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Computer Systems Networking & Telecommunications

CIP Code 11.0901

​Computer 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. Support specialists work either within a company that uses computer systems or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor.

Technical support specialists respond to inquiries from their organizations’ computer users and may run automatic diagnostics programs to resolve problems. They also install, modify, clean and repair computer hardware and software. In addition, they may write training manuals and train computer users to use new computer hardware and software. These workers also oversee the daily performance of their company’s computer systems and evaluate the effectiveness of software programs.

Network and computer systems administrators design, install, and support an organization’s computer systems. They are responsible for local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), network segments, and internet and intranet systems. They work in a variety of environments, including professional offices, small businesses, government organizations, and large corporations. They maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor networks to ensure availability to system users. These workers gather data to identify customer needs and then use the information to identify, interpret, and evaluate system and network requirements. Administrators also may plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.

Systems administrators are responsible for maintaining network efficiency. They ensure that the design of an organization’s computer system allows all of the components, including computers, the network, and software, to work properly together. These workers educate users about computer security, install security software, monitor networks for security breaches, and respond to cyber attacks.

Computer support specialists and systems administrators normally work in well lighted, comfortable offices or computer laboratories. They usually work about 40 hours a week, but if their employer requires computer support over extended hours, they may be on call for rotating evening or weekend work.

Due to the wide range of skills required, there are many paths of entry to a job as a computer support specialist or systems administrator. Training requirements for computer support specialist positions vary, but many employers prefer to hire applicants with some formal college education. A bachelor degree in computer science or information systems is a prerequisite for some jobs; other jobs, however, may require only a computer related associate degree. And for some jobs, relevant computer experience and certifications may substitute for formal education.

Version C: Graduation Years 2016, 2017, 2018

Version D: Graduation Years 2019, 2020, 2021

Approved Secondary School Partners

A.W. Beattie Career CenterAllison Park2009-2010
Admiral Peary AVTSEbensburg2011-2012
Berks CTC - East CampusOley2010-2011
Bethlehem AVTSBethlehem2018-2019
Butler County AVTSButler2010-2011
Career Institute of TechnologyEaston2013-2014
Carlisle Area HSCarlisle2010-2011
Carrick HSPittsburgh2009-2010
Central Montco Technical High SchoolPlymouth Meeting2010-2011
Central PA Institute of Science & TechPleasant Gap2011-2012
Chester County Technical College HS -BrandywineDowningtown2010-2011
Clarion County Career CenterShippenville2010-2011
Connellsville Area CTCConnellsville2011-2012
Cumberland Perry AVTSMechanics-burg2016-2017
Dauphin County Technical SchoolHarrisburg2010-2011
Delaware County Technical HS-AstonAston2010-2011
Eastern Center for Arts & TechnologyWillow Grove2009-2010
Erie County Technical SchoolErie2010-2011
Forbes Road CTCMonroeville2010-2011
Franklin County CTCChambersburg2010-2011
Fulton County AVTSMcConnellsburg2013-2014
Gettysburg Area HSGettysburg2017-2018
Greater Altoona CTCAltoona2010-2011
Greene County CTCWaynesburg2011-2012
Hazleton Area Career CenterHazleton2014-2015
Huntingdon County CTCMill Creek2014-2015
Indiana County Technology CenterIndiana2012-2013
Jefferson County-Dubois AVTSReynoldsville2011-2012
Jersey Shore Area SHSJersey Shore2010-2011
Lebanon County CTCLebanon2010-2011
Lenape TechFord City2011-2012
Mercer County Career CenterMercer2018-2019
Middle Bucks Institute of TechnologyJamison2010-2011
Monroe Career & Technical InstituteBartonsville2011-2012
North Montco Technical Career CenterLansdale2009-2010
Northern Westmoreland CTCNew Kensington2019-2020
Parkway West CTCOakdale2009-2010
Philadelphia City SD - Dobbins AVTHSPhiladelphia2018-2019
Seneca Highlands AVTSPort Allegany2011-2012
Somerset County Technology CenterSomerset2011-2012
State College Area HSState  College2010-2011
SUN Area Technical InstituteNew Berlin2009-2010
Swenson Arts & Technology HSPhiladelphia2012-2013
West Philadelphia HSPhiladelphia2013-2014
Western Area CTCCanonsburg2010-2011
Western Montgomery CTCLimerick2012-2013
York County School of TechYork2010-2011