical Support Analyst: "The people I work with are the best part of the job, and this includes both customers and fellow team members. People in my career field are generally jovial and good natured and are willing to help with issues. The thanks received after helping a user get back to work is something to cherish. The downside of this role is the stress involved with it. If a computer problem occurs that is beyond your control, you may get blamed even though you were not involved. Also, customers may have high expectations of your skills, which can be problematic if an issue occurs with a piece of technology that you've never worked with." (2011)

CEO Of Small Business: "I'm very happy with my career, as my job gives me an outlet for my passion for computers and helping people. I like having the powerful feeling that comes from owning my own business, and I don't need too many other employees around in order to do the work, so it is nice and quiet, but never lonely. The worst part is that I'll never get a million dollars out of my job, but at least I can be at home for much of the time with my family." (2011)

Desktop Support Technician: "One of the things I enjoy the most about my career is the freedom I have compared to a typical job. I work alone and am expected to be responsible and self sufficient in getting my duties done. My superiors are willing to answer questions regarding what type of equipment we support and what our policies are, but I am expected to know how to do my job as far as the actual maintenance goes. I would say my least favorite part of the job is the level of stress I have to endure." (2011)

Information Technology Specialist - U.S. Army: "The best part about being an IT Specialist is the fact that it's an ever changing field. As new technology is introduced you will be exposed to it and it keeps your job experience fresh and fun. The worst part about being an IT Specialist is the time it takes to get trained. Although it's rewarding in the end, it takes away from a lot of your free time and you need to put forth a lot of effort to become proficient at this job. Having an interest in computers is a must." (2011)

Tech Support: "If you enjoy working with the public and being around computers, then this would be the job for you. There is always a new challenge that come up, be it a new virus that has disrupted the software or a new product that's coming out. You are always learning and being challenged. If you are uneasy about working with difficult people, then this may not be the job for you. The other downside is that although the pay is not terrible, it's not great either. However, most companies typically promote from within, and there are many chances to move up. One other thing worth mentioning is that there are a lot of home call center jobs available. So if you like to work independently, that might be an avenue to check out." (2011)

Software Installation/Training Manager: "The two best parts of my job are being able to travel around the world and the feeling I get when those I am teaching have the ah-ha moment and their faces light up. It's a great feeling to have some come to me at the beginning of class saying they won't be able to use the software and realize at the end they are completely comfortable with it. The worst part is being on technical support every 3 weeks since it does take over your nights and weekends. Hotels and hospitals never shut down, no matter the time or the day." (2011)

Computer Repair Technician: "Probably the best part of my career is the feeling I get when I've very obviously helped someone out. Getting told that I've just "saved" someone's life because I was able to retrieve their crucial customer data for their small business is really an incredible feeling. On the other hand, there are customers who will literally yell at me for not being able fix their computers, even though it may just be something that's impossible to fix. Most people who come seeking the help of a computer repair technician aren't very technically literate and think that I can perform miracles. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and the customer may wind up feeling very disappointed and unfairly lash out at me." (2011)

Hosted Systems Engineer: "The best part of work like this is being able to keep up with current trends in the IT field. It's good if your company has money to spend to purchase state of the art technology. The worst part of this job is the schedule I have to keep. A lot of work has to be done during off hours to keep from inconveniencing the customers. Another function of pretty much all jobs in this field is maintenance. All computers or servers require periodic maintenance. Some can be done during business hours but most is the off-hours work I mentioned. It can be tedious at times but is necessary to keep up with current operating system levels." (2010)

Technology Assistant: "The best part of the job is that it's a continuous learning process. Technology is constantly changing. The best way of keeping up with technology is to use new tools and be open to upgrades and improvements. Lack of time is the enemy. The worst part of the job is being asked to set up the equipment for a meeting and finding you can't get it started, or having the tape run out while you are taping a school event. The technical difficulties you face are the most disappointing part of the job." (2010)

Senior Principal Support Engineer: "The worst part of the job is having to depend on people to get my job done, especially when those people are busy or not dependable. The best is my very flexible schedule and the fact that each day is different." (2010)

Principal Product Supportability Engineer: "The best part of my job is that I get to do a little bit of everything and I get to work with all the organizations in my company, from Support to Development to Quality Assurance. I get to do a little bit of project work, a little bit of testing, a little bit of development, etc. The worst part of my job is that sometimes I work alone for long stretches of time and the work that I am researching is not always useful to the company when I'm done." (2010)

