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Computer User Support Specialist

Student sitting at a computer

Department: Computer Information Systems

Program Type: Business and Information Technology


People working as Computer User Support Specialists help users make the most out of their workdays by identifying technical problems with a customer focus. Considered a short certificate, you can gain a Computer User Support Specialist (13 credits) credential in as little as one semester. With a career in this field, you would be busy assisting computer users with login difficulties and operating system and software malfunctions through phone, email, or in-person visits.

This certificate program gives you the perfect combination of hands-on knowledge and practical experience to help troubleshoot and diagnose computer problems. If you're passionate about helping others navigate today's ever-changing technology landscape, this career may be for you.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The employment outlook for Computer User Support Specialists is positive. The increasing use of technology in businesses and organizations is driving the demand for these professionals, as they are needed to provide technical assistance and support to computer users. Additionally, the growth of e-commerce and remote work is also contributing to the positive outlook for this occupation. Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding related occupations and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the computer user support specialist plan of study and course descriptions.

Basic Vocational Certificate

What do Computer Support Specialists do?

As a computer help desk support professional, you'll be an essential part of your organization. You'll work with the IT department to help employees that require computer hardware and software upgrades to be connected, efficient, and productive. Computer User Support Specialists prioritize individual detailed technical assistance for computer users to satisfy that measure. Their primary function is to provide problem-resolve, whether in person, by phone, online chat, or by email through IT departments or call centers around the clock.

IT Support Technicians work on regular network maintenance, resolving hardware and software operation issues, diagnosing and configuring systems, system setup and software installation, developing training materials and providing end-user instruction, evaluating and testing software and hardware for compatibility and integrity, interfacing with vendors, and management reporting.

What will I learn with a professional certificate in Computer User Support?

This certificate curriculum will expose you to various career options in computer science and technology. You will learn to use basic desktop applications such as spreadsheets, authoring tools, and graphic packages. You will become familiar with the details of the Internet and create and publish web pages and provide end-user support on PCs and Mac computers. You will learn how to install Linux OS, configure Open Source applications on Linux, become seasoned in conventional software updates, and become proficient in graphical user interface structures and components on desktop operating systems.

For more information, including specific courses and class descriptions, visit the ECC Catalog.

Is a Computer User Support Specialist a good career?

A Computer User Support Specialist is a great career path for anyone seeking a challenging, lucrative, client-interfacing, customer-oriented vocation fixing consumer problems.

What skills do you need to work in computer support? 

Computer support personnel often work in software, hardware, and/or help desk support. It would help if you were customer-service-oriented, inquisitive, and had strong problem-solving skills, patience, and strategic technical aptitude to excel in this type of career. 

ECC Computer Certificate Programs

The CIS program allows students to select classes that best suit their skills, strengths, and educational and career goals and meet today's industry needs. The curriculum covers computer systems and cybersecurity fundamentals, operating systems, hardware, structured and visual programming languages, system troubleshooting and helpdesk fundamentals, network technologies, cyber law and ethics, digital forensics, and database administration. Students will also develop proficiency in popular applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, database, and Internet publishing.

CompTIA and Microsoft certifications can be achieved to ensure students have the necessary skill sets to meet employer expectations. With these skills and certifications, a computer professional can expect to enjoy a good salary, steady work, and opportunities to advance.


At ECC, you'll earn industry-recognized credentials that local employers highly value: CompTIA A+

Here are a few sample classes:

  • Introduction to Computers
  • Linux Operating Systems
  • Computer Hardware & Troubleshooting
  • Introduction to Windows OS

Getting a Job as an IT help desk or IT specialist is possible after high school with experience and certification, such as Computer User Support Specialist from Elgin Community College, which maps to the CompTIA A+ requirements. Our partnerships with the local industry give you extensive hands-on experience in the classroom and through practical, on-the-job training as part of the vocational specialist program.

What is the pathway to a CIS degree?

Learn what classes to take at ECC that seamlessly transfer to a Computer Science program at a 4-year institution. Speak to an advisor about your career plans, and they'll help you understand the best course of action. 

Learn more about the Computer User Support Specialist department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

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