Technical Support Engineer: "The best part of my job is constantly learning new software and doing detective work when things go wrong in the software. Once the problem is isolated, it's very rewarding to come up with a fix and provide customer satisfaction. Providing technical software support requires good customer skills and the ability to explain very complex situations in terms everyone can understand. The worst part of my job is the amount of time I have to spend analyzing data to find a solution. Customers can become very impatient waiting for a fix to their problem." (2010)

Instructional Support Technician: "The worst part of my job is my inability to prevent users from causing their own problems. We can only be so proactive, short of locking down everyone's desktop. Users cause themselves needless frustration because they will not practice a very few basic best practices. The best part of the job is solving a seemingly impossible problem, or amazing people with your computer skills. There is no man behind the curtain but they think there is." (2010)

Career Background

Computer Support Specialist

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Keep Current And Teach Yourself...
It is advantageous to stay current on emerging technologies. You can be self-taught but it is a 24/7 endeavor." (IT Support Specialist; 2014)

"Tech Savvy People Person...
If you want to do well in Computer Support technical skills are a must. Get some certificate classes in for basic information. Also intrapersonal skills are a good thing to have. Users don't want to feel stupid for not figuring out the problem. Being a good people person is extremely helpful." (Network Analyst; 2014)

"Get An Internship, Do What You Love...
Do an internship and meet everyone you can. Not everyone will do what you want to do, but everyone will know someone who does. If you are humble enough to ask, people want to help you out." (IT Support Analyst; 2014)

"Keep On Learning...
Don't pigeon-hole yourself into one facet of computers. Branch out and learn as much as you can and always keep up to date with your skills." (Computer Technical Support; 2014)

"Expand Your Skill Set...
To become successful I found that I needed to develop what are called soft skills. I became more personable and made it a point to take classes to speak to people in small groups and large audiences. This helped me sell my ideas and present processes better." (IT Service Analyst/Coordinator; 2014)

"Understanding Whole Business Environment Leads To Big Sales...
If you want to be successful in sales, learn all you can about your customer, including their business environment and what makes them personally successful. Along with your product superiority, people buy from who they like and who really understands their issues." (Sales; 2014)

"Customer Service Is Key, You Don't Provide It Someone Else Will...
Do as you say and always follow up if you say you will no matter what the outcome is. Almost every software install will take longer than expected, allow yourself time" (PC Consultant; 2014)

"In IT, Learning Is Never Ending...
If you want to an IT professional you need to want to constantly learn new things. The technology is constantly changing and you can't allow yourself to stagnate." (Technical Support IT; 2014)

"Temp To Perm.....
I would suggest to land your first job in an information technology position. I would look for temp work to get the professional experience you need that employers are looking for. I started this way when I changed careers from a maintenance man into a senior support specialist and team lead for a major access control company. I would 5 to 6 temp jobs until a head hunter called me about full time work." (Senior Technical Support; 2014)

"Keep Learning...
Always keep learning. Want to keep learning" (IT Analyst; 2013)

"Training Development...
I would suggest that you maintain updated computer training skills. It is helpful to join training workshops and organizations." (Trainer; 2013)

"Pre-Career Training...
Take some time and experience retail sales, as this would better prepare you for tech support in a company." (Remote Services Network Technician; 2013)

"Getting An IT Job After College...
If you want to be successful in IT, you should have had at least 1 full summer interning in an IT role, or have set up your own network, designed a computer program, etc, with which you can provide examples. Avoid trying to get a bunch of industry certs while still in college. Instead, focus more on 'hands-on' skills." (; 2013)

"Certification Importance In The IT Field...
I would suggest getting your A+ and Microsoft certifications as an IT worker." (IT Coordinator; 2013)

"Diversifying Your IT Awareness...
I would highly suggest taking courses in all sections of IT including database, web development, networking etc. Because the field is so large, you can find yourself working in multiple different areas throughout your career and your interests change." (Support Engineer; 2013)

"Get The Fundamentals Down Cold...
Always know the basics of your profession and be ready for surprises. You don't want to embarrass yourself at a job interview by not being able to identify all the parts of a laser printer." (IT Technician; 2013)

"Do Not Go Into Support!...
I would not work in support. The pay is not worth some of the working conditions and the employees that you have to support. They want to blame you, or the computers. It's never something they did." (Database Administrator; 2013)

"Network, Network, Network...
Network and find a decent position, because that's the only way you'll find one." (IT Helpdesk; 2013)

"Trial And Error Solidifies Your Knowledge...
Repetition is the best way to become successful in your IT career. Reading is one thing but going through experiences of trial and error enable you to work through tough situations in your career." (PC Technician; 2013)

"Don't Turn Down Technology Learning Opportunities...
Have an open and curious mind when it comes to technology. Never turn down an opportunity to learn a new strategy or skill." (Microcomputer Technology Specialist; 2013)

"Communication Is Key...
Don't assume your boss can read your mind. Let your boss know your long-term goals and ask for suggestions and how to make them a reality." (Technology Analyst; 2013)

"Never Limit Your IT Knowledgebase And Keep Learning About New And Old Technology Both Inside And Outside Of The Office...
Do not limit yourself to just focusing on hardware or software. Make sure to study all different operating environments and learn scripting. Networking is also a very versatile part of IT that would make you more marketable when looking for a job in the IT field." (IT Systems Analyst; 2013)

"Take Business Courses...
Take courses in business even if you are a computer science major. You will still deal with people and some business knowledge will help you make these interactions easier." (Software Implementation Coordinator; 2013)

"Extracurriculars Are Vital...
If you want to be successful you will need to come out of college with experience beyond your classes. You must explore opportunities like internships, open-source coding projects, or part-time work in your field (such as a student work job at the campus IT center.) Classes alone will not be enough to succeed." (Senior Support Analyst For Time And Labor Management Applications; 2013)

"Outside Work Helps...
Be sure to personal work with computers on a day to day basis. Don't just rely on classwork to teach you all the skills needed." (Computer Support; 2013)

"Real World Advice...
No one will hold your hand. Be prepared to do more than what is required." (Tech Support; 2013)

"Minimal Skill Required...
The actual job skill knowledge required to perform as a computer support specialist is minimal. If you want to challenge yourself, try to get into a information technology career that is more specific to your interests. Computer support specialist can be boring, so having an extra work on the side like coding can make things more interesting and supplement your pay." (Computer Support Specialist Is The Title Of My Position In My Career.; 2013)

"Listen And Understand...
A good technician will also know how to relate to people. Take some basic courses in communication or psychology to be most effective Practice listening and understanding!" (IT Support; 2013)

"Have A Learners Attitude...
Always ask questions. Get involved on forums. You are never the first person to experience the problem you are facing." (IT Computer Support Specialist; 2013)

"Look For New Skills To Develop...
Never stop learning. You should always be looking for new skills and improving the ones you have. if you can develop a skill that few or none in your work environment have, it can only better you. Also, jump at chances for project work, that will definitely get the managements attention. Be proactive, not complacent in your job." (Helpdesk Specialist; 2013)

"Lifetime Learning...
It is very important to stay up to date on the latest IT trends and skills. Don't think that when school is over you stop learning. The most successful people in this industry consider education to be lifelong." (Technical Consultant; 2013)

"Branch Out After Initial Specialization...
Specializing in one area can be valuable at first but you need to consider branching out. It is important to have knowledge in other areas, as they sometimes blend or are dependent on the other areas of expertise." (IT Tech/Consultant; 2013)

"Take Some Liberal Arts Courses Too...
I would really recommend that you get a well-grounded general education to go along with your computer-related courses. Yes, English/History/Psychology/etc. courses may seem really boring to you, but the lessons you learn from those courses will really help your inter-personal skills and aid you immeasurably in your career." (Computer Repair Specialist; 2013)

"Satisfaction Outweighs Effort...
sometimes the hours and stress can be hard but usually the achievement of a successful project makes it worth it" (IT Business Consultant; 2013)

"Communicate Well...
Communication skills are something you can't take for granted, work on them and expand them. Everything gets easier when people are all on the same page as you, it minimizes problems." (Information Technology Specialist; 2013)

"Computer Skills Not Enough To Succeed...
Learning just computer skills will not help you advance in this career, I have found that you need a variety, such as communication, verbal, written and even math skills that I use every day in helping with my customers and fellow employees. Being able to keep a calm, cool head at anytime, explaining and understanding who you are working with, knowing how they are feeling and reading them, will help you so much in the long run." (Tier 2 Technician; 2013)

"Consider The Healthcare Industry...
Get network certified and work on the medical business, they have the budgets to pay well. Even an entry level job will open doors for advancement if you're good." (Webmaster, Admin, Hardware Support; 2013)

"Customer Service Experience A Plus...
Remember that it's okay that you don't know everything, but do your best to keep learning. Try not to take it personally when a user is angry or when an issue can't be resolved. Work in a direct customer service job for a few years before starting in this career field. People skills make this work much easier. Be prepared to get dirty sometimes. Computers accumulate a lot of dust!" (Technical Support Analyst; 2011)

"Have Empathy For Frustrated Customers...
Firstly, don't be afraid to move slowly. You may want to make quick money, but you make the most by exercising patience. My business took two years to grow, but now it has flourished. Secondly, don't ever be too bossy or annoyed; the people who are asking for your help need it because they are frustrated themselves, and it can get tempting sometimes to get irritated when they don't do something right. Thirdly, remember that you are performing a service and that the customer is your best ally if you treat them right." (CEO Of Small Business; 2011)

"IT Certifications Make You More Valuable...
The best advice I can give to people pursuing a career in IT is to get certifications. There are too many different IT certifications available to count, but each one gives you a specific area of expertise. A desktop technician will benefit from having a general certification for basic desktop support, but being specialized in something like Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 administration looks better on your resume and makes you a greater asset to a company. It also helps to be very versatile. The more you can know about your job the more likely you are to succeed." (Desktop Support Technician; 2011)

"Lots Of Career Paths Within IT - Choose Carefully...
Interest in computers in general is a must. Joining the army and picking this job is a way to get into the field and get and opportunity to get certified in many areas. Going for a degree (i.e. computer science) is crucial. Choosing wisely which part of the IT field you will go into is also important. Network administration, programming, information security, or just general troubleshooting from a help desk all require different types of training. Do your research before hand and choose wisely so you wont get bogged down due to a lack of interest later on down the line." (Information Technology Specialist - U.S. Army; 2011)

"People And Computer Skills Necessary...
Have a good knowledge of windows-based computers systems and hardware. All companies provide training, but having computer knowledge is of paramount importance, because you need to understand the inner workings of a computer and because of the new challenges that come up all the time. Probably the most important thing is to have good verbal skills and listening skills. You must be a people person, and most of all, have a good sense of humor. You may spend as much as four hours walking someone through a software install." (Tech Support; 2011)

"Techs Who Can Teach...
If you want to become a teacher in the software world, look for companies that either use a lot of different software (financial or manufacturing companies) or a software company that offers training to their clients. Usually you'll start out doing technical support, but as long as you demonstrate you want to teach, the company will be happy to steer your career that way. Techs who can fix the software are easy to find; techs who can teach the software successfully aren't." (Software Installation/Training Manager; 2011)

Learn by doing. Take apart computers and put them together. You have to learn to love building computers. See if you can "break" computer software and then fix it. Much of your knowledge is going to come from doing things on your computer. Playing a game, for example, may require you to learn something about installing software drivers. Learn to deal with people; it's not always about your technical knowledge. People skills are going to be just as important." (Computer Repair Technician; 2011)

"Be Comfortable With The Fundamentals...
If you choose to pursue a career in IT it is imperative that you start with a good basic understanding of computers and networking. Once you have that you will understand how they work and communicate and allow such things as "Facebook" or "Google" to exist. Stay current with emerging technologies. Things are always changing and what is cutting edge today may be obsolete after a year or two." (Hosted Systems Engineer; 2010)

"Be Persistent...
In this position my job is to respond to the needs of students and teachers. Basically, you need to listen to them and find a way to help them with the task. Keep trying, there is always a solution. If you don't know, ask questions until you find answers." (Technology Assistant; 2010)

"Focus On A Particular Type Of Software...
Find an area of software that you really like and become very good at it. Strive to be the best at understanding how it works. Always treat others the way that you would like to be treated. Don't be afraid to try new software. If there is one thing that never changes in IT it is the fact that it always changes." (Senior Principal Support Engineer; 2010)

"Learn Java Or C++...
If you're interested in working with computer software, focus on learning a computer language such as Java or C++. It may be tough to learn at first, but once you've learned one it's very easy to learn others. Programming languages are always changing and improving, so working with them is very exciting. Also, learn about how businesses work. Take marketing, finance and economics courses. These are useful things to have a grasp of when you're creating applications to make it easier to run a business." (Principal Product Supportability Engineer; 2010)

"Learn Multiple Operating Systems...
Have a passion for learning new skills whether they're technical or professional. Be open to learning new software skills as the software industry is constantly evolving. Learn multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac and Linux. Flexibility will open doors for you. Be able to explain very technical situations to people who may not understand them. Always be on the lookout for any additional education opportunities." (Technical Support Engineer; 2010)

"OK To Break Things But Have A Backup...
Do not be afraid to break things. You will never be able to diagnose a problem and solve it without making it worse first. Always have a back-up of the thing you are about to break. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to cover your butt if you are going to burn someone's computer either intentionally or by accident. Have a back-up plan. Keep looking at things as though no one had ever seen them before, and take notes. It's a terrible thing not to learn from your successes or mistakes." (Instructional Support Technician; 2010